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

Should you visit Cali or Machu Picchu?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Cali and Machu Picchu can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

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.

Machu Picchu

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 Cali?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cali is $20, while the average daily cost in Machu Picchu is $78. 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 Cali and Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $9.80 for a double occupancy room in Cali If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $60 in Machu Picchu For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cali $4.90
    Machu Picchu $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cali $9.80
    Machu Picchu $60

Food

Cali food costs typically run travelers around $7.02 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

While meal prices in Machu Picchu can vary, the average travelers spends about $18 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Machu Picchu should cost around $7.20 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cali $7.02
    Machu Picchu $18

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

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cali than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $4.59 on transportation in Cali on average per day.

To get around in Machu Picchu, the average visitor spends $21 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cali $4.59
    Machu Picchu $21
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cali

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.02

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cali

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

  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $255
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $255
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minibus: $179
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minibus: $179
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minivan: $105
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minivan: $105
  • 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 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Private Transfer to / from Buenaventura: $60
  • Private transfer: Cali to Cali International Airport (CLO): $54
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Cali to Alfonso B. Aragon Airport (CLO): $34
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cali City to Cali Airport (CLO): $31

Is it cheaper to fly into Cali or Machu Picchu?

Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Cali, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $8.66 per day, per person.

In Machu Picchu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $55 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cali $8.66
    Machu Picchu $55

Tours and Activities in Cali

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

  • Alameda Market Fruit Tour: $55
  • Cali ATV tour - Recorrido en Cuatrimoto por ríos y cañaduzales: $125
  • Cali City Tour: $98
  • Cali City Tour: $29
  • Cali City Tour - The Best Of Cali In Comfort: $47
  • Cali Salsa Tour: $167
  • City Tour Cali: $97
  • Coffee Tour - Taste And Live The Authentic Colombian Coffee Experience: $132
  • Cristo Rey + Tertulia Museum + Downtown Cali City Tour 7H: $80
  • Experience Salsa Dance Class in Cali: $78
  • Historical Walking Cali City Tour 3H: $41
  • Nature adventure (3 days, all-included): $293

Typical Entertainment prices in Machu Picchu

For Machu Picchu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Gardens of Mandor
    $2.44

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: $53
  • Huaynapicchu mountain hike + Machu Picchu entrance ticket: $40
  • Inca Jungle Trek and Mountain Bike Tour - 4 days: $524
  • LGBT-Full-Day: Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu with Panoramic train: $495
  • LGBT:. Full day - Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu: $875
  • Machu Picchu Admission Ticket: $31
  • Machu Picchu And Huayna Picchu Morning Entrance Ticket: $88
  • Machu Picchu Exclusive Full Day Tour: $510
  • Machu Picchu Full Day Private Tour: $492
  • Machu Picchu Official Entrance Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Official Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Ticket: Official Entrance Ticket: $63

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Cali spend on average $6.92 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

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 $4.95.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cali $6.92
    Machu Picchu $4.95


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cali and Machu Picchu, we can see that Machu Picchu 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 Machu Picchu would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Machu Picchu than you might in Cali.

Budget Your Trip

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Cali vs. Machu Picchu Travel Comparison

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