A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Buzios vs. Santa Marta for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Buzios or Santa Marta?

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

Should I visit Buzios or Santa Marta? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Buzios or Santa Marta?


Initially a fishing village, Armação dos Buzios is a small beach resort town about three hours from Rio de Janeiro by bus. Buzios is a common weekend getaway destination for Cariocas. With 23 beaches, visitors from all over come to swim, snorkel, surf and enjoy sun and sand.

Santa Marta

Santa Marta is a city in the Magdalena Department of Colombia's Costa Norte. Over the last decade, security has steadily been replacing the shadow of the Colombia's violent past. One destination in Colombia's northeast region is now attracting more international visitors: the coastal Caribbean area of Santa Marta. Established in 1525 by the Spanish as a base of conquest, Santa Marta sits at the foot of the world's highest coastal mountain range, the towering Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is South America's oldest European-founded town and the second most important colonial city on Colombia's Caribbean coast. While many travelers complain about Santa Marta's horrible traffic and unsightly urban sprawl, the city holds a numerous amounts of great hotels, bars and restaurants and holds a few fantastic destinations nearby to which you can go during the daytime.

Which place is cheaper, Santa Marta or Buzios?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Buzios is $80, while the average daily cost in Santa Marta is $30. 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 Buzios and Santa Marta in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Buzios $39
    Santa Marta $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Buzios $78
    Santa Marta $26
Compare Hotels in Buzios and Santa Marta

Looking for a hotel in Buzios or Santa Marta? 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 Buzios

Hotels in Santa Marta

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: Santa Marta Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Buzios $20
    Santa Marta $4.94

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Buzios

Also for Buzios, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Tour in Buzios City Tour, Lunch and Transfer: $60
  • Shared Transfer Buzios to Rio de Janeiro: $45
  • Private transfer from Buzios to the GIG Airport : $156
  • Private transfer Minivan from GIG Rio Galeao airport up to 6 pax to Buzios: $117
  • Private transfer Buzios in Rio to the SDU Airport : $156
  • Private Transfer from GIG Airport to City Buzios in Rio : $160
  • Private Transfer from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro: $67
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Port to Cabo Frio Airport (CFB): $43
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Cruise Port to Santos Dumont (SDU): $28
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Cruise Port to Rio de Janeiro hotels: $28
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Cruise Port to Cabo Frio city hotels: $36
  • Private Transfer Buzios to Rio de Janeiro: $79

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Marta

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

  • Gas

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Marta

Also for Santa Marta, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private transfer from Santa Marta to Cartagena : $230
  • Exclusive transfer Santa Marta - Cartagena: $229
  • Santa Marta to or from Cartagena Private Transfer: $123
  • Private transfer between Santa Marta and Barranquilla (or viceversa): $120
  • Cartagena to or from Santa Marta Private Transfer: $111
  • Private Transfer: From Santa Marta to Tayrona Park (Palomino): $90
  • Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa): $84
  • Private Transfer from Santa Marta Cruise Port to Cartagena hotels: $69
  • Private Transfer from Santa Marta Port to Cartagena Airport (CTG): $69
  • Santa Marta to or from Barranquilla Private Transfer: $69
  • Exclusive transfer Santa Marta Airport - Tayrona Park Sector: $64
  • Santa Marta Airport to Santa Marta - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $64

Is it cheaper to fly into Buzios or Santa Marta?

Prices for flights to both Santa Marta and Buzios 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
    Buzios $25
    Santa Marta $9.40

Typical Food prices in Santa Marta

For Santa Marta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Breakfast

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Marta

For Santa Marta, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Food Tour in Santa Marta Old City Half-Day : $66
  • Food Tour in Santa Marta Old City: $73
  • Flavors of Colombia - Santa Marta Street Food Tour: $75
  • Santa Marta Street Food Tour: $75

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Buzios $28
    Santa Marta $13

Tours and Activities in Buzios

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Buzios.

  •  Trolley Tour Through the City Buzios: $28
  • 3-hour Small Group Buzios Peninsula Open Air Trolley Tour: $25
  • 7 Beaches In Búzios With Photos On A Private Tour!: $37
  • Búzios Full day: Boat and Trolley Tour with Lunch from Arraial do Cabo: $92
  • Búzios Full day: Boat and Trolley Tour with Lunch from Búzios: $93
  • Búzios Full day: Boat and Trolley Tour with Lunch from Cabo Frio: $92
  • Boat Tour in Arraial do Cabo: $15
  • Boat Tour in Arraial do Cabo from Buzios with Lunch: $60
  • Buggy Ride in Buzios by Buziana Tour: $15
  • Buggy Tour in Arraial do Cabo by Arraial Trips (For 2 People): $44
  • Cabo Frio Full-Day Tour From Buzios with Lunch: $68
  • Catamaran Boat Tour in Búzios: $16

Tours and Activities in Santa Marta

For Santa Marta, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • "Chocoserrano" Chocolate Tour 1 day -- Santa Marta: $115
  • "Gabo Márquez" Tour - Aracataca and Cienaga: $205
  • 1-Hour Pirate Ship Experience from Santa Marta: $28
  • 12-Day Private Tour in Colombian Caribbean Coast: $1,500
  • 2 Day Minca Tour with Bird Watching: $80
  • 2 days 1 night tour - in Trompito, I meet indigenous community Kogui Uldezhaxa.: $191
  • 2-Day Coastal Motorcycle Tour: $340
  • 2-Day Cultural Tour to Gotsezhy from Santa Marta: $198
  • 2-Day Private Tour of the Minca Waterfalls and Viewpoints: $415
  • 2-Day Tour in Cabo de la Vela: $320
  • 2-Day Tour to Ancestral Heritage from Santa Marta: $190
  • 3-Day Private Tour of Taorayiná Ecolodge and Nature Reserve: $200

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Buzios $18
    Santa Marta $6.30

Typical Alcohol prices in Santa Marta

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

  • Beer
  • Beer

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

Which is Bigger, Buzios or Santa Marta?

Santa Marta is bigger, and its population is about 18.4 times larger than the population of Buzios. When comparing the population of Buzios vs. Santa Marta, 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.
Share This Page
Pin This Page
Buzios vs. Santa Marta Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.