A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cali vs. La Serena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cali or La Serena?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Cali and La Serena can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Cali or La Serena?

Cali

Cali is Colombia's third largest city. Founded in 1536, can be explored on foot: walk under the shade of trees along the riverbank, admire the architecture of churches and other national monuments, and visit the city's many museums. Being the salsa capital of the world, Cali is primarily a destination for salsa and party but it also offers some great days out in the nearby natural surroundings. In Cali, travelers can enjoy music festivals, learn about sugarcane farming, and take in the mountainous landscapes.

La Serena

La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!

Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Bogota, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Colombia, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Chile, and The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Chile.


Which place is cheaper, La Serena or Cali?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cali is $23, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $90. 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 Cali and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cali $5.69
    La Serena $44
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cali $11
    La Serena $88
Compare Hotels in Cali and La Serena

Looking for a hotel in Cali or La Serena? 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 Cali


Hotels in La Serena


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: Cali Hotel Prices and La Serena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cali $5.32
    La Serena $21
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cali

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $0.94

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cali

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

  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cali City- Cali Airport (CLO): $25
  • Transfer in Private Car from Cali Airport (CLO) -Cali City: $22
  • RoundTrip Transfer in Private Minivan Cali Airport (CLO) - Cali City: $51
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport : $17
  • From Cali Airport: One-way Privater Transfer to Cali: $58
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minivan: $102
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minibus: $171
  • City Highlights Private Bus Tour with Transfer: $166
  • Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airpot One Way Transfer: $18
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $272
  • Cali Tour Privado x8 horas con Transfers: $352
  • Cali Tour Privado x5 horas con Transfers: $236

Is it cheaper to fly into Cali or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena and Cali 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cali $8.10
    La Serena $28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cali

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

  • Street Food Tour: $21
  • Alameda Market Food Tour: $55
  • Flavors of Food tour at the local market: $59
  • Patio Santo Style Rumba Dinner: $168

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cali $10
    La Serena $25

Tours and Activities in Cali

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

  • 4 Hours Private River Tour to Pance Cali Colombia : $60
  • A day to enjoy nature and have an adventure in the Jordan river: $65
  • Cali ATV tours - Take your adrenaline to the maximum on the road: $179
  • Cali Bike Tour: $32
  • Cali City Tour - The Best Of Cali In Comfort: $63
  • Cali Downtown Walking Tour: $53
  • Cali Salsa Tour: Learn the history, dance and play instruments: $43
  • Cali Walking Tour: $38
  • Cali is Salsa Tour con Mulato: $121
  • ATV Tour - Adventure and Extreme Fun: $197
  • City Tour: $53
  • Coffee Tour - Authentic Coffee Experience: $257

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Tour to the internationally renowned Pangue Observatory: $139
  • Dama Island or Chañaral Navigation Tour Humboldt Penguin Reserve: $135
  • Elqui Valley Full Day Tour: magical towns, pisco and mountains: $80
  • Elqui Valley Grand-Tour: $150
  • Elqui Valley Tour from La Serena: $120
  • Elqui Valley and Vicuna Private Tour Including Lunch: $183
  • Elqui Valley: Pisco Tour, Wine, Beer: $174
  • Full Day History and Flavors Tour in the Elqui Valley: $50
  • La Serena & Coquimbo City Tour - Short Cruise Excursion : $128
  • La Serena and Coquimbo City Tour (SIB): $66
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Guided City Tour: $76
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch, Shore Excursion: $194

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cali $8.02
    La Serena $23


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cali Expensive? and Is La Serena Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cali or La Serena?

Cali has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of La Serena. When comparing the sizes of Cali and La Serena, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.