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

Should you visit Punta del Este or Machu Picchu?

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 Machu Picchu, 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 Machu Picchu?

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.

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 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 Machu Picchu is $72. 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 Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta del Este $43
    Machu Picchu $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta del Este $86
    Machu Picchu $64
Compare Hotels in Punta del Este and Machu Picchu

Looking for a hotel in Punta del Este or Machu Picchu? 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 Machu Picchu


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 Machu Picchu Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Punta del Este $17
    Machu Picchu $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta del Este

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

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Machu Picchu

Also for Machu Picchu, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Aguas Calientes: Bus Transfer to Machu Picchu Citadel: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Punta del Este or Machu Picchu?

Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu 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
    Machu Picchu $15

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta del Este $8.26
    Machu Picchu $56

Tours and Activities in Punta del Este

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

  • Art Studio Tour in Punta del Este: $75
  • La Vista 360 Admission Ticket: $10
  • Punta del Este City Sightseeing Tour: $33
  • Punta del Este City Tour: $93
  • Punta del Este City Tour Clasico con Puesta del Sol en Casapueblo: $25
  • Punta del Este Shore Excursion: Private Sightseeing Tour of Punta del Este: $188
  • Punta del Este Special Art Tour: $185
  • Wine Lovers - Punta Wine Experience: $150

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
    $2.58

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
  • Cusco: 2-Day Humantay Lake and Machu Picchu Tour: $460
  • Cusco: 2-Day Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu in Small Groups: $599
  • Cusco: 2-Day Maras, Moray Salt Mines and Machu Picchu Tour: $490
  • Cusco: 6-Day Andean Jewels Experience: $749
  • From Aguas Calientes: Machu Picchu Guided Tour: $27
  • From Cusco: Full-Day Group Tour of Machu Picchu: $290
  • From Cusco: Machu Picchu Full-day Private Tour: $490
  • From Ollantaytambo: Aguas Calientes Round-Trip Train Ticket: $169
  • 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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta del Este $6.05
    Machu Picchu $5.25

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 comparing the travel costs between Punta del Este and Machu Picchu, we can see that Punta del Este is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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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Punta del Este vs. Machu Picchu Travel Comparison

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