A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Arica vs. Cusco

Should you visit Arica or Cusco?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Arica and Cusco. 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. So, let's dig into it.

Arica

A mixture of coastline, desert and high Andean plateau, Arica is a seaside resort town, known for its surfing beaches located at the tip of Northern Chile. Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Arica's tourism is still principally geared toward domestic visitors and those from southern Peru and La Paz, who flock to its beaches mid-December through February. It is very easy to spend a few days in Arica in the sand, or seeing the sights in town, at a slow pace but the city also offers plenty of fun activities and exciting day trips.

Cusco

Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness. (Read this advice about managing the altitude in Cusco and Machu Picchu.)

Which city is cheaper, Cusco or Arica?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Arica is $84, while the average daily cost in Cusco is $40. 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 Arica and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Arica, $74 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Arica, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $37, such as in a hostel.

A hotel room in Cusco is about $36 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arica $37
    Cusco $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arica $74
    Cusco $36

Food

Food in Arica costs travelers about $30 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

Cusco food costs typically run travelers around $10 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Arica $30
    Cusco $10

Typical Food prices in Cusco

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


  • Sandwich
    $2.10
  • Mango
    $0.52

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

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

  • Small-Group Virtual Peruvian Cooking Experience: $25
  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • Tunupa Cusco Restaurant: Dinner with Show: $28
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS LUNCH 12:00PM TO 1:30PM (Available only in English): $37
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $39
  • Dinner at Calle del Medio restaurant: $40
  • Dinner at Pachapapa restaurant.: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Classes: $43
  • Dinner at Tunupa restaurant with folkloric show.: $45
  • Dinner at Inca Grill Restaurant: $45
  • Curious Monkey- The Gordito, Walking Food Tour: $45
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $45

Local Transportation

To get around in Arica, the average visitor spends $19 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.

The average price of local transportation around Cusco is $9.36 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arica $19
    Cusco $9.36
Typical Local Transportation prices in Arica

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica

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

  • Arica Airport Private Transfer: $76

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.05

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Transfer to Ollantaytambo Cusco Peru: $51
  • Transfer to Cusco Airport 2020: $5.36
  • Transfer services - airport / hotel: $45
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cusco Alejandro Velasco Airport to Cusco City: $11
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cusco City to Airport: $17
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cusco Alejandro Velasco Airport to Cusco City: $17
  • Transfer from Cusco to Ollantaytambo Station or Hotels: $31
  • Transfer from Cusco city to the airport: $10
  • Transfer from Cusco Airport to the Hotel (Cusco): $17
  • Transfer From Cusco Airport: $10
  • Transfer From Airport to Cusco Center Hotels: $25
  • Transfer Cusco To Ollantaytambo: $60

Entertainment

In Arica, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $21 per person, per day.

Cusco's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arica $21
    Cusco $22

Tours and Activities in Arica

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

  • Half day Panoramic City Tour: $23
  • Arica Sightseeing Tour: $41
  • Full Day Tour to Tacna from Arica: $72
  • Arica Private Sightseeing Tour: $76
  • Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica: $82
  • Private Tour to Tacna from Arica: $165
  • Arica Private City Tour: $262
  • Private Arica and Ancient Cultures Tour: $346
  • 4-Days Unique Experience at the Chilean High Plateau: $1,038

Typical Entertainment prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Cusco are as follows:


  • Salsa Class
    $2.62

Tours and Activities in Cusco

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

  • "Waqrapukara" Great Canyon Full Day Tour: $100
  • (H) Cusco 04 Days: City Tour - Sacred Valley - MachuPicchu (Group Tour): $550
  • (H) Inka Jungle Trail 04 Days (Group Tour): $336
  • 01 Day Tour to Machu Picchu The Inca City: $410
  • 07 Day Andean Experience Through the Living Culture of the Incas: $1,699
  • 07 Day: Inca Jungle Adventure with Mountain Bike, Rafting, Zipline & Trek: $999
  • 1 Day Hike on the Inca Trail + 1 Day in Machupicchu: Private 2 days Tour: $484
  • 1 Day Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu: $1,280
  • 1 Day Tour to Palcoyo Mountain and 4 Lagoons - private service: $359
  • 1 Day tour to Machupicchu: $340
  • 1-Day Machu Picchu Tour by Vistadome Train: $485
  • 1-Day Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco, Peru: $850

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Arica spend on average $20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $7.33 on alcoholic beverages in Cusco per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arica $20
    Cusco $7.33


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

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Arica vs. Cusco Travel Comparison

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