A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cuenca vs. Lake Titicaca (Puno) for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cuenca or Lake Titicaca (Puno)?

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 Lake Titicaca (Puno). 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno)?

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.

Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Lake Titicaca, which directly translates to "puma stone" in Quechua, is located high in the Andes Mountains straddling Peru and Bolivia, with about 60% of the lake in Peru and 40% in Bolivia. Among the lake are three main islands, the most popular of which are the Uros Islands, also known as the floating islands, where the Uros people live on totora reeds that grow in the lake.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Wildlife Tours to Ecuador, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Ecuador, The Best Photography Tours in Peru, and The Best Jungle Trekking Tours in Peru.


Which place is cheaper, Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) is $55. 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $13
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $26
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $26
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $52
Compare Hotels in Cuenca and Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Looking for a hotel in Cuenca or Lake Titicaca (Puno)? 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno)


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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $11
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $11
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:

  • Shared transfer from Hotel to Airport in Cuenca: $47
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $104

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Lake Titicaca (Puno):


  • Taxi
    $0.82

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno):

  • Private Transfer From Puno to Chivay With a 2 Hour Stop: $299
  • Private Transfer From Puno to Chivay, English Speaking Driver: $211
  • Private Transfer From Puno to Oruro with English Speaking Driver: $244
  • Private Transfer from Puerto de Puno to Hotel Puno: $21
  • Private Transfer from Puno to Desaguadero: $195
  • Private transfer airport-puno-viceverse: $60
  • Puno Airport Private Transfer: $44
  • Puno Airport Shared Transfer: $20

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Lake Titicaca (Puno)?

Prices for flights to both Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $15
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
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

Typical Food Prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lake Titicaca (Puno) are as follows:


  • Tamales
    $1.50

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $16
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $30

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

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

  • Cuenca Excursion Panoramic City Tour SightSeeingTour in double-decker bus: $8.34
  • Panoramic Bus Tour to the Historic South Parth: $12
  • Cuenca, Ecuador Half-Day City Shared Tour: $25
  • Cuenca-Ec- City Tour with Panama Hat factory Half Day: $30
  • Cuenca Half-Day City Tour Including Panama Hat Factory: $30
  • Cuenca Heritage Complex: Chocolate Tasting, Tour and Museums: $38
  • Experience Historical City Tour: $38
  • Private Cuenca City Tour including Turi Viewpoint: $40
  • Cajas National Park Half Day Tour from Cuenca: $40
  • El Chorro waterfalls and Busa lake tour from Cuenca: $44
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45
  • City Sightseeing Tour: $45

Tours and Activities in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lake Titicaca (Puno) are as follows:

  • Half Day Tour to Sillustani from Puno : $22
  • Sillustani / 4-hour tour from Puno: $25
  • Walking City tour Puno: $25
  • Lake Titicaca Uros Floating Islands Half-Day Tour: $25
  • Morning: Uros Floating Islands Tour from Puno: $25
  • Uros Floating Island Tour: $26
  • Half Day Tour in Sillustani: $26
  • 3h Boat Tour to Uros Island from Puno: $38
  • Full Day Guided Tour of the Aymara Route from Puno: $40
  • Full Day Tour Uros and Taquile (Speed Boat): $40
  • Lake Titicaca Day Tour from Puno: $44
  • Tour to Uros and Taquile Islands in a Fast Boat: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $14
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $13


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cuenca and Lake Titicaca (Puno), we can see that Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cuenca or Lake Titicaca (Puno)?

Cuenca has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Lake Titicaca (Puno). When comparing the sizes of Cuenca and Lake Titicaca (Puno), 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.