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

Should you visit Cuenca or Lima?

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 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Cuenca or Lima?

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 $58. 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 Lima in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Lima $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Lima $74
Compare Hotels in Cuenca and Lima

Looking for a hotel in Cuenca or Lima? 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 Lima


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $8.60
    Lima $4.32
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
    $5.11
  • Taxi Ride
    $5.11
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.83

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 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
  • Lima Airport Transfers: Lima City to Jorge Chavez Airport LIM in Standard Car: $30

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.





Food
  • 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
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

Typical Food prices in Lima

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.09
  • Ice cream
    $3.32
  • Coffee
    $2.81
  • Donut
    $0.89

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
  • Cooking Workshop and Water Circuit Tour: $45
  • #1 Lima Food Tour and Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • #1 Peruvian Food Tour through Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • Delicious Food Tour through Local Markets: $46
  • #1 Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant: $49
  • Private Cooking Class With a Local Family in Lima: $52
  • Half-Day Fountains Tour with Dinner & Folklore Show: $53
  • Peruvian Food Tour Through Local Markets: $55
  • Dinner Show and Exhibition of Peruvian Horse including Pick up & drop off: $55

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $13
    Lima $6.53

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: $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
  • Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca: $30
  • Half-Day Biking and Walking Tour of Cuenca, Ecuador: $30
  • Cajas National Park Half Day Tour: $40
  • Private Half-Day City Tour Including Turi Viewpoint: $41
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45
  • Full Day Tour to National Park of Cajas: $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
    $2.17

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
  • Panoramic City Tour of Lima: $25
  • Half-Day Colonial and Modern Lima Tour: $25
  • Half Day City Tour: $27
  • Half Day Panoramic City Tour Lima II: $27
  • Barranco Walking tour - Art & Culture: $30

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $11
    Lima $4.24

Typical Alcohol prices in Lima

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    $6.88
  • Beer
    $3.83
  • Cocktail
    $3.07

Sample the Local Flavors in Lima

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lima:

  • 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.


When is the best time to visit Cuenca or Lima?

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Cuenca or Lima in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cuenca and Lima. Cuenca attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Lima attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In July, Cuenca usually receives more rain than Lima. At this time of the year, Cuenca gets 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Lima receives 12 mm (0.5 in) of rain.

In July, Cuenca is generally a little warmer than Lima. Temperatures in Cuenca average around 22°C (72°F), and Lima stays around 18°C (64°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cuenca 22°C (72°F) 
    Lima 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Lima in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Cuenca as well as Lima. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cuenca throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Lima throughout the year.

Cuenca usually gets more rain in October than Lima. Cuenca gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Lima receives 7 mm (0.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

Cuenca is much colder than Lima in the autumn. The temperature in Cuenca is usually 12°C (54°F) in October, and Lima stays around 19°C (66°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cuenca 12°C (54°F) 
    Lima 19°C (66°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Lima in the Winter?

Both Lima and Cuenca are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Cuenca because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Lima because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

In January, Cuenca usually receives more rain than Lima. At this time of the year, Cuenca gets 14 mm (0.6 in) of rain, while Lima receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Cuenca. In the winter, Cuenca is much colder than Lima. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cuenca in January are around 4°C (39°F), and Lima is about 23°C (73°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cuenca 4°C (39°F) 
    Lima 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Lima in the Spring?

Both Lima and Cuenca during the spring are popular places to visit. Cuenca attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Lima attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

Cuenca usually gets more rain in April than Lima. Cuenca gets 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Lima receives 2 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

In April, Cuenca is generally much colder than Lima. Temperatures in Cuenca average around 10°C (50°F), and Lima stays around 22°C (72°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cuenca 10°C (50°F) 
    Lima 22°C (72°F)

Typical Weather for Lima and Cuenca

Cuenca Lima
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (39°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 23°C (73°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 6°C (43°F) 22 mm (0.9 in) 24°C (75°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 23°C (73°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Apr 10°C (50°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 20°C (68°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 19°C (66°F) 11 mm (0.4 in)
Jul 22°C (72°F) 17 mm (0.7 in) 18°C (64°F) 12 mm (0.5 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 17°C (63°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Sep 17°C (63°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 13 mm (0.5 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 19°C (66°F) 7 mm (0.3 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 20°C (68°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 22°C (72°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)


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Cuenca vs. Lima Travel Comparison

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