A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Puerto Iguazu vs. Machu Picchu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Puerto Iguazu or Machu Picchu?

Should I visit Puerto Iguazu or Machu Picchu? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Puerto Iguazu

Puerto Iguazu is located in the northeastern part of Argentina at the border with Paraguay and Brazil. It is a tourist city and travel destination because of its close proximity to Iguazu Falls, which is only 18 kilometers away. Much of the city's infrastructure has grown to maintain the tourist crowds that come to see the falls. The town itself has a population of slightly over 80,000.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a site of ancient Inca ruins located about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cuzco, Peru, in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba of the Andes Mountains. It is perched above the Urubamba River valley in a narrow saddle between two sharp peaks, Machu Picchu ("Old Peak") and Huayna Picchu ("New Peak"), at an elevation of 7,710 feet (2,350 metres). One of the few major pre-Columbian ruins found nearly intact, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. Thus, Machu Picchu is not only an impressive remnant of the Inca civilization, it is also one of the world's most important archaeological sites. A stop at Machu Picchu is an essential part of any traveler's itinerary in Peru, as it is one of the seven wonders of the world.

Which city is cheaper, Machu Picchu or Puerto Iguazu?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Iguazu is $57, while the average daily cost in Machu Picchu is $81. 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 Puerto Iguazu and Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $46 in Puerto Iguazu For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $62 in Machu Picchu For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Iguazu $23
    Machu Picchu $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Iguazu $46
    Machu Picchu $62

Food

The average traveler spends about $21 per day in Puerto Iguazu for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

While meal prices in Machu Picchu can vary, the average travelers spends about $19 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Machu Picchu should cost around $7.60 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Machu Picchu is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Puerto Iguazu $21
    Machu Picchu $19

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • El Quincho Del Tio Querido - Dinner And Show: $27
  • Foz do Iguaçu Folkloric Show with Dinner from Puerto Iguazú: $30
  • Foz do Iguacu: 2-Hour Rafain Churrascaria Show with Dinner: $55
  • Skip the Line: Dinner Tango Show in Iguazu Falls Ticket: $59
  • Folkloric Show with Dinner at Rafain Churrascaria: $63
  • Rafain Steakhouse Show - Dinner and Show Included: $69
  • Tio Querido Ranch Dinner and Show: $69
  • Dinner Tango Show in Iguazú Falls: $85
  • Creative Cooking Class and Dinner with Wine in Iguazu: $87
  • Tio Querido Dinner and Folk Show in Puerto Iguazú: $90
  • Skip the Line: Dinner Samba Show Ticket in Rafain (brazilian side): $99
  • Full day Iguazu Falls Argentinian side + Tango Show (no dinner): $110

Local Transportation

To get around in Puerto Iguazu, the average visitor spends $18 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

To get around in Machu Picchu, the average visitor spends $22 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $18
    Machu Picchu $22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • Iguazu Falls: Day Tour including transfers and guided tour: $245
  • Iguazu Falls Pass: Transfers in/out + Visit to Iguazu Falls Argentininan Side: $110
  • Private One-Way Airport Transfer: $98
  • Iguazu: Transfer from Argentina Side: $95
  • Iguazú Falls Brazil & Argentina 3-Day In-Out Transfers: $65
  • Iguazu Airport Private Transfer: $63
  • Private 1-Way Airport Transfer: Downtown Foz do Iguaçu: $39
  • Puerto Iguazu Airport Shuttle Transfer: $30
  • Iguassu Falls Argentina Airport R/T Transfer to Hotels: $21

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Iguazu or Machu Picchu?

Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu and Puerto Iguazu 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

In Puerto Iguazu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.

In Machu Picchu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $57 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $19
    Machu Picchu $57

Tours and Activities in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • 2-Night Iguassu Falls Sightseeing Tour: $150
  • 2-Night Iguazu Rainforest Experience at Yacutinga Lodge: $608
  • 2-day Iguazu Falls Argentinian Side + City Tour with 3 frontiers landmark: $115
  • 3-Day Iguazu Falls Adventure: Brazil and Argentina: $363
  • 3-Day Iguazu Falls Exploring Tour: $172
  • 3-Day Iguazu Falls Self Guided Exploring Tour: $213
  • 3-Day Tour: Exploring Iguazu Falls in Private Service: $544
  • 3-Days Iguazu Falls Tour of the Argentinian and Brazilian Side: $491
  • 3-Days Private Experience at Iguazu: $790
  • 4-Day Tour to Iguazu Falls by Air from Buenos Aires: $1,058
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Iguazu: $538
  • 6-Day Iguazu Falls & Ibera Marshlands Luxury Tour: $1,800

Typical Entertainment prices in Machu Picchu

For Machu Picchu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Gardens of Mandor
    $2.53

Tours and Activities in Machu Picchu

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Machu Picchu.

  • Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Ruin and Mountain: $53
  • Huaynapicchu mountain hike + Machu Picchu entrance ticket: $40
  • Inca Jungle Trek and Mountain Bike Tour - 4 days: $524
  • LGBT-Full-Day: Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu with Panoramic train: $495
  • LGBT:. Full day - Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu: $875
  • Machu Picchu Admission Ticket: $31
  • Machu Picchu And Huayna Picchu Morning Entrance Ticket: $88
  • Machu Picchu Exclusive Full Day Tour: $510
  • Machu Picchu Full Day Private Tour: $492
  • Machu Picchu Official Entrance Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Official Ticket: $68
  • Machu Picchu Ticket: Official Entrance Ticket: $63

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Puerto Iguazu spend on average $8.98 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Machu Picchu, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.14.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Iguazu $8.98
    Machu Picchu $5.14


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Puerto Iguazu vs. Machu Picchu Travel Comparison

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