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

Should you visit Valparaiso or La Serena?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Valparaiso and La Serena. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Valparaiso or La Serena?

Valparaiso

Valparaiso, often referred to as Valpo, is an attractive city on the Pacific Coast in Chile. The city has a population of about 300,000 and is only 120 kilometers west of Santiago. The city's main industries aside from tourism include shipping and petroleum refining.

Valparaiso is popular with travelers because of its bohemian culture and brightly colored homes. It also offers some wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean. Although the city is short on specific sights, the atmosphere and beautiful setting make it a wonderful place to visit.

Valparaiso has a mild Mediterranean climate that is comparable to San Francisco or Santa Barbara. The summer is dry but fog is common year around. Rain can be heavy during the winter season and snow falls occasionally in the highest parts of the city. Winds can also be strong during the winter months.

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 Romantic Tours for Couples in Chile, The Best Luxury Tours to Chile, The Best Budget Tours to Chile, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Chile.


Which place is cheaper, La Serena or Valparaiso?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Valparaiso is $67, 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 Valparaiso and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Valparaiso $36
    La Serena $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Valparaiso $72
    La Serena $84
Compare Hotels in Valparaiso and La Serena

Looking for a hotel in Valparaiso 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 Valparaiso


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: Valparaiso Hotel Prices and La Serena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Valparaiso $4.89
    La Serena $21
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Valparaiso

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Valparaiso are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Valparaiso

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Valparaiso:

  • World Biggest Organic Winery Emiliana, Valparaiso & Transfer : $250
  • Valparaiso to Santiago Private Transfer or Santiago to Valparaiso: $76
  • Valparaiso Airport Private Transfer: $173
  • Transfers from Valparaiso or Viña del Mar to Santiago: $120
  • Small group transfer from Valparaiso/S.Antonio+Tour in Santiago: $140
  • Private Transfer from Viña del Mar to Arturo Merino Benítez (SCL) Airport: $239
  • Private Transfer from Viña Del Mar or Valparaiso City Hotel To Santiago City: $89
  • Private Transfer from Valparaiso Port to Santiago Airport (SCL): $82
  • Private Transfer from Valparaiso Hotel or port To Santiago Airport or Hotel: $107
  • Private Transfer from Valparaiso Cruise Port to Santiago hotels: $82
  • Private Transfer from San Antonio Port to Valparaiso or Viña del Mar.: $133
  • Private Transfer Viña del Mar to Santiago Airport: $170

Is it cheaper to fly into Valparaiso or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena and Valparaiso 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
    Valparaiso $23
    La Serena $27
Typical Food Prices in Valparaiso

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Valparaiso:


  • Empanada
    $1.91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Valparaiso

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

  • Learn to Cook Like a Local: Private Cooking Class in a Viña del Mar Home: $102

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Valparaiso $18
    La Serena $24
Typical Entertainment Prices in Valparaiso

Here are a few typical costs in Valparaiso for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Boat Tour
    $4.24

Tours and Activities in Valparaiso

Here are a few actual costs in Valparaiso for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Hour Walking Tour in Valparaiso: $35
  • 3-Hour Bike Tour along the Coast of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso: $55
  • Citybus Tour from Valparaíso (Viña del Mar, Reñaca and Concón): $33
  • Cruise Port to Valparaiso & Casablanca: Drop-off in Santiago: $150
  • Famous Valparaíso! Premium Walking Tour with a Native Guide: $35
  • Famous Viña del Mar! Premium Walking Tour with a Native Guide: $35
  • Full Day Private Walking Tour with a Native Guide & Public Transport: $100
  • Guided Panoramic Tour in Valparaíso: $40
  • Half-Day Chilean Pacific Coast Tour: Viña del Mar, Reñaca and Concón: $97
  • Half-Day Valparaiso City Highlights Tour: $97
  • Learn Urban Sketching while you tour Valparaíso: $35
  • PRIVATE TOUR: Pre-Post Cruise Viña del Mar Valparaiso and Casablanca Winery tour: $155

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Full Day History and Flavors Tour in the Elqui Valley: $48
  • La Serena and Coquimbo City Tour (SIB): $66
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Guided City Tour: $76
  • Elqui Valley Full Day Tour: magical towns, pisco and mountains: $80
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley : $80
  • Elqui Valley Tour from La Serena: $120
  • La Serena & Coquimbo City Tour - Short excursion for cruise ships: $128
  • Dama Island or Chañaral Navigation Tour Humboldt Penguin Reserve: $135
  • Tour to the internationally renowned Pangue Observatory: $139
  • Tour to Valle del Encanto Archeology, Petroglyphs, Flora, Fauna and Springs: $140
  • Elqui Valley Grand-Tour: $150
  • Elqui Valley: Pisco Tour, Wine, Beer: $174

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Valparaiso $7.89
    La Serena $23
Typical Alcohol Prices in Valparaiso

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Valparaiso are as follows:


  • Beer
    $1.01

Sample the Local Flavors in Valparaiso

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Valparaiso:

  • Private Wine Tour in Valparaíso: $166
  • Santiago: Valparaíso Walking Tour & Casablanca Wine Tasting: $255


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Valparaiso and La Serena, we can see that La Serena is more expensive. And not only is Valparaiso much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Valparaiso would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Valparaiso 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 Valparaiso.

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


Which is Bigger, Valparaiso or La Serena?

Valparaiso has a larger population, and is about 83% larger than the population of La Serena. When comparing the sizes of Valparaiso 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.