A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Quito vs. Arequipa for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Quito or Arequipa?

Should I visit Quito or Arequipa? 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.

Quito

Nestled between two mountain ranges lies the world's highest capital city, Quito, Ecuador. For history lovers, Quito is a very desirable destination as it's home to the Quito Historic Center – one of the largest and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.

Even though Quito is full of people – in fact, it's the second most populous city in the country – very few of its inhabitants speak English. Luckily, however, the citizens of Quito tend to speak a slower and more clear Spanish than surrounding areas. This is the perfect place to practice what you read in your Intro to Spanish book.

Before visiting Quito, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, give yourself a few days to grow accustomed to the elevation. Staying 9,350 feet above sea level takes some getting used to. Second, don't be fooled into thinking that just because you're visiting a town on the equator that you'll need all your summer clothes. Because of the city's elevation, the area keeps a relatively cool climate year round.

Arequipa

Sitting in the middle of the Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes of Peru is the enchanting city of Arequipa. With 468 years of history, the city is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Known to locals as the "white city," the city center, Plaza de Armas, is quite the sight with buildings of sillar white stone made from the rocks of the surrounding volcanoes.

Which city is cheaper, Arequipa or Quito?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Quito is $41, while the average daily cost in Arequipa 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Quito and Arequipa in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $18. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Quito the cost is $36 on average.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $17. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Arequipa the cost is $34 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Quito $18
    Arequipa $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Quito $36
    Arequipa $34

Food

In Quito travelers spend around $16 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about $9.71 per day in Arequipa 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Quito $16
    Arequipa $9.71

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Quito

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Quito.

  • Quito Like a Local Cooking Class: $75
  • Ecuadorian Cooking Classes Rooftop (English): $78
  • Quito Best Markets and Local Food Tour: $81
  • Quito Top Ecuadorian Food Tour and Canelazo at “La Ronda”: $87
  • Quito Cooking Class: $89
  • Jacchigua Show Including Dinner + Transfer: $90
  • Ecuadorian Cooking Class in Quito + Local Market Tour & Exotic Fruit Tasting: $102
  • Quito Culinary Tour and Cooking Class: $105
  • Gourmet Cooking Class in Historic Quito + Market Tour with Chef Pancho: $120
  • Cooking Class at the Andes & Roses (PRIVATE DAY TOUR): $149

Typical Food prices in Arequipa

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


  • Coke
    $0.37
  • Lunch
    $2.56
  • Ice Cream
    $0.97
  • Fruit
    $0.73
  • Ice Cream
    $0.85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arequipa

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Arequipa.

  • Skip the Line: Dinner and Typical Dances Show Ticket: $23
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $28
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market *Whatsapp for more información: $55
  • Curious Monkey -Arequipa Streets, Walking Food Tour: $55
  • Curious Monkey- Arequipa Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class in arequipa: $64
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 5 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $67
  • Peruvian market tour, cooking class, and dinner in Arequipa: $67
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • Food tour in Arequipa: $207

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Quito is $5.59 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

The cost of a taxi ride in Arequipa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.40 per person, per day, on local transportation in Arequipa.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Quito $5.59
    Arequipa $4.40
Typical Local Transportation prices in Quito

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Quito:


  • Taxi from Bus Terminal to Hotel
    $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Quito

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Quito:

  • 2-Night Quito Experience: Transfer, Tour and Mariscal Accommodation: $140
  • 7-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotel and Transfers: $1,240
  • 8-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotels and Transfers: $1,318
  • Airport Transfer Service in Quito City: $27
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in 4x4 vehicle: $42
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in a Minibus: $25
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in a Minivan: $70
  • Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in 4x4 vehicle: $42
  • Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in a Minibus: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in a Minivan: $70
  • English & Spanish Speaking Transfer Service In & Out All Ecuador: $48
  • Express Transfer: Mariscal Sucre Airport to Quito: $44

Typical Local Transportation prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.22
  • Bus Ride
    $0.39
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.85

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • 2 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $113
  • 3 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $128
  • Airport transfer Arequipa / From airport to hotel: $19
  • Arequipa Airport Arrival Transfer: $13
  • Arequipa Airport Departure Transfer: $13
  • Arequipa private departure bus station transfer: $22
  • Arrival bus station private transfer in Arequipa: $43
  • Colca Canyon + Transfer To Puno: $103
  • Colca Canyon Sightseeing Tour 2D1N and Transfer to Puno: $125
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Minibus: $40
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Sedan Car: $19
  • Departure Private Transfer from Arequipa City to Arequipa Airport AQP by Minivan: $31

Is it cheaper to fly into Quito or Arequipa?

Prices for flights to both Arequipa and Quito 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

Quito's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Entertainment and activities in Arequipa typically cost an average of $13 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Quito $13
    Arequipa $13
Typical Entertainment prices in Quito

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


  • Entrance to Guyasimine Museum for Two
    $8.00

Tours and Activities in Quito

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

  • Skip the Line: La Compañia Church Admission Ticket: $5.50
  • Skip the Line: Capilla del Hombre and Guayasamin's Museum Ticket: $10
  • Tour Guide and Driver: $10
  • Quito City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off: $12
  • Quito 3-Hour City Tour at Night: $15
  • Quito at Night & Urban Legends Tour - "Small Group": $15
  • The Original Quito City Tour in Trolley with Hotel Pick-up - "Small Group": $15
  • Quito Hop-on Hop-off City Bus Tour: $15
  • 1914 Original Trolley City Tour of Quito: $15
  • Equatorial Monument: 3-Hour Tour from Quito: $19
  • Middle of the World Tour With Tickets - "Small Group": $19
  • Original Quito City Tour in Trolley: $20

Typical Entertainment prices in Arequipa

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


  • Monastery Entry
    $2.44
  • Salsa Class
    $2.44
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.66
  • Hot Springs
    $2.44

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

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

  • Museo Santuarios Andinos Arequipa Admission Ticket: $7.00
  • Tour Around The City Arequipa In Bus: $10
  • Monasterio de Santa Catalina Admission Ticket: $12
  • Small-Group Arequipa Countryside Tour Including La Mansion del Fundador -Mirabus: $15
  • Arequipa Historical Downtown Tour: $18
  • Tour Colca Full Day Promotional Price: $22
  • San Camilo Market Tour: $25
  • City tour & Countryside Tour Bus: $25
  • Private Walking Tour Arequipa: $26
  • Arequipa E-Bike Tour: $27
  • Walking Tour Arequipa: $36
  • Colca Canyon Tour 2 Days: $38

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Quito may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $14 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Arequipa may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Quito $14
    Arequipa $11
Typical Alcohol prices in Quito

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


  • Beers for Two
    $9.00

Typical Alcohol prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Beer
    $2.19


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

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Quito vs. Arequipa Travel Comparison

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