A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Cuenca vs. Puerto Varas

Should you visit Cuenca or Puerto Varas?

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

Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas is a city in Southern Chile, in the Los Lagos (Lakes) Region, Llanquihue Province. It is a charming town, only 23 km away from Puerto Montt and surrounded by the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as well as the impressive Llanquihue lake. In terms of landscape, accommodation and activities, Puerto Varas is well served! Kayak, paddle, canyoning, rock climbing, trekking, ski, fishing, you name it! If you decide to stop in that area, we recommend that you stay in Puerto Varas, as it provides the perfect starting point for many memorable excursions in the area.

Which city is cheaper, Puerto Varas 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 Puerto Varas is $115. 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 Puerto Varas 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.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Puerto Varas is $142. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Puerto Varas $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Puerto Varas $142


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.

Puerto Varas food costs typically run travelers around $26 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cuenca $12
    Puerto Varas $26
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


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 Puerto Varas is $22 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
    Puerto Varas $22
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:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Cruce Andino Office Private Transfer from Puerto Varas: $43
  • Cruce Andino Office Shuttle Transfer from Puerto Varas: $9.69
  • Puerto Montt Departure Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas: $32
  • Puerto Varas Airport Private Transfer: $49
  • Puerto Varas Airport Shuttle Transfer: $29
  • Puerto Varas Bus Terminal Private Transfer: $39
  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $14


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.

Puerto Varas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $20 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
    Puerto Varas $20

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

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

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

  • Osorno Volcano Tour: $26
  • Frutillar Tour: Southern Traditions: $34
  • Sightseeing Tour Puerto Varas & Puerto Montt: $37
  • Half day, traditional city tour: $40
  • Speed Boat City Tour in Puerto Varas: $45
  • Petrohue Waterfalls & Osorno Volcano Half-Day Tour: $49
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohué River: $60
  • Greater Island Chiloe Tour from Puerto Varas: $62
  • Full-Day Guided Tour to Villa Peulla from Puerto Varas: $67
  • Speed Boat and Walking City Tour in Puerto Varas: $69
  • Frutillar Bike Tour from Puerto Varas: $69
  • Private Sightseeing Tour in Puerto Varas & Puerto Montt: $70


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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Varas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.86 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $11
    Puerto Varas $6.86

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Varas

Also in Puerto Varas, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Osorno Volcano & Brewery Tour in Puerto Varas: $64
  • Heritage City Tour and Brewery in Puerto Varas: $150



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

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Cuenca vs. Puerto Varas Travel Comparison

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