A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Guayaquil vs. Cuenca

Should you visit Guayaquil or Cuenca?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Guayaquil or Cuenca, 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.

Guayaquil

Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest city and seaport. From a tourist perspective, the city acts primarily as a transportation gateway to the country and the Galapagos Islands. While the city can be skipped altogether, should you have a free day to spend here, there are a few noteworthy things to do, as well as some terrific dining and nightlife options. Guayaquil’s main tourist attraction is Las Penas, a hill with old, colorfully painted buildings at the north end of the Malecon, where you can walk the 400 steps to the lighthouse at the top for good views of the city. The neighborhood is filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, and art galleries and is relatively safe. Other important sights include the Malecon 2000, a massive urban development project that has brought new life to the riverside in the city center and the Parque Seminario, filled with fountains, trees and iguanas, located at 10 de Agosto Ave and Chile Ave.

Cuenca

Cuenca is a vibrant colonial city in southern Ecuador, the third largest in the country, and the capital of Azuay Province. Cuenca is considered as Ecuador's most important and beautiful colonial city after Quito. Dating from the 16th century, Cuenca's historic center, a Unesco World Heritage Site with its trademark skyline of massive rotundas and soaring steeples, is a magical sight in which you will feel like you are moving back in time. Cuenca is the center of many craft traditions, including ceramics, metalwork and the internationally famous panama hat. The nearby villages also offer many other handicrafts. Tourists enjoy wandering the ancient streets discovering picturesque alleys and hidden corners, where nuns march along cobblestone streets and kids in Catholic-school uniforms skip past historic churches. Fascinating historic monuments and fabulous views are found at every turn. Cuenca also has outstanding art museums and festivals. For a rewarding cultural experience, visit during Easter to attend the Festival of Religious Music.

Which city is cheaper, Cuenca or Guayaquil?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Guayaquil is $76, while the average daily cost in Cuenca is $34. 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 Guayaquil and Cuenca in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Guayaquil can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $25, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $50.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $20 for a double occupancy room in Cuenca.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guayaquil $25
    Cuenca $9.97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guayaquil $50
    Cuenca $20

Food

In Guayaquil travelers spend around $23 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

Food in Cuenca costs travelers about $12 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Guayaquil $23
    Cuenca $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guayaquil

For Guayaquil, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Homemade Local Food Tour in Guayaquil: $95
  • Cooking Class with Market Visit!: $103
  • Half Day :Eco Cooking Class and culinary Experience (Departure from Guayaquil): $135

Typical Food prices in Cuenca

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cuenca:


  • Lunch
    $10
  • Snacks
    $5.00
  • Empanada
    $1.50
  • Hot Dog
    $1.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cuenca

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

  • Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca: $55
  • Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour): $95

Local Transportation

Guayaquil's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $12 per person, per day on transportation in Guayaquil.

The average price of local transportation around Cuenca is $8.60 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Guayaquil $12
    Cuenca $8.60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guayaquil

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer: Guayaquil Airport GYE to Guayaquil City by Minivan: $74
  • Departure Private Transfer: Guayaquil City to Guayaquil Airport GYE by Minivan: $74
  • Golf at Lacosta Country Club in Guayaquil with Transfers: $175
  • Guayaquil Airport Private Transfer Service: $80
  • Guayaquil Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Guayaquil Departure Transfer: $15
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Arrival Transfer from the Airport to Hotels: $13
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Arrival Transfer from the Airport to Hotels: $14
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Arrival Transfer from the Airport to Hotels: $14
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Departure Transfer from Hotels to the Airport: $14
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Departure Transfer from Hotels to the Airport: $14
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Departure Transfer from Hotels to the Airport: $13

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cuenca

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $2.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cuenca

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cuenca:

  • Transfer In Cuenca Airport - Hotel: $25
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $83
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca City Center to Madrid City Center: $147
  • Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan: $74
  • Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Cuenca to Alausi Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Cuenca Departure Transfer: $15
  • Cuenca Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Cuenca Airport Shuttle Transfer: $19
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan: $74

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Guayaquil can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $17 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Cuenca's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guayaquil $17
    Cuenca $13

Tours and Activities in Guayaquil

For Guayaquil, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Walking Tour in the Artisan Market of Guayaquil: $9.99
  • Shared Walking Tour in Guayaquil City: $20
  • Guayaquil - City tour: $20
  • City Tour Guayaquil: $20
  • Shared Walking Tour in Guayaquil City: $20
  • Private Guayaquil City Tour: $27
  • Guayaquil City Tour: $30
  • 3-Hour City Tour: $40
  • Historical Park tour - Guayaquil: $40
  • Tour to the Zoo El Pantanal in Guayaquil: $40
  • Guayaquil Museum Tour: $43
  • Guayaquil City Tour Including the Light House of Cerro Santa Ana: $49

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

Here are a few actual costs in Cuenca for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 4-Day Magic Tour Cuenca, Alausi town, BaƱos, Quilotoa, Cotopaxi and Quito: $675
  • 5-Day Rock Climbing Tour in Cojitambo, Paute, GirĆ³n, Cajas and Sayausi: $400
  • 5-Day Trekking Rock, Climbing, Canyoning and Paragliding Tour: $474
  • BIKE TOUR "Descent of The Andes": $59
  • BaƱos Private Guided 4-day tour from Cuenca: $691
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45
  • Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca: $30
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Giron and Yunguilla Jocotoco Reserve from Cuenca: $129
  • Birdwatching Tour in Tamarindo Tropical Forest area from Cuenca: $130
  • Birdwatching Tour in Via Sigsig,Chiguinda from Cuenca: $130

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Guayaquil spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cuenca may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guayaquil $14
    Cuenca $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Guayaquil

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Guayaquil:

  • Process and Wine Tasting in Cellar Two Hemispheres - Puerto El Morro: $294


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

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Guayaquil vs. Cuenca Travel Comparison

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