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

Should you visit Montanita or Cuenca?

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

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

Montanita

Montanita is a small village located on Manglaralto parish along the southern coast of Ecuador. The Pacific Coast of Ecuador is lined with beach towns, either small villages with local fisherman or larger towns more set up for foreign travellers like Montanita. With one of the best beaches in Ecuador, one of the best surf breaks in the region, and a great laid-back atmosphere Montanita is a great little getaway, especially for the hippies of the world. It has also become a popular weekend destination for English teachers and Spanish students coming from Guayaquil and Quito. The beachfront village of Montanita has a laid-back atmosphere and steady stream of cosmopolitan backpackers, with as many South Americans as gringos.

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 Montanita?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Montanita is $96, 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 Montanita and Cuenca in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Montanita $41
    Cuenca $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Montanita $82
    Cuenca $26
Compare Hotels in Montanita and Cuenca

Looking for a hotel in Montanita 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 Montanita


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: Cuenca Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Montanita $39
    Cuenca $11

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:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Montanita or Cuenca?

Prices for flights to both Cuenca and Montanita 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
    Montanita $28
    Cuenca $15

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.
    Montanita $31
    Cuenca $16

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
    Montanita $7.86
    Cuenca $14


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Montanita and Cuenca, we can see that Montanita 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 Montanita would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Montanita 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 Montanita Expensive? and Is Cuenca Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Montanita 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 Montanita or Cuenca in the Summer?

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

Montanita usually gets less rain in July than Cuenca. Montanita gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

In July, Montanita is generally a little warmer than Cuenca. Daily temperatures in Montanita average around 25°C (78°F), and Cuenca fluctuates around 22°C (72°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Montanita 25°C (78°F) 
    Cuenca 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Montanita or Cuenca in the Autumn?

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

In October, Montanita usually receives less rain than Cuenca. Montanita gets 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

Montanita is much warmer than Cuenca in the autumn. The daily temperature in Montanita averages around 26°C (78°F) in October, and Cuenca fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Montanita 26°C (78°F) 
    Cuenca 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Montanita or Cuenca in the Winter?

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

Montanita usually gets more rain in January than Cuenca. Montanita gets 78 mm (3.1 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, Montanita is much warmer than Cuenca. Typically, the winter temperatures in Montanita in January average around 27°C (80°F), and Cuenca averages at about 4°C (39°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Montanita 27°C (80°F) 
    Cuenca 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Montanita or Cuenca in the Spring?

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

In April, Montanita usually receives more rain than Cuenca. Montanita gets 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain each month for the spring.

In April, Montanita is generally much warmer than Cuenca. Daily temperatures in Montanita average around 27°C (81°F), and Cuenca fluctuates around 10°C (50°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Montanita 27°C (81°F) 
    Cuenca 10°C (50°F)

Typical Weather for Cuenca and Montanita

Montanita Cuenca
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (80°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 4°C (39°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Feb 27°C (81°F) 112 mm (4.4 in) 6°C (43°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Mar 27°C (81°F) 107 mm (4.2 in) 8°C (46°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Apr 27°C (81°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 10°C (50°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
May 27°C (80°F) 26 mm (1 in) 14°C (57°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Jun 26°C (79°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Jul 25°C (78°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 25°C (78°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Sep 26°C (78°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Oct 26°C (78°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Nov 26°C (79°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 7°C (45°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 5°C (41°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)