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

Should you visit Sao Paulo or Cusco?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sao Paulo or Cusco, 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.

Sao Paulo

With a population of around 11 million, and 20 million in the metropolitan area, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It's also one of the wealthiest cities in the southern hemisphere, although you don't have to look far to see the income disparities and inequalities that exist. The city is diverse and culturally rich, with excellent food, music, and entertainment.

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 Sao Paulo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sao Paulo is $41, 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 Sao Paulo and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Sao Paulo can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $23, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $46.

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


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sao Paulo $23
    Cusco $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sao Paulo $46
    Cusco $34

Food

The average traveler spends about $11 per day in Sao Paulo for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

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
    Sao Paulo $11
    Cusco $9.59

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sao Paulo

For Sao Paulo, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Sao Paulo - Pinheiros Gourmet Food Tour (4 hours tour + 3 dishes included): $45
  • Brazilian Cooking Class: $79
  • Cooking Class in São Paulo: $268
  • Private Food Tour in São Paulo: $278

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

Sao Paulo's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $4.61 per person, per day on transportation in Sao Paulo.

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.
    Sao Paulo $4.61
    Cusco $8.69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

Also for Sao Paulo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo/Congonhas Airport (CGH) to Sao Paulo: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Sao Paulo to Sao Paulo/Congonhas Airport (CGH): $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Int. Airport (GRU) to Sao Paulo: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo to Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Int. Airport (GRU): $23
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Sao Paulo City to Airport: $25
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport: $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Congonhas Airport to São Paulo Hotels: $30
  • Private Departure Transfer: São Paulo Hotels to Congonhas Airport: $30
  • CGH Airport transfer Sao Paulo city / Hotel: $38
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Guarulhos International Airport to São Paulo Hotels: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer: São Paulo Hotels to Guarulhos International Airport: $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer from São Paulo Guarulhos Airport to São Paulo City: $41

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:

  • Private Transfer from Cusco to Puno: $689
  • CUSCO MAGICAL 4D Transfer, Hotel, City Tour, Sacred Valley and Machu picchu: $641
  • Airport Transfer, City Tour, Sacred Valley & Machupicchu (All Included): $580
  • Private Transfer from Cusco City to Ollantaytambo Train Station by Minibus: $196
  • Private Transfer from Alejandro Velasco Astete (CUZ) Airport to Valle Sagrado: $178
  • Private Transfer from Alejandro Velasco Astete (CUZ) Airport to Ollantaytambo: $158
  • San Sebastián Private Transfer from San Sebastián Airport to City centre: $100
  • One-Way Scenic Bus Transfer to Puno from Cusco: $97
  • Scenic Journey from Cusco to Puno by Bus Including Hotel Transfers: $97
  • Private Transfer from Cusco City to Ollantaytambo Train Station by Minivan: $85
  • Cuzco city or airport to Ollantaytambo train station -Departure Private Transfer: $67
  • Private Transfer from Cusco City to Ollantaytambo Train Station by Sedan Car: $67

Is it cheaper to fly into Sao Paulo or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Sao Paulo 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Sao Paulo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $3.16 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

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.
    Sao Paulo $3.16
    Cusco $20

Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo

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

  • Downtown São Paulo: An audio tour tracing the city's epic history: $5.00
  • Virtual Live Tour of Sao Paulo Graffiti Hosted by Artist: $25
  • Street art is not for lazy tourists :P: $25
  • São Paulo Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • Discover Sao Paulo History Guided Tour: $31
  • Paulista Avenue Walking Tour: $31
  • Private São Paulo Historic Center Walking Tour: $45
  • Small Group Highlights Tour in São Paulo: $49
  • City Tour Meet São Paulo Half-Day: $50
  • Alternative City Tour: $50
  • Rain Forest Trail - Cantareira Natural Park day tour from São Paulo: $58
  • Embu das Artes Largest Handicraft Fair Tour from São Paulo: $58

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:

  • "Waqrapukara" Great Canyon Full Day Tour: $100
  • (H) Cusco 04 Days: City Tour - Sacred Valley - MachuPicchu (Group Tour): $550
  • (H) Inka Jungle Trail 04 Days (Group Tour): $336
  • 01 Day Tour to Machu Picchu The Inca City: $410
  • 07 Day Andean Experience Through the Living Culture of the Incas: $1,699
  • 07 Day: Inca Jungle Adventure with Mountain Bike, Rafting, Zipline & Trek: $999
  • 1 Day Hike on the Inca Trail + 1 Day in Machupicchu: Private 2 days Tour: $484
  • 1 Day Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu: $1,280
  • 1 Day Tour to Palcoyo Mountain and 4 Lagoons - private service: $359
  • 1 Day tour to Machupicchu: $340
  • 1-Day Machu Picchu Tour by Vistadome Train: $485
  • 1-Day Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco, Peru: $850

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sao Paulo, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $2.75.

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
    Sao Paulo $2.75
    Cusco $6.81

Sample the Local Flavors in Sao Paulo

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Sao Paulo:

  • 4 Hours Pub Crawl in Vila Madalena: $69


When comparing the travel costs between Sao Paulo and Cusco, we can see that Sao Paulo 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Sao Paulo vs. Cusco Travel Comparison

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