Should you visit Cuenca or Arica?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Cuenca and Arica. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.
Cuenca is a vibrant colonial city in southern Ecuador, the third largest in the country, and the capital of Azuay Province. Cuenca is considered as Ecuador's most important and beautiful colonial city after Quito. Dating from the 16th century, Cuenca's historic center, a Unesco World Heritage Site with its trademark skyline of massive rotundas and soaring steeples, is a magical sight in which you will feel like you are moving back in time. Cuenca is the center of many craft traditions, including ceramics, metalwork and the internationally famous panama hat. The nearby villages also offer many other handicrafts. Tourists enjoy wandering the ancient streets discovering picturesque alleys and hidden corners, where nuns march along cobblestone streets and kids in Catholic-school uniforms skip past historic churches. Fascinating historic monuments and fabulous views are found at every turn. Cuenca also has outstanding art museums and festivals. For a rewarding cultural experience, visit during Easter to attend the Festival of Religious Music.
A mixture of coastline, desert and high Andean plateau, Arica is a seaside resort town, known for its surfing beaches located at the tip of Northern Chile. Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Arica's tourism is still principally geared toward domestic visitors and those from southern Peru and La Paz, who flock to its beaches mid-December through February. It is very easy to spend a few days in Arica in the sand, or seeing the sights in town, at a slow pace but the city also offers plenty of fun activities and exciting day trips.
Which city is cheaper, Arica or Cuenca?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cuenca is $34, while the average daily cost in Arica is $74. 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 Cuenca and Arica in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $20 for a double occupancy room in Cuenca.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Arica, $66 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Arica, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $33, such as in a hostel.
Food in Cuenca costs travelers about $12 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Food in Arica costs travelers about $26 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Cuenca
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cuenca:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cuenca
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cuenca.
Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca:
Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour):
Private Cooking Class:
The average price of local transportation around Cuenca is $8.60 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
To get around in Arica, the average visitor spends $17 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.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cuenca
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cuenca:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cuenca
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cuenca:
Transfer In Cuenca Airport - Hotel:
Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.:
Private Transfer from Cuenca City Center to Madrid City Center:
Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan:
Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus:
Cuenca to Alausi Transfer in Fantasy Bus:
Cuenca Departure Transfer:
Cuenca Arrival Transfer:
Cuenca Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan:
Typical Local Transportation prices in Arica
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arica are as follows:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica
Also for Arica, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Arica Airport Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Arica?
Prices for flights to both Arica and Cuenca 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.
Cuenca's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
In Arica, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Cuenca
Here are a few actual costs in Cuenca for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
4-Day Magic Tour Cuenca, Alausi town, Baños, Quilotoa, Cotopaxi and Quito:
5-Day Rock Climbing Tour in Cojitambo, Paute, Girón, Cajas and Sayausi:
5-Day Trekking Rock, Climbing, Canyoning and Paragliding Tour:
BIKE TOUR "Descent of The Andes":
Baños Private Guided 4-day tour from Cuenca:
Biking Cuenca City Tour:
Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Giron and Yunguilla Jocotoco Reserve from Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Tamarindo Tropical Forest area from Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Via Sigsig,Chiguinda from Cuenca:
Tours and Activities in Arica
For Arica, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Half day Panoramic City Tour:
Arica Sightseeing Tour:
Full Day Tour to Tacna from Arica:
Arica Private Sightseeing Tour:
Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica:
Private Tour to Tacna from Arica:
Arica Private City Tour:
Private Arica and Ancient Cultures Tour:
4-Days Unique Experience at the Chilean High Plateau:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cuenca may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Typically, people visiting Arica spend on average $18 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cuenca and Arica, we can see that Arica is more expensive. And not only is Cuenca much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cuenca would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cuenca 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 Arica would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arica than you might in Cuenca.
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