Should you visit Quito or Punta Arenas?
Should I visit Quito or Punta Arenas? 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.
Punta Arenas is in the far south of Chile and has a long history of maritime commerce, oil extraction, and sheep farming. It's the most populated city on the Strait of Magellan and has all the facilities you might need as a traveler, including banks, markets, drugstores and equipment shops. With a population of about 130,000, the city is a comfortable place to spend time. It serves as a base for Antarctic expeditions, although many expeditions also start in Ushuaia, Argentina, and Christchurch New Zealand.
Which city is cheaper, Punta Arenas 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 Punta Arenas is $61. 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 Punta Arenas 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.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $62 in Punta Arenas For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
While meal prices in Punta Arenas can vary, the average travelers spends about $20 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Punta Arenas should cost around $8.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Punta Arenas is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Punta Arenas $20
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):
Typical Food prices in Punta Arenas
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Punta Arenas:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Punta Arenas
For Punta Arenas, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Punta Arenas Small Group Sightseeing and food Tour with a Local Guide:
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.
Punta Arenas'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 $1.74 per person, per day on transportation in Punta Arenas.
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:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta Arenas
Also for Punta Arenas, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Arrival Transfer: Punta Arenas Airport to Hotel:
Bus transfer from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia:
Private Airport Transfer: Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ) to Punta Arenas:
Private Airport Transfer: from Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ):
Transfer from Punta Arenas (city or airport) to Puerto Natales:
Transfer from Punta Arenas Hotel to Punta Arenas Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Quito or Punta Arenas?
Prices for flights to both Punta Arenas 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 Punta Arenas can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $6.24 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:
Tours and Activities in Punta Arenas
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Punta Arenas.
Half day traditional City Tour:
Punta Arenas Sightseeing Tour:
Punta Arenas Highlights Shared Tour:
Small Group Punta Arenas Shore Excursion: Fort Bulnes and City Tour:
Puntarenas City tour and Mangroove Tour:
Bus ticket from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina):
Full-Day Punta Arenas and Magellan Strait Tour:
Rainforest Skywalk & Tarcoles River Eco Cruise Tour Puntarenas Shore excursion:
Punta Arenas Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour:
Full day Punta Arenas (Regular tours):
Regular Tour of Andino Club Ski Mountain and Chairlift from Punta Arenas, Chile:
City Tour of Punta Arenas:
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 Punta Arenas, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.70.
Typical Alcohol prices in Quito
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Quito from other travelers:
Typical Alcohol prices in Punta Arenas
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Punta Arenas:
Sample the Local Flavors in Punta Arenas
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Punta Arenas:
Punta Arenas Small Group Beers & Brewery Tour with a Local Guide:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Quito and Punta Arenas, we can see that Punta Arenas 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 Punta Arenas would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Punta Arenas than you might in Quito.
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