Should you visit Galapagos Islands or Paracas?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Galapagos Islands or Paracas, 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.
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.
Paracas, also known as El Chaco, is a resort town on the Southern coast of the country, about 150 miles south of Lima. The town in located in one of the oldest regions of Peru, with a history dating back to 900 BC and offers many pre-Inca cultural sites throughout the area. Paracas is possibly best known for being home to the Paracas National Reserve, a nature reserve boasting one of the most abundant and diverse ecosystems in the world.
Which city is cheaper, Paracas 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 Paracas is $49. 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 Paracas in more detail.
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.
Paracas's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $34. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $17.
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.
Paracas food costs typically run travelers around $18 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
Galapagos Islands $27
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paracas
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Paracas.
Dinner on Paracas Desert:
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.
The average price of local transportation around Paracas is $14 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.
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:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Paracas
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Paracas:
Private transfer from Paracas to Lima Airport (price per vehicle):
Private transfer from Paracas to Lima (price per vehicle):
Transfer Paracas -Lima:
Private Transfer from Paracas to Ica:
Private Bus Station transfer in Paracas:
In Galapagos Islands, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $28 per person, per day.
Paracas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $19 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.
Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galapagos Islands.
4-Day Galapagos Islands Express Tour:
4-Day Galapagos Land Tour Visiting Isabela and Santa Cruz:
4-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
4-Day Budget Isabela Tour:
Galapagos Discovery Tour 4 Days / 3 Nights:
5-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
4-Day Galapagos Tour: Santa Cruz & 2 Uninhabited Islands:
5-Day Galapagos Diving Tour: Accommodation and Full-Day Diving Excursions:
5-Day Guided Galapagos & Los Tuneles Tour:
6-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
6-Day Galapagos Land Tour: Los Tuneles Program:
7-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
Tours and Activities in Paracas
Here are a few actual costs in Paracas for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
ATV Tour in Paracas:
Ballestas Islands Group Tour from Paracas:
Ballestas Islands Private Group Tour:
Ballestas Islands Sightseeing Boat Ride from Paracas:
Ballestas Islands Sigthseeing Tour:
Ballestas Islands and Chandelier tour from Paracas:
Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Park from the Cruise pier San Martin:
Ballestas Islands for cruise ship passenger - Paracas Harbour:
Buggy & Sandboard Adventure in Paracas:
Desert Adventure: Luxury Picnic, Off-Road & Sandboarding:
From 2-Hour Private Ballestas Islands Tour:
From Ica Vineyard Private Tour Including Lunch and Tasting:
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.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Paracas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.64 per day on alcoholic beverages.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Galapagos Islands and Paracas, we can see that Galapagos Islands is more expensive. And not only is Paracas much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Paracas would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Paracas 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 Paracas.
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