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

Should you visit Cuenca or Mendoza?

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 Mendoza. 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 Mendoza?

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.

Mendoza

Mendoza is a city in western Argentina and more precisely in the desertic Cuyo region. Mendoza is the center of the Argentinian wine industry and is famed around the world for its vineyards and wine production. Spread across the valley of the Rio Mendoza and in the foothills of the Andean mountain range, Mendoza is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. The bustling and scenic city of wide, leafy avenues, atmospheric plazas and cosmopolitan cafes spoils visitors with unique natural attractions and historical landmarks. If you can, visit Mendoza during the harvest festival at the end of February. There are many events and festivals in Mendoza and they are usually free. Each has a different theme, and they usually have a stage with singing and dancing and booths that sell food around a plaza. Seventy percent of Argentina's wines are produced here, and Mendoza is especially known for its world-famous malbecs.

Which city is cheaper, Mendoza 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 Mendoza is $35. 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 Mendoza in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Mendoza $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Mendoza $26
Compare Hotels in Cuenca and Mendoza

Looking for a hotel in Cuenca or Mendoza? 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 Mendoza


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $8.60
    Mendoza $6.88
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:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mendoza

Also for Mendoza, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Mendoza Airport Arrival Transfer: $55
  • Mendoza Airport Shuttle Transfer: $11
  • Private 1-Way or Round-Trip MDZ Airport Transfer: $20
  • Shared 1-Way or Round Trip MDZ Airport Transfer: $7.00
  • Premium Spa Day & Fango Therapy at Cacheuta Hot Springs with Lunch and Transfers: $93
  • Private Airport Transfer: El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ) to Mendoza: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Mendoza to El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ): $22
  • Private Transfer in Mendoza: $29

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Mendoza?

Prices for flights to both Mendoza 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
    Mendoza $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
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

Typical Food prices in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Empanadas
    $0.07

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Gourmet Dinner at Espacio Trapiche: $54
  • Cooking class experience at a Mendoza winery: $145
  • Asado cooking class and dinner in Mendoza city.: $168
  • Winery dinner. Enjoy the best restaurant in a winery: $252

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $13
    Mendoza $9.83

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

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

  • 4-Day Magic Tour Cuenca, Alausi town, Baños, Quilotoa, Cotopaxi and Quito: $675
  • 5-Day Rock Climbing Tour in Cojitambo, Paute, Girón, Cajas and Sayausi: $400
  • 5-Day Trekking Rock, Climbing, Canyoning and Paragliding Tour: $474
  • BIKE TOUR "Descent of The Andes": $59
  • Baños Private Guided 4-day tour from Cuenca: $691
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45
  • Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca: $30
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Giron and Yunguilla Jocotoco Reserve from Cuenca: $129
  • Birdwatching Tour in Tamarindo Tropical Forest area from Cuenca: $130
  • Birdwatching Tour in Via Sigsig,Chiguinda from Cuenca: $130

Tours and Activities in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Half Day Mendoza City Sightseeing Tour: $15
  • Mendoza City Tour: $15
  • Half-Day Sightseeing City Tour: $15
  • FOLLOW MENDOZA, Walking City & Park tour: $20
  • Villavicencio Natural Reserve Half-Day Tour from Mendoza: $23
  • 12-KM River Rafting Tour in the Andes: $32
  • From High Andes Aconcagua Mountain Tour: $32
  • City Tour of Mendoza with Cerro de la Gloria: $32
  • Mendoza walking tour. Visit Mendoza city: $35
  • Wineries tour in Mendoza with La Carrodilla Church: $36
  • Full Day High Mountain Tour from Mendoza: $39
  • Zipline Adventure from Mendoza in Potrerillos Valley: $56

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $11
    Mendoza $5.90

Typical Alcohol prices in Mendoza

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Mendoza:


  • Beer
    $0.04

Sample the Local Flavors in Mendoza

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Mendoza:

  • Half-Day Wine Tour with Tastings: $19
  • Vineyards with Wine Tasting in Mendoza: $21
  • Full Day Wine Tour with 3 Course Lunch: $75
  • Mendoza Wine Tour with Lunch: $80
  • Sunday Wine Tasting Tour and Argentinien BBQ: $80
  • Bike wine tour. Visit 2 of the best wineries: $81
  • Private Uco Valley Tour including Lunch and Wine Tasting from Mendoza: $95
  • Private Lujan Wine Tour with Gourmet Wine-Paired Lunch from Mendoza: $100
  • Half day wine tour. Visit 2 wineries in Lujan de Cuyo: $103
  • Private Wine Tasting and Vineyards Tour from Mendoza: $136
  • Deluxe Mendoza Half-Day Wine Tasting Tour: $145
  • Bike wine tours. Visit 3 wineries and enjoy gourmet lunch: $153


When comparing the travel costs between Cuenca and Mendoza, we can see that Mendoza is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Cuenca vs. Mendoza Travel Comparison

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