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

Should you visit Cuenca or Lima?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Cuenca and Lima. 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.

Lima

Lima, the capital city of Peru, is likely to be your point of entry for the country. Lima was founded in 1535 and was the seat of the Spanish rule for 300 years. It's a surprisingly modern city despite its rich history, but many beautiful churches and colonial architecture remain today. There are also large slum areas that highlight the poverty that exists in the city. The city and its surrounding metropolitan area have a population of about 8.5 million people, many of whom came from the Andes Mountains in search of work. Unfortunately the work opportunities are limited and the poverty is obvious as you arrive in Lima.

Which city is cheaper, Lima 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 Lima is $56. 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 Lima 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 $72 for a double occupancy room in Lima.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Lima $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Lima $72

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 Lima cost around $13 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 $5.20.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cuenca $12
    Lima $13
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 Lima

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lima are as follows:


  • Lunch for Two
    $3.90
  • Ice cream
    $3.17
  • Coffee
    $2.68
  • Donut
    $0.85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lima

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Lima.

  • Virtual Peruvian Cooking Class "Lomo Saltado": $18
  • Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • #1 Lima Food Tour and Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • #1 Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Delicious Food Tour through Local Markets: $46
  • #1 Peruvian Food Tour through Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant: $49
  • Private Cooking Class With a Local Family in Lima: $52
  • 3–Hour Restaurant Dinner and Show Experience: $55
  • Dinner Show and Exhibition of Peruvian Horse including Pick up & drop off: $55
  • Peruvian Food Tour Through Local Markets: $55
  • Magic Water Circuit, Dinner & Show in Lima: $56

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 cost of a taxi ride in Lima is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.33 per person, per day, on local transportation in Lima.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $8.60
    Lima $4.33
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 Lima

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Lima are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.87
  • Taxi Ride
    $4.87
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.65

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lima

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lima:

  • Airport Transfer Service in Lima: $59
  • Airport transfer Lima / English speaking driver: $20
  • Departure Private Transfer from Lima City to Lima Airport LIM by Sedan Car: $30
  • From Palomino Islands Cruise & Swimming with Sea Lions with Transfers: $125
  • LIMA - PERÚ, 4 Days and 3 Nights + acommodation *** + Transfer + 4 tours IN LIMA: $559
  • LIMA CAR TRANSFER - Private Service: $25
  • Larco Museum Restaurant Dining Experience with Transfer: $59
  • Lima Airport Arrival Transfer: $24
  • Lima Airport Departure Transfer: $24
  • Lima Airport Transfer: One Way: $16
  • Lima Airport Transfers: Jorge Chavez Airport LIM to Lima City in Standard Car: $30
  • Lima Airport Transfers: Jorge Chavez Airport LIM to Lima City in Standard Van: $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Lima?

Prices for flights to both Lima 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.

Entertainment and activities in Lima typically cost an average of $6.22 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $13
    Lima $6.22

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Lima

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Lima are as follows:


  • Entrance to Museo Larco (for 2)
    $15
  • Movie Tickets
    $2.07

Tours and Activities in Lima

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lima are as follows:

  • MATE Admission Ticket: $4.00
  • Cathedral of Lima Admission Ticket: $6.35
  • Skip the Line: Peruvian Regional Dances Ticket: $8.99
  • Skip the Line: Larco Museum Admission Ticket: $10
  • Museo del Oro and Armas del Mundo Admission Tickets from Lima: $11
  • Half Day Panoramic City Tour Lima III: $15
  • Live online experience: Prepare cocktails with a Peruvian bartender: $19
  • 4-Hour Walking Tour of the Historic Center of Lima: $25
  • Panoramic City Tour of Lima: $25
  • Half Day City Tour: $27
  • Half Day Panoramic City Tour Lima II: $27
  • Lima City Tour Express - Excursion: $28

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 $3.52 on alcoholic beverages in Lima 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
    Lima $3.52

Typical Alcohol prices in Lima

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Lima are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $6.55
  • Beer
    $3.65
  • Cocktail
    $2.92

Sample the Local Flavors in Lima

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lima:

  • Lima 3.5-Hour Pisco Pub Crawl: $25
  • Ballestas Islands + Huacachina Oasis + Wine Tour (Unique Experience): $226
  • Mysterious Nazca Lines, Overflight from Ica, Huacachina Oasis & Wine Tour!: $490


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Cuenca vs. Lima Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.