A Travel Price Comparison for Ecuador Quito vs. Banos for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Quito or Banos?

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

Should I visit Quito or Banos? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Quito or Banos?

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.

Banos

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 Adventure Tours to Ecuador, The Best Eco Tours in Ecuador, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Ecuador, and The Best Honeymoon Tours in Ecuador.


Which place is cheaper, Banos or Quito?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Quito is $52, 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 Quito and Banos in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Quito $22
    Banos $16
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Quito $44
    Banos $32
Compare Hotels in Quito and Banos

Looking for a hotel in Quito 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 Quito


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: Quito Hotel Prices and Banos Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Quito $6.99
    Banos $10
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:

  • Airport Transfer- Hotel in Quito 1 Way: $55
  • Express Transfer: Mariscal Sucre Airport to Quito: $34
  • From Mindo Cloud Forest Day Trip with Transfer: $119
  • From Quilotoa Lake Private Tour with Transfer & Lunch: $145
  • Mariscal Sucre Airport to and from Quito Hotels Private Transfer : $45
  • Private Departure Transfer from Quito to the Airport - One Way: $21
  • Private Transfer Hotels in Quito to Mariscal Sucre Int. Airport: $70
  • Private Transfer IN or OUT Hotel-Aiport Quito or Aiport-Hotel : $25
  • Private Transfer In from International Airport Mariscal Sucre to Quito : $60
  • Private Transfer Quito Airport To Quito City/hotel : $57
  • Private Transfer from Quito Airport : $25
  • Private Transfer from Quito to Baños or Baños to Quito (one way): $90

Is it cheaper to fly into Quito or Banos?

Prices for flights to both Banos 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Quito $20
    Banos $15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Quito

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

  • Old Town Highlights & Food Tour: $35
  • 3 Hours Local Food Tour in Quito: $39
  • Guilty Pleasures Walking Food Tours in Quito: $45
  • Cooking class In-home space: $75
  • Homemade Local Food Tour in Guayaquil: $80
  • Cooking Class in Quito with Chef, Market Tour and Transportation: $88
  • Jacchigua Show Including Dinner + Transfer: $92
  • Ecuadorian Cooking Class and Local Market Tour: $114
  • Ecuadorian Cooking Classes Rooftop (English): $120
  • Premium Cooking Class Quito Tour: $130
  • Quito Private & All Inclusive Cooking Class with Certified Chef: $235

Typical Food Prices in Banos

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


  • Dinner
    $13
  • Ice cream
    $1.50
  • Coffee
    $2.50

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Quito $16
    Banos $19
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
  • Middle of the World shuttle Tour: $14
  • 2.5-Hour City Bus Tour: $15
  • Quito City Tour Double Decker Bus: $15
  • Middle of the World Tour with Tickets: $19
  • Pululuahua Reserve & Museo del Sol Tour - "Small Group": $20
  • 1914 Original Trolley City Tour: $20
  • Intiñan Museum Small-Group Tour: $25
  • Guided City Tour with Tastings and Box Lunch: $25
  • Shared tour of the historic center of Quito in small groups: $25
  • Middle of the World Tour With Tickets - "Small Group": $25

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
    $10
  • Cost to see Waterfall
    $2.00
  • Day at the Spa
    $45
  • 2 Bike Rentals (1 Day)
    $10
  • Entrance to Waterfall
    $2.00

Tours and Activities in Banos

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

  • Adventure Circuit 4 activities in 1. All within an impressive cascade: $25
  • Canopy Ziplining in Puntzan Adventure Park: $26
  • Private Canyoning Experience in Baños de Agua Santa Ecuador: $26
  • 2 Hours Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Banos: $30
  • Canyoning Adventure Tour in the Ravine: $30
  • Private 3-Hour Canyoning Experience in Chamana: $30
  • Full Day Jungle Tour: $32
  • Full Day Guided Tour in the Ecuadorian Amazon: $35
  • Pailón del Diablo | Waterfall Route | Tour for 3 hours: $35
  • Puyo Jungle Tour in 1 Day: $35
  • Adventure and Fun River Rafting in Baños Ecuador: $35
  • Small-Group Canyoning Experience in Baños de Agua Santa: $39

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Quito $17
    Banos $9.74
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

Sample the Local Flavors in Quito

Also in Quito, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Ecuador Spirit Craft Brewery Tasting and Latitude 0 Private Tour: $130

Typical Alcohol Prices in Banos

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


  • Beer
    $4.00


When comparing the travel costs between Quito and Banos, we can see that Quito 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Quito or Banos?

Quito has a larger population, and is about 150 times larger than the population of Banos. When comparing the sizes of Quito 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.