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

Should you visit Guayaquil or Cuenca?

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

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

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Ecuador, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Ecuador, The Best Wildlife Tours to Ecuador, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Ecuador.


Which place 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 $95, while the average daily cost in Cuenca is $42. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Guayaquil and Cuenca in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guayaquil $32
    Cuenca $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guayaquil $64
    Cuenca $26
Compare Hotels in Guayaquil and Cuenca

Looking for a hotel in Guayaquil or Cuenca? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Guayaquil


Hotels in Cuenca


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Guayaquil Hotel Prices and Cuenca Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Guayaquil $15
    Cuenca $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guayaquil

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

  • Guayaquil Airport (GYE) to Guayaquil hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $52
  • Guayaquil Airport (GYE): Transfer to Guayaquil hotels: $129
  • Guayaquil Airport GYE to Guayaquil city -Arrival Private Transfer: $29
  • Guayaquil Airport Private Transfer Service: $80
  • Guayaquil Airport(GYE) to Guayaquil - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $59
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Arrival Transfer from the Airport to Hotels: $18
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Arrival Transfer from the Airport to Hotels: $17
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Departure Transfer from Hotels to the Airport.: $17
  • Private Airport Transfer from Guayaquil Airport to Hotel: $20
  • Private Transfer Out From Hotel to Guayaquil Airport: $25
  • Private Transfer from Guayaquil Airport(GYE) to Manta Cruise Port: $88
  • Private Transfer from Guayaquil Airport(GYE) to Manta Cruise Port: $98

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:

  • Shared transfer from Hotel to Airport in Cuenca: $47
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $104

Is it cheaper to fly into Guayaquil or Cuenca?

Prices for flights to both Cuenca and Guayaquil 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
    Guayaquil $29
    Cuenca $15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guayaquil

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

  • Half Day Guayaquil Culinary Adventure, Cacao Cooking Class: $185

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.

  • Street food Tour in Cuenca,Ecuador: $33
  • Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca: $55
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guayaquil $21
    Cuenca $16

Tours and Activities in Guayaquil

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

  • Shared Walking Tour in Guayaquil City: $35
  • City Tour Guayaquil: $40
  • Guayaquil City Tour: $40
  • Self-guided walking tour of Guayaquil's landmarks.: $45
  • Private Experience of Flavors and Wine Pairing in Guayaquil: $52
  • From Montañita: Paragliding Experience: $55
  • City Tour with Hotel Pickup and Drop-off: $63
  • Guayaquil to Cuenca one-way tour with Cajas Park and a Cacao Farm visit: $74
  • City Tour around Guayaquil: $75
  • Private Guayaquil City Tour and Parque Historico: $80
  • Guayaquil City Tour Including the Light House of Cerro Santa Ana: $80
  • Guayaquil Layover Sightseeing Tour with Round-Trip Airport Transport: $82

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

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

  • Cuenca-Ec- City Tour with Panama Hat factory Half Day: $30
  • Amazing Cajas National Park Tour from Cuenca: $48
  • Azuay: San Bartolomé, Gualaceo, and Chordeleg Artisanal Tour: $63
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $50
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Giron and Yunguilla Jocotoco Reserve from Cuenca: $150
  • Birdwatching Tour, Via Gualaceo to the Eastern slope from Cuenca: $130
  • Cajas National Park Half Day Tour from Cuenca: $40
  • Cajas National Park Small-Group tour from Cuenca: $49
  • Cajas National Park Tour from Cuenca: $49
  • Cajas National Park and Cuenca City private Tour: $115
  • Cuenca City Half Day Tour: $52

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guayaquil $17
    Cuenca $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Guayaquil

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

  • Wine Tasting Experience with Tasting Menu: $55
  • Taste and discover the factory of a craft brewery: $65


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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Guayaquil Expensive? and Is Cuenca Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Guayaquil or Cuenca?

Guayaquil has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Cuenca. When comparing the sizes of Guayaquil and Cuenca, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Guayaquil or Cuenca?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Should I visit Guayaquil or Cuenca in the Summer?

Both Cuenca and Guayaquil during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Guayaquil because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Cuenca year-round.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Guayaquil. Guayaquil usually gets more rain in July than Cuenca. Guayaquil gets 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

In July, Guayaquil is generally around the same temperature as Cuenca. Daily temperatures in Guayaquil average around 23°C (73°F), and Cuenca fluctuates around 22°C (72°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Guayaquil 23°C (73°F) 
    Cuenca 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Guayaquil or Cuenca in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Guayaquil and Cuenca. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Guayaquil year-round. Cuenca attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

In October, Guayaquil usually receives more rain than Cuenca. Guayaquil gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

Guayaquil is much warmer than Cuenca in the autumn. The daily temperature in Guayaquil averages around 23°C (73°F) in October, and Cuenca fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Guayaquil 23°C (73°F) 
    Cuenca 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Guayaquil or Cuenca in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Guayaquil as well as Cuenca. Guayaquil attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Cuenca throughout the year.

Guayaquil receives a lot of rain in the winter. Guayaquil usually gets more rain in January than Cuenca. Guayaquil gets 190 mm (7.5 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 14 mm (0.6 in) of rain this time of the year.

The weather in Cuenca can be very cold. In the winter, Guayaquil is much warmer than Cuenca. Typically, the winter temperatures in Guayaquil in January average around 28°C (82°F), and Cuenca averages at about 4°C (39°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Guayaquil 28°C (82°F) 
    Cuenca 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Guayaquil or Cuenca in the Spring?

Both Cuenca and Guayaquil are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Guayaquil throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Cuenca because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

It's quite rainy in Guayaquil. In April, Guayaquil usually receives more rain than Cuenca. Guayaquil gets 120 mm (4.7 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain each month for the spring.

In April, Guayaquil is generally much warmer than Cuenca. Daily temperatures in Guayaquil average around 28°C (82°F), and Cuenca fluctuates around 10°C (50°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Guayaquil 28°C (82°F) 
    Cuenca 10°C (50°F)

Typical Weather for Cuenca and Guayaquil

Guayaquil Cuenca
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 28°C (82°F) 190 mm (7.5 in) 4°C (39°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Feb 27°C (81°F) 230 mm (9.1 in) 6°C (43°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Mar 28°C (82°F) 220 mm (8.7 in) 8°C (46°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Apr 28°C (82°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 10°C (50°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
May 27°C (81°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 14°C (57°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 23°C (73°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Sep 25°C (77°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 17°C (63°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Oct 23°C (73°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 12°C (54°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Nov 26°C (79°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 7°C (45°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 130 mm (5.1 in) 5°C (41°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)