Should you visit Cuenca or Punta Arenas?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. So, let's dig into it.
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 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 $67. 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 Punta Arenas in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $20 for a double occupancy room in Cuenca.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $68 in Punta Arenas For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
While meal prices in Punta Arenas can vary, the average travelers spends about $22 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Punta Arenas should cost around $8.80 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Punta Arenas is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Punta Arenas $22
Typical Food prices in Cuenca
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cuenca:
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:
Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour):
Typical Food prices in Punta Arenas
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Punta Arenas:
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:
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.
Punta Arenas's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $1.90 per person, per day on transportation in Punta Arenas.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cuenca
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cuenca:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cuenca
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cuenca:
Private Transfer from Cuenca City Center to Madrid City Center:
Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.:
Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan:
Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan:
Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus:
Cuenca to Alausi Transfer in Fantasy Bus:
Transfer In Cuenca Airport - Hotel:
Cuenca Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Cuenca Arrival Transfer:
Cuenca Departure Transfer:
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:
Bus transfer from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia:
Private Airport Transfer: Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ) to Punta Arenas:
Private Airport Transfer: from Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ):
Transfer from Punta Arenas (city or airport) to Puerto Natales:
Transfer from Punta Arenas Hotel to Punta Arenas Airport:
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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Punta Arenas can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $6.79 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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:
5-Day Rock Climbing Tour in Cojitambo, Paute, Girón, Cajas and Sayausi:
5-Day Trekking Rock, Climbing, Canyoning and Paragliding Tour:
BIKE TOUR "Descent of The Andes":
Baños Private Guided 4-day tour from Cuenca:
Biking Cuenca City Tour:
Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Giron and Yunguilla Jocotoco Reserve from Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Tamarindo Tropical Forest area from Cuenca:
Birdwatching Tour in Via Sigsig,Chiguinda from Cuenca:
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:
Punta Arenas Sightseeing Tour:
Punta Arenas Highlights Shared Tour:
Small Group Punta Arenas Shore Excursion: Fort Bulnes and City Tour:
Puntarenas City tour and Mangroove Tour:
Bus ticket from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina):
Full-Day Punta Arenas and Magellan Strait Tour:
Rainforest Skywalk & Tarcoles River Eco Cruise Tour Puntarenas Shore excursion:
Punta Arenas Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour:
Full day Punta Arenas (Regular tours):
Regular Tour of Andino Club Ski Mountain and Chairlift from Punta Arenas, Chile:
City Tour of Punta Arenas:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Punta Arenas, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.12.
Typical Alcohol prices in Punta Arenas
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Punta Arenas:
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:
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.
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