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

Should you visit Salento or Cusco?

Should I visit Salento or Cusco? 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.

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.

Cusco

Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness. (Read this advice about managing the altitude in Cusco and Machu Picchu.)

Which city is cheaper, Cusco or Salento?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Salento is $26, while the average daily cost in Cusco is $38. 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 Salento and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

A hotel room in Cusco is about $34 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Salento $9.09
    Cusco $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salento $18
    Cusco $34

Food

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.

Cusco food costs typically run travelers around $9.59 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Salento $7.62
    Cusco $9.59

Typical Food prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of dining costs in Cusco are as follows:


  • Sandwich
    $1.95
  • Mango
    $0.49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

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

  • Small-Group Virtual Peruvian Cooking Experience: $25
  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • Tunupa Cusco Restaurant: Dinner with Show: $28
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS LUNCH 12:00PM TO 1:30PM (Available only in English): $37
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $39
  • Dinner at Calle del Medio restaurant: $40
  • Dinner at Pachapapa restaurant.: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Classes: $43
  • Dinner at Tunupa restaurant with folkloric show.: $45
  • Dinner at Inca Grill Restaurant: $45
  • Curious Monkey- The Gordito, Walking Food Tour: $45
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $45

Local 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.

The average price of local transportation around Cusco is $8.69 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Salento $12
    Cusco $8.69

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.97

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Transfer to Cusco Airport 2020: $5.36
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Departure Transfer: $7.00
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $8.20
  • Cusco Airport Transfers: $8.70
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.00
  • Pickup from Cuzco airport and transfer to your hotel in Private vehicle: $9.52
  • Cusco Airport Departure Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $9.70
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $10
  • One-Way Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $10
  • Transfer from Cusco city to the airport: $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Salento or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Salento 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

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.

Cusco's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $20 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Salento $9.49
    Cusco $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

Typical Entertainment prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Cusco are as follows:


  • Salsa Class
    $2.44

Tours and Activities in Cusco

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

  • Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $7.00
  • the best tour 4 ruins cusco: $10
  • Cusco Cathedral Admission Ticket: $10
  • Walking tour in Cusco: $10
  • Walking Tour Game: $11
  • city cusco tour: $12
  • City Tour in Cusco: $14
  • Tours in Cusco with mgtravelsperu: $14
  • Machu Picchu: 2-Hour Small Group Guided Tour: $14
  • City Tour cusco and archaeological sites: $15
  • Shared Cusco City Tour by Bus: $15
  • City Tour Cusco Peru: $15

Alcohol

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.

The average person spends about $6.81 on alcoholic beverages in Cusco per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Salento $9.31
    Cusco $6.81


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Salento and Cusco, we can see that Cusco 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 Cusco would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cusco than you might in Salento.

Budget Your Trip

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Salento vs. Cusco Travel Comparison

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