A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Mendoza vs. Cusco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Mendoza or Cusco?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Mendoza 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. So, let's dig into it.

Mendoza

Mendoza is a city in western Argentina and more precisely in the desertic Cuyo region. Mendoza is the center of the Argentinian wine industry and is famed around the world for its vineyards and wine production. Spread across the valley of the Rio Mendoza and in the foothills of the Andean mountain range, Mendoza is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. The bustling and scenic city of wide, leafy avenues, atmospheric plazas and cosmopolitan cafes spoils visitors with unique natural attractions and historical landmarks. If you can, visit Mendoza during the harvest festival at the end of February. There are many events and festivals in Mendoza and they are usually free. Each has a different theme, and they usually have a stage with singing and dancing and booths that sell food around a plaza. Seventy percent of Argentina's wines are produced here, and Mendoza is especially known for its world-famous malbecs.

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. (Read this advice about managing the altitude in Cusco and Machu Picchu.)

Which city is cheaper, Cusco or Mendoza?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mendoza is $52, while the average daily cost in Cusco is $38. 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 Mendoza and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Mendoza, $40 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Mendoza, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $20, such as in a hostel.

A hotel room in Cusco is about $34 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mendoza $20
    Cusco $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mendoza $40
    Cusco $34

Food

While meal prices in Mendoza can vary, the average travelers spends about $23 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Mendoza should cost around $9.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Mendoza is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

Cusco food costs typically run travelers around $9.59 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Mendoza $23
    Cusco $9.59
Typical Food prices in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Empanadas
    $0.10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mendoza

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

  • Gourmet Dinner at Espacio Trapiche: $54
  • Cooking class experience at a Mendoza winery: $145
  • Asado cooking class and dinner in Mendoza city.: $168
  • Winery dinner. Enjoy the best restaurant in a winery: $252

Typical Food prices in Cusco

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


  • Sandwich
    $1.95
  • Mango
    $0.49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

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

  • Small-Group Virtual Peruvian Cooking Experience: $25
  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • Tunupa Cusco Restaurant: Dinner with Show: $28
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS LUNCH 12:00PM TO 1:30PM (Available only in English): $37
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $39
  • Dinner at Calle del Medio restaurant: $40
  • Dinner at Pachapapa restaurant.: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Classes: $43
  • Dinner at Tunupa restaurant with folkloric show.: $45
  • Dinner at Inca Grill Restaurant: $45
  • Curious Monkey- The Gordito, Walking Food Tour: $45
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $45

Local Transportation

Mendoza'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 $10 per person, per day on transportation in Mendoza.

The average price of local transportation around Cusco is $8.69 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.
    Mendoza $10
    Cusco $8.69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mendoza

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

  • Mendoza Airport Shuttle Transfer: $11
  • Shared Transfer Mendoza Bus Station / Downtown Hotel: $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ) to Mendoza: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Mendoza to El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ): $22
  • One Way Transfer - Mendoza Airport to/from Mendoza City: $25
  • Private Transfer in Mendoza: $29
  • Mendoza Airport Arrival Transfer: $55
  • Premium Spa Day & Fango Therapy at Cacheuta Hot Springs with Lunch and Transfers: $93

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.97

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Transfer to Ollantaytambo Cusco Peru: $51
  • Transfer to Cusco Airport 2020: $5.36
  • Transfer services - airport / hotel: $45
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cusco Alejandro Velasco Airport to Cusco City: $11
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cusco City to Airport: $17
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cusco Alejandro Velasco Airport to Cusco City: $17
  • Transfer from Cusco to Ollantaytambo Station or Hotels: $31
  • Transfer from Cusco city to the airport: $10
  • Transfer from Cusco Airport to the Hotel (Cusco): $17
  • Transfer From Cusco Airport: $10
  • Transfer From Airport to Cusco Center Hotels: $25
  • Transfer Cusco To Ollantaytambo: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Mendoza or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Mendoza 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Mendoza can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Cusco's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $20 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.
    Mendoza $15
    Cusco $20

Tours and Activities in Mendoza

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

  • Half Day Mendoza City Sightseeing Tour: $15
  • Mendoza City Tour: $15
  • FOLLOW MENDOZA, Walking City & Park tour: $20
  • Villavicencio Natural Reserve Half-Day Tour from Mendoza: $23
  • Mendoza City & General San Martin Park 2.5-Hour Tour: $28
  • Mendoza Half-Day Sightseeing Tour: $29
  • City Tour of Mendoza with Cerro de la Gloria: $32
  • From High Andes Aconcagua Mountain Tour: $32
  • Mendoza walking tour. Visit Mendoza city: $35
  • Wineries tour in Mendoza with La Carrodilla Church: $36
  • Full Day High Mountain Tour from Mendoza: $39
  • From San Rafael Sightseeing and Atuel Canyon Tour: $39

Typical Entertainment prices in Cusco

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


  • Salsa Class
    $2.44

Tours and Activities in Cusco

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

  • "Waqrapukara" Great Canyon Full Day Tour: $100
  • (H) Cusco 04 Days: City Tour - Sacred Valley - MachuPicchu (Group Tour): $550
  • (H) Inka Jungle Trail 04 Days (Group Tour): $336
  • 01 Day Tour to Machu Picchu The Inca City: $410
  • 07 Day Andean Experience Through the Living Culture of the Incas: $1,699
  • 07 Day: Inca Jungle Adventure with Mountain Bike, Rafting, Zipline & Trek: $999
  • 1 Day Hike on the Inca Trail + 1 Day in Machupicchu: Private 2 days Tour: $484
  • 1 Day Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu: $1,280
  • 1 Day Tour to Palcoyo Mountain and 4 Lagoons - private service: $359
  • 1 Day tour to Machupicchu: $340
  • 1-Day Machu Picchu Tour by Vistadome Train: $485
  • 1-Day Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco, Peru: $850

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Mendoza spend on average $8.79 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $6.81 on alcoholic beverages in Cusco per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mendoza $8.79
    Cusco $6.81
Typical Alcohol prices in Mendoza

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Mendoza:


  • Beer
    $0.06

Sample the Local Flavors in Mendoza

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

  • Vineyards with Wine Tasting in Mendoza: $21
  • Mendoza Wine Tour with Lunch: $80
  • Sunday Wine Tasting Tour and Argentinien BBQ: $80
  • Bike wine tour. Visit 2 of the best wineries: $81
  • Private Uco Valley Tour including Lunch and Wine Tasting from Mendoza: $95
  • Private Lujan Wine Tour with Gourmet Wine-Paired Lunch from Mendoza: $100
  • Mendoza 4-Day Sightseeing and Wine Tour: $103
  • Half day wine tour. Visit 2 wineries in Lujan de Cuyo: $103
  • Private Wine Tasting and Vineyards Tour from Mendoza: $136
  • Deluxe Mendoza Half-Day Wine Tasting Tour: $145
  • Bike wine tours. Visit 3 wineries and enjoy gourmet lunch: $153
  • Luján de Cuyo best Wines- Ultimate Wine Tour: $154


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

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Mendoza vs. Cusco Travel Comparison

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