A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Recife vs. Cuenca for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Recife or Cuenca?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Recife and Cuenca can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Recife or Cuenca?


One of the largest cities on Brazil's northeast coast, Recife is also the capital of the state of Pernambuco. The city gets its name from the Portuguese word for "reef," as it was built around a landscape of natural reef beaches. Many people visit to enjoy these beaches, experience the culture, and explore the history of this important Brazilian city.


Cuenca is a vibrant colonial city in southern Ecuador, the third largest in the country, and the capital of Azuay Province. Cuenca is considered as Ecuador's most important and beautiful colonial city after Quito. Dating from the 16th century, Cuenca's historic center, a Unesco World Heritage Site with its trademark skyline of massive rotundas and soaring steeples, is a magical sight in which you will feel like you are moving back in time. Cuenca is the center of many craft traditions, including ceramics, metalwork and the internationally famous panama hat. The nearby villages also offer many other handicrafts. Tourists enjoy wandering the ancient streets discovering picturesque alleys and hidden corners, where nuns march along cobblestone streets and kids in Catholic-school uniforms skip past historic churches. Fascinating historic monuments and fabulous views are found at every turn. Cuenca also has outstanding art museums and festivals. For a rewarding cultural experience, visit during Easter to attend the Festival of Religious Music.

Which place is cheaper, Cuenca or Recife?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Recife is $173, while the average daily cost in Cuenca is $42. 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 Recife and Cuenca in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Recife $92
    Cuenca $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Recife $184
    Cuenca $26
Compare Hotels in Recife and Cuenca

Looking for a hotel in Recife or Cuenca? 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 Recife

Hotels in Cuenca

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: Recife Hotel Prices and Cuenca Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Recife $8.83
    Cuenca $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Recife

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Recife:

  • Departure Transfer from Olinda to Recife Airport: $100
  • Private Departure Transfer from Olinda City to Recife Airport: $27
  • Private Transfer from Igarassu to Recife (REC) Airport : $103
  • Private Transfer from Olinda to Recife (REC) Airport: $47
  • Recife Boat Tour with Transfers: $72
  • Airport to Maragogi Hotels Private Transfer: $85
  • Airport to Porto de Galinhas Transfer: $65

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cuenca

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

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cuenca

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cuenca:

  • Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Cuenca Arrival Transfer: $34
  • Cuenca Departure Transfer: $34
  • Shared transfer from Cuenca Airport to Hotel: $45
  • Shared transfer from Hotel to Airport in Cuenca: $45
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan: $74
  • Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan: $74
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $104

Is it cheaper to fly into Recife or Cuenca?

Prices for flights to both Cuenca and Recife 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 Meals for one day
    Recife $73
    Cuenca $15

Typical Food prices in Cuenca

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cuenca:

  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Empanada
  • Hot Dog

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cuenca

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cuenca.

  • Street food Tour in Cuenca,Ecuador: $33
  • Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca: $55
  • Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour from Cuenca): $112
  • Private Cooking Class: $125

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Recife $12
    Cuenca $16

Tours and Activities in Recife

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

  • Recife (Historic Centre) Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Tour: $8.05
  • Olinda Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $8.19
  • City Tour Recife & Olinda: $26
  • Colonial Igarassu & Island City of Itamaracá Full-Day Tour: $34
  • Dois Irmãos Zoo: Wildlife Adventure with Comfortable transfe: $70
  • Olinda City Tour and Instituto Ricardo Brennand: $94
  • City Tour Recife with Catamaran included: $150
  • Explore the Heart of Capibaribe River Tour: $233
  • Fernando de Noronha - Private Multi Day Tour: $2,164

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

Here are a few actual costs in Cuenca for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Cuenca Excursion Panoramic City Tour SightSeeingTour in double-decker bus: $8.34
  • Cuenca Half-Day City Tour Including Panama Hat Factory: $30
  • Cuenca-Ec- City Tour with Panama Hat factory Half Day: $30
  • Walking Tour Through The Historic Center Of Cuenca: $30
  • Cuenca electric scooter tour: $30
  • Half-Day Biking and Walking Tour in Cuenca: $30
  • Cajas National Park Half Day Tour from Cuenca: $40
  • Private Cuenca City Tour including Turi Viewpoint: $40
  • Historical City Tour: $43
  • El Chorro waterfalls and Busa lake tour from Cuenca: $44
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45
  • City Sightseeing Tour: $45

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Recife -
    Cuenca $14

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Recife and Cuenca, we can see that Recife is more expensive. And not only is Cuenca much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cuenca would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cuenca 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 Recife would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Recife than you might in Cuenca.

Which is Bigger, Recife or Cuenca?

Recife is bigger, and its population is about 5.3 times larger than the population of Cuenca. When comparing the population of Recife vs. Cuenca, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Recife or Cuenca?

Recife has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Cuenca experiences a warm climate with fairly sunny weather most of the year.

Should I visit Recife or Cuenca in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Recife and Cuenca. Cuenca attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Recife is a little warmer than Cuenca in the summer. The daily temperature in Recife averages around 26°C (79°F) in January, and Cuenca fluctuates around 22°C (72°F)in July.

Recife gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Recife usually receives more rain than Cuencain July. Recife gets 108 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.

  • Summer Average Temperatures January and July
    Recife 26°C (79°F) 
    Cuenca 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Recife or Cuenca in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Recife as well as Cuenca. The warm climate attracts visitors to Cuenca throughout the year.

In the autumn, Recife is much warmer than Cuenca. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Recife in April average around 26°C (79°F), and Cuenca averages at about 12°C (54°F)in October.

Recife receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Recife usually gets more rain in April than Cuencain October. Recife gets 338 mm (13.3 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures April and October
    Recife 26°C (79°F) 
    Cuenca 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Recife or Cuenca in the Winter?

Both Cuenca and Recife are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Cuenca because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

Cuenca can be very cold during winter. In July, Recife is generally much warmer than Cuencain January. Daily temperatures in Recife average around 24°C (76°F), and Cuenca fluctuates around 4°C (39°F).

It's quite rainy in Recife. In July, Recife usually receives more rain than Cuencain January. Recife gets 388 mm (15.3 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 14 mm (0.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.

  • Winter Average Temperatures July and January
    Recife 24°C (76°F) 
    Cuenca 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Recife or Cuenca in the Spring?

Both Cuenca and Recife during the spring are popular places to visit. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Cuenca year-round.

Recife is much warmer than Cuenca in the spring. The daily temperature in Recife averages around 25°C (77°F) in October, and Cuenca fluctuates around 10°C (50°F)in April.

Recife usually gets more rain in October than Cuencain April. Recife gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Cuenca receives 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Spring Average Temperatures October and April
    Recife 25°C (77°F) 
    Cuenca 10°C (50°F)

Typical Weather for Cuenca and Recife

Recife Cuenca
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 108 mm (4.3 in) 4°C (39°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Feb 26°C (80°F) 148 mm (5.8 in) 6°C (43°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Mar 26°C (80°F) 257 mm (10.1 in) 8°C (46°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 338 mm (13.3 in) 10°C (50°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
May 25°C (78°F) 319 mm (12.5 in) 14°C (57°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 378 mm (14.9 in) 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Jul 24°C (76°F) 388 mm (15.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 24°C (75°F) 205 mm (8.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 23 mm (0.9 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Oct 25°C (77°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 12°C (54°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Nov 26°C (79°F) 36 mm (1.4 in) 7°C (45°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 5°C (41°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Recife vs. Cuenca Travel Comparison

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