Should you visit Valdivia or San Pedro de Atacama?
Should I visit Valdivia or San Pedro de Atacama? 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 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.
San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama is a gateway to northern Chile. It is a good jumping off point for exploring the area's impressive landscape, most of which is included in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. It is popular with both Chilean and international tourists, and because of its popularity, it is a relatively expensive destination, with many prices comparable to what you might pay in Santiago.
Which city is cheaper, San Pedro de Atacama 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 San Pedro de Atacama is $56. 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 San Pedro de Atacama in more detail.
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.
For a normal double-occupancy room in San Pedro de Atacama, $60 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Pedro de Atacama, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $30, such as in a hostel.
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.
Food in San Pedro de Atacama costs travelers about $14 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
San Pedro de Atacama $14
Typical Food prices in San Pedro de Atacama
For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
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.
San Pedro de Atacama's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $8.86 per person, per day on transportation in San Pedro de Atacama.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
San Pedro de Atacama $8.86
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Valdivia
Also for Valdivia, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Valdivia Airport Private Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama
Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City:
Atacama Airport Private Transfer:
Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service:
Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Valdivia or San Pedro de Atacama?
Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama 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.
In Valdivia, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Pedro de Atacama can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $20 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Valdivia
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Valdivia.
City tour in Valdivia & Niebla:
Kayak Experience in Valdivia:
Sightseeing Tour in Valdivia:
Typical Entertainment prices in San Pedro de Atacama
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for San Pedro de Atacama's activities, tours, and tickets:
Tours and Activities in San Pedro de Atacama
For San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
2- day tour Quitor & Tulor + Moon & Death Valley in Atacama:
4-Day Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure from San Pedro de Atacama:
4-Days Experience at Uyuni Salt Flat From San Pedro de Atacama:
8-Days Unique Experience in San Pedro de Atacama & Easter Island:
Altiplanic Lagoons and Piedras Rojas Tour - Full Day Tour - Private Option:
Ancestral Caravan with Sandra Flores - Half Day Special Tour - Local Community:
Archaeological Tour in Atacama:
Archaeological Tour, Quitor, Tulor, Coyo and San Pedro:
Astronomic Tour Experience from San Pedro de Atacama:
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 San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $4.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in San Pedro de Atacama
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in San Pedro de Atacama:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Valdivia and San Pedro de Atacama, we can see that Valdivia is more expensive. And not only is San Pedro de Atacama much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Pedro de Atacama would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Pedro de Atacama 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 Valdivia would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Valdivia than you might in San Pedro de Atacama.
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