A Travel Price Comparison for Peru Arequipa vs. Machu Picchu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Arequipa or Machu Picchu?

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

Should I visit Arequipa or Machu Picchu? 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: Arequipa or Machu Picchu?

Arequipa

Sitting in the middle of the Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes of Peru is the enchanting city of Arequipa. With 468 years of history, the city is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Known to locals as the "white city," the city center, Plaza de Armas, is quite the sight with buildings of sillar white stone made from the rocks of the surrounding volcanoes.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a site of ancient Inca ruins located about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cuzco, Peru, in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba of the Andes Mountains. It is perched above the Urubamba River valley in a narrow saddle between two sharp peaks, Machu Picchu ("Old Peak") and Huayna Picchu ("New Peak"), at an elevation of 7,710 feet (2,350 metres). One of the few major pre-Columbian ruins found nearly intact, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. Thus, Machu Picchu is not only an impressive remnant of the Inca civilization, it is also one of the world's most important archaeological sites. A stop at Machu Picchu is an essential part of any traveler's itinerary in Peru, as it is one of the seven wonders of the world.

Which city is cheaper, Machu Picchu or Arequipa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Arequipa is $35, while the average daily cost in Machu Picchu is $76. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arequipa and Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arequipa $17
    Machu Picchu $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arequipa $34
    Machu Picchu $64
Compare Hotels in Arequipa and Machu Picchu

Looking for a hotel in Arequipa or Machu Picchu? 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 Arequipa


Hotels in Machu Picchu


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arequipa $4.54
    Machu Picchu $23
Typical Local Transportation prices in Arequipa

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.28
  • Bus Ride
    $0.41
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • 3 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $128
  • Colca Canyon Sightseeing Tour 2D1N and Transfer to Puno: $125
  • 2 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $113
  • Colca Canyon + Transfer To Puno: $103
  • From 2-Day Colca Canyon Tour with Transfer to Puno: $90
  • Full day tour including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $87
  • Direct Transfer Chivay - Puno: $49
  • Arrival bus station private transfer in Arequipa: $43
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Minibus: $40
  • Private Transfer from Arequipa to Alfredo Rodríguez Ballón (AQP) Airport: $40
  • Departure Private Transfer from Arequipa City to Arequipa Airport AQP by Minivan: $31
  • Private Transfer from Arequipa Airport to City Center or Viceversa: $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Machu Picchu

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

  • Aguas Calientes: Bus Transfer to Machu Picchu Citadel: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Arequipa or Machu Picchu?

Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu and Arequipa 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
    Arequipa $10
    Machu Picchu $14
Typical Food prices in Arequipa

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


  • Coke
    $0.38
  • Lunch
    $2.68
  • Ice Cream
    $1.02
  • Fruit
    $0.77
  • Ice Cream
    $0.89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arequipa

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

  • Skip the Line: Dinner and Typical Dances Show Ticket: $23
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $28
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market *Whatsapp for more información: $55
  • Curious Monkey -Arequipa Streets, Walking Food Tour: $55
  • Curious Monkey- Arequipa Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class in arequipa: $64
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 5 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $67
  • Peruvian market tour, cooking class, and dinner in Arequipa: $67
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • Food tour in Arequipa: $207

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arequipa $14
    Machu Picchu $56
Typical Entertainment prices in Arequipa

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


  • Monastery Entry
    $2.56
  • Salsa Class
    $2.56
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.79
  • Hot Springs
    $2.56

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

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

  • 2 Day - Colca Canyon and Condor Tour from Arequipa, Peru - Group Service: $221
  • 2 days 1 night Colca Canyon tour from Arequipa: $78
  • 2-Day Colca Valley Tour: $153
  • 2-Day Group Tour to Colca Canyon from Arequipa: $210
  • 2-Day Group Tour to Colca Canyon from Arequipa to Puno: $318
  • 2-Days Canyon Colca Small-Group Tour from Arequipa: $100
  • 2days: Private Tour Trekking in the Colca Canyon: $250
  • 3-day Colca Canyon Trek Adventure: $1,160
  • 3days Private tour trekking into Colca Canyon: $390
  • 4 days tour to Arequipa and Colca Canyon: $469
  • 4-Day Tour: Arequipa and the Colca Canyon: $617
  • 4-Days Tour to Cotahuasi Canyon in Arequipa: $612

Typical Entertainment prices in Machu Picchu

For Machu Picchu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Gardens of Mandor
    $2.56

Tours and Activities in Machu Picchu

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

  • From Aguas Calientes: Machu Picchu Guided Tour: $27
  • Machu Picchu Admission Ticket: $31
  • Huaynapicchu mountain hike + Machu Picchu entrance ticket: $40
  • Machu Picchu official entrance ticket: $40
  • Private Guided Tour from Aguas Calientes: $45
  • Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Ruin and Mountain: $53
  • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Admission Ticket: $53
  • Machu Picchu Ticket: Official Entrance Ticket: $63
  • Machu Picchu Lost Citadel Official Ticket: $65
  • Machu Picchu Official Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Official Entrance Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Entrance Ticket: $85

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arequipa $12
    Machu Picchu $5.20
Typical Alcohol prices in Arequipa

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


  • Beer
    $2.30


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arequipa and Machu Picchu, we can see that Machu Picchu is more expensive. And not only is Arequipa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Arequipa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Arequipa 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 Machu Picchu would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Machu Picchu than you might in Arequipa.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Arequipa vs. Machu Picchu Travel Comparison

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