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

Should you visit Cusco or El Chalten?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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

Where Should I go: Cusco or El Chalten?

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 $38, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $47. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cusco and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cusco $17
    El Chalten $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cusco $34
    El Chalten $42

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cusco $7.58
    El Chalten $11
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.02

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
  • Private 1-Way Transfer to Velasco Astete Airport: $9.00
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.00
  • One-Way Airport Transfer to Hotel: $9.50
  • 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

Is it cheaper to fly into Cusco or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Cusco 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cusco $9.86
    El Chalten $17
Typical Food prices in Cusco

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


  • Sandwich
    $2.05
  • Mango
    $0.51

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 Class and Local Market Tour: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Classes: $43
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $45
  • Dinner at Tunupa restaurant with folkloric show.: $45
  • Dinner at Inca Grill Restaurant: $45

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cusco $22
    El Chalten $13
Typical Entertainment prices in Cusco

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


  • Salsa Class
    $2.56

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
  • Open-Top Bus City Tour: $12
  • Short Guided Bus Tour: $13
  • City Tour in Cusco: $14
  • Tours in Cusco with mgtravelsperu: $14
  • City Tour cusco and archaeological sites: $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
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cusco $7.20
    El Chalten $5.76


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.

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.

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Cusco vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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