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?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Punta del Este or Machu Picchu, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

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 $71, while the average daily cost in Machu Picchu is $77. 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 Punta del Este and Machu Picchu in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Punta del Este can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $39, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $78.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $60 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
    Punta del Este $39
    Machu Picchu $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta del Este $78
    Machu Picchu $60

Food

The price of a meal in Punta del Este can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $22 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $8.80 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

While meal prices in Machu Picchu can vary, the average travelers spends about $18 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Machu Picchu should cost around $7.20 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
    Punta del Este $22
    Machu Picchu $18

Local Transportation

Punta del Este's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $16 per person, per day on transportation in Punta del Este.

To get around in Machu Picchu, the average visitor spends $21 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.
    Punta del Este $16
    Machu Picchu $21

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

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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Punta del Este can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $7.57 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

In Machu Picchu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $54 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta del Este $7.57
    Machu Picchu $54

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
    $2.42

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

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Punta del Este, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.54.

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 $4.91.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta del Este $5.54
    Machu Picchu $4.91

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 Machu Picchu 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.

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Punta del Este vs. Machu Picchu Travel Comparison

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