A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cuenca vs. Santa Cruz de la Sierra for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cuenca or Santa Cruz de la Sierra?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Cuenca and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. 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.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, or simply Santa Cruz, is a larger city in the middle of Bolivia. It is also one of the most wealthy cities in the country. The city is also one of the fastest growing in the world. It is famous for its nightlife and it makes an excellent base for exploring many of the tourist attractions in the nearby areas.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Cruz de la Sierra 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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra is $43. 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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $36 for a double occupancy room in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $9.97
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $20
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $36

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.

The price of a meal in Santa Cruz de la Sierra can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $16 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $6.40 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cuenca $12
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $16
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

Typical Food prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:


  • Snacks
    $3.19
  • Chips
    $0.29
  • Banana
    $0.15
  • Cookies
    $1.31

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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra is $7.95 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
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $7.95
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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.35
  • Mini Bus
    $0.58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Santa Cruz Airport VVI to Santa Cruz City by Minibus: $55
  • Arrival Private Transfer Santa Cruz Airport VVI to Santa Cruz City by SCross Sx4: $55
  • Departure Private Transfer Santa Cruz City to Santa Cruz Airport VVI by Minibus: $55
  • Departure Private Transfer Santa Cruz to Santa Cruz Airport VVI by S-Cross Sx4: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Santa Cruz de la Sierra?

Prices for flights to both Santa Cruz de la Sierra 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.





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.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 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
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $15

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

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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $11
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $11

Typical Alcohol prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santa Cruz de la Sierra from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $1.60


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Cuenca vs. Santa Cruz de la Sierra Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.