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

Should you visit Banos 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 Banos 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.

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.

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 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 Machu Picchu is $79. 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 Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banos $12
    Machu Picchu $33
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banos $24
    Machu Picchu $66

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banos $8.27
    Machu Picchu $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Machu Picchu

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

  • Aguas Calientes: Bus Transfer to Machu Picchu Citadel: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Banos or Machu Picchu?

Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu 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
    Machu Picchu $15
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banos $15
    Machu Picchu $58
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 in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights: $335
  • Baños's Top Attractions Pass (Save 10% on tickets): $65
  • Chimborazo Volcano from Baños private day Tour: $102
  • Fishing Tour & Local Life in Baños: $90

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
    $2.64

Tours and Activities in Machu Picchu

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

  • From Aguas Calientes: Machu Picchu Guided Tour: $27
  • Machu Picchu Admission Ticket: $31
  • Huaynapicchu mountain hike + Machu Picchu entrance ticket: $40
  • Machu Picchu official entrance ticket: $40
  • Private Guided Tour from Aguas Calientes: $45
  • Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Ruin and Mountain: $53
  • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Admission Ticket: $53
  • Machu Picchu Ticket: Official Entrance Ticket: $63
  • Machu Picchu Lost Citadel Official Ticket: $65
  • Machu Picchu Official Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Official Entrance Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Entrance Ticket: $85

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banos $7.79
    Machu Picchu $5.37
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 Machu Picchu, we can see that Machu Picchu is more expensive. And not only is Banos much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Banos would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Banos 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 Banos.

Budget Your Trip

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Banos vs. Machu Picchu Travel Comparison

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