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

Should you visit Arequipa or Machu Picchu?

Should I visit Arequipa or Machu Picchu? 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.

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 $81. 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 Arequipa and Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $18. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Arequipa the cost is $36 on average.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $62 in Machu Picchu For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arequipa $18
    Machu Picchu $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arequipa $36
    Machu Picchu $62

Food

The average traveler spends about $10 per day in Arequipa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

While meal prices in Machu Picchu can vary, the average travelers spends about $19 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Machu Picchu should cost around $7.60 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Machu Picchu is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Arequipa $10
    Machu Picchu $19
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

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Arequipa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.61 per person, per day, on local transportation in Arequipa.

To get around in Machu Picchu, the average visitor spends $22 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arequipa $4.61
    Machu Picchu $22
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
  • Full day tour including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $87
  • One-Way Transfer between Arequipa Airport and City Centre: $54
  • 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
  • Arequipa private departure bus station transfer: $22

Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Arequipa typically cost an average of $14 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

In Machu Picchu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $57 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arequipa $14
    Machu Picchu $57
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
    $2.55
  • Salsa Class
    $2.55
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.78
  • Hot Springs
    $2.55

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
    $2.55

Tours and Activities in Machu Picchu

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

  • Machu Picchu Admission Ticket: $31
  • Huaynapicchu mountain hike + Machu Picchu entrance ticket: $40
  • Machu Picchu official entrance ticket: $40
  • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Admission Ticket: $53
  • Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Ruin and Mountain: $53
  • Machu Picchu Ticket: Official Entrance Ticket: $63
  • Machu Picchu Official Entrance Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Official Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu And Huayna Picchu Morning Entrance Ticket: $88
  • Skip the Line: Entrance Ticket to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu 2020: $89
  • Tickets to Machu Picchu with guided in Machu Picchu.: $99
  • Machu Picchu with Bus and Entrance Ticket: $123

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Arequipa may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $12 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Machu Picchu, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.18.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arequipa $12
    Machu Picchu $5.18
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.

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Arequipa vs. Machu Picchu Travel Comparison

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