A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Banos vs. Cafayate for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Banos or Cafayate?

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 Banos and Cafayate. 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: Banos or Cafayate?

Banos

Banos (de Agua Santa) is a small city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador under volcano Tungurahua. Its name, which is Spanish for "Baths (of sacred water)," comes from the famous hydrothermal springs in the area. It's equally popular with foreigners as with Ecuadorians, and is known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. The streets are lined with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour agencies. Although it is very touristy, lots of people love it, more for the activities and surroundings than for the city itself. It is an important hub for outdoor sports and jungle tours.

Cafayate

Cafayate is located in the province of Salta, in the central zone of the Valles Calchaquies. The small town has about 12,000 residents and is 1,329 kilometers from Buenos Aires.

People head to the small town of Cafayate to explore its vineyards and unique rock formations. It has become an important tourist destination in the area and there is a large golf course under construction just outside of town.

Cafayate is an important wine production center. The wines in the area thrive from the low humidity mild weather of the valleys. The town receives less than 250 millimeters of precipitation a year.

Which place is cheaper, Cafayate or Banos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Banos is $46, while the average daily cost in Cafayate is $12. 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 Banos and Cafayate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banos $16
    Cafayate $4.61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banos $32
    Cafayate $9.22
Compare Hotels in Banos and Cafayate

Looking for a hotel in Banos or Cafayate? 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 Banos


Hotels in Cafayate


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: Banos Hotel Prices and Cafayate Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banos $10
    Cafayate $2.50

Is it cheaper to fly into Banos or Cafayate?

Prices for flights to both Cafayate and Banos 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
    Banos $15
    Cafayate $5.03
Typical Food Prices in Banos

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


  • Dinner
    $13
  • Ice cream
    $1.50
  • Coffee
    $2.50

Typical Food Prices in Cafayate

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Cafayate:


  • Dinner (Empanadas)
    $0.03
  • Sandwich
    $0.01
  • Pizza
    $0.02

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banos $19
    Cafayate $5.41
Typical Entertainment Prices in Banos

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


  • Two Rented Bikes for the Day
    $10
  • Cost to see Waterfall
    $2.00
  • Day at the Spa
    $45
  • 2 Bike Rentals (1 Day)
    $10
  • Entrance to Waterfall
    $2.00

Tours and Activities in Banos

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

  • Adventure and Fun River Rafting in Baños Ecuador: $35
  • 2 Hours Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Banos: $30
  • 3 Hours Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Baños: $40
  • 5-Hour Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Baños: $62
  • Adventure Circuit 4 activities in 1. All within an impressive cascade: $25
  • Adventure in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights: $225
  • Animalpark | Theme Park | Tours | funny | Ecuador: $45
  • Animalpark | Theme Park | Tours | naturally fun: $45
  • Baños Ecuador Biking Tour Waterfalls: $43
  • Baths Nature and Adventure 2 Days.: $190
  • Canopy 2000m in 6 Lines | An Adventure Circuit: $45
  • Canopy Ziplining in Puntzan Adventure Park: $26

Tours and Activities in Cafayate

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

  • Tour Quebrada De Las Conchas - Cafayate - Salta: $25
  • From Salta: Full-Day Wine and Valley Tour to Cafayate: $43
  • Half-Day Wine Road Premium Tour From Cafayate: $64
  • From Salta: Cafayate, Humahuaca & Salinas Grandes 3-Day Tour: $106
  • From Salta: Cafayate, Cachi, & Hornocal 3-Day Tour: $116
  • From Salta: Cafayate, Salinas Grandes, & Hornocal Tour: $128
  • From Salta: Local Landscape, Winery, and Culture Tour: $134

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banos $9.74
    Cafayate $5.08
Typical Alcohol Prices in Banos

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Banos from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $4.00


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

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


Which is Bigger, Banos or Cafayate?

Cafayate has a larger population, and is about 24% larger than the population of Banos. When comparing the sizes of Banos and Cafayate, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.