Should you visit Cuenca or Valdivia?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Cuenca and Valdivia. 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.
Valdivia is a vibrant university city situated in southern Chile. It sits at the meeting point of three rivers in the aptly named Region de Los Rios (The Rivers Region) and is approximately 200 kilometers from both Temuco and Puerto Montt. Due to a large student population, Valdivia boasts a youthful and energetic vibe that is visible in its many bars, cafes and restaurants. The city is also known for having one of Chile's best craft beer cultures, which had its early beginnings when German settlers arrived in the 1840s. The rivers, nearby Pacific coastline and wetlands offer plenty for lovers of the outdoors, too.
Which city is cheaper, Valdivia 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 Valdivia is $70. 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 Valdivia 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 $82 in Valdivia 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.
Valdivia food costs typically run travelers around $22 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
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):
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.
To get around in Valdivia, the average visitor spends $8.25 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
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 Valdivia
Also for Valdivia, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Valdivia Airport Private Transfer:
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.
In Valdivia, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.
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 Valdivia
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Valdivia.
Sightseeing Tour in Valdivia:
City tour in Valdivia & Niebla:
Kayak Experience in Valdivia:
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 Valdivia, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.89.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cuenca and Valdivia, we can see that Valdivia 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 Valdivia would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Valdivia than you might in Cuenca.
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