A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Arica vs. Machu Picchu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Arica or Machu Picchu?

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 Arica and Machu Picchu. 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: Arica or Machu Picchu?

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.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in Chile, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Chile, The Best Eco Tours in Peru, and The Best Sightseeing Tours in Peru.


Which place is cheaper, Machu Picchu or Arica?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Arica is $83, while the average daily cost in Machu Picchu is $100. 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 Arica and Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arica $37
    Machu Picchu $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arica $74
    Machu Picchu $82
Compare Hotels in Arica and Machu Picchu

Looking for a hotel in Arica 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 Arica


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Arica Hotel Prices and Machu Picchu Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arica $19
    Machu Picchu $29
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Arica

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica

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

  • Arica Airport Private Transfer: $96
  • Private Transfer from Arica Airport (ARI) to Arica Cruise Port: $31
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Airport (ARI): $31
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Airport (ARI): $28
  • Private Transfer from Arica Airport (ARI) to Arica Cruise Port : $28
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Hotels: $24
  • Private Transfer from Arica Hotels to Arica Cruise Port: $24
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica city hotels: $22
  • Private Transfer from Arica City hotels to Arica Cruise Port: $22

Is it cheaper to fly into Arica or Machu Picchu?

Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu and Arica 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
    Arica $30
    Machu Picchu $19

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arica $21
    Machu Picchu $73

Tours and Activities in Arica

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

  • Archaeological Tour: $32
  • Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica: $153
  • Arica Private Sightseeing Tour : $150
  • Half day Panoramic City Tour: $49
  • Private Tour to Tacna from Arica: $287

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
    $2.68

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arica $20
    Machu Picchu $6.80


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

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