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

Should you visit Salvador or Cuenca?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Salvador or Cuenca, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Salvador

Salvador de Bahia was the first capital of Brazil, founded by the Portuguese in 1549. Also known as "Brazil's capital of happiness," Salvador is famous for its plentiful and spirited street festivals. The third most populous city in Brazil, Salvador is also well-known for its Afro-Brazilian culture and Portuguese colonial architecture.

Cuenca

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 city is cheaper, Cuenca or Salvador?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Salvador is $33, while the average daily cost in Cuenca is $34. 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 Salvador and Cuenca in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Salvador is about $36 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $20 for a double occupancy room in Cuenca.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Salvador $18
    Cuenca $9.97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salvador $36
    Cuenca $20

Food

In Salvador travelers spend around $9.82 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.

Food in Cuenca costs travelers about $12 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Salvador $9.82
    Cuenca $12
Typical Food prices in Salvador

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


  • Dinner for 2
    $1.30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Salvador

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

  • Pelourinho By Night - Dinner & Show: $70
  • Pelourinho By Night With Folkloric Show and Dinner: $80
  • Private Tour to Cultural Show and Dinner in Salvador: $80
  • Private Cooking Experience in Salvador: $100
  • Salvador by Night: Cultural Dinner and Show: $110
  • Bahia By Night: Dinner and Folkloric show: $114
  • Cooking Class with a Local and Spice Gift: $125
  • Bahia By Night Dinner and Dance Show Ticket: $135

Typical Food prices in Cuenca

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


  • Lunch
    $10
  • Snacks
    $5.00
  • Empanada
    $1.50
  • Hot Dog
    $1.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cuenca

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

  • Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca: $55
  • Cuenca City Tour & Cooking Class (PRIVATE Tour): $95

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $4.59 per day to get around in Salvador.

The average price of local transportation around Cuenca is $8.60 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.
    Salvador $4.59
    Cuenca $8.60
Typical Local Transportation prices in Salvador

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Salvador:


  • Bus from Airport
    $1.12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salvador

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salvador:

  • Grand Palladium Imbassai Private Transfer 4 to 12 Pax: $114
  • Iberostar Praia do Forte or Bahia Private Transfer 4 to 12 Pax: $107
  • Ivan Bahia, Private Transfer Lençois (Chapada Diamantina) to / from Salvador BA: $280
  • Morro de São Paulo Shared Transfer From/To Salvador: $100
  • Praia do Forte Private Transfer From Salvador: $103
  • Praia do Forte Shared Transfer From Salvador: $43
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer: Salvador de Bahia Airport to Salvador City: $62
  • Private Airport Transfer: Salvador Int. Airport (SSA) to Salvador de Bahia: $21
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Salvador de Bahia to Salvador Int. Airport (SSA): $21
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Salvador de Bahia Airport to Salvador City: $31
  • Private Departure Transfer from Salvador City to Salvador de Bahia Airport: $31
  • Private One Way Airport Transfer - Morro de São Paulo: $366

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cuenca

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $2.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cuenca

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cuenca:

  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cuenca Airport CUE to Cuenca City by Minivan: $74
  • Cuenca Airport Shuttle Transfer: $19
  • Cuenca Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Cuenca Departure Transfer: $15
  • Cuenca to Alausi Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Cuenca to Guayaquil Transfer in Fantasy Bus: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer: Cuenca City to Cuenca Airport CUE by Minivan: $74
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca City Center to Madrid City Center: $147
  • Private Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil.: $83
  • Transfer In Cuenca Airport - Hotel: $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Salvador or Cuenca?

Prices for flights to both Cuenca and Salvador 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 $4.33 per person, per day in Salvador. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Cuenca'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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Salvador $4.33
    Cuenca $13

Tours and Activities in Salvador

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

  • Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova Guided Tour Including Entrance Ticket: $9.53
  • Discover the Ancient Deities of Brazil's Candomblé (Online Experience): $15
  • Salvador Panoramic City Tour: $21
  • Salvador Historical City Center Tour: $21
  • Panoramic Salvador Half Day City Tour: $25
  • Historical Salvador City Tour: $25
  • Shared Salvador City Tour: $27
  • Half Day Historical City Tour (Private): $28
  • Historic City Tour in Salvador: $33
  • Panoramic Sightseeing City Tour: $37
  • Schooner Tour to Ilha dos Frades and Itaparica from Salvador: $37
  • North Beach Praia do Forte and Guarajuba Tour: $40

Tours and Activities in Cuenca

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

  • Guided tour to Cuenca City: $9.95
  • Cuenca City Tour: $20
  • Cuenca City tour: $25
  • Half-Day Tour of Cuenca Including Panama Hat Factory: $30
  • Walking Cuenca City Tour with Pumapungo Complex Half Day: $30
  • Cuenca City Tour: $30
  • Biking and Walking City Tour Cuenca: $30
  • Half-Day Biking and Walking Tour of Cuenca, Ecuador: $30
  • Private Half-Day Cuenca City Tour: $38
  • Cajas National Park Half Day Tour: $40
  • Private Half-Day City Tour Including Turi Viewpoint: $41
  • Biking Cuenca City Tour: $45

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Salvador may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.79 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cuenca may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Salvador $5.79
    Cuenca $11
Typical Alcohol prices in Salvador

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Salvador:


  • Beers for 2
    $1.30


When comparing the travel costs between Salvador and Cuenca, we can see that Cuenca 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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Salvador vs. Cuenca Travel Comparison

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