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

Should you visit Quito or Montanita?

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

Should I visit Quito or Montanita? 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 Montanita?

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.

Montanita

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.

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, Montanita 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 Montanita is $96. 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 Montanita in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Quito $22
    Montanita $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Quito $44
    Montanita $82
Compare Hotels in Quito and Montanita

Looking for a hotel in Quito or Montanita? 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 Montanita


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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Quito $6.99
    Montanita $39
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:

  • Private Transpor for tours, transfers, visits, etc, for 8 hours: $165
  • From Quilotoa Lake Private Tour with Transfer & Lunch: $145
  • From Mindo Cloud Forest Day Trip with Transfer: $119
  • Quito Airport Private Transfer Service: $112
  • Transfer to Mashpi Reserve one way : $99
  • Private City Tour & Intiñam Museum Visit w/ Transfer: $94
  • Private Transfer from Quito to Baños or Baños to Quito (one way): $90
  • Transfer in and Transfer out: $75
  • Private Transfer Hotels in Quito to Mariscal Sucre Int. Airport: $70
  • Private Transfers Quito to Tena: $65
  • Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $61
  • Private Transfer In from International Airport Mariscal Sucre to Quito : $60

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Quito $20
    Montanita $28

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
  • 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
  • Cooking Class at the Andes & Roses: PRIVATE Day trip from Quito: $149
  • Quito Private & All Inclusive Cooking Class with Certified Chef: $235

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Quito $16
    Montanita $31
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:

  • Flavors, Colors and History of Quito Private Tour: $185
  • Otavalo Market Private Sightseeing and Surroundings: $110
  • Tour Full-Day Mercado de Otavalo + Cotacachi, Ecuador.: $57
  • 1 Day Cultural Tour Otavalo And Cuicocha Lagoon: $65
  • 2-Day Private Tour from Quito:Baños and Quilotoa Lagoon: $329
  • 2-Day Private Tour to Otavalo Market, Cuicocha Lake, Peguche and Condor´s Park: $295
  • 2-Day Tour of Cotopaxi Volcano and Quilotoa Lagoon with hotel: $222
  • 2-day Quilotoa Lagoon and the adventure city of Baños: $265
  • 3-Day Andes Adventure Visiting Cotopaxi, Quilotoa and Baños: $239
  • 3-Day Private Tour of Quito: $120
  • 3-Days Andes & Amazon | Tour From Quito: $848
  • 8 Hours Mindo Cloud Forest Tour from Quito : $100

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Quito $17
    Montanita $7.86
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


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.

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