Should you visit Tilcara or Machu Picchu?
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 Machu Picchu can help you decide which place is right for you.
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.
Machu Picchu is a site of ancient Inca ruins located about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cuzco, Peru, in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba of the Andes Mountains. It is perched above the Urubamba River valley in a narrow saddle between two sharp peaks, Machu Picchu ("Old Peak") and Huayna Picchu ("New Peak"), at an elevation of 7,710 feet (2,350 metres). One of the few major pre-Columbian ruins found nearly intact, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. Thus, Machu Picchu is not only an impressive remnant of the Inca civilization, it is also one of the world's most important archaeological sites. A stop at Machu Picchu is an essential part of any traveler's itinerary in Peru, as it is one of the seven wonders of the world.
Which city is cheaper, Machu Picchu 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 Machu Picchu is $78. 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 Machu Picchu in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $46 in Tilcara For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $60 in Machu Picchu For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
While meal prices in Machu Picchu can vary, the average travelers spends about $18 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Machu Picchu should cost around $7.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Machu Picchu is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Machu Picchu $18
Typical Food prices in Tilcara
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tilcara:
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.
To get around in Machu Picchu, the average visitor spends $21 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tilcara
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Tilcara:
Is it cheaper to fly into Tilcara or Machu Picchu?
Prices for flights to both Machu Picchu 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.
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.
In Machu Picchu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $55 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Tilcara
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tilcara.
Full-Day Tour to Laguna de los Pozuelos from Tilcara:
Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour to Juella from Tilcara:
Typical Entertainment prices in Machu Picchu
For Machu Picchu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Tours and Activities in Machu Picchu
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Machu Picchu.
Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Ruin and Mountain:
Huaynapicchu mountain hike + Machu Picchu entrance ticket:
Inca Jungle Trek and Mountain Bike Tour - 4 days:
LGBT-Full-Day: Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu with Panoramic train:
LGBT:. Full day - Luxury Tour to Machu Picchu:
Machu Picchu Admission Ticket:
Machu Picchu And Huayna Picchu Morning Entrance Ticket:
Machu Picchu Exclusive Full Day Tour:
Machu Picchu Full Day Private Tour:
Machu Picchu Official Entrance Ticket:
Machu Picchu Official Ticket:
Machu Picchu Ticket: Official Entrance Ticket:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Machu Picchu, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.95.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tilcara and Machu Picchu, we can see that Machu Picchu is more expensive. And not only is Tilcara much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Tilcara would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tilcara 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 Machu Picchu would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Machu Picchu than you might in Tilcara.
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