Should you visit Quito or Tena?
Should I visit Quito or Tena? 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.
Tena is the capital of the Napo Province, an attractive and quiet city in the Amazon rainforest, and is known as the "cinnamon capital" of Ecuador. Tena has a friendly population, lots of backpacker infrastructure, a gorgeous setting surrounded by jungle-covered hills and a high concentration of surrounding rivers where white-water lovers from around the world come to paddle and kayak. The town provides a gateway to exploration into Ecuador's most accessible part of the great Amazon rainforest, which does not leave visitors disappointed. Beyond being a base for discovering the jungle and its wildlife, Tena is also a hub for adventure sports which are abundant in the area. Tena is a charming place where many travelers find themselves hanging around quite happily before or after a trip into the rainforest.
Which city is cheaper, Tena 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 Tena is $41. 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 Tena 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 average price for accommodation for two people in Tena is $38. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
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.
Tena food costs typically run travelers around $12 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.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $13 per day to get around in Tena.
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:
2-Night Quito Experience: Transfer, Tour and Mariscal Accommodation:
7-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotel and Transfers:
8-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotels and Transfers:
Airport Transfer Service in Quito City:
Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in 4x4 vehicle:
Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in a Minibus:
Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in a Minivan:
Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in 4x4 vehicle:
Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in a Minibus:
Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in a Minivan:
English & Spanish Speaking Transfer Service In & Out All Ecuador:
Express Transfer: Mariscal Sucre Airport to Quito:
Is it cheaper to fly into Quito or Tena?
Prices for flights to both Tena 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $12 per person, per day in Tena. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
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:
Skip the Line: La CompaĂ±ia Church Admission Ticket:
Skip the Line: Capilla del Hombre and Guayasamin's Museum Ticket:
Tour Guide and Driver:
Quito City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off:
Quito 3-Hour City Tour at Night:
Quito at Night & Urban Legends Tour - "Small Group":
The Original Quito City Tour in Trolley with Hotel Pick-up - "Small Group":
Quito Hop-on Hop-off City Bus Tour:
1914 Original Trolley City Tour of Quito:
Equatorial Monument: 3-Hour Tour from Quito:
Middle of the World Tour With Tickets - "Small Group":
Original Quito City Tour in Trolley:
Tours and Activities in Tena
Here are a few actual costs in Tena for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
3 or 4 Day Amazon Napo Adventure:
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.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Tena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.26 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Typical Alcohol prices in Quito
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Quito from other travelers:
When comparing the travel costs between Quito and Tena, 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.
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