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

Should you visit Cuenca or Castro?

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 Castro. 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.

Where Should I go: Cuenca or Castro?

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.

Castro

The capital of Chiloe, modern and dynamic, has succeeded in keeping its authenticity even though it now has many gigantic supermarkets, hotels and other touristic infrastructures. It is located on the island's eastern coast, halfway between Ancud in the north and Quellon in the south, and is a convenient base for exploring the stunning sites in the region of Chiloe Island. The tourist information is located on the town square in front of the church.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Wildlife Tours to Ecuador, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Ecuador, The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Chile, and The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Chile.


Which place is cheaper, Castro or Cuenca?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cuenca is $42, while the average daily cost in Castro is $92. 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 Cuenca and Castro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $13
    Castro $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $26
    Castro $78
Compare Hotels in Cuenca and Castro

Looking for a hotel in Cuenca or Castro? 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 Cuenca


Hotels in Castro


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: Cuenca Hotel Prices and Castro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $11
    Castro $21
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:

  • Ecuador: Airport Transfers on Quito, Guayaquil and others.: $30
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $104
  • Shared transfer from Hotel to Airport in Cuenca: $47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Castro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Castro:

  • Chiloe Airport Private Transfer: $43

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Castro?

Prices for flights to both Castro 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 $15
    Castro $38
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.

  • Street food Tour in Cuenca,Ecuador: $33
  • Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca: $55
  • Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour from Cuenca): $112
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $16
    Castro $22

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

Here are a few actual costs in Cuenca for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Cuenca, Ecuador Half-Day City Shared Tour: $25
  • Experience Historical City Tour: $26
  • Highlights Historic Tour & New Cathedral balcony: $29
  • Cuenca-Ec- City Tour with Panama Hat factory Half Day: $30
  • Cuenca Half-Day City Tour Including Panama Hat Factory: $30
  • Half-Day Biking and Walking Tour in Cuenca: $30
  • Cajas National Park Half Day Tour from Cuenca: $40
  • Private Cuenca City Tour including Turi Viewpoint: $40
  • El Chorro waterfalls and Busa lake tour from Cuenca: $44
  • City Sightseeing Tour: $45
  • Cuenca, Ecuador Half-Day City Tour: $46
  • Amazing Cajas National Park Tour from Cuenca: $48

Tours and Activities in Castro

Here are a few actual costs in Castro for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Private Half Day Tour in Patrimonial Castro: $30
  • Castro Sightseeing Tour in Chiloe: $57
  • From Puerto Varas: Chiloe Island Full-day Tour: $65
  • Bosque Piedra Reserve Tour: $106
  • Dalcahue and Quinchao Island Full Day Tour in Chiloe: $118
  • Pier of Light Full Day Tour in Chiloe: $142
  • Lemuy Island Tour from Castro: $178
  • Full Day Private Chiloe National Park Tour Following "The Darwin´s Route" : $179
  • Lemuy Island in Chiloe Full Day Private Tour: $181
  • Dock of Souls Trekking in Chiloe Private Tour: $188

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $14
    Castro $18


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

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


Which is Bigger, Cuenca or Castro?

Cuenca has a larger population, and is about 9 times larger than the population of Castro. When comparing the sizes of Cuenca and Castro, 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.