A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Banos vs. Medellin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Banos or Medellin?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Banos and Medellin. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Banos or Medellin?


Banos (de Agua Santa) is a small city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador under volcano Tungurahua. Its name, which is Spanish for "Baths (of sacred water)," comes from the famous hydrothermal springs in the area. It's equally popular with foreigners as with Ecuadorians, and is known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. The streets are lined with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour agencies. Although it is very touristy, lots of people love it, more for the activities and surroundings than for the city itself. It is an important hub for outdoor sports and jungle tours.


In addition to big improvements in public safety, Medellin has witnessed a huge surge in urban development projects, including Colombia's first metro system and cable cars to service poorer neighborhoods located high on the mountain sides. There is an abundance of parks, libraries, museums and public spaces with many cultural events taking place. Many travelers also enjoy visiting the surrounding villages, where life is simple and landscapes and nature reserves are wonderful. Medellin has now become one of the "it" cities in the world, with tons of tourists visiting and foreigners settling and retiring here. Beautiful mountains, warm weather, friendly locals, and a vibrant culture are just a few of the reasons why you should visit Medellin.

Which place is cheaper, Medellin or Banos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Banos is $46, while the average daily cost in Medellin is $21. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Banos and Medellin in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banos $16
    Medellin $4.46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banos $32
    Medellin $8.92
Compare Hotels in Banos and Medellin

Looking for a hotel in Banos or Medellin? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Banos

Hotels in Medellin

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Banos Hotel Prices and Medellin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banos $10
    Medellin $3.89

Typical Local Transportation prices in Medellin

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

  • Taxi

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Medellin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Medellin:

  • Airport Transfer: $43
  • Airport Transfers : $120
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Medellin Airport MDE to Medellin City by 2x4 Car: $118
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Medellin Airport MDE to Medellin City by Minibus: $248
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Medellin Airport MDE to Medellin City by Minivan: $175
  • Departure Private Transfer from Medellin City to Medellin Airport MDE by 2x4 Car: $108
  • Departure Private Transfer from Medellin City to Medellin Airport MDE by Minibus: $248
  • Departure Private Transfer from Medellin City to Medellin Airport MDE by Minivan: $175
  • Downtown hotels to Medellin Airport (MDE) - Departure Transfer: $21
  • Guatapé Transfer: José María Córdova Airport: $40
  • Jose Maria Cordova Airport(MDE) to Medellin - Round-Trip Transfer: $42
  • Medellín Airport shuttle - Airport Transfer: $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Banos or Medellin?

Prices for flights to both Medellin and Banos 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Banos $15
    Medellin $9.02
Typical Food prices in Banos

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Banos:

  • Dinner
  • Ice cream
  • Coffee

Typical Food prices in Medellin

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Medellin:

  • Lunch

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Medellin

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Medellin.

  • Cooking Class Preparing Colombian Empanadas: $28
  • Street Food Cooking Class: $50
  • Community project cooking class and Medellin social transformation tour: $66
  • Homemade Paisa Dinner at a Local's Home in Medellín: $69
  • Homemade Paisa Dinner at a Local's Home in Medellín: $71
  • Private tour: Street food tour, Eat like a Local in Medellin!: $71
  • Medellín Food Tour: $89
  • Sabaneta and Envigado Best Local Food Tour from Medellin: $94
  • Full Day Private Medellin City, Street Art and Food Tour: $104
  • Food Tour & Christmas Lights in Lots of Colors and Food: $105
  • Private Market Tour and Colombian Cooking Lesson With a Local Family in Medellin: $114
  • Comuna 13, Fruit & Street Food Tour: $117

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banos $19
    Medellin $12
Typical Entertainment prices in Banos

Here are a few typical costs in Banos for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Two Rented Bikes for the Day
  • Cost to see Waterfall
  • Day at the Spa
  • 2 Bike Rentals (1 Day)
  • Entrance to Waterfall

Tours and Activities in Banos

Here are a few actual costs in Banos for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • The Hands of God | Tours | The highest viewpoint in the city: $15
  • City Viewpoint Night Tours: $15
  • Pailón Del Diablo Tour, Tree House And Night Tour: $18
  • Adventure Circuit 4 activities in 1. All within an impressive cascade: $25
  • Canopy Ziplining in Puntzan Adventure Park: $26
  • Tourist Transportation Rental in Baños de Agua Santa: $27
  • 2 Hours Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Banos: $30
  • Canyoning Adventure Tour in the Ravine: $30
  • Ziplining in Puntzan Adventure Park in Baños: $30
  • Private 3-Hour Canyoning Experience in Chamana: $30
  • Full Day Jungle Tour: $32
  • Full Day Tour to the Jungle of Puyo: $33

Tours and Activities in Medellin

Here are a few actual costs in Medellin for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Guided Nightlife Tour of Comuna Trece in Medellin : $5.00
  • Skip the Line: Museum of Antioquia Admission Ticket: $7.20
  • History and Street Art Tour in Comuna 13: $8.00
  • GRAFITOUR COMUNA 13 more than a tour an EXPERIENCE: $10
  • Graffitour Medellín: History, Transformation and Overcoming": $13
  • Medellin Shared Walking Tour Metro ticket included: $13
  • Comuna 13 Medellín (Graffitour) Discover the Transformation: $13
  • Post-conflict and Violence Tour (after Pablo) in Medellin: $13
  • Virtual Tour: Colonial Santa Fe de Antioquia: $14
  • COMUNA 13 Graffiti Tour: $15
  • Commune 13, cable car. Graffititour. History. All inclusive: $16
  • 90 Minute Walking Tour of Guatapé: $16

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banos $9.74
    Medellin $6.77
Typical Alcohol prices in Banos

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Banos from other travelers:

  • Beer

Sample the Local Flavors in Medellin

Also in Medellin, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Live the Nightlife Rooftop Pub Crawl : $15
  • 5 hours pub crawl to the bests clubs in Provenza Medellin: $25
  • 4 Hours Pub Crawl Nightlife in Medellin: $39
  • Medellin Private Bar Crawl: $94
  • All-Inclusive Comuna 13 Nightlife Bar Crawl with Locals: $130
  • Medellin Pub Crawl Including Food and City Tour: $139

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Banos and Medellin, we can see that Banos is more expensive. And not only is Medellin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Medellin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Medellin 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 Banos would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Banos than you might in Medellin.

Which is Bigger, Banos or Medellin?

Medellin is bigger, and its population is about 210.5 times larger than the population of Banos. When comparing the population of Banos vs. Medellin, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

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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Banos vs. Medellin Travel Comparison

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