The Cost of Cusco

Peru is less expensive that most countries and Cusco is more expensive that most Peruvian cities. Here is a breakdown of costs (in US dollars) of a random sampling of everyday items:

Housing and Utilities:
Monthly rent for an unfurnished apartment near the center of Cusco (3BR/2BA): $250.00-300.00
Monthly utilities (water, electric, trash): $80.00-100.00
Re-fill a five-gallon tank of propane for a gas stove (that will last 2 months): $10.00

8 medium-sized potatoes at the produce market: $0.40
Large chicken breast at the supermarket: $2.80
A dozen eggs at the supermarket: $1.20
A dozen fresh-baked bread rolls at any corner store: $0.80
1-liter carton of milk at the supermarket: $0.83
Fresh-baked Baguette from San Blas' Buen Pastor bakery: $0.17
Bottle of Peruvian Tabernero Cabernet Sauvignon: $6.00

Taxi Cab ride across town: $0.83
Air Flight from Cusco to Lima (round trip) $90.00 (seems to have gone up lately)

Shoeshine in the Plaza de Armas: $0.33
Double-scoop of gelato: $0.60
Trip to the dentist for teeth cleaning: $35.00-45.00
DVD movie (pirated) from El Molino market: $1.00


  1. Dear Jason

    Thanks for the interesting post, just planning a month long trip to Cusco. I note that you quote 90 USD for the return airfare. Booking in the this trip costs £205. Nearly four times as much! Maybe I should book my flight once I arrive in Lima.


  2. I just double-checked the cost of my round-trip flight (Lima-Cusco-Lima) this past February with TACA and with tax it was $104.60 (and I walk by travel agents in Cusco every day who advertise the same flight for $105)...but I just went to and plugged in a Lima-Cusco-Lima flight from November 15 to December 15 and it comes up $441! Be aware that LAN just instituted a (discriminatory) 2-tier pricing policy that makes flights for non-nationals more expensive. I just went to the web site and I got a $122 flight by taking a midweek flight.

  3. Hi, any idea of the cost of a bus-cama from Cuzco to Lima? And also, what are the different airlines that fly from Cuzco to Lima?

    Thanks so much. Nina (a fellow Bay Area person headed for Cuzco in December, in route from Bolivia where I will be observing elections to Lima (where I studied for a year decades ago). Haven't been in Cuzco since the early 1980s, when things were just heading up with Sendero.

    PS Your textile project sounds fascinating--if possible, I would love to meet up with you to learn more about it when I am in Cuzco. Would appreciate if you could let me know how to get in touch with you. My email: