A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Cusco vs. El Chalten

Should you visit Cusco or El Chalten?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Cusco or El Chalten, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Cusco

Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness. (Read this advice about managing the altitude in Cusco and Machu Picchu.)

El Chalten

El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.

Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or Cusco?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cusco is $40, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $73. 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 Cusco and El Chalten in more detail.




Accommodation

A hotel room in Cusco is about $36 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $64. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cusco $18
    El Chalten $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cusco $36
    El Chalten $64


Food

Cusco food costs typically run travelers around $10 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.

While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $27 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cusco $10
    El Chalten $27
Typical Food prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of dining costs in Cusco are as follows:


  • Sandwich
    $2.10
  • Mango
    $0.52

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

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

  • Small-Group Virtual Peruvian Cooking Experience: $25
  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • Tunupa Cusco Restaurant: Dinner with Show: $28
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS LUNCH 12:00PM TO 1:30PM (Available only in English): $37
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $39
  • Dinner at Calle del Medio restaurant: $40
  • Dinner at Pachapapa restaurant.: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Classes: $43
  • Dinner at Tunupa restaurant with folkloric show.: $45
  • Dinner at Inca Grill Restaurant: $45
  • Curious Monkey- The Gordito, Walking Food Tour: $45
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $45


Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Cusco is $9.36 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 cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cusco $9.36
    El Chalten $17
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.05

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Transfer to Cusco Airport 2020: $5.36
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Departure Transfer: $7.00
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $8.20
  • Cusco Airport Transfers: $8.70
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.00
  • Pickup from Cuzco airport and transfer to your hotel in Private vehicle: $9.52
  • Cusco Airport Departure Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $9.70
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $10
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $10
  • Transfer from Cusco city to the airport: $10


Entertainment

Cusco's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 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 and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $19 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cusco $22
    El Chalten $19
Typical Entertainment prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Cusco are as follows:


  • Salsa Class
    $2.62

Tours and Activities in Cusco

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

  • Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $7.00
  • the best tour 4 ruins cusco: $10
  • Cusco Cathedral Admission Ticket: $10
  • Walking tour in Cusco: $10
  • Walking Tour Game: $11
  • city cusco tour: $12
  • City Tour in Cusco: $14
  • Tours in Cusco with mgtravelsperu: $14
  • Machu Picchu: 2-Hour Small Group Guided Tour: $14
  • City Tour cusco and archaeological sites: $15
  • Shared Cusco City Tour by Bus: $15
  • City Tour Cusco Peru: $15

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305
  • 2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre: $333
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $553
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $789


Alcohol

The average person spends about $7.33 on alcoholic beverages in Cusco per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

The average person spends about $8.90 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cusco $7.33
    El Chalten $8.90



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

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Cusco vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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