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

Should you visit Banos or Mendoza?

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 Mendoza. 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 Mendoza?


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.


Mendoza is a city in western Argentina and more precisely in the desertic Cuyo region. Mendoza is the center of the Argentinian wine industry and is famed around the world for its vineyards and wine production. Spread across the valley of the Rio Mendoza and in the foothills of the Andean mountain range, Mendoza is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. The bustling and scenic city of wide, leafy avenues, atmospheric plazas and cosmopolitan cafes spoils visitors with unique natural attractions and historical landmarks. If you can, visit Mendoza during the harvest festival at the end of February. There are many events and festivals in Mendoza and they are usually free. Each has a different theme, and they usually have a stage with singing and dancing and booths that sell food around a plaza. Seventy percent of Argentina's wines are produced here, and Mendoza is especially known for its world-famous malbecs.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Wildlife Tours to Ecuador, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Ecuador, The Best Photography Tours in Argentina, and The Best Luxury Tours to Argentina.

Which place is cheaper, Mendoza 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 Mendoza is $7.15. 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 Mendoza in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banos $16
    Mendoza $2.71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banos $32
    Mendoza $5.42
Compare Hotels in Banos and Mendoza

Looking for a hotel in Banos or Mendoza? 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 Mendoza

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 Mendoza Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banos $10
    Mendoza $1.41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mendoza

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

  • 3 Wineries+Lunch with Unlimited Wine+Transfer included: $180
  • 7 hours of transfer through Valle de Uco. Private transport: $110
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Mendoza Airport MDZ to Valle de Uco: $80
  • Atamisque Winery + Lunch at Ruda Cocina. Transfer included: $220
  • Chandon Winery + Enemigo Lunch (Michelin Guide). Transfer included: $260
  • Chandon+Lunch Quimera Bistro (Michelin Guide).Private transfer: $260
  • Departure Private Transfer Valle de Uco to Mendoza Airport MDZ : $80
  • Desgustación Domaine Bousquet+Almuerzo en Ruda. Transfer privado: $230
  • Gutierrez Rafting with transfer from Mendoza City: $24
  • Las Leñas to Mendoza Int Airport (MDZ)-Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Mendoza Airport (MDZ) to Las Leñas - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $88
  • Mendoza Airport (MDZ) to Mendoza - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Banos or Mendoza?

Prices for flights to both Mendoza 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 Meals for one day
    Banos $15
    Mendoza $3.19
Typical Food Prices in Banos

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

  • Dinner
  • Ice cream
  • Coffee

Typical Food Prices in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Empanadas

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Bar Safari: 4 Best Mendoza’s Bars in 1 night. + Full Dinner: $116
  • Horseback Riding at Sunset and Dinner at an Estancia in Mendoza: $150
  • Horseback Riding at Sunset and Dinner in Mendoza: $160
  • Full-Day Small-Group Mendoza Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch or Dinner: $183
  • Empanadas Cooking Class in a local's kitchen: $200
  • Food Tour: $250

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banos $19
    Mendoza $2.02
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
  • Cost to see Waterfall
  • Day at the Spa
  • 2 Bike Rentals (1 Day)
  • Entrance to Waterfall

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 Days All Inclusive Napo Amazon Tour from Baños de Agua Santa: $76
  • 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 | naturally fun: $45
  • Baths Nature and Adventure 2 Days.: $190
  • Canopy Ziplining in Puntzan Adventure Park: $26
  • Canyoning Adventure Tour in the Ravine: $30
  • Chimborazo Volcano Bike Tour: $95

Tours and Activities in Mendoza

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

  • Mendoza Walking Tour: The history of the City and main Park!: $11
  • Un walking tour de la fascinante historia del vino mendocino: $12
  • Tour autoguiado en bicicleta por Luján de Cuyo (Mendoza): $19
  • Malbec Experience in Bodega Tierras Altas: $20
  • Half-Day Sightseeing City Tour: $21
  • Renacer Winery Experience: $25
  • City tour with visit to General San Martin Park: $26
  • Mendoza City Tour: $29
  • Half-Day Sightseeing Tour: $31
  • Historical City Walking Tour: $33
  • 3 Wineries Tour Half Day: $36
  • 12-KM River Rafting Tour in the Andes: $39

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banos $9.74
    Mendoza $1.21
Typical Alcohol Prices in Banos

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

  • Beer

Typical Alcohol Prices in Mendoza

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Mendoza:

  • Beer

Sample the Local Flavors in Mendoza

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Mendoza:

  • Classic Wine Tasting: $30
  • Half-Day Wine Tour with Tastings: $36
  • Vineyards with Wine Tasting in Mendoza: $47
  • Premium Wine Tasting: $48
  • Full Day Wine Tour with 3 Course Lunch: $96
  • Argentinean Asado with Local Host and Wine Tasting: $99
  • Wine Tour with Lunch and Transport in Mendoza: $100
  • Full-Day Private Luján De Cuyo Wine Tour from Mendoza: $144
  • Private Wine Tour, Tastings and Lunch with Pairings: $150
  • Wine Tour with Lunch from Mendoza: $165
  • Full Day Private Uco Valley Wine Tour from Mendoza: $180
  • All Day, Small Group, Luxury Wine Tour with Gourmet Lunch: $180

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

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

Which is Bigger, Banos or Mendoza?

Mendoza has a larger population, and is about 90 times larger than the population of Banos. When comparing the sizes of Banos and Mendoza, 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.