Should you visit Cuenca or Banos?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Cuenca and Banos. 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.
Banos (de Agua Santa) is a small city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador under volcano Tungurahua. Its name, which is Spanish for "Baths (of sacred water)," comes from the famous hydrothermal springs in the area. It's equally popular with foreigners as with Ecuadorians, and is known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. The streets are lined with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour agencies. Although it is very touristy, lots of people love it, more for the activities and surroundings than for the city itself. It is an important hub for outdoor sports and jungle tours.
Which city is cheaper, Banos 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 Banos is $37. 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 Banos in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $20 for a double occupancy room in Cuenca.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $24 for a double occupancy room in Banos.
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 Banos 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.
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):
Typical Food prices in Banos
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Banos:
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.
The average price of local transportation around Banos is $8.27 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.
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:
Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan:
Cuenca Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Cuenca Arrival Transfer:
Cuenca Departure Transfer:
Cuenca to Alausi Transfer in Fantasy Bus:
Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus:
Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan:
Private Transfer from Cuenca City Center to Madrid City Center:
Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.:
Transfer In Cuenca Airport - Hotel:
Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Banos?
Prices for flights to both Banos 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.
Banos's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 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.
Tours and Activities in Cuenca
Here are a few actual costs in Cuenca for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Guided tour to Cuenca City:
Cuenca City Tour:
Cuenca City tour:
Half-Day Tour of Cuenca Including Panama Hat Factory:
Walking Cuenca City Tour with Pumapungo Complex Half Day:
Cuenca City Tour:
Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca:
Half-Day Biking and Walking Tour of Cuenca, Ecuador:
Private Half-Day Cuenca City Tour:
Cajas National Park Half Day Tour:
Private Half-Day City Tour Including Turi Viewpoint:
Biking Cuenca City Tour:
Typical Entertainment prices in Banos
Here are a few typical costs in Banos for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Tours and Activities in Banos
Here are a few actual costs in Banos for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Baños's Top Attractions Pass (Save 10% on tickets):
Fishing Tour & Local Life in Baños:
Chimborazo Volcano from Baños private day Tour:
Adventure in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights:
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.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Banos may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.79 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Typical Alcohol prices in Banos
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Banos from other travelers:
When comparing the travel costs between Cuenca and Banos, we can see that Banos 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.
Related Articles for Cuenca
Related Articles for Banos