A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cali vs. Cusco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cali or Cusco?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Cali and Cusco can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Cali or Cusco?

Cali

Cali is Colombia's third largest city. Founded in 1536, can be explored on foot: walk under the shade of trees along the riverbank, admire the architecture of churches and other national monuments, and visit the city's many museums. Being the salsa capital of the world, Cali is primarily a destination for salsa and party but it also offers some great days out in the nearby natural surroundings. In Cali, travelers can enjoy music festivals, learn about sugarcane farming, and take in the mountainous landscapes.

Cusco

Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness. (Read this advice about managing the altitude in Cusco and Machu Picchu.)

Which city is cheaper, Cusco or Cali?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cali is $18, while the average daily cost in Cusco is $38. 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 Cali and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cali $4.28
    Cusco $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cali $8.56
    Cusco $34

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cali $4.01
    Cusco $7.58
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cali

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cali:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $0.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cali

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

  • Transfer in Cali: $13
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Alfonso Bonilla Arag√≥n Airport: $15
  • Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport (CLO): $19
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cali City to Cali Airport (CLO): $31
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Cali to Alfonso B. Aragon Airport (CLO): $34
  • Private transfer: Cali to Cali International Airport (CLO): $54
  • Private Transfer to / from Buenaventura: $60
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minivan: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minivan: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minibus: $179

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cusco

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cusco:


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.02

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Transfer to Ollantaytambo Cusco Peru: $51
  • Transfer to Cusco Airport 2020: $5.36
  • Transfer services - airport / hotel: $45
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cusco Alejandro Velasco Airport to Cusco City: $11
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cusco City to Airport: $17
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cusco Alejandro Velasco Airport to Cusco City: $17
  • Transfer from Cusco to Ollantaytambo Station or Hotels: $31
  • Transfer from Cusco city to the airport: $10
  • Transfer from Cusco Airport to the Hotel (Cusco): $17
  • Transfer From Cusco Airport: $10
  • Transfer From Airport to Cusco Center Hotels: $25
  • Transfer Cusco To Ollantaytambo: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Cali or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Cali 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
    Cali $6.13
    Cusco $9.86

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cali

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

  • Culinary Journeys: Cooking Workshop + Dinner Party: $50
  • Night City Tour in Cali + Dinner: $110
  • Dinner Show in Cali: $189

Typical Food prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of dining costs in Cusco are as follows:


  • Sandwich
    $2.05
  • Mango
    $0.51

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cusco.

  • Small-Group Virtual Peruvian Cooking Experience: $25
  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • Tunupa Cusco Restaurant: Dinner with Show: $28
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS LUNCH 12:00PM TO 1:30PM (Available only in English): $37
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $39
  • Dinner at Calle del Medio restaurant: $40
  • Dinner at Pachapapa restaurant.: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market Tour: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Classes: $43
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $45
  • Dinner at Tunupa restaurant with folkloric show.: $45
  • Dinner at Inca Grill Restaurant: $45

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cali $7.57
    Cusco $22

Tours and Activities in Cali

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

  • RiCo Salsa Tour: Cali Real: $19
  • Santiago de Fruit Market Walking Tour with Tastings: $24
  • Cali City Tour: $29
  • Walking Tour in the Historic Center of Cali City: $37
  • Private City Tour: $39
  • Historical Walking Cali City Tour 3H: $41
  • Private City Tour And Shopping: $44
  • Skip the Line: Show de Salsa Ticket: $46
  • Cali City Tour - The Best Of Cali In Comfort: $47
  • A Unique Gastronomic Experience With Fruit Tour: $54
  • Alameda Market Fruit Tour: $55
  • Private Salsa Lesson Experience with Locals: $70

Typical Entertainment prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Cusco are as follows:


  • Salsa Class
    $2.56

Tours and Activities in Cusco

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cusco are as follows:

  • "Waqrapukara" Great Canyon Full Day Tour: $100
  • (H) Cusco 04 Days: City Tour - Sacred Valley - MachuPicchu (Group Tour): $550
  • (H) Inka Jungle Trail 04 Days (Group Tour): $336
  • 01 Day Tour to Machu Picchu The Inca City: $410
  • 07 Day Andean Experience Through the Living Culture of the Incas: $1,699
  • 07 Day: Inca Jungle Adventure with Mountain Bike, Rafting, Zipline & Trek: $999
  • 1 Day Hike on the Inca Trail + 1 Day in Machupicchu: Private 2 days Tour: $484
  • 1 Day Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu: $1,280
  • 1 Day Tour to Palcoyo Mountain and 4 Lagoons - private service: $359
  • 1 Day tour to Machupicchu: $340
  • 1-Day Machu Picchu Tour by Vistadome Train: $485
  • 1-Day Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco, Peru: $850

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cali $6.04
    Cusco $7.20


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cali and Cusco, we can see that Cusco is more expensive. And not only is Cali much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cali would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cali 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 Cusco would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cusco than you might in Cali.

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Cali vs. Cusco Travel Comparison

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