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

Should you visit Quito or Tilcara?

Should I visit Quito or Tilcara? 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.

Tilcara

Tilcara signifies shooting star in Quechua. At 2465m of altitude, the little town of Tilcara is one of the most animated place of the area of the quebrada de humahuaca. Many South American backpackers and tourists from all around the world come to visit Tilcara and its pucara, the forteresse built by the Incas at the top of the hill, providing a stunning walk around the town. Tilcara hosts many festivals for different occasions such as the celebration of the Pachamama in August, the semana santa (Holy Week) in April, and the Enero Tilcareno, held in January as its name indicates, which is probably the busiest month of the year for the little town. If you enjoy concerts, parades and folklorique parties then definitely try to visit Tilcara during a festival month and avoid them if you prefer a calm and more relaxed holiday. There are many available activities around Tilcara including horseback riding, VTT, and you could also even try a ride in a caravan pulled by llamas.

Which city is cheaper, Tilcara 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 Tilcara is $58. 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 Tilcara 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $46 in Tilcara For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Quito $18
    Tilcara $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Quito $36
    Tilcara $46

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.

On average, meal and food prices in Tilcara cost around $24 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $9.60.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Quito $16
    Tilcara $24

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

Typical Food prices in Tilcara

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tilcara:


  • Sandwich
    $0.05
  • Burger
    $0.10
  • Fruit
    $0.08
  • Sandwich
    $0.10

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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Tilcara than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $15 on transportation in Tilcara on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Quito $5.59
    Tilcara $15
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:

  • 8-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotels and Transfers: $1,318
  • 7-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotel and Transfers: $1,240
  • Private transfer: Quito to Quito International Airport (UIO): $622
  • Private transfer: Quito International Airport (UIO) to Quito: $622
  • 2-Night Quito Experience: Transfer, Tour and Mariscal Accommodation: $140
  • transfer airport to hotel in Quito or from Quito to airport: $117
  • Quito Airport Private Transfer Service: $112
  • Private transfers To Mindo: $96
  • Private transfer in or out Quito airport. Bilingual guide-driver: $80
  • Transfer IN & OUT of Quito: $80
  • Transfer IN & OUT of Quito: $75
  • Round-Trip Transfer in Private Minivan from Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City: $73

Typical Local Transportation prices in Tilcara

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Tilcara:


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.05

Is it cheaper to fly into Quito or Tilcara?

Prices for flights to both Tilcara 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.

Sightseeing expenses in Tilcara, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $14 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Quito $13
    Tilcara $14
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:

  • 10 days True Ecuador Experience: $2,300
  • 12 Day Galapagos Snorkeling Tour: $3,211
  • 15-Day Ecuador and Galapagos Highlights Tour from Quito: $7,780
  • 15-day Adventure: Experiencing the Andes and Amazon of Ecuador: $2,103
  • 16-Day Ecuador Adventure: Andes, Amazon & Galapagos: $4,513
  • 1914 Original Trolley City Tour of Quito: $15
  • 2 Day Private Tour to Mindo Cloud Forest from Quito: $295
  • 2 Day Private Tour to Otavalo Market & surroundings from Quito: $258
  • 2 Full Days Exploring The Ecuadorian Amazon | Tour Start In Quito: $267
  • 2-Day Avenue of the Volcanoes and Baños Tour from Quito -"Small Group": $417
  • 2-Day Baños Full Adrenaline Tour from Quito: $581
  • 2-Day Private Sightseeing Tour Cotopaxi and Quilotoa: $328

Tours and Activities in Tilcara

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tilcara.

  • Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour to Juella from Tilcara: $58
  • Full-Day Tour to Laguna de los Pozuelos from Tilcara: $135

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Tilcara, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.52.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Quito $14
    Tilcara $7.52
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 Tilcara, we can see that Tilcara 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 Tilcara would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tilcara than you might in Quito.

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Quito vs. Tilcara Travel Comparison

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