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

Should you visit Valdivia or Santiago?

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

Should I visit Valdivia or Santiago? 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 Santiago?


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.


Santiago is the capital city of Chile. It is centrally located in the long and narrow country, making it a good jumping off point to explore everywhere else. It's convenient location means that you can go skiing in the Andes one day, and hang out at the beach the next.

Santiago has a cool semi-arid climate that is similar to Mediterranean climates. The summers, which are between November and March, are warm and dry. The temperatures climb to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The winters, between June and August, are humid with cold mornings. The daily highs are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows stay a few degrees above freezing. Rain is more common in the winter months and the dry season is between December and March.

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, Santiago 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 Santiago is $141. 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 Santiago in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Valdivia $40
    Santiago $110
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Valdivia $80
    Santiago $220
Compare Hotels in Valdivia and Santiago

Looking for a hotel in Valdivia or Santiago? 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 Santiago

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 Santiago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Valdivia $8.08
    Santiago $5.41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Valdivia

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

  • Valdivia Airport Private Transfer: $52

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Santiago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santiago:

  • Metro Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago:

  • Private Scenic Transfer to Mendoza.: $539
  • Visit Montes Winery (7th World Best Wine) & Transfer to Hotel: $300
  • Private Transfer from Santiago or Santiago Airport to Colchagua or Santa Cruz: $300
  • Pick up Santiago Visit Haras de Pirque Winery & Transfer Hotel: $300
  • Private Transfer from Arturo Merino Benítez (SCL) Airport to Valparaíso: $272
  • Private Transfer From Santiago airport to San Antonio Pier or Valparaiso Pier : $251
  • Transfer Santiago to Cruise Port in Valparaiso or San Antonio: $250
  • Private Transfer from Santiago Airport to Valparaíso,Viña del Mar or San Antonio: $250
  • Private Transfer from Arturo Merino Benítez (SCL) Airport to San Antonio: $236
  • City Tour with Lunch and Hotel Transfers: $234
  • Santiago Private Transfer: Santiago Airport to San Antonio Cruise Port : $216
  • Transfer Santiago - Viña del Mar: $210

Is it cheaper to fly into Valdivia or Santiago?

Prices for flights to both Santiago 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 Meals for one day
    Valdivia $21
    Santiago $13

Typical Food Prices in Santiago

Some typical examples of dining costs in Santiago are as follows:

  • Empanada
  • Hamburger
  • Dinner

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santiago

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Santiago.

  • Sunset Winery Tour with Wine Tastings and Dinner: $45
  • Sunset at Alyan Family Wines Winery with Dinner: $92
  • Traditional Dinner Show in Santiago: $107
  • Small-Group Tour: Night City Tour with Santa Lucia Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Chilean Cooking Class in a Local Home: $117
  • Small-Group Night City Tour: San Cristobal Hill and Dinner Show: $120
  • San Cristobal Hill Night Tour with Dinner Show: $129
  • Private Tour: Santiago at Night with Dinner and Show: $131
  • Private Night City Tour with San Cristobal Hill And Dinner Show: $131
  • 4-Hour Private Night Tour with Dinner and Show: $150
  • Private Dinner and Show with Transfers: $158
  • Traditional Chilean Cooking Class with a Local in Her Santiago Countryside Home: $168

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Valdivia $13
    Santiago $47

Tours and Activities in Valdivia

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

  • Valdivia SUP Cruises for 6 People with Transportation Included: $35
  • Sightseeing Tour in Valdivia : $76
  • Private City Tour: $90

Tours and Activities in Santiago

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Santiago are as follows:

  • Private Adventure at 4200 meters above sea level in the Chilean Andes Cerro Pintor: $300
  • Private Half-Day Guided Tour of the City of Santiago.: $280
  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial español: $23
  • 2-Hour Walking Tour of Yungay The Coolest Neighborhood in Chile: $35
  • 4 Hour Santa Rita Winery All inclusive Tour for Wine Lover: $269
  • A Private Tour of Valparaiso with an experienced local guide.: $195
  • Adventure and Viewpoints in Cajón del Maipo: $255
  • Andean Horse Ride Yerba Loca Sanctuary - Private tour from Santiago: $240
  • Andean Tour: $158
  • Andes Day Lagoon: Embalse El Yeso Tour from Santiago: $120
  • Andes Half-Day Private Tour with Wine and Cheese Tasting: $190
  • Andes Sunset: shared tour with Asado in the mountain: $90

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Valdivia $4.79
    Santiago $8.41

Sample the Local Flavors in Santiago

Also in Santiago, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Premium Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Spanish official: $37
  • Undurraga Winery Tour with Entry and Wine Tasting: $50
  • Concha y Toro Ticket and Tour with Wine Tasting: $50
  • Undurraga Wine Tasting Tour from Santiago: $62
  • Undurraga Wine tour: $63
  • Half Day Trip to Undurraga Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $70
  • From Concha y Toro Marqués Half-Day Wine Tasting: $89
  • Private Tour: Undurraga Vineyard Experience with Premium Wine Tasting: $92
  • half day wine tour to concha y toro from Santiago seasonal offer: $95
  • From Maipo Valley Wine Tour: $99
  • Maipo Valley Wine Tour with 4 vineyards from Santiago.: $99
  • Private Tour: Viña del Mar and Valparaíso Tour with Wine Tasting in Casablanca Valley: $143

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Valdivia and Santiago, we can see that Santiago 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 Santiago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Santiago 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 Santiago Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Valdivia or Santiago?

Santiago has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Valdivia. When comparing the sizes of Valdivia and Santiago, 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 Santiago?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Valdivia or Santiago in the Summer?

Both Santiago and Valdivia during the summer are popular places to visit.

In the summer, Valdivia is cooler than Santiago. Typically, the summer temperatures in Valdivia in January average around 16°C (61°F), and Santiago averages at about 21°C (70°F).

Valdivia usually gets more rain in January than Santiago. Valdivia gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Santiago receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Valdivia 16°C (61°F) 
    Santiago 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Valdivia or Santiago in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Valdivia and Santiago.

In April, Valdivia is generally cooler than Santiago. Daily temperatures in Valdivia average around 11°C (52°F), and Santiago fluctuates around 15°C (59°F).

Valdivia gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Valdivia usually receives more rain than Santiago. Valdivia gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while Santiago receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

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

Should I visit Valdivia or Santiago in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Valdivia as well as Santiago.

Valdivia is cooler than Santiago in the winter. The daily temperature in Valdivia averages around 7°C (45°F) in July, and Santiago fluctuates around 9°C (48°F).

Valdivia receives a lot of rain in the winter. Valdivia usually gets more rain in July than Santiago. Valdivia gets 312 mm (12.3 in) of rain, while Santiago receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Valdivia 7°C (45°F) 
    Santiago 9°C (48°F)

Should I visit Valdivia or Santiago in the Spring?

Both Santiago and Valdivia are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Valdivia is cooler than Santiago. Typically, the spring temperatures in Valdivia in October average around 11°C (52°F), and Santiago averages at about 15°C (59°F).

It's quite rainy in Valdivia. In October, Valdivia usually receives more rain than Santiago. Valdivia gets 109 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Santiago receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Valdivia 11°C (52°F) 
    Santiago 15°C (59°F)

Typical Weather for Santiago and Valdivia

Valdivia Santiago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 16°C (61°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 21°C (70°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 17°C (62°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 20°C (68°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Mar 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 15°C (59°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
May 9°C (48°F) 295 mm (11.6 in) 12°C (54°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jun 8°C (46°F) 297 mm (11.7 in) 9°C (48°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Jul 7°C (45°F) 312 mm (12.3 in) 9°C (48°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 8°C (46°F) 247 mm (9.7 in) 10°C (50°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Sep 9°C (48°F) 162 mm (6.4 in) 12°C (54°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Oct 11°C (52°F) 109 mm (4.3 in) 15°C (59°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Nov 13°C (55°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 17°C (63°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Dec 16°C (60°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 20°C (68°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)