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

Should you visit Cochabamba or Cusco?

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

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 Cochabamba and Cusco can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Cochabamba or Cusco?

Cochabamba

With a population of about 630,000, Cochabamba is the fourth largest city in Bolivia. It's located about 240 kilometers from the capital city of La Paz and is surrounded by mountains, but sits within a valley.

The city is known for its gardens and has many sights to offer the visitor. Cochabamba offers a calming retreat that is a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of many South American cities. It's a great location to learn Spanish and there are plenty of activities and cultural events that you can enjoy in and around town.

Cochabamba's climate is semi-arid. There is an extended dry season between May and October and the wet season is from November to March. The days are warm and the nights are cool.

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.

Cusco is the starting point for many travelers making their way to the famed Machu Picchu or other Inca sites in the surrounding area.

The city is very beautiful and has impressive architecture throughout. The history is obvious as you walk around town and there are impressive ruins nearby, with the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman. The city also has a significant indigenous population that is obvious from their traditional clothing and style.

Cusco has a subtropical highland climate with a pleasant daytime temperature year around. There are two distinct seasons with the dry season being between May and August and the wet season between December and March. During the dry season there is plenty of sun with occasional nighttime freezes. Frost is less common in the wet season.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in Bolivia, The Best 2-Week Tours in Bolivia, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Cusco, and The Best 3-Day Tours from Cusco.


Which place is cheaper, Cusco or Cochabamba?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cochabamba is $63, while the average daily cost in Cusco is $51. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cochabamba and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cochabamba $25
    Cusco $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cochabamba $50
    Cusco $46
Compare Hotels in Cochabamba and Cusco

Looking for a hotel in Cochabamba or Cusco? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cochabamba


Hotels in Cusco


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cochabamba Hotel Prices and Cusco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cochabamba $16
    Cusco $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cochabamba

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cochabamba:

  • MiniVan or Bus Transfer from Cochabamba Airport CBB to Cochabamba: $28
  • Airport - Hotels transfer Service 24/7: $28

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.09

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $6.12
  • Cusco Airport Transfers: $8.00
  • Private 1-Way Transfer to Velasco Astete Airport: $9.00
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.00
  • One-Way Airport Transfer to Hotel: $9.50
  • Pickup from Cusco airport and transfer to your hotel in Private vehicle: $9.52
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Departure Transfer: $9.67
  • Private Transfer From the Airport to your Hotel in Cuzco: $9.68
  • Private Shuttle Transfer from Cusco Airport (CUZ) to Hotels in Cusco: $9.90
  • Transfer Hotel to Airport in Cusco | Private Service |: $10
  • Cusco Airport Arrival or Departure Transfer : $13

Is it cheaper to fly into Cochabamba or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Cochabamba 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
    Cochabamba $22
    Cusco $13

Typical Food Prices in Cusco

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


  • Sandwich
    $2.18
  • Mango
    $0.54

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

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

  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • 3-Hour Peruvian Cooking Class: $49
  • Pete's Peruvian Cooking Class: $52
  • Market Tour & Traditional Peruvian Cooking Class in Cusco: $53
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS DINNER - Short & Immersive Cooking Class: $53
  • Cooking Class and market tour with a local chef: $56
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class, Local Market Tour in Cusco: $57
  • Cusco Cooking Classes and San Pedro Market Tour: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market Tour: $63
  • Peruvian Cooking Class & Market Tour: $65
  • Curious Monkey Cusco- Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cochabamba $25
    Cusco $29

Tours and Activities in Cochabamba

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

  • Tour to Valle Alto (Tarata): $38
  • Tigre & Delta River Cruise - half day tour from Buenos Aires: $72
  • Parque Nacional Torotoro Tour 2 Días y 1 Noche : $228

Typical Entertainment Prices in Cusco

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


  • Salsa Class
    $2.72

Tours and Activities in Cusco

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

  • Free Walking Tour of Cusco: $2.00
  • Cusco : Half Day City Tour: $9.00
  • Cusco City Tour: $10
  • Combined city tour cusco: $10
  • Cusco City Tour including Sacsayhuaman Koricancha and Tambomachay: $10
  • Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $10
  • City Tour Cusco: $10
  • City tours Cusco: $10
  • extreme adventure in cusco warachicuy adventure park: $11
  • Open-Top Bus City Tour: $12
  • Open Bus Tour of the City’s Wonder’s: $12
  • Mirabus City Tour | Panoramic View: $12

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cochabamba $15
    Cusco $9.58

Sample the Local Flavors in Cusco

Also in Cusco, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Cusco Pub Crawl - Bar Tour Cusco : $18
  • Cusco Pub Crawl: Cusco Bar Hopping Experience : $18
  • Exclusive Pub Crawl with 10+ benefits: $18
  • Pub Crawl with Skip-the-Line Access and Drinks: $18
  • Exclusive Pub Crawl with more than 10 Benefits: $25


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cochabamba Expensive? and Is Cusco Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cochabamba or Cusco?

Cochabamba has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Cusco. When comparing the sizes of Cochabamba and Cusco, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.