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

Should you visit Cuenca or Punta Arenas?

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 Punta Arenas. 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 Punta Arenas?

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.

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is in the far south of Chile and has a long history of maritime commerce, oil extraction, and sheep farming. It's the most populated city on the Strait of Magellan and has all the facilities you might need as a traveler, including banks, markets, drugstores and equipment shops. With a population of about 130,000, the city is a comfortable place to spend time. It serves as a base for Antarctic expeditions, although many expeditions also start in Ushuaia, Argentina, and Christchurch New Zealand.

Which city is cheaper, Punta Arenas 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 Punta Arenas is $51. 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 Punta Arenas in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Punta Arenas $26
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Punta Arenas $52
Compare Hotels in Cuenca and Punta Arenas

Looking for a hotel in Cuenca or Punta Arenas? 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 Punta Arenas


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $8.60
    Punta Arenas $1.45
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:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta Arenas

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

  • Arrival Transfer: Punta Arenas Airport to Hotel: $33
  • Bus transfer from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia: $169
  • Private Airport Transfer: Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ) to Punta Arenas: $29
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ): $29
  • Transfer from Punta Arenas (city or airport) to Puerto Natales: $250
  • Transfer from Punta Arenas Hotel to Punta Arenas Airport: $32

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Punta Arenas?

Prices for flights to both Punta Arenas 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
    Punta Arenas $17
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 Punta Arenas

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Punta Arenas:


  • Donut
    $1.05
  • Dinner
    $25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Punta Arenas

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

  • Punta Arenas Small Group Sightseeing and food Tour with a Local Guide: $76

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $13
    Punta Arenas $5.17

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 Punta Arenas

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Punta Arenas.

  • Half day traditional City Tour: $35
  • Punta Arenas Sightseeing Tour: $47
  • Punta Arenas Highlights Shared Tour: $67
  • Small Group Punta Arenas Shore Excursion: Fort Bulnes and City Tour: $71
  • Puntarenas City tour and Mangroove Tour: $87
  • Bus ticket from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina): $88
  • Full-Day Punta Arenas and Magellan Strait Tour: $95
  • Rainforest Skywalk & Tarcoles River Eco Cruise Tour Puntarenas Shore excursion: $99
  • Punta Arenas Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour: $101
  • Full day Punta Arenas (Regular tours): $103
  • Regular Tour of Andino Club Ski Mountain and Chairlift from Punta Arenas, Chile: $103
  • City Tour of Punta Arenas: $110

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $11
    Punta Arenas $3.90

Typical Alcohol prices in Punta Arenas

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


  • Alcohol
    $7.36

Sample the Local Flavors in Punta Arenas

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

  • Punta Arenas Small Group Beers & Brewery Tour with a Local Guide: $68


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


When is the best time to visit Cuenca or Punta Arenas?

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

Should I visit Cuenca or Punta Arenas in the Summer?

Both Punta Arenas and Cuenca during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Cuenca because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

In the summer, Cuenca is much warmer than Punta Arenas. Typically, the summer temperatures in Cuenca in July are around 22°C (72°F), and Punta Arenas is about 11°C (52°F)in January.

Cuenca usually gets less rain in July than Punta Arenasin January. Cuenca gets 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Punta Arenas receives 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July and January
    Cuenca 22°C (72°F) 
    Punta Arenas 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Punta Arenas in the Autumn?

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

In October, Cuenca is generally much warmer than Punta Arenasin April. Temperatures in Cuenca average around 12°C (54°F), and Punta Arenas stays around 7°C (44°F).

In October, Cuenca usually receives more rain than Punta Arenasin April. At this time of the year, Cuenca gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Punta Arenas receives 36 mm (1.4 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October and April
    Cuenca 12°C (54°F) 
    Punta Arenas 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Punta Arenas in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Cuenca as well as Punta Arenas. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cuenca throughout the year.

Punta Arenas can be very cold during winter. Cuenca can get quite cold in the winter. Cuenca is much warmer than Punta Arenas in the winter. The temperature in Cuenca is usually 4°C (39°F) in January, and Punta Arenas stays around 1°C (35°F)in July.

Cuenca usually gets less rain in January than Punta Arenasin July. Cuenca gets 14 mm (0.6 in) of rain, while Punta Arenas receives 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January and July
    Cuenca 4°C (39°F) 
    Punta Arenas 1°C (35°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Punta Arenas in the Spring?

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

In the spring, Cuenca is a little warmer than Punta Arenas. Typically, the spring temperatures in Cuenca in April are around 10°C (50°F), and Punta Arenas is about 7°C (44°F)in October.

In April, Cuenca usually receives more rain than Punta Arenasin October. At this time of the year, Cuenca gets 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Punta Arenas receives 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April and October
    Cuenca 10°C (50°F) 
    Punta Arenas 7°C (44°F)

Typical Weather for Punta Arenas and Cuenca

Cuenca Punta Arenas
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (39°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 11°C (52°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Feb 6°C (43°F) 22 mm (0.9 in) 11°C (52°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 9°C (48°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Apr 10°C (50°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 7°C (44°F) 36 mm (1.4 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 4°C (39°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 2°C (35°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Jul 22°C (72°F) 17 mm (0.7 in) 1°C (35°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 3°C (37°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Sep 17°C (63°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 5°C (40°F) 24 mm (0.9 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 7°C (44°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 9°C (48°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 11°C (51°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)


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Cuenca vs. Punta Arenas Travel Comparison

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