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

Should you visit Montanita or Galapagos Islands?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Montanita or Galapagos Islands, 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 Galapagos Islands?


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.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife, much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises let visitors get up close. This archipelago of about 19 islands and many smaller islets found over 620 miles off Ecuador's coast in the Pacific Ocean is a double World Heritage site, where both land and sea are protected. Each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from black, volcanic rocks to white sand beaches and gemstone-blue waters. There is no bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands but the busiest months for tourism tend to be June, July and August, as well as mid-December to mid-January. This is when prices are at their highest.

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, Galapagos Islands 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 Galapagos Islands is $138. 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 Galapagos Islands in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Montanita $41
    Galapagos Islands $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Montanita $82
    Galapagos Islands $130
Compare Hotels in Montanita and Galapagos Islands

Looking for a hotel in Montanita or Galapagos Islands? 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 Galapagos Islands

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Montanita $39
    Galapagos Islands $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galapagos Islands

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

  • Transfer Airport - Hotel in Santa Cruz including the Highlights: $295
  • Transfer in + Visit to the giant turtle nature reserve: $205
  • Private Transfer from Baltra Airport to Hotels in Santa Cruz Island: $143
  • Private Transfer from Hotels in Santa Cruz to Baltra Airport: $143
  • Transfer from Santa Cruz Island to San Cristobal Island: $64
  • Transfer from Santa Cruz Island to Isabela Island: $55
  • Transfer from Santa Cruz Island to San Cristobal Island: $48

Is it cheaper to fly into Montanita or Galapagos Islands?

Prices for flights to both Galapagos Islands 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 Meals for one day
    Montanita $28
    Galapagos Islands $33

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Montanita $31
    Galapagos Islands $35

Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galapagos Islands.

  • Isla Pinzón - Day Tour - From Santa Cruz - Islas Galápagos: $250
  •  Tour of the city to Isabela + Tintoreras from Santa Cruz: $256
  • Bay Tour in Santa Cruz - Galapagos Islands: $60
  • Beach Wildlife and Snorkel Adventure with Underwater Specialist : $129
  • Cabo Rosa (Tuneles) Hiking & Snorkeling Tour from Isabela: $199
  • Daily diving tour in Gordon Rocks: $280
  • Day Tour to Floreana Island with Snorkeling and Fishing: $249
  • Day Tour to Isabela Island with Tintorera Islet, Snorkeling Wetlands & Flamingos: $249
  • Day Tour to Santa Fe Island and Hidden Beach with snorkeling and fishing: $219
  • Day tour to Pinzón Island and La Fé/Palmitas Bay with snorkeling and fishing: $239
  • Day tour to San Cristobal Island with private Land Tour and snorkeling: $249
  • FERRY TICKET From: Isabela / To: Santa Cruz (AM): $65

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Montanita $7.86
    Galapagos Islands $15

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

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