Peru vs. Ecuador: Which South American Nation Reigns Supreme?

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While both Peru and Ecuador can offer unique experiences, they are very different from each other.

Luckily after visiting both nations, I can compare Peru vs. Ecuador and show you which of the nations reign supreme.

This will help you choose the right South American vacation.


You could go your entire vacation eating food you’re used to, but you would be losing out on the delectable native cuisine of Peru and Ecuador.

When I was looking for South American restaurants, Peru blows Ecuador out of the water. The chefs here take real pride in their cuisine, which is rightly recognized worldwide.

Ceviche cuisine

Peruvian cuisine is a mix of Spanish, Andean, and Asian flavors, featuring ingredients like potatoes, quinoa, aji peppers, corn, and cassava.

Ceviche is Peru’s national dish, with a fusion of flavors that are hard to compare to anything else. Lomo saltado and ají de gallina are also prevalent throughout the country.

Food in Ecuador is rather more traditional. The country’s national dish is Bolon de Verde, consisting of mashed green plantains, pork (or other meat), or cheese.

Ecuadorian cuisine also features a variety of seafood dishes, such as fried fish.

Attractions and Things to Do

As far as attractions and endless activities go, Peru takes the cake due to its large size. It offers its guests a perfectly balanced mix of cultural, adventurous, historical, and natural attractions. 

There is no shortage of natural beauty exemplified by the majestic Andes Mountains and the lush Amazon Rainforest.

Huascarán National Park mountain
Huascarán National Park

Peru is also home to some of the world’s most stunning parks, including;

  • Manu National Park
  • Huascarán National Park
  • Parque Nacional Del Manu 

For those looking for a cultural experience, Peru is a country steeped with the world’s most impressive archaeological sites, including Machu Picchu, Chan Chan, and Huaca Pucllana. 

Ecuador is known for its impressive, diverse range of landscapes, from the snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes to the Amazon rainforest and its stunning Galapagos Islands.

Peru also offers various volcanoes to marvel at, including the massive Huascaran and El Misti.


Overall, Ecuador wins this category, but only slightly.

Expect the weekly budget in Peru per person to be around 306 USD and 296 USD for Ecuador. 

Visit Arequipa in Peru
Arequipa, Peru

Let’s take a closer look:

  • Food: Regarding food, eating out in Peru is generally quite cheap, with most restaurants offering set meals for around $11. Street food is even more affordable, with dishes like ceviche, tamales, and empanadas typically costing between $3 and $5. In Ecuador, the same dishes will cost around 13 USD. 
  • Accommodation: Accommodation is generally cheaper in Ecuador than in Peru, with a mid-range hotel room costing around 14 USD for one person in a hotel or hostel and 20 USD in Peru. For a double-occupancy room, the cost is 40 USD in Peru and 28 USD in Ecuador.
  • Transportation: Public transportation in Peru is relatively inexpensive than in Ecuador. For example, it is 4.20 USD in Peru and 5.22 USD in Ecuador for local transportation such as buses, taxis, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment: Prices vary depending on the type of entertainment, but entrance tickets to movies and shows cost around 16 USD for both Peru and Ecuador. And drinks in a club or a bar are around 4.37 USD for Peru and 5.26 USD for Ecuador.


Both countries are blessed with vibrant nightlife, and you should not have any problem finding a great party in either Peru or Ecuador.

However, Peru is a clear winner in this category, though.

The nightlife here is more vibrant, energetic, and tourist-friendly so it’s an excellent spot for those looking to make local friends.

Seldom will you find nightlife in Peru boring.

Quito, Ecuador at night
Quito, Ecuador

Peru is widely known for its adult entertainment provided in terms of nightclubs, pubs, Strip clubs, and bars that many tourists and locals frequent.

For those looking to do some gambling or for an evening full of dancing, there are plenty of casinos and clubs to choose from. Most clubs feature Latin music and salsa dancing.

Ecuador’s nightlife, on the other hand, is more relaxed and traditional. The nightlife here is centered on bars, restaurants, and discos.

Some clubs offer live music and DJs, but most of the nightlife in Ecuador is focused on dancing.

Discos are popular here and you can find various music, from Latin to reggae and salsa. A few bars and pubs also offer live music and DJs.


As two of the most culturally-rich countries in South America, Peru, and Ecuador have long held a rivalry over which nation reigns supreme regarding cultural offerings.

With both nations sharing the same border, it should be no shock that they also share many of the same cultures and traditions.

Culturally-rich countries
Peru vs Ecuador Culture

I would have to say both countries are full of unique traditions and cultures. Peruvian culture is a mix of native traditions and Hispanic traditions. The Aymara and Quechua are the two major native cultures of Peru.

The culture of Peru is also deeply rooted in traditional clothing and can be seen in their skirts, belts, and ponchos, which are often brightly colored and intricately embroidered to reflect the local area.

Also, each Peru region has traditional dances that tell the story of its history – from wars to agricultural practices.

Ecuador’s culture has a slightly different flavor. The country boasts its thriving art scene, with traditional crafts such as pottery and textiles being popular.

The country is also known for its vibrant music and dance, with marimba and pasillo being two of the most popular genres.


Beautiful white sand beaches are among the things that Ecuador and Peru share in common.

However, what you desire from a beach will determine who wins this extremely tight contest. Nevertheless, Peru has better beaches with over 2,000 miles of the Pacific coastline. 

Ecuador also has some beautiful beaches. However, the country’s coastline is much smaller than Peru’s, but its beaches can compete in beauty and activities.

Here are some of the most impressive beaches I visited in Peru and Ecuador:


Sunshine Mancora Beach
Mancora Beach in Peru
  • Las Pocitas: The beach offers a tranquil paradise of aquamarine water and golden-white sand, perfect for relaxation and exploration.
  • Mancora: Boasting sunny days per year, it is a popular spot for surfers and pleasure seekers of all types.
  • Lobitos: Considered among the best surf beaches in Peru due to its ideal waves.


Puerto Lopez in Ecuador
Puerto Lopez Beach
  • Montañita: It is one of the most popular beaches in Ecuadoran and is known for its excellent surfing conditions, lively nightlife, and beautiful sunsets.
  • Puerto Lopez: This beach is located in the Manabí province and is home to fishing-turned beach resort. It is also a perfect spot for catching a few rays and relaxing. 
  • Atacames Beach:  Swimming and surfing are popular activities here; however, you should be cautious as sharks do frequent these waters.


Peru would be my choice because of its excellent weather for tourists.

Climates in Peru range considerably, from tropical in the Amazon basin to arid in the coastal and highland areas.

Due to the variety, tourists may choose the climate that best matches their needs.

Visit Cusco in Peru
Cusco, Peru

In Peru, lowlands enjoy year-round mild temperatures, whereas highlands have cool daytime temperatures and frigid nighttime temperatures.

The coast of Peru generally has sunny and dry weather in January at 84 °F (29 °C), making it an excellent destination for beachgoers.

In addition, Peru is home to Machu Picchu, a world-famous site with a temperate climate and beautiful scenery.

Overall, Peru is an excellent destination for visitors looking for various climates and scenery.

Meanwhile, Ecuador has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The rainy season runs from November to May, while the dry season runs from June to October.

The rainy season can be scorching, humid, and wet, but the temperatures remain relatively mild, ranging from the mid-60°F to mid-70°F.

During the dry season, temperatures tend to be cooler, ranging from the mid-50°F to mid-70°F.

Why Peru Is Better Than Ecuador (Personal Opinion)

Having visited Peru and Ecuador on several occasions, I have been fortunate enough to witness the beauty and diversity of South America.

As amazing as each place is, I have to declare Peru better than Ecuador. 

Machu Picchu in Peru
Machu Picchu

Peru is famous for its ancient Incan ruins and archaeological sites, such as Machu Picchu, as well as its unique cuisine, vibrant culture, and perfect weather.

It is also known for its electric nightlife, the legendary Machu Picchu, and the Incan Trail.

However, Ecuador certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. It has an abundance of natural beauty.

It is a place where you can immerse yourself in a wealth of experiences, from the majestic snow-capped volcanoes to the varied landscapes, which include:

  • the Amazon rainforest
  • the Andean Mountains
  • and the Galápagos Islands

If I could make one suggestion to anyone considering a trip to either location, it would be to visit both and find out why each is so remarkable. I am sure you’ll be delighted with both countries!

Final Thoughts

Despite their similarities on the outside, you’ve probably realized that Peru and Ecuador are two different nations. 

Peru offers an abundance of incredible archaeological sites, a diverse range of climates, and plenty of opportunities for exploration. 

Conversely, Ecuador is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes on the planet. Ecuador is a paradise for nature lovers, from the Amazon rainforest to the Galapagos Islands.

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