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

Should you visit Banos or Cusco?

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 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Banos or Cusco?

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.

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 Banos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Banos is $37, while the average daily cost in Cusco is $38. 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 Banos and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banos $12
    Cusco $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banos $24
    Cusco $34
Compare Hotels in Banos and Cusco

Looking for a hotel in Banos or Cusco? 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 Cusco


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.
    Banos $8.27
    Cusco $7.58

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.02

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Aiport Transfers Service: $41
  • Airport Cusco Transfers: $60
  • Airport Transfer, City Tour, Sacred Valley & Machupicchu (All Included): $580
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cusco Airport CUZ to Cusco City by Minivan: $27
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cusco Airport CUZ to Cusco City by Sedan Car: $18
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cusco Airport CUZ to Cusco City by Sprinter Minibus: $51
  • Arrival Transfer & Cusco City Tour: $43
  • CUSCO MAGICAL 4D Transfer, Hotel, City Tour, Sacred Valley and Machu picchu: $641
  • Cusco – Puno Direct Transfers: $30
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $8.20
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $9.70

Is it cheaper to fly into Banos or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco 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 $12
    Cusco $9.86
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 Cusco

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


  • Sandwich
    $2.05
  • Mango
    $0.51

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 Class and Local Market Tour: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Classes: $43
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $45
  • Dinner at Tunupa restaurant with folkloric show.: $45
  • Dinner at Inca Grill Restaurant: $45

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banos $15
    Cusco $22
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:

  • Baños's Top Attractions Pass (Save 10% on tickets): $65
  • Fishing Tour & Local Life in Baños: $90
  • Chimborazo Volcano from Baños private day Tour: $102
  • Adventure in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights: $335

Typical Entertainment prices in Cusco

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


  • Salsa Class
    $2.56

Tours and Activities in Cusco

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

  • Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $7.00
  • the best tour 4 ruins cusco: $10
  • Cusco Cathedral Admission Ticket: $10
  • Walking tour in Cusco: $10
  • Walking Tour Game: $11
  • city cusco tour: $12
  • Open-Top Bus City Tour: $12
  • Short Guided Bus Tour: $13
  • City Tour in Cusco: $14
  • Tours in Cusco with mgtravelsperu: $14
  • City Tour cusco and archaeological sites: $15
  • City Tour Cusco Peru: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banos $7.79
    Cusco $7.20
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 comparing the travel costs between Banos and Cusco, we can see that Cusco is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Banos vs. Cusco Travel Comparison

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