How much does it cost? One month in Argentina

How much does it cost? One month in Argentina

How much does it cost? One month in Argentina

This post is a detailed look at our backpacking trip to Argentina at the end of December 2018 including accommodation, long distance and local transport, food, drink and activities.

I’ll admit, I’m massive a geek when it comes to tracking spending on trips – I find it really interesting to look back on in the past. Also, it is one of the frequent questions I’m asked on my return.

If you have an upcoming trip to Argentina, I hope you find this useful – feel free to comment or send me an email if you have any further questions.

Details of the trip

Date of visit

December 2018 – January 2019

Length of stay

26 days

Number of people on the trip


Where We Went

Buenos Aires (4 nights), Ushuaia (3 nights), El Calafate (2 nights), El Chalten (4 nights), Bariloche (6 nights), Mendoza (5 nights), 2 x night buses

Our Travel Style

Staying in hostels and using public transport to get around, very occasionally drinking alcohol, into outdoors and hiking, big food fans

How did we keep track of costs?

  • All accommodation, long-distance buses and flights were booked between 2-4 months before the start of the trip. This was mainly because we were travelling over Christmas and New Year (and peak summer season) and also because we had booked to do the W Trek in Chile which requires prior booking.
  • We were also keen to take advantage of decent priced/rated hostels. Depending on the time of year, it’s unlikely you will need to do so much advance planning – we met plenty of people who had booked the buses and hostels a few days in advance.
  • All advance expenditures I put onto a spreadsheet – which made it easier to keep track of who had paid for what and who owed who money.
  • Whilst travelling, I used the notes section of my phone to record what we spent each day and who had paid for it.
  • At the end of each country, we added up who had paid for what, and sent each other the money accordingly.
  • We also took out accounts with Monzo before travelling, which have a fantastic app making it easier to track spending. You also get free use of the Mastercard abroad and £200 fee-free cash withdrawals every 30 days.
  • Be aware, despite this, most of the banks in Argentina charged us an ATM fee which was usually around AR300 /£5.70 / $7.54

Current exchange rate in March 2019

£1/AR52    $1/AR40



How much does it cost? One month in Argentina

The Bonita Lake House Hostel in Bariloche

All of our accommodation was booked in advance of us arriving in Argentina, usually using Hostelworld to check out the most recent reviews.

Generally, we picked a hostel based on a few criteria: decent recent ratings/reviews, proximity to town/attractions, proximity to bus station and mid-level pricing.

In Argentina, we stayed exclusively in dorm rooms to keep costs down. All the below prices are for 2 people in dorms usually between 4-8 beds.

Note, that all of our hostels in Argentina included a basic breakfast (usually bread and cereal).

Buenos Aires

Art Hostel Palermo (4 nights) AR3108 / £60.70 / $79.15


Antartica Hostel (3nights) AR3757 / £73.38 / $95.67

El Calafate

Folk Hostel (2nights) AR2250 / £43.93 / $57.29

El Chalten (at Christmas)

El Condor (4nights) AR7805 / £152.40 / $198.73


Hostel Bariloche (1 night in town) AR1014 / £19.71 / $25.71

Bariloche by the Lake (at New Year)

 La Bonita Lake House, 8km from Bariloche (5 nights) AR7366 / £143.19 / $186.79


Windmill Hostel (5nights) AR3699 / £71.72 / $93.55


Total for 2  AR28,999 / £566.44 /$731.53 for 24 nights

Total for 1 AR 14,499.50 / £283.22/ $364.50  for 24 nights

2 nights on a night bus (comes under transport)


Long Distance Transport (within Argentina) 

How much does it cost? One month in Argentina

El Chalten in Patagonia 

All our long-distance transport (apart from the bus to Perito Moreno Glacier) was booked in advance using the bus/airline providers website (so we may have got a slightly better deal than rocking up on the day to buy a ticket).

The prices are based on single, one-way fares (apart from Perito Moreno Glacier).


One way flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia (booked 4 months before) with Aerolinas

AR6765.64 / £131 / $187.70 per person


Ushuaia to Puntas Arenas (Chile) with Bus Sur

AR2383.46 /£46.14 /$60.16 each

El Calafate to Perito Moreno Glacier (day return with Caltur)

AR800 / £15.47 / $20.16 each

El Calafate to El Chalten with Caltur

AR1680 / £32.47 / $42.32 each

El Chalten to Bariloche (overnight) with Marga Taqsa

AR3444 / £67.31 / $87.82 each

Bariloche to Mendoza (overnight) with Cata International

AR3033 / £59.28 / $77.34 each

Mendoza to Santiago with Cata International

AR1400 / £27.36 / $35.70 each

Total for 1 AR19,506.10 / £379.03 / $497.80

Local Transport

Bus from El Chalten to Bariloche

Long Distance bus between El Chalten to Bariloche, Patagonia

All our transport costs for travel within cities/towns in Argentina.

Transfer from Buenos Aires airport to the city with Tienda Leon for 2

AR740 / £14.45 / $18.89

Sube Cards (transport cards) and top-ups in Buenos Aires for 4 days for 2 people (each one-way journey on the metro is AR13.40)

AR404 / £7.89 / $10.31

Taxi to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires at 3 am from Palermo District

AR400 / £7.80 / $10.20

Taxi from Ushuaia airport into town (no bus option)

AR270 / £5.27 /$6.89

Bus to Tierra Del Fuego National Park from Ushuaia for 2 people

AR1400 / £27.31 / $35.73

Car Hire for 2 days in Bariloche (including insurance) with Hertz

AR5287.99 / £103.24 / $134.96

Petrol for Car Hire in Bariloche (half tank)

AR1200 / £23.33 / $30.62

Sube Card Top-up in Bariloche for 2 people

AR200 / £3.90 / $5.10

Total for 2 AR9901.99 /£193.19/ $252.71 

Total for 1 AR4951 / £96.60 / $126.36 

Food & Drink


Gourmet Choripan at Chori in Buenos Aires 

Eating Out

Looking out our costs, we spent slightly more time eating out than we did cooking in hostels. Arriving in Buenos Aires, the excitement of the start of the trip, and the relatively decent value meant we ate out fairly frequently! We equalled this out later on in the trip, especially in Patagonia.

Here is a sample of a selection of the places we ate in Argentina. 

Budget Asado in Buenos Aires for 2 with drinks

AR550 / £10.46 / $13.82

4 small plates, bread, shared main and 2 drinks at Proper in Buenos Aires

AR1365 / £25.97 / $34.30

2 Choripan (sausage, bread and chimichurri) in La Boca

AR170 / £3.23 / $4.27

Mileanesa steak and burger with drinks for 2 in Ushuaia

AR1000 / £19.02 / $25.13

Lunch at Olivia’s in El Calafate Croque Monsieur, Veggie Bagel and 1 drink

AR510 / £9.70 / $12.82

2xEmpanadas in El Chalten

AR90 / £1.71 / $2.26

2x Ice Creams in El Chalten

AR170 / £3.23 / $4.27

Hot chocolate and cake (shared) for 2 in El Chalten

AR385 / £7.32 / $9.67

A large glass of red wine in a nice wine bar (La Vinería) in El Chalten

AR250 / £4.76 / $6.26

Christmas Dinner (trout main course, melting chocolate pudding and glass of wine) at La Tapera in El Chalten for 2

AR2200 / £41.84 / $55.27

1/2 pint craft beer in a beerhouse in Bariloche

AR65 / £1.24 / $1.63

2 main courses and half bottle of wine at El Palenque in Mendoza

AR860 / £16.36 / $21.61

Above is just a sample of our costs, not all our eating out costs

Total for 2  AR14,979 / £285 / $376.40

Total for 1 AR7,489.50 / £142.50 / $188.20


Read more What to eat in Buenos Aires – and where to find it 


Supermarket Shops

Argentina Food Shopping

A big food shop in El Calafate ready for 4 days hiking in El Chalten, Patagonia

In general, we found supermarket prices slightly cheaper than the UK, depending on the type of supermarket and the location. Patagonia was slightly more expensive than the cities (due to transportation costs), with Mendoza being amazing value.

The biggest food shop we did was in El Calafate, as we knew we’d be doing a lot of hiking in El Chalten, and we wanted to have decent value supplies to make pack lunches and filling evening meals, as we had heard both the supermarkets and restaurants were pricey.

If you plan to make pack lunches for hiking/long distance buses, it’s worth picking up a Tupperware box to make more filling lunches such as pasta or bean salads.

Note, that all of our hostels in Argentina included a basic breakfast (usually bread and cereal).

Below is a sample a few of our supermarket shops

2-litre bottle of water

AR55 / £1.04 / $1.38

Snacks for hiking – nuts, crips, crackers, chocolate in Ushuaia

AR250 / £4.76 / $6.28

A big shop in El Calafate including lots of fruit, vegetables, snacks, eggs and 2 Tupperware boxes (no meat) for 4 days

AR1994.26 / £37.94 / $50.11

A ‘supermarket dinner’ and snacks in Bariloche – onions, peppers, chickpeas, sausages, cheese, eggs and biscuits

AR660 / £12.65 / $16.58

A ‘supermarket dinner’ in Mendoza – lentils, tomatoes and sausages

AR320 / £6.09 / $8.04

Above is just a sample of our costs, not all our supermarket costs


Total for 2 AR7,117.26 / £135.31 / $178.84

Total for 1 AR3,558.63 / £67.66 / $89.42


How much does it cost? One month in Argentina

Visiting Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia 

We kept attraction costs to a fair minimum – in cities, we tended to do free things/mooching around and in Patagonia, much of our time was spent hiking.

Tickets to Bombe Tiempo (music show) in Buenos Aires for 1

AR220 / £4.19 / $5.53

Tierra Del Fuego National Park entrance fee for 1

AR490 / £9.32 / $12.31

Park Entrance for Perito Moreno Glacier for 1

AR700 / £13.32 / $17.59

Budget Vineyard Wine Tour of Maipu in Mendoza for 1

AR625 / £11.89 / $15.70

Horse riding and sunset BBQ in Mendoza for 1

AR1200 / £22.83 / $30.15

Read more Sunset Horse Riding and Asado BBQ in Mendoza

Walking tour tip in Mendoza

AR200 / £3.80 / $5.02

Total for 1 AR3435 / £65.55 / $86.30

La Boca Buenos Aires

La Boca in Buenos Aires

Extra Activities

B also did these activities solo

Hiring a motorbike for an afternoon in Ushuaia with petrol (booked through Antartica Hostel, Ushuaia)

AR1800 / £34.25 / $45.23

White water rafting to Chilean border with Extremo Sur (based in Bariloche)

AR2650 / £50.42/ $66.59

Parapenting in Mendoza (booked through Windmill Hostel, Mendoza)

AR3200 / £60.88 / $80.41

Total for 1 person AR7650 / £145.55 / $192.23



Laundry x 2 lots

AR680 / £13.26 / $17.35 – one lot done at a hostel, one lot at a laundrette

Toilet x 2

AR50 / £0.98p / $1.28 – quite rare to have to pay for public toilets – these ones were at border crossings


AR320 / £6.24 / $8.16 – as we’d left our last lot in the hire car in Bariloche

Total for 2 AR1050 / £20.49 / $26.80

Total for 1 AR525 / £10.25 / $13.40


How much does it cost? One month in Argentina

Bariloche in the Argentina Lake District

Grand Total

Grand Total for 1 person travelling Argentina for one month excluding the extra activities

AR53,964.73/£1,026.71 / $1,356.04

Grand Total for 1 person travelling Argentina for one month including activities

AR61,614.73 / £1,172.26 / $1,548.27


So, I hope this is useful if you have an upcoming trip to Argentina – feel free to comment or send me an email if you have any further questions!

Catch up with my other Argentina posts

A slow Sunday in Buenos Aires 

Street Life In La Boca, Buenos Aires 

What to eat in Buenos Aires – and where to find it

Sunset Horse Riding and Asado BBQ in Mendoza, Argentina 

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