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

Should you visit Cuenca or Salento?

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

Salento

Founded in 1850, Salento is one of the oldest towns in Quindio. This colonial Colombian town has retained much of its old world charm, with its colorful buildings, large square and, of course, the obligatory church. Because the main route between Cali and Bogota which used to pass through Salento was diverted, the town didn't develop as quickly as others in the Quindio region. This gave Salento the opportunity to evolve into a thriving community of craftsmen and artisans as well as remaining one of the region's most prolific coffee producers. Salento is located 24 km northeast of the departmental capital Armenia. However, unlike its colorful neighbor, Armenia itself has very little to offer tourists. Salento attracts those wishing to learn about the coffee regions and for those who simply admire breathtaking scenery, and especially the stunning Cocora Valley.

Which city is cheaper, Salento 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 Salento is $27. 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 Salento 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.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $9.23. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Salento the cost is $18 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Salento $9.23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Salento $18

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.

While meal prices in Salento can vary, the average travelers spends about $7.74 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Salento should cost around $3.10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Salento is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cuenca $12
    Salento $7.74
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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $12 per day to get around in Salento.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $8.60
    Salento $12
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:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salento

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salento:

  • Arrival or Departure Transfer: Armenia Airport, Bus Station / Salento, Filandia: $50

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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $9.64 per person, per day in Salento. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $13
    Salento $9.64

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 Salento

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Salento are as follows:

  • Permaculture and Traditional Coffee Tour at Momota Salento: $13
  • Cocora Valley & Hummingbirds House Adventure: $50
  • Cocora Valley on a Jeep & Hike Day Tour: $77
  • Coffee Farm Hacienda El Ocaso Half-Day Tour: $79
  • Full-Day Coffee Farm Experience at Finca El Ocaso from Salento: $87
  • Coffee Amusement & Museum Park Day Tour: $101
  • Cocora Valley + Horseback Riding Day Tour: $104
  • Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Filandia Coffee Town (from Salento): $123
  • Santa Rosa de Cabal and Hot Springs Full-Day Tour: $134
  • Full day coffee farm experience at Hacienda San Alberto from Salento: $152
  • Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Coffee Farm Tour (from Salento): $156
  • Wax Palms, Salento and Coffee Private Full Day Tour: $177

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.

The average person spends about $9.45 on alcoholic beverages in Salento per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $11
    Salento $9.45


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cuenca and Salento, we can see that Cuenca is more expensive. And not only is Salento much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Salento would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Salento 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 Cuenca would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cuenca than you might in Salento.

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Cuenca vs. Salento Travel Comparison

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