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

Should you visit Quito or Salento?

Should I visit Quito or Salento? 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.

Salento

Founded in 1850, Salento is one of the oldest towns in Quindio. This colonial Colombian town has retained much of its old world charm, with its colorful buildings, large square and, of course, the obligatory church. Because the main route between Cali and Bogota which used to pass through Salento was diverted, the town didn't develop as quickly as others in the Quindio region. This gave Salento the opportunity to evolve into a thriving community of craftsmen and artisans as well as remaining one of the region's most prolific coffee producers. Salento is located 24 km northeast of the departmental capital Armenia. However, unlike its colorful neighbor, Armenia itself has very little to offer tourists. Salento attracts those wishing to learn about the coffee regions and for those who simply admire breathtaking scenery, and especially the stunning Cocora Valley.

Which city is cheaper, Salento 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 Salento is $26. 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 Salento 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 $9.09. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Salento the cost is $18 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Quito $18
    Salento $9.09
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Quito $36
    Salento $18

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.

While meal prices in Salento can vary, the average travelers spends about $7.62 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Salento should cost around $3.05 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Salento is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Quito $16
    Salento $7.62

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

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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $12 per day to get around in Salento.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Quito $5.59
    Salento $12
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:

  • Transfer Mariscal Sucre International Airport & Hotel: $8.00
  • Quito Airport Arrival Transfer to Hotel: $19
  • Transfer to Quito Airport with Hotel Pick-up: $19
  • Transfer Express - Quito Hotel - Airport: $25
  • Transfer Express - Quito Airport - Hotel: $25
  • Quito to BaƱos Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Quito to Otavalo Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Quito to Quilotoa Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Quito to Cotopaxi in Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in a Minibus: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in a Minibus: $25
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Mariscal Sucre Airport (UIO) to Quito City: $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salento

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salento:

  • Arrival or Departure Transfer: Armenia Airport, Bus Station / Salento, Filandia: $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Quito or Salento?

Prices for flights to both Salento 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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $9.49 per person, per day in Salento. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Quito $13
    Salento $9.49
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 CompaƱia 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

Tours and Activities in Salento

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Salento are as follows:

  • Permaculture and Traditional Coffee Tour at Momota Salento: $13
  • Cocora Valley & Hummingbirds House Adventure: $50
  • Cocora Valley on a Jeep & Hike Day Tour: $77
  • Coffee Farm Hacienda El Ocaso Half-Day Tour: $79
  • Full-Day Coffee Farm Experience at Finca El Ocaso from Salento: $87
  • Coffee Amusement & Museum Park Day Tour: $101
  • Cocora Valley + Horseback Riding Day Tour: $104
  • Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Filandia Coffee Town (from Salento): $123
  • Santa Rosa de Cabal and Hot Springs Full-Day Tour: $134
  • Full day coffee farm experience at Hacienda San Alberto from Salento: $152
  • Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Coffee Farm Tour (from Salento): $156
  • Wax Palms, Salento and Coffee Private Full Day Tour: $177

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.

The average person spends about $9.31 on alcoholic beverages in Salento per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Quito $14
    Salento $9.31
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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Quito and Salento, we can see that Quito is more expensive. And not only is Salento much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Salento would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Salento 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 Salento.

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Quito vs. Salento Travel Comparison

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