Should you visit Durango or Moab?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Durango and Moab. 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.
Located in the State of Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains, Durango is on the tourist maps because of its historic narrow gauge railroad that connects the city to the town of Silverton. Durango has a population of just over 16,000 and it is only a short distance from the "four corners" area where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado all meet. The landscape surrounding Durango is quite impressive and includes the Animas River Valley, the San Juan Mountains, and some beautiful red sandstone bluffs.
Moab is the closest town to Arches National Park in Utah's Canyon Country. It is also a popular base for exploring Canyonlands National Park. It's a small town that serves mainly to accommodate tourists to the popular national parks and other surrounding wildlife areas. It has grown dramatically in recent years and has a population of just over 5,000. In town you will find hotels and motels, a handful of restaurants and a few shops where you can stock up on supplies. There's a small museum, the Museum of Moab, and a variety of tour operators in town. You can easily book river rafting trips, jeep expeditions, and tours of the surrounding area. For many, exploring Arches National Park on your own is a more enjoyable and independent experience.
Which city is cheaper, Moab or Durango?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Durango is $49, while the average daily cost in Moab is $124. 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 Durango and Moab in more detail.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Durango, $42 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Durango, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $21, such as in a hostel.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $164 in Moab For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average traveler spends about $13 per day in Durango for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
While meal prices in Moab can vary, the average travelers spends about $30 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Moab should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Moab is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Moab
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Moab:
Breakfast for Two
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Moab
For Moab, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Sound and Light Show with Dinner:
Moab Dinner Cruise with Sound and Light Show:
Colorado River Sunset Boat Tour with Optional Dinner:
Sunset Jetboat Ride with Dinner on the Colorado River from Moab:
To get around in Durango, the average visitor spends $20 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.
To get around in Moab, the average visitor spends $14 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.
In Durango, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.
In Moab, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $2.50 per person, per day.
Typical Entertainment prices in Durango
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:
Hot Springs (for 2)
Tubing (for 2)
Tours and Activities in Durango
For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
12-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango:
Fun Tour by Tuk Tuk around Durango Old Town, Garai and Goiuria:
Private Full-Day Fishing Experience in San Juan River:
Private Guided Tour by Tuk Tuk of Durango and Elorrio:
Private Guided Tour by tuk tuk of Durango and Atxondo:
Private Tour in Durango and Mendiola by Tuk Tuk:
Province of Vizcaya Half-Day Private Guided Tuk Tuk Tour:
Typical Entertainment prices in Moab
For Moab, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Slickrock Trail Pass
Tours and Activities in Moab
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Moab.
4 Hours Guided Mountain Biking Tour:
Arches National Park 4x4 Adventure from Moab:
Arches National Park Air tour:
Arches National Park Backcountry 4x4 Half-Day Tour:
Arches National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour:
Backcountry Jeep Adventure:
Canyonlands & Arches National Park Air Tour:
Canyonlands Backcountry 4x4 Half-Day Tour:
Canyonlands National Park Air Tour:
Canyonlands National Park Half-Day Tour from Moab:
Cataract Canyon Rafting Adventure from Moab:
Colorado River Fisher Towers Full-Day Rafting Adventure:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Moab, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $53.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durango and Moab, we can see that Moab is more expensive. And not only is Durango much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Durango would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Durango 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 Moab would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Moab than you might in Durango.
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