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

Should you visit Punta del Este or Cuenca?

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 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: Punta del Este or Cuenca?

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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Cuenca 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 $77, while the average daily cost in Cuenca is $34. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Punta del Este and Cuenca in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta del Este $43
    Cuenca $9.97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta del Este $86
    Cuenca $20
Compare Hotels in Punta del Este and Cuenca

Looking for a hotel in Punta del Este 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 Punta del Este


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: Punta del Este Hotel Prices and Cuenca Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Punta del Este $17
    Cuenca $8.60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta del Este

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer: Punta del Este Airport to Hotel: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Punta del Este Airport: $40
  • Private Transfer to Garzon Restaurant by Francis Mallmann: $269
  • Punta del Este Airport Private Transfer: $45
  • Punta del Este Wine Tour, Bodega Garzon, Private Transfer: $338

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 City Center to Madrid City Center: $147
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $83
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan: $74
  • Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan: $74
  • Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Cuenca to Alausi Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Transfer In Cuenca Airport - Hotel: $25
  • Cuenca Airport Shuttle Transfer: $19
  • Cuenca Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Cuenca Departure Transfer: $15

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

Prices for flights to both Cuenca 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Punta del Este $24
    Cuenca $12

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.

  • Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca: $55
  • Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour): $95
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta del Este $8.26
    Cuenca $13

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 Admission Ticket: $10
  • Punta del Este City Tour Clasico con Puesta del Sol en Casapueblo: $25
  • Punta del Este City Sightseeing Tour: $33
  • Art Studio Tour in Punta del Este: $75
  • Punta del Este City Tour: $93
  • Wine Lovers - Punta Wine Experience: $150
  • Punta del Este Special Art Tour: $185
  • Punta del Este Shore Excursion: Private Sightseeing Tour of Punta del Este: $188

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

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

  • 4-Day Magic Tour Cuenca, Alausi town, Baños, Quilotoa, Cotopaxi and Quito: $675
  • 5-Day Rock Climbing Tour in Cojitambo, Paute, Girón, Cajas and Sayausi: $400
  • 5-Day Trekking Rock, Climbing, Canyoning and Paragliding Tour: $474
  • BIKE TOUR "Descent of The Andes": $59
  • Baños Private Guided 4-day tour from Cuenca: $691
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45
  • Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca: $30
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Cajas National Park from Cuenca: $100
  • Birdwatching Tour in Giron and Yunguilla Jocotoco Reserve from Cuenca: $129
  • Birdwatching Tour in Tamarindo Tropical Forest area from Cuenca: $130
  • Birdwatching Tour in Via Sigsig,Chiguinda from Cuenca: $130

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta del Este $6.05
    Cuenca $11

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 from Punta del Este: $128


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Punta del Este and Cuenca, we can see that Punta del Este 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 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 Cuenca.


When is the best time to visit Punta del Este or Cuenca?

Punta del Este has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Cuenca experiences a tropical climate with fairly warm weather most of the year.

Should I visit Punta del Este or Cuenca in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Punta del Este as well as Cuenca. Cuenca attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In January, Punta del Este is generally around the same temperature as Cuencain July. Temperatures in Punta del Este average around 23°C (73°F), and Cuenca stays around 22°C (72°F).

Punta del Este usually gets more rain in January than Cuencain July. Punta del Este gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January and July
    Punta del Este 23°C (73°F) 
    Cuenca 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Punta del Este or Cuenca in the Autumn?

Both Cuenca and Punta del Este are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cuenca throughout the year.

Punta del Este is a little warmer than Cuenca in the autumn. The temperature in Punta del Este is usually 17°C (63°F) in April, and Cuenca stays around 12°C (54°F)in October.

In April, Punta del Este usually receives more rain than Cuencain October. Punta del Este gets 84 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April and October
    Punta del Este 17°C (63°F) 
    Cuenca 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Punta del Este or Cuenca in the Winter?

Both Cuenca and Punta del Este during the winter are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Cuenca because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

The weather in Cuenca can be very cold. In the winter, Punta del Este is much warmer than Cuenca. Typically, the winter temperatures in Punta del Este in July are around 10°C (50°F), and Cuenca is about 4°C (39°F)in January.

Punta del Este usually gets more rain in July than Cuencain January. Punta del Este gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 14 mm (0.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July and January
    Punta del Este 10°C (50°F) 
    Cuenca 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Punta del Este or Cuenca in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Punta del Este and Cuenca. Cuenca attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In October, Punta del Este is generally much warmer than Cuencain April. Temperatures in Punta del Este average around 16°C (61°F), and Cuenca stays around 10°C (50°F).

In October, Punta del Este usually receives more rain than Cuencain April. Punta del Este gets 85 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October and April
    Punta del Este 16°C (61°F) 
    Cuenca 10°C (50°F)

Typical Weather for Cuenca and Punta del Este

Punta del Este Cuenca
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 23°C (73°F) 75 mm (3 in) 4°C (39°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Feb 22°C (72°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 6°C (43°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Mar 20°C (68°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 8°C (46°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Apr 17°C (63°F) 84 mm (3.3 in) 10°C (50°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 91 mm (3.6 in) 14°C (57°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Jun 11°C (52°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Jul 10°C (50°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 22°C (72°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 11°C (52°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 22°C (72°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Sep 13°C (55°F) 93 mm (3.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 12°C (54°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Nov 19°C (66°F) 87 mm (3.4 in) 7°C (45°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Dec 21°C (70°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 5°C (41°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)


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Punta del Este vs. Cuenca Travel Comparison

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