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

Should you visit Tilcara or Cusco?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Tilcara and Cusco can help you decide which place is right for you.

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.

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 Tilcara?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tilcara is $58, 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 Tilcara and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation

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

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


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

Food

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.

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
    Tilcara $24
    Cusco $9.59
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

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

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.

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.
    Tilcara $15
    Cusco $8.69
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tilcara

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.05

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 Sebasti├ín Private Transfer from San Sebasti├ín 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 Tilcara or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco and Tilcara 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 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.

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.
    Tilcara $14
    Cusco $20

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

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 Tilcara, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.52.

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
    Tilcara $7.52
    Cusco $6.81


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tilcara and Cusco, we can see that Tilcara is more expensive. And not only is Cusco much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cusco would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cusco 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 Cusco.

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Tilcara vs. Cusco Travel Comparison

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