Should you visit Big Sur or Durango?
Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Big Sur and Durango can help you decide which place is right for you.
Big Sur is the 90-mile stretch of the California Central Coast which runs from the Carmel River in Monterey County south to San Carpoforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County and 20 miles east into the Santa Lucius Foothills.
However you look at it, California's Central Coast is beautiful and undoubtedly a huge tourist trap. If you're not willing to fork over big bucks for overnight stays on coastal hotels, be prepared ahead of time with your camping gear and get ready to go off the beaten track to avoid crowds as best you can and save your wallet.
While the weather in Central Coast is overall, mild and temperate, between 50 and 70 degrees year-round. The highs and lows during the year are in August and January, respectively, with dry summers and wet winters, making April through October the best times to visit but be warned: there will be crowds.
Located in the State of Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains, Durango is on the tourist maps because of its historic narrow gauge railroad that connects the city to the town of Silverton. Durango has a population of just over 16,000 and it is only a short distance from the "four corners" area where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado all meet. The landscape surrounding Durango is quite impressive and includes the Animas River Valley, the San Juan Mountains, and some beautiful red sandstone bluffs.
Which city is cheaper, Durango or Big Sur?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Big Sur is $0.00, while the average daily cost in Durango is $49. 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 Big Sur and Durango in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $264 in Big Sur For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Durango, $42 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Durango, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $21, such as in a hostel.
In Durango, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.
Typical Entertainment prices in Durango
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:
Hot Springs (for 2)
Tubing (for 2)
Tours and Activities in Durango
For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
12-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango:
Fun Tour by Tuk Tuk around Durango Old Town, Garai and Goiuria:
Private Full-Day Fishing Experience in San Juan River:
Private Guided Tour by Tuk Tuk of Durango and Elorrio:
Private Guided Tour by tuk tuk of Durango and Atxondo:
Private Tour in Durango and Mendiola by Tuk Tuk:
Province of Vizcaya Half-Day Private Guided Tuk Tuk Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Big Sur and Durango, we can see that Durango is more expensive. And not only is Big Sur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Big Sur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Big Sur 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 Durango would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Durango than you might in Big Sur.