A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Punta del Este vs. Banos for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Punta del Este or Banos?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Punta del Este or Banos, 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: Punta del Este or Banos?

Punta del Este

Punta del Este with its many beaches, elegant seaside homes, yacht harbor, high-rise apartment buildings, pricey hotels, ardent night scene and glitzy restaurants is a chic beach resort town in Uruguay. Many tourists come from Brazil and Argentina, on the other side of the Rio de la Plata, to get some nice sun and lay on the beach for a weekend getaway. Punta del Este is more expensive than other areas in Uruguay and has been called the Monaco of South America. Tourist season varies wildly from totally deserted in the winter to very crowded in the summer.


Banos (de Agua Santa) is a small city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador under volcano Tungurahua. Its name, which is Spanish for "Baths (of sacred water)," comes from the famous hydrothermal springs in the area. It's equally popular with foreigners as with Ecuadorians, and is known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. The streets are lined with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour agencies. Although it is very touristy, lots of people love it, more for the activities and surroundings than for the city itself. It is an important hub for outdoor sports and jungle tours.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in Uruguay, The Best Adventure Tours to Uruguay, The Best Wildlife Tours to Ecuador, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Ecuador.

Which place is cheaper, Banos or Punta del Este?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Punta del Este is $98, while the average daily cost in Banos is $46. 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 Punta del Este and Banos in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta del Este $55
    Banos $16
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta del Este $110
    Banos $32
Compare Hotels in Punta del Este and Banos

Looking for a hotel in Punta del Este or Banos? 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 Punta del Este

Hotels in Banos

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: Punta del Este Hotel Prices and Banos Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Punta del Este $22
    Banos $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta del Este

Also for Punta del Este, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Montevideo Hotels to Carrasco Airport MVD Departure Transfer: $49
  • Montevideo hotels to Carrasco International Airport (MVD) - Departure Transfer: $49
  • Private Transfer - Punta Del Este Port to Carrasco Airport (MVD): $85
  • Private Transfer from Montevideo City to Montevideo Cruise Port: $54
  • Private Transfer from Montevideo city to Montevideo Cruise Port: $29
  • Private Transfer from Montevideo hotels to Punta Del Este Port: $72
  • Private Transfer from Montevideo to Punta Del Este Cruise Port: $85
  • Private Transfer from Punta Del Este Cruise Port to Montevideo: $85
  • Private Transfer from Punta Del Este Port to Montevideo hotels: $72
  • Private Transfer to Punta del Este Airport: $60
  • Punta del Este Airport Private Transfer: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Punta del Este or Banos?

Prices for flights to both Banos and Punta del Este 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
    Punta del Este $31
    Banos $15

Typical Food Prices in Banos

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Banos:

  • Dinner
  • Ice cream
  • Coffee

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta del Este $11
    Banos $19

Tours and Activities in Punta del Este

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Punta del Este.

  • La Vista 360 ticket de admisión: $11
  • Skip the Line: Casapueblo Museum Admission Ticket in Punta del Este: $15
  • Guided Tour of the Winery Viña Edén: $18
  • Punta del Este Classic City Tour with Sunset in Casapueblo: $30
  • Guided Tour of Vineyards: $33
  • Discovering Half-Day City Tour: $47
  • Half-Day City Tour: $47
  • Punta del Este City Tour for Cruisers: $50
  • Punta del Este, City Tour: $50
  • Bike Tour Peninsula - Punta del Este: $65
  • City Tour Punta del Este: $95
  • Private - Punta del Este City Tour for Cruisers: $120

Typical Entertainment Prices in Banos

Here are a few typical costs in Banos for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Two Rented Bikes for the Day
  • Cost to see Waterfall
  • Day at the Spa
  • 2 Bike Rentals (1 Day)
  • Entrance to Waterfall

Tours and Activities in Banos

Here are a few actual costs in Banos for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Adventure and Fun River Rafting in Baños Ecuador: $35
  • 2 Hours Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Banos: $30
  • 3 Hours Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Baños: $40
  • 5-Hour Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Baños: $62
  • Adventure Circuit 4 activities in 1. All within an impressive cascade: $25
  • Adventure in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights: $225
  • Animalpark | Theme Park | Tours | naturally fun: $45
  • Baths Nature and Adventure 2 Days.: $190
  • Canopy Ziplining in Puntzan Adventure Park: $26
  • Canyoning Adventure Tour in the Ravine: $30
  • Chimborazo Volcano Bike Tour: $95
  • Chimborazo Volcano from Baños private day Tour: $139

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta del Este $7.70
    Banos $9.74

Sample the Local Flavors in Punta del Este

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Punta del Este:

  • Wine Tasting: $42
  • Half Day Private Canelones Wine Tour from Montevideo : $157

Typical Alcohol Prices in Banos

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Banos from other travelers:

  • Beer

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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Punta del Este Expensive? and Is Banos Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Punta del Este or Banos?

Banos has a larger population, and is about 31% larger than the population of Punta del Este. When comparing the sizes of Punta del Este and Banos, 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.