A Travel Price Comparison for Peru Lake Titicaca (Puno) vs. Cusco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Lake Titicaca (Puno) or Cusco?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Lake Titicaca (Puno) and Cusco. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Lake Titicaca (Puno) or Cusco?

Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Lake Titicaca, which directly translates to "puma stone" in Quechua, is located high in the Andes Mountains straddling Peru and Bolivia, with about 60% of the lake in Peru and 40% in Bolivia. Among the lake are three main islands, the most popular of which are the Uros Islands, also known as the floating islands, where the Uros people live on totora reeds that grow in the lake.

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 Photography Tours in Peru, The Best Jungle Trekking Tours in Peru, The Best Luxury Tours to Peru, and The Best Budget Tours to Peru.


Which place is cheaper, Cusco or Lake Titicaca (Puno)?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lake Titicaca (Puno) is $55, 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $26
    Cusco $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $52
    Cusco $46
Compare Hotels in Lake Titicaca (Puno) and Cusco

Looking for a hotel in Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno)


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: Lake Titicaca (Puno) Hotel Prices and Cusco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $11
    Cusco $10
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Lake Titicaca (Puno):


  • Taxi
    $0.81

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno):

  • Puno Airport Shared Transfer: $20
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Puno to Puerto de Puno: $21
  • Private Transfer from Puerto de Puno to Hotel Puno: $21
  • Puno Airport Private Transfer: $44
  • Private Transfer from Puno to Desaguadero: $192
  • Private Transfer from Puno to Frontera Kasani: $201
  • Direct Private Transfer From Puno to Cusco, English Local Speaking Driver: $204
  • Private Transfer From Puno to Oruro with English Speaking Driver: $240
  • Private Transfer From Puno to Oruro With a Stop in Lake Titicaca: $283
  • Private Transfer From Puno to Chivay With a 2 Hour Stop: $294

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:

  • Transfers in Cusco: $6.00
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $6.12
  • Cusco Airport Transfers: $8.00
  • Private 1-Way Transfer to Velasco Astete Airport: $9.00
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.00
  • One-Way Airport Transfer to Hotel: $9.50
  • Pickup from Cusco airport and transfer to your hotel in Private vehicle: $9.52
  • Cusco Airport Departure Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.67
  • Private Transfer From the Airport to your Hotel in Cuzco: $9.68
  • Private Shuttle Transfer from Cusco Airport (CUZ) to Hotels in Cusco: $9.90
  • Transfer Hotel to Airport in Cusco | Private Service |: $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Lake Titicaca (Puno) or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $15
    Cusco $13
Typical Food Prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lake Titicaca (Puno) are as follows:


  • Tamales
    $1.49

Typical Food Prices in Cusco

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


  • Sandwich
    $2.17
  • 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
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $59
  • Cusco Cooking Classes and San Pedro Market Tour: $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.
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $29
    Cusco $29

Tours and Activities in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lake Titicaca (Puno) are as follows:

  • Half Day Tour to Sillustani from Puno : $22
  • Sillustani / 4-hour tour from Puno: $25
  • Walking City tour Puno: $25
  • Morning: Uros Floating Islands Tour from Puno: $25
  • Half Day Tour in Sillustani: $26
  • 3h Boat Tour to Uros Island from Puno: $38
  • Full Day Tour Uros and Taquile (Speed Boat): $40
  • Full Day Guided Tour of the Aymara Route from Puno: $40
  • Lake Titicaca Day Tour from Puno: $44
  • Tour to Uros and Taquile Islands in a Fast Boat: $45
  • Uros and Taquile Islands Full Day Tour with lunch: $49
  • 3 Hour Guided Kayaking Tour in Lake Titicaca: $50

Typical Entertainment Prices in Cusco

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


  • Salsa Class
    $2.71

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
  • Cusco City Tour: $10
  • Cusco City Tour including Sacsayhuaman Koricancha and Tambomachay: $10
  • Combined city tour cusco: $10
  • Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $10
  • Guided Walking Tour with fluent English: $10
  • extreme adventure in cusco warachicuy adventure park: $11
  • Mirabus Cusco city tour | Panoramic view |: $12
  • Sightseeing Tour of the City on an Open-Top Bus: $12
  • City tours Cusco: $12
  • Mirabus Cusco city tour | Panoramic view |: $12

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $13
    Cusco $9.56

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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) and Cusco, we can see that Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) Expensive? and Is Cusco Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Lake Titicaca (Puno) or Cusco?

Cusco has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Lake Titicaca (Puno). When comparing the sizes of Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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.