Travel Budget for Cartagena Visit Cartagena on a Budget or Travel in Style

Cartagena, Departamento de Bolivar, Colombia

How much does it cost to travel to Cartagena?

You should plan to spend around $46 (CO$185,089) per day on your vacation in Cartagena. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $9.40 (CO$38,221) on meals
  • $7.17 (CO$29,159) on local transportation
  • $52 (CO$209,655) on hotels

A one week trip to Cartagena for two people costs, on average, $637 (CO$2,591,252). This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Cartagena cost?

A one week trip to Cartagena usually costs around $319 (CO$1,295,626) for one person and $637 (CO$2,591,252) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Cartagena on average costs around $637 (CO$2,591,252) for one person and $1,275 (CO$5,182,505) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Cartagena will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Cartagena on average costs around $1,366 (CO$5,552,684) for one person and $2,732 (CO$11,105,368) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently to Cartagena has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is Cartagena expensive to visit?

Cartagena is a very affordable place to visit. Located in Colombia, which is a very affordable country, visitors will appreciate the lower prices of this destination. It falls in the average range in the country for its prices. Budget travelers enjoy spending long periods of time exploring Cartagena in depth.

Within South America, Cartagena is a reasonably affordable destination compared to other places. It is in the top 25% of cities in South America for its affordability. You can find more affordable cities such as Humahuaca, but there are also more expensive cities, such as Recife.

For more details, and to find out if it's within your travel budget, see Is Cartagena Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Cartagena?

The average Cartagena trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Cartagena travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) CO$209,655 ($52)
Local Transportation 1 CO$29,159 ($7)
Food 2 CO$38,221 ($9)
Entertainment 1 CO$82,562 ($20)
Tips and Handouts 1 CO$2,348 - 7,043 ($1 - 2)
Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps 1 CO$93,750 - 281,250 ($23 - 69)
Alcohol 2 CO$17,915 - 53,744 ($4 - 13)
Accommodation Budget in Cartagena
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Cartagena is $26 (CO$104,828). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Cartagena is $52 (CO$209,655). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Hotel Prices in Cartagena

Looking for a hotel in Cartagena? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.


Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in Cartagena based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $81. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

Transportation Budget in Cartagena
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Cartagena is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $7.17 (CO$29,159) per person, per day, on local transportation in Cartagena.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

Flights to Cartagena
How much does it cost to go to Cartagena? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all airlines.

Rental Cars in Cartagena
The price of renting a car in Cartagena will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.

Food Budget in Cartagena
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Cartagena can vary, the average cost of food in Cartagena is $9.40 (CO$38,221) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Cartagena should cost around $3.76 (CO$15,288) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Cartagena is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day


Entertainment Budget in Cartagena
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Cartagena typically cost an average of $20 (CO$82,562) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Recommended Activities

Tips and Handouts Budget in Cartagena
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in Cartagena is $1.15 (CO$4,695) per day. The usual amount for a tip in Cartagena is 5% - 15%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps Budget in Cartagena
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Unfortunately, bad things can happen on a trip. Well, you've just got to deal with it! The average price for a scam, robbery, or mishap in Cartagena is $46 (CO$187,500), as reported by travelers.

  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1

Alcohol Budget in Cartagena
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $8.81 (CO$35,830) on alcoholic beverages in Cartagena per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day


Water Budget in Cartagena
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $0.79 (CO$3,221) on bottled water in Cartagena per day. The public water in Cartagena is not usually considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

Cartagena On a Budget
Cartagena Cartagena, Colombia
The capital of the Bolivar Department of Colombia, Cartagena is one of the most visited cities in the country. It sits on Colombia's northern coast by the Caribbean Sea. It's a port city with a population of almost 900,000, making it the fifth largest city in Colombia. The city has a rich history and was the first Spanish colony on the American continent. It was also one of the first sanctuaries for freed African slaves in the Americas.

The peak holidays for the area are the month of December and the holy week when it's a popular destination for Colombians on holiday. The city can be extremely crowded during these times.

Cartagena has a tropical wet and dry climate with humidity that is usually around 90%. The rainy seasons are from May to June and October through November. The climate is hot and windy year around.
Cartagena's main tourist area is the historic old town, which is surrounded by the city wall. The main entrance to the area is the Clock Tower Building.

Other things to do in Cartagena include visiting the 500 hundred year old forts in the city that are in surprisingly good condition. The Castillo de San Felipe is a fortress that was built in 1657 by the Spanish. Also nearby is La Popa hill, where you can enjoy great views of the city and the harbor. Museums in Cartagena include the Palacio de la Inquisicion and the Gold Museum (which is free). Churches worth visiting include Iglesia de San Pedro Claver, La Catedral, and the Iglesia de Santo Domingo.

For even more information, check out this guide to planning a trip to Colombia.
Cartagena can be broken down into several areas including the northern area, where you'll find the airport, the downtown, and Bocagrande. As a tourist, you're liking to spend most of your time in the city's downtown and the Bocagrande areas.

The downtown is where you'll find the walled colonial part of the city that is called ciudad amurallada. This area has most of the city's high end restaurants, hotels and clubs. Within the walled city you'll find the neighborhoods of Centro, San Diego, Getsemani and the modern part of La Matuna. The oldest part of the city is around Plaza Trinidad in Getsemani.

Bocagrande is a strip along the the beach that is lined with hotels and condos. There is also a third area that is up and coming. It's referred to as Castillogrande and has many condos and a nice, quiet beach.

There are plenty of other great neighborhoods in Cartagena worth exploring, too, so don't miss out on this dynamic city.

There are a variety of activities that you can enjoy while you're in Cartagena. The Chiva Bus is an open air bus that travels around town filled with people drinking, listening to music, and generally having fun. Another fun activity is to take Latin Dance Lessons. You can learn a variety of dances including Salsa, Merengue, Rumba, and Bachata. Spanish classes are also available in town. There are a few Spanish language schools nearby including BABEL International Language Institute, which is found in the old city.

There are also many day trips that you can enjoy while you're in the area. There are a handful of picturesque fishing villages nearby as well as some decent beaches. The best beach for swimming is Playa Blanca, which can be visited on an overnight trip. Most hotels and hostels can organize this trip for you.
Food and Dining
The food in Cartagena is a wonderful mix of the cultures you'll find in the city. African and Arabian flavors show up quite often. A popular dish is a fried meat such as fish, chicken or beef accompanied by coconut rice, fried plantains, and a salad. Food is generally quite cheap, particularly at lunch when restaurants often offer a set menu.

If you're in the old town, then you'll find a good selection of restaurants throughout. The largest concentration of options can be found close to the Plaza Santo Domingo in El Centro.

It's easy to explore Cartagena's most touristy neighborhoods on foot. Most places are walkable and you'll get a more up close and personal feel for the area if you wander around without a vehicle. If you're hoping to travel to more out of the way destinations such as the San Felipe fort, then there's a great network of buses that are convenient and cheap. If you have any problems just ask the bus driver and they are usually very friendly and helpful. Taxis are also cheap and ubiquitous. They're probably the fastest way to travel around the city.
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We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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