A Travel Price Comparison for Peru Huaraz vs. Cusco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Huaraz or Cusco?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Huaraz and Cusco can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Huaraz or Cusco?

Huaraz

Huaraz is a large town in the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru's Central Sierra. Huaraz stands tall at 3100m; travellers from Lima might need a day or two to acclimatize to the change in atmosphere. Nearly wiped out by the earthquake of 1970, the town of 100,000 blends a mix of modern and native culture. Huarez is first and foremost a trekking metropolis. During high season the streets buzz with hundreds of backpackers and adventurers freshly returned from arduous hikes or planning their next expedition. The town has many markets, shops, quality restaurants and hopping bars catering to tourist and local needs. Mountain adventures in the off-season can be equally rewarding, but the vibe is calmer and some places go into hibernation once the rains set in.

Cusco

Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness.

Cusco is the starting point for many travelers making their way to the famed Machu Picchu or other Inca sites in the surrounding area.

The city is very beautiful and has impressive architecture throughout. The history is obvious as you walk around town and there are impressive ruins nearby, with the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman. The city also has a significant indigenous population that is obvious from their traditional clothing and style.

Cusco has a subtropical highland climate with a pleasant daytime temperature year around. There are two distinct seasons with the dry season being between May and August and the wet season between December and March. During the dry season there is plenty of sun with occasional nighttime freezes. Frost is less common in the wet season.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Peru, The Best 10-Day Tours in Peru, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Peru, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Peru.


Which place is cheaper, Cusco or Huaraz?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Huaraz is $50, while the average daily cost in Cusco is $51. 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 Huaraz and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Huaraz $20
    Cusco $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Huaraz $40
    Cusco $46
Compare Hotels in Huaraz and Cusco

Looking for a hotel in Huaraz or Cusco? 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 Huaraz


Hotels in Cusco


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: Huaraz Hotel Prices and Cusco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Huaraz $10
    Cusco $10
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Huaraz

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Huaraz are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $2.18

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.09

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Airport Cusco Transfers: $69
  • Convenient Transfer Service in Cusco: $41
  • Cusco – Puno Direct Transfers: $24
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival or Departure Transfer : $13
  • Cusco Airport Departure Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Private Departure Transfer: $14
  • Cusco Airport Private Transfer with large Van: $45
  • Cusco Airport Transfers: $8.00
  • Cusco Airport: Private 1-Way Transfer: $15
  • Cusco to Ollantaytambo: One-Way Private Transfer: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Huaraz or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Huaraz 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
    Huaraz $18
    Cusco $13
Typical Food Prices in Huaraz

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


  • Lunch
    $5.99
  • Chips
    $1.50

Typical Food Prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of dining costs in Cusco are as follows:


  • Sandwich
    $2.18
  • Mango
    $0.54

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

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

  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • 3-Hour Peruvian Cooking Class: $49
  • Pete's Peruvian Cooking Class: $52
  • Market Tour & Traditional Peruvian Cooking Class in Cusco: $53
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS DINNER - Short & Immersive Cooking Class: $53
  • Cooking Class and market tour with a local chef: $56
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class, Local Market Tour in Cusco: $57
  • Cusco Cooking Classes and San Pedro Market Tour: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market Tour: $63
  • Peruvian Cooking Class & Market Tour: $65
  • Curious Monkey Cusco- Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Huaraz $20
    Cusco $29
Typical Entertainment Prices in Huaraz

Here are a few typical costs in Huaraz for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Climbing Gear
    $17

Tours and Activities in Huaraz

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

  • Traditional Picante de Cuy Gastronomy Tour in Huaraz: $15
  • 69 Lake Tour of Peru: $26
  • Glacier Pastoruri and Puya Raimondi Full Day Tour: $28
  • Lake 69 Trek Day Tour - White Mountain Range: $30
  • From Huaraz || Full day tour Laguna 69 in -Cordillera Blanca: $36
  • From Tour to Llanganuco Lakes (Chinancocha Lake): $37
  • From Tour to Archeological Complex of Chavin: $38
  • Pachamanca Gastronomy Tour in Huaraz: $40
  • Lake 69 Full-Day Hiking Tour from Huaraz: $40
  • Ancash: Nevado pastors and puyas Raymondi Tour | Full Day |: $40
  • From Lake 69 Trek Day Tour - White Mountain Range: $46
  • From Chavín de Huantar fullday tour: $56

Typical Entertainment Prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Cusco are as follows:


  • Salsa Class
    $2.72

Tours and Activities in Cusco

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cusco are as follows:

  • Free Walking Tour of Cusco: $2.00
  • Cusco : Half Day City Tour: $9.00
  • Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $10
  • City Tour Cusco: $10
  • City tours Cusco: $10
  • Combined city tour cusco: $10
  • Cusco City Tour: $10
  • Cusco City Tour including Sacsayhuaman Koricancha and Tambomachay: $10
  • extreme adventure in cusco warachicuy adventure park: $11
  • Mirabus City Tour | Panoramic View: $12
  • Open Bus Tour of the City’s Wonder’s: $12
  • Mirabus Cusco city tour | Panoramic view |: $12

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Huaraz $15
    Cusco $9.58

Sample the Local Flavors in Cusco

Also in Cusco, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Cusco Pub Crawl - Bar Tour Cusco : $18
  • Cusco Pub Crawl: Cusco Bar Hopping Experience : $18
  • Exclusive Pub Crawl with 10+ benefits: $18
  • Pub Crawl with Skip-the-Line Access and Drinks: $18
  • Exclusive Pub Crawl with more than 10 Benefits: $25


When comparing the travel costs between Huaraz and Cusco, we can see that Cusco is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Huaraz or Cusco?

Cusco has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Huaraz. When comparing the sizes of Huaraz and Cusco, 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.