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

Should you visit Cuenca or Ushuaia?

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 Ushuaia. 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 Ushuaia?


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.


Ushuaia is a city on the Tierra del Fuego island of Argentina on the Beagle Strait. The city is considered to be one of the southernmost cities in the world and is often used as a base for cruises to Antarctica. Ushuaia's close proximity to Antarctica and their amazing hiking trails have made it a popular tourist destination over the past few decades.

Which place is cheaper, Ushuaia or Cuenca?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cuenca is $42, while the average daily cost in Ushuaia is $28. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cuenca and Ushuaia in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cuenca $13
    Ushuaia $14
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cuenca $26
    Ushuaia $28
Compare Hotels in Cuenca and Ushuaia

Looking for a hotel in Cuenca or Ushuaia? 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 Ushuaia

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cuenca Hotel Prices and Ushuaia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cuenca $11
    Ushuaia -
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cuenca

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cuenca:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cuenca

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cuenca:

  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $104
  • Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan: $74
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan: $74
  • Shared transfer from Cuenca Airport to Hotel: $45
  • Shared transfer from Hotel to Airport in Cuenca: $45
  • Cuenca Arrival Transfer: $34
  • Cuenca Departure Transfer: $34
  • Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25

Typical Local Transportation prices in Ushuaia

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Ushuaia are as follows:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ushuaia

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

  • Overnight Ushuaia - Airport transfers, Tierra del Fuego National Park and Lakes!: $550
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Ushuaia): $120
  • Private Transfer Airport-Port or Port-Airport (Ushuaia): $55
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Ushuaia): $27
  • Private Transfer from Ushuaia Airport (USH) to Ushuaia Port : $25
  • Private Transfer from Ushuaia Port to Ushuaia Airport (USH): $25
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Ushuaia): $37
  • Transfer Cerro Castor (Round Trip): $32
  • Transfer Ushuaia Airport - Hotel in Ushuaia - Ushuaia Airport : $35
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel in shared service: $19
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport in shared service: $19
  • Ushuaia Airport (USH) to Ushuaia - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Cuenca or Ushuaia?

Prices for flights to both Ushuaia 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 Meals for one day
    Cuenca $15
    Ushuaia $5.39
Typical Food prices in Cuenca

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cuenca:

  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Empanada
  • Hot Dog

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cuenca

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cuenca.

  • Street food Tour in Cuenca,Ecuador: $33
  • Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca: $55
  • Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour from Cuenca): $112
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

Typical Food prices in Ushuaia

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

  • Lunch for Two

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ushuaia

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

  • From Emerald Lagoon Trekking Day Trip with Dinner: $174
  • Ushuaia at night: A dinner at Snow and Fire Sledding and Adventure: $235

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cuenca $16
    Ushuaia $31

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

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

  • Cuenca-Ec- City Tour with Panama Hat factory Half Day: $30
  • Inca Trail Cajas National Park tour from Cuenca: $110
  • 4 or 5-Day Tour Cuenca,Alausi,Baños,Quilotoa,Cotopaxi and Quito: $670
  • Amazing Cajas National Park Tour from Cuenca: $49
  • Archaeological Tour: Pumapungo - Cojitambo - Ingapirca: $60
  • Azuay: San Bartolomé, Gualaceo, and Chordeleg Artisanal Tour: $63
  • Baños & Amazon 4-day tour from Cuenca or Quito: $799
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45
  • Birdwatching Tour Cajas Park and Tamarindo Tropical Forest area from Cuenca: $130
  • 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: $150

Tours and Activities in Ushuaia

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

  • Ushuaia City Tour: $12
  • Panoramic City Train Tour: $16
  • Ushuaia Double Decker Bus Tour: $17
  • Ushuaia City Half-Day Tour: $18
  • Guided Tour of the City of Ushuaia: $20
  • Double-Decker Sightseeing Tour: $31
  • An Hour Tour in the City of Ushuaia: $32
  • Ushuaia Walking Tour with Tastings of Tierra del Fuego: $35
  • City Tour of Ushuaia: $42
  • Beagle Channel and Sea Lions Island Catamaran Cruise: $45
  • 4-Hour National Park - USHUAIA (Shared tour): $53
  • Tour to Tierra del Fuego National Park from Ushuaia: $55

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cuenca $14
    Ushuaia -

Typical Alcohol prices in Ushuaia

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Ushuaia are as follows:

  • Wine
  • Beer

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cuenca and Ushuaia, we can see that Cuenca is more expensive. And not only is Ushuaia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ushuaia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ushuaia 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 Ushuaia.

Which is Bigger, Cuenca or Ushuaia?

Cuenca is bigger, and its population is about 4.8 times larger than the population of Ushuaia. When comparing the population of Cuenca vs. Ushuaia, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Cuenca or Ushuaia?

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

Should I visit Cuenca or Ushuaia in the Summer?

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

In July, Cuenca is generally much warmer than Ushuaiain January. Daily temperatures in Cuenca average around 22°C (72°F), and Ushuaia fluctuates around 10°C (50°F).

Cuenca usually gets less rain in July than Ushuaiain January. Cuenca gets 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Ushuaia receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July and January
    Cuenca 22°C (72°F) 
    Ushuaia 10°C (50°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Ushuaia in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Cuenca and Ushuaia. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Cuenca year-round.

Cuenca is much warmer than Ushuaia in the autumn. The daily temperature in Cuenca averages around 12°C (54°F) in October, and Ushuaia fluctuates around 6°C (43°F)in April.

In October, Cuenca usually receives around the same amount of rain as Ushuaiain April. Cuenca gets 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Ushuaia receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October and April
    Cuenca 12°C (54°F) 
    Ushuaia 6°C (43°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Ushuaia in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Cuenca as well as Ushuaia. Cuenca attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Ushuaia can be very cold during winter. Cuenca can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Cuenca is much warmer than Ushuaia. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cuenca in January average around 4°C (39°F), and Ushuaia averages at about 2°C (36°F)in July.

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

  • Winter Average Temperatures January and July
    Cuenca 4°C (39°F) 
    Ushuaia 2°C (36°F)

Should I visit Cuenca or Ushuaia in the Spring?

Both Ushuaia and Cuenca are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Cuenca throughout the year.

In April, Cuenca is generally much warmer than Ushuaiain October. Daily temperatures in Cuenca average around 10°C (50°F), and Ushuaia fluctuates around 6°C (43°F).

In April, Cuenca usually receives more rain than Ushuaiain October. Cuenca gets 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Ushuaia receives 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April and October
    Cuenca 10°C (50°F) 
    Ushuaia 6°C (43°F)

Typical Weather for Ushuaia and Cuenca

Cuenca Ushuaia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (39°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 10°C (50°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Feb 6°C (43°F) 22 mm (0.9 in) 10°C (50°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 8°C (46°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Apr 10°C (50°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 6°C (43°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 3°C (37°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 1°C (34°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Jul 22°C (72°F) 17 mm (0.7 in) 2°C (36°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 2°C (36°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Sep 17°C (63°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 4°C (39°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 6°C (43°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 8°C (46°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 9°C (48°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Cuenca vs. Ushuaia Travel Comparison

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