A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Galapagos Islands vs. Machu Picchu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Galapagos Islands or Machu Picchu?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Galapagos Islands or Machu Picchu, 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.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife, much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises let visitors get up close. This archipelago of about 19 islands and many smaller islets found over 620 miles off Ecuador's coast in the Pacific Ocean is a double World Heritage site, where both land and sea are protected. Each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from black, volcanic rocks to white sand beaches and gemstone-blue waters. There is no bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands but the busiest months for tourism tend to be June, July and August, as well as mid-December to mid-January. This is when prices are at their highest.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a site of ancient Inca ruins located about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cuzco, Peru, in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba of the Andes Mountains. It is perched above the Urubamba River valley in a narrow saddle between two sharp peaks, Machu Picchu ("Old Peak") and Huayna Picchu ("New Peak"), at an elevation of 7,710 feet (2,350 metres). One of the few major pre-Columbian ruins found nearly intact, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. Thus, Machu Picchu is not only an impressive remnant of the Inca civilization, it is also one of the world's most important archaeological sites. A stop at Machu Picchu is an essential part of any traveler's itinerary in Peru, as it is one of the seven wonders of the world.

Which city is cheaper, Machu Picchu or Galapagos Islands?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Galapagos Islands is $111, while the average daily cost in Machu Picchu is $78. 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 Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Galapagos Islands can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $52, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $104.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $60 in Machu Picchu For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Galapagos Islands $52
    Machu Picchu $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Galapagos Islands $104
    Machu Picchu $60

Food

The average traveler spends about $27 per day in Galapagos Islands 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 Machu Picchu can vary, the average travelers spends about $18 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Machu Picchu should cost around $7.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Machu Picchu is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Galapagos Islands $27
    Machu Picchu $18

Local Transportation

To get around in Galapagos Islands, the average visitor spends $43 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 Machu Picchu, the average visitor spends $21 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Galapagos Islands $43
    Machu Picchu $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galapagos Islands

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

  • Private Transfer In from Baltra Airport to Hotels in Santa Cruz Island: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Galapagos Islands or Machu Picchu?

Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu and Galapagos Islands 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.





Entertainment

In Galapagos Islands, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $28 per person, per day.

In Machu Picchu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $55 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Galapagos Islands $28
    Machu Picchu $55

Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands

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

  • 4-Day Budget Isabela Tour: $1,106
  • 4-Day Galapagos Islands Express Tour: $714
  • 4-Day Galapagos Land Tour Visiting Isabela and Santa Cruz: $876
  • 4-Day Galapagos Tour: Santa Cruz & 2 Uninhabited Islands: $1,239
  • 4-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,090
  • 5 days in Galapagos | Bonita Tourist Superior Cruise | Northern Itinerary 2021: $2,287
  • 5-Day Cruise of Galapagos Islands: $2,849
  • 5-Day Galapagos Diving Tour: Accommodation and Full-Day Diving Excursions: $1,286
  • 5-Day Guided Galapagos & Los Tuneles Tour: $1,289
  • 5-Day Tour Galapagos Multisport: $1,599
  • 5-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,195
  • 6 Days in Galapagos | Eco Galaxy First Class Cruise | Western Itinerary 2021: $4,590

Typical Entertainment prices in Machu Picchu

For Machu Picchu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Gardens of Mandor
    $2.44

Tours and Activities in Machu Picchu

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

  • Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Ruin and Mountain: $53
  • Huaynapicchu mountain hike + Machu Picchu entrance ticket: $40
  • Inca Jungle Trek and Mountain Bike Tour - 4 days: $524
  • LGBT-Full-Day: Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu with Panoramic train: $495
  • LGBT:. Full day - Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu: $875
  • Machu Picchu Admission Ticket: $31
  • Machu Picchu And Huayna Picchu Morning Entrance Ticket: $88
  • Machu Picchu Exclusive Full Day Tour: $510
  • Machu Picchu Full Day Private Tour: $492
  • Machu Picchu Official Entrance Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Official Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Ticket: Official Entrance Ticket: $63

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Galapagos Islands, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Machu Picchu, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.95.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Galapagos Islands $12
    Machu Picchu $4.95


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

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Galapagos Islands vs. Machu Picchu Travel Comparison

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