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

Should you visit Cuenca or Pucon?

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 Pucon. 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 Pucon?


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.


A popular hub for adventure tourism, Pucon is a town in the Lake District of the South American nation of Chile. Located on Lake Villarirca with the snowcapped Villarrica volcano looming above and plenty of forested valleys below, the town has become a home base year-round for a full range of outdoor activities.

Check out our ultimate guide to Traveling in Patagonia.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Wildlife Tours to Ecuador, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Ecuador, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Chile, and The Best Luxury Tours to Chile.

Which place is cheaper, Pucon 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 Pucon is $98. 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 Pucon in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $13
    Pucon $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $26
    Pucon $84
Compare Hotels in Cuenca and Pucon

Looking for a hotel in Cuenca or Pucon? 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 Pucon

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $11
    Pucon $19
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cuenca

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cuenca:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cuenca

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cuenca:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pucon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Pucon:

  • Private Transfer Pucon Thermal Resorts to Temuco Airport: $49
  • Pucon Temuco Airport Private Transfer: $130
  • Pucon to Puerto Montt El Tepual Airport (PMC) -Departure Transfer: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Pucon?

Prices for flights to both Pucon 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 Meals for one day
    Cuenca $15
    Pucon $37
Typical Food Prices in Cuenca

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cuenca:

  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Empanada
  • Hot Dog

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

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $16
    Pucon $36

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
  • 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
  • Cuenca Heritage Complex: Chocolate Tasting, Tour and Museums: $45

Tours and Activities in Pucon

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

  • 3-Hour Rafting Experience in Pucon: $60
  • Private 3-Hour Canyoning Experience on the Correntoso River: $68
  • Sightseeing Tour in Pucon and Villarica: $93
  • Half Day Tour to The Eyes Of Caburgua from Pucon: $93
  • Private Half Day Andean Lakes Experience with pickup: $110
  • Full Day Private Tour Ascending Sollipulli Volcano: $140
  • Local Chile-Bavarian Culinary Pretzel Baking Experience n Sausage: $149
  • Full Day Excursion Tour to Quetrupillán Volcano: $177

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $14
    Pucon $26

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

Which is Bigger, Cuenca or Pucon?

Cuenca has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Pucon. When comparing the sizes of Cuenca and Pucon, 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.

When is the best time to visit Cuenca or Pucon?

Pucon has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Cuenca experiences a warm climate with fairly sunny weather most of the year.

Should I visit Cuenca or Pucon in the Summer?

Both Pucon and Cuenca are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Cuenca throughout the year.

In July, Cuenca is generally a little warmer than Puconin January. Daily temperatures in Cuenca average around 22°C (72°F), and Pucon fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

In July, Cuenca usually receives less rain than Puconin January. Cuenca gets 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Pucon receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July and January
    Cuenca 22°C (72°F) 
    Pucon 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Pucon in the Autumn?

Both Pucon and Cuenca during the autumn are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Cuenca because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

Cuenca is around the same temperature as Pucon in the autumn. The daily temperature in Cuenca averages around 12°C (54°F) in October, and Pucon fluctuates around 11°C (52°F)in April.

Pucon gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Cuenca usually gets less rain in October than Puconin April. Cuenca gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Pucon receives 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October and April
    Cuenca 12°C (54°F) 
    Pucon 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Pucon in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Cuenca and Pucon. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Cuenca year-round.

It's quite cold in Cuenca in the winter. In the winter, Cuenca is much colder than Pucon. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cuenca in January average around 4°C (39°F), and Pucon averages at about 7°C (45°F)in July.

Pucon receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Cuenca usually receives less rain than Puconin July. Cuenca gets 14 mm (0.6 in) of rain, while Pucon receives 312 mm (12.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January and July
    Cuenca 4°C (39°F) 
    Pucon 7°C (45°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Pucon in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Cuenca as well as Pucon. Cuenca attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

In April, Cuenca is generally cooler than Puconin October. Daily temperatures in Cuenca average around 10°C (50°F), and Pucon fluctuates around 11°C (52°F).

It's quite rainy in Pucon. Cuenca usually gets less rain in April than Puconin October. Cuenca gets 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Pucon receives 109 mm (4.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April and October
    Cuenca 10°C (50°F) 
    Pucon 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Pucon and Cuenca

Cuenca Pucon
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (39°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 16°C (61°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 6°C (43°F) 22 mm (0.9 in) 17°C (62°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Apr 10°C (50°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 11°C (52°F) 133 mm (5.2 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 9°C (48°F) 295 mm (11.6 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 8°C (46°F) 297 mm (11.7 in)
Jul 22°C (72°F) 17 mm (0.7 in) 7°C (45°F) 312 mm (12.3 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 8°C (46°F) 247 mm (9.7 in)
Sep 17°C (63°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 9°C (48°F) 162 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 11°C (52°F) 109 mm (4.3 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 13°C (55°F) 73 mm (2.9 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 16°C (60°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)