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

Should you visit Valdivia or La Serena?

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

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.

Which city 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 $66, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $84. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Valdivia and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $78 in Valdivia For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $82 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Valdivia $39
    La Serena $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Valdivia $78
    La Serena $82

Food

Valdivia food costs typically run travelers around $21 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $26 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Valdivia $21
    La Serena $26

Local Transportation

To get around in Valdivia, the average visitor spends $7.83 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $20 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Valdivia $7.83
    La Serena $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Valdivia

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

  • Valdivia Airport Private Transfer: $64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena: $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC): $26

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.





Entertainment

In Valdivia, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.

In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Valdivia $13
    La Serena $23

Tours and Activities in Valdivia

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

  • City tour in Valdivia & Niebla: $100
  • Kayak Experience in Valdivia: $151
  • Sightseeing Tour in Valdivia: $74

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $263
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum: $269
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley: $90
  • Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour: $58

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Valdivia, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.64.

Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Valdivia $4.64
    La Serena $22


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.

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Valdivia vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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