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 city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. 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.

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.

Which city 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 $34, while the average daily cost in Lake Titicaca (Puno) is $45. 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) in more detail.



Accommodation

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 $38 for a double occupancy room in Lake Titicaca (Puno).


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $38

Food

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.

On average, meal and food prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno) cost around $16 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $6.40.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cuenca $12
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $16
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

Typical Food prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

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


  • Tamales
    $1.34

Local Transportation

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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) is $8.20 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $8.60
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $8.20
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:

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

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


  • Taxi
    $0.73

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.





Entertainment

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.

Lake Titicaca (Puno)'s costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $13
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $22

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: $9.95
  • Cuenca City Tour: $20
  • Cuenca City tour: $25
  • Half-Day Tour of Cuenca Including Panama Hat Factory: $30
  • Walking Cuenca City Tour with Pumapungo Complex Half Day: $30
  • Cuenca City Tour: $30
  • Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca: $30
  • Half-Day Biking and Walking Tour of Cuenca, Ecuador: $30
  • Private Half-Day Cuenca City Tour: $38
  • Cajas National Park Half Day Tour: $40
  • Private Half-Day City Tour Including Turi Viewpoint: $41
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45

Alcohol

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.

The average person spends about $9.23 on alcoholic beverages in Lake Titicaca (Puno) per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $11
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $9.23


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.

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Cuenca vs. Lake Titicaca (Puno) Travel Comparison

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