Should you visit Cafayate or Machu Picchu?
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 Cafayate and Machu Picchu can help you decide which place is right for you.
Cafayate is located in the province of Salta, in the central zone of the Valles Calchaquies. The small town has about 12,000 residents and is 1,329 kilometers from Buenos Aires.
People head to the small town of Cafayate to explore its vineyards and unique rock formations. It has become an important tourist destination in the area and there is a large golf course under construction just outside of town.
Cafayate is an important wine production center. The wines in the area thrive from the low humidity mild weather of the valleys. The town receives less than 250 millimeters of precipitation a year.
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 Cafayate?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cafayate is $78, while the average daily cost in Machu Picchu is $82. 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 Cafayate and Machu Picchu in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $58 in Cafayate For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $64 in Machu Picchu For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
While meal prices in Cafayate can vary, the average travelers spends about $32 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Cafayate should cost around $13 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Cafayate is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
While meal prices in Machu Picchu can vary, the average travelers spends about $20 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Machu Picchu should cost around $8.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Machu Picchu is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Machu Picchu $20
Typical Food prices in Cafayate
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Cafayate:
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cafayate than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $16 on transportation in Cafayate on average per day.
To get around in Machu Picchu, the average visitor spends $23 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
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:
Is it cheaper to fly into Cafayate or Machu Picchu?
Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu and Cafayate 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Cafayate, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $35 per day, per person.
In Machu Picchu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $58 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Cafayate
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cafayate.
Cachi Full-Day Tour:
Cafayate and Calchaqui Valley Winery Tour:
From Salta: Full-Day Wine and Valley Tour to Cafayate:
Half-Day Wine Road Premium Tour From Cafayate:
Quebrada De Las Conchas Bike Tour from Cafayate:
Tour Quebrada De Las Conchas - Cafayate - Salta:
Typical Entertainment prices in Machu Picchu
For Machu Picchu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Tours and Activities in Machu Picchu
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Machu Picchu.
Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Ruin and Mountain:
Cusco: 2-Day Humantay Lake and Machu Picchu Tour:
From Aguas Calientes: Machu Picchu Guided Tour:
From Cusco: Full-Day Group Tour of Machu Picchu:
From Cusco: Machu Picchu Full-day Private Tour:
From Ollantaytambo: Aguas Calientes Round-Trip Train Ticket:
Huaynapicchu mountain hike + Machu Picchu entrance ticket:
Inca Jungle Trek and Mountain Bike Tour - 4 days:
LGBT-Full-Day: Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu with Panoramic train:
LGBT:. Full day - Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu:
Machu Picchu Admission Ticket:
Machu Picchu And Huayna Picchu Morning Entrance Ticket:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Cafayate, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $32.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Machu Picchu, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.25.
When comparing the travel costs between Cafayate and Machu Picchu, we can see that Machu Picchu 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.
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