A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cuenca vs. Cafayate for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cuenca or Cafayate?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Cuenca and Cafayate. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Cuenca

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.

Cafayate

Cafayate is located in the province of Salta, in the central zone of the Valles Calchaquies. The small town has about 12,000 residents and is 1,329 kilometers from Buenos Aires.

People head to the small town of Cafayate to explore its vineyards and unique rock formations. It has become an important tourist destination in the area and there is a large golf course under construction just outside of town.

Cafayate is an important wine production center. The wines in the area thrive from the low humidity mild weather of the valleys. The town receives less than 250 millimeters of precipitation a year.

Which city is cheaper, Cafayate 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 Cafayate is $66. 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 Cuenca and Cafayate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Cafayate $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Cafayate $50

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $8.60
    Cafayate $14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cuenca

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $2.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cuenca

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cuenca:

  • Private Transfer from Cuenca City Center to Madrid City Center: $147
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $83
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan: $74
  • Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan: $74
  • Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Cuenca to Alausi Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Transfer In Cuenca Airport - Hotel: $25
  • Cuenca Airport Shuttle Transfer: $19
  • Cuenca Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Cuenca Departure Transfer: $15

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Cafayate?

Prices for flights to both Cafayate 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cuenca $12
    Cafayate $27
Typical Food prices in Cuenca

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cuenca:


  • Lunch
    $10
  • Snacks
    $5.00
  • Empanada
    $1.50
  • Hot Dog
    $1.00

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: $55
  • Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour): $95
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

Typical Food prices in Cafayate

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Cafayate:


  • Dinner (Empanadas)
    $0.17
  • Sandwich
    $0.07
  • Pizza
    $0.13

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $13
    Cafayate $29

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: $675
  • 5-Day Rock Climbing Tour in Cojitambo, Paute, Girón, Cajas and Sayausi: $400
  • 5-Day Trekking Rock, Climbing, Canyoning and Paragliding Tour: $474
  • BIKE TOUR "Descent of The Andes": $59
  • Baños Private Guided 4-day tour from Cuenca: $691
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45
  • Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca: $30
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Giron and Yunguilla Jocotoco Reserve from Cuenca: $129
  • Birdwatching Tour in Tamarindo Tropical Forest area from Cuenca: $130
  • Birdwatching Tour in Via Sigsig,Chiguinda from Cuenca: $130

Tours and Activities in Cafayate

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cafayate.

  • Tour Quebrada De Las Conchas - Cafayate - Salta: $27
  • Half-Day Wine Road Premium Tour From Cafayate: $109
  • Quebrada De Las Conchas Bike Tour from Cafayate: $182

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $11
    Cafayate $28


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

Budget Your Trip

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Cuenca vs. Cafayate Travel Comparison

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