Should you visit Banos or Salento?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Banos and Salento. 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. So, let's dig into it.
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.
Founded in 1850, Salento is one of the oldest towns in Quindio. This colonial Colombian town has retained much of its old world charm, with its colorful buildings, large square and, of course, the obligatory church. Because the main route between Cali and Bogota which used to pass through Salento was diverted, the town didn't develop as quickly as others in the Quindio region. This gave Salento the opportunity to evolve into a thriving community of craftsmen and artisans as well as remaining one of the region's most prolific coffee producers. Salento is located 24 km northeast of the departmental capital Armenia. However, unlike its colorful neighbor, Armenia itself has very little to offer tourists. Salento attracts those wishing to learn about the coffee regions and for those who simply admire breathtaking scenery, and especially the stunning Cocora Valley.
Which city is cheaper, Salento 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 Salento is $26. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Banos and Salento in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $24 for a double occupancy room in Banos.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $9.09. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Salento the cost is $18 on average.
Food in Banos costs travelers about $12 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
While meal prices in Salento can vary, the average travelers spends about $7.62 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Salento should cost around $3.05 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Salento is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Banos
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Banos:
The average price of local transportation around Banos is $8.27 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $12 per day to get around in Salento.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salento
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salento:
Arrival or Departure Transfer: Armenia Airport, Bus Station / Salento, Filandia:
Is it cheaper to fly into Banos or Salento?
Prices for flights to both Salento 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.
Banos's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $9.49 per person, per day in Salento. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Typical Entertainment prices in Banos
Here are a few typical costs in Banos for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
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):
Fishing Tour & Local Life in Baños:
Chimborazo Volcano from Baños private day Tour:
Adventure in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights:
Tours and Activities in Salento
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Salento are as follows:
Permaculture and Traditional Coffee Tour at Momota Salento:
Cocora Valley & Hummingbirds House Adventure:
Cocora Valley on a Jeep & Hike Day Tour:
Coffee Farm Hacienda El Ocaso Half-Day Tour:
Full-Day Coffee Farm Experience at Finca El Ocaso from Salento:
Coffee Amusement & Museum Park Day Tour:
Cocora Valley + Horseback Riding Day Tour:
Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Filandia Coffee Town (from Salento):
Santa Rosa de Cabal and Hot Springs Full-Day Tour:
Full day coffee farm experience at Hacienda San Alberto from Salento:
Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Coffee Farm Tour (from Salento):
Wax Palms, Salento and Coffee Private Full Day Tour:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Banos may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.79 per day on alcoholic beverages.
The average person spends about $9.31 on alcoholic beverages in Salento per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Typical Alcohol prices in Banos
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Banos from other travelers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Banos and Salento, we can see that Banos is more expensive. And not only is Salento much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Salento would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Salento 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 Salento.
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