Should you visit Quito or Montanita?
Should I visit Quito or Montanita? 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.
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.
Montanita is a small village located on Manglaralto parish along the southern coast of Ecuador. The Pacific Coast of Ecuador is lined with beach towns, either small villages with local fisherman or larger towns more set up for foreign travellers like Montanita. With one of the best beaches in Ecuador, one of the best surf breaks in the region, and a great laid-back atmosphere Montanita is a great little getaway, especially for the hippies of the world. It has also become a popular weekend destination for English teachers and Spanish students coming from Guayaquil and Quito. The beachfront village of Montanita has a laid-back atmosphere and steady stream of cosmopolitan backpackers, with as many South Americans as gringos.
Which city is cheaper, Montanita 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 Montanita 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 Quito and Montanita in more detail.
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.
The prices for places to stay in Montanita can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $33, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $66.
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.
Montanita food costs typically run travelers around $22 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
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:
Ecuadorian Cooking Classes Rooftop (English):
Quito Best Markets and Local Food Tour:
Quito Top Ecuadorian Food Tour and Canelazo at “La Ronda”:
Quito Cooking Class:
Jacchigua Show Including Dinner + Transfer:
Ecuadorian Cooking Class in Quito + Local Market Tour & Exotic Fruit Tasting:
Quito Culinary Tour and Cooking Class:
Gourmet Cooking Class in Historic Quito + Market Tour with Chef Pancho:
Cooking Class at the Andes & Roses (PRIVATE DAY TOUR):
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.
Montanita'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 $31 per person, per day on transportation in Montanita.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Quito
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Quito:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Quito
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Quito:
8-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotels and Transfers:
7-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotel and Transfers:
Private transfer: Quito to Quito International Airport (UIO):
Private transfer: Quito International Airport (UIO) to Quito:
2-Night Quito Experience: Transfer, Tour and Mariscal Accommodation:
transfer airport to hotel in Quito or from Quito to airport:
Quito Airport Private Transfer Service:
Private transfers To Mindo:
Private transfer in or out Quito airport. Bilingual guide-driver:
Transfer IN & OUT of Quito:
Transfer IN & OUT of Quito:
Round-Trip Transfer in Private Minivan from Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City:
Is it cheaper to fly into Quito or Montanita?
Prices for flights to both Montanita 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.
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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Montanita can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $25 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Typical Entertainment prices in Quito
Here are a few typical costs in Quito for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Tours and Activities in Quito
Here are a few actual costs in Quito for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
10 days True Ecuador Experience:
12 Day Galapagos Snorkeling Tour:
15-Day Ecuador and Galapagos Highlights Tour from Quito:
15-day Adventure: Experiencing the Andes and Amazon of Ecuador:
16-Day Ecuador Adventure: Andes, Amazon & Galapagos:
1914 Original Trolley City Tour of Quito:
2 Day Private Tour to Mindo Cloud Forest from Quito:
2 Day Private Tour to Otavalo Market & surroundings from Quito:
2 Full Days Exploring The Ecuadorian Amazon | Tour Start In Quito:
2-Day Avenue of the Volcanoes and BaÃ±os Tour from Quito -"Small Group":
2-Day BaÃ±os Full Adrenaline Tour from Quito:
2-Day Private Sightseeing Tour Cotopaxi and Quilotoa:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Montanita, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $6.29.
Typical Alcohol prices in Quito
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Quito from other travelers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Quito and Montanita, we can see that Montanita is more expensive. And not only is Quito much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Quito would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Quito 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 Montanita would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Montanita than you might in Quito.
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