A Travel Price Comparison for Chile Valdivia vs. La Serena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Valdivia or La Serena?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Valdivia or La Serena? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Valdivia or La Serena?

Valdivia

Valdivia is a vibrant university city situated in southern Chile. It sits at the meeting point of three rivers in the aptly named Region de Los Rios (The Rivers Region) and is approximately 200 kilometers from both Temuco and Puerto Montt. Due to a large student population, Valdivia boasts a youthful and energetic vibe that is visible in its many bars, cafes and restaurants. The city is also known for having one of Chile's best craft beer cultures, which had its early beginnings when German settlers arrived in the 1840s. The rivers, nearby Pacific coastline and wetlands offer plenty for lovers of the outdoors, too.

La Serena

La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!

Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in Chile, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Chile, The Best 2-Week Tours in Chile, and The Best Bicycle Tours in Chile.


Which place is cheaper, La Serena or Valdivia?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Valdivia is $69, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $88. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Valdivia and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Valdivia $41
    La Serena $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Valdivia $82
    La Serena $84
Compare Hotels in Valdivia and La Serena

Looking for a hotel in Valdivia or La Serena? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Valdivia


Hotels in La Serena


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Valdivia Hotel Prices and La Serena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Valdivia $8.19
    La Serena $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Valdivia

Also for Valdivia, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Valdivia Airport Private Transfer: $58

Is it cheaper to fly into Valdivia or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena and Valdivia change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Valdivia $22
    La Serena $27

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Valdivia $13
    La Serena $24

Tours and Activities in Valdivia

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Valdivia.

  • Sightseeing Tour in Valdivia : $85
  • Valdivia SUP Cruises for 6 People with Transportation Included: $35

Tours and Activities in La Serena

For La Serena, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Tour to the internationally renowned Pangue Observatory: $139
  • Dama Island or Chañaral Navigation Tour Humboldt Penguin Reserve: $135
  • Elqui Valley Full Day Tour: magical towns, pisco and mountains: $80
  • Elqui Valley Grand-Tour: $150
  • Elqui Valley Tour from La Serena: $120
  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $183
  • Elqui Valley: Pisco Tour, Wine, Beer: $174
  • Full Day History and Flavors Tour in the Elqui Valley: $50
  • La Serena & Coquimbo City Tour - Short excursion for cruise ships: $128
  • La Serena and Coquimbo City Tour (SIB): $66
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Guided City Tour: $76
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch, Shore Excursion: $194

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Valdivia $4.85
    La Serena $23


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Valdivia and La Serena, we can see that La Serena is more expensive. And not only is Valdivia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Valdivia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Valdivia and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in La Serena would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in La Serena than you might in Valdivia.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Valdivia Expensive? and Is La Serena Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Valdivia or La Serena?

La Serena has a larger population, and is about 16% larger than the population of Valdivia. When comparing the sizes of Valdivia and La Serena, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Valdivia or La Serena?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Valdivia or La Serena in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Valdivia and La Serena.

Valdivia is cooler than La Serena in the summer. The daily temperature in Valdivia averages around 16°C (61°F) in January, and La Serena fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in La Serena this time of the year. In Valdivia, it's very sunny this time of the year. Valdivia usually receives more sunshine than La Serena during summer. Valdivia gets 296 hours of sunny skies, while La Serena receives 247 hours of full sun in the summer.

In January, Valdivia usually receives more rain than La Serena. Valdivia gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Valdivia 16°C (61°F) 
    La Serena 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Valdivia or La Serena in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Valdivia as well as La Serena.

In the autumn, Valdivia is cooler than La Serena. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Valdivia in April average around 11°C (52°F), and La Serena averages at about 15°C (59°F).

In the autumn, Valdivia often gets less sunshine than La Serena. Valdivia gets 132 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Serena receives 159 hours of full sun.

Valdivia receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Valdivia usually gets more rain in April than La Serena. Valdivia gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Valdivia 11°C (52°F) 
    La Serena 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Valdivia or La Serena in the Winter?

Both La Serena and Valdivia are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

In July, Valdivia is generally much colder than La Serena. Daily temperatures in Valdivia average around 7°C (45°F), and La Serena fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).

Valdivia usually receives less sunshine than La Serena during winter. Valdivia gets 66 hours of sunny skies, while La Serena receives 160 hours of full sun in the winter.

It's quite rainy in Valdivia. In July, Valdivia usually receives more rain than La Serena. Valdivia gets 312 mm (12.3 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Valdivia 7°C (45°F) 
    La Serena 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Valdivia or La Serena in the Spring?

Both La Serena and Valdivia during the spring are popular places to visit.

Valdivia is cooler than La Serena in the spring. The daily temperature in Valdivia averages around 11°C (52°F) in October, and La Serena fluctuates around 14°C (57°F).

In the spring, Valdivia often gets around the same amount of sunshine as La Serena. Valdivia gets 198 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Serena receives 190 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Valdivia. Valdivia usually gets more rain in October than La Serena. Valdivia gets 109 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Valdivia 11°C (52°F) 
    La Serena 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for La Serena and Valdivia

Valdivia La Serena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 16°C (61°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 17°C (62°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 18°C (64°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 15°C (59°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
May 9°C (48°F) 295 mm (11.6 in) 13°C (55°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Jun 8°C (46°F) 297 mm (11.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Jul 7°C (45°F) 312 mm (12.3 in) 12°C (54°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Aug 8°C (46°F) 247 mm (9.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 9°C (48°F) 162 mm (6.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Oct 11°C (52°F) 109 mm (4.3 in) 14°C (57°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Nov 13°C (55°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 15°C (59°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Dec 16°C (60°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 17°C (63°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)