A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cartagena vs. Arequipa for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cartagena or Arequipa?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Cartagena and Arequipa can help you decide which place is right for you.

Cartagena

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.

Arequipa

Sitting in the middle of the Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes of Peru is the enchanting city of Arequipa. With 468 years of history, the city is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Known to locals as the "white city," the city center, Plaza de Armas, is quite the sight with buildings of sillar white stone made from the rocks of the surrounding volcanoes.

Which city is cheaper, Arequipa or Cartagena?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cartagena is $39, while the average daily cost in Arequipa is $34. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Cartagena and Arequipa in more detail.



Accommodation

Cartagena's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $44. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $22.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $17. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Arequipa the cost is $34 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $22
    Arequipa $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $44
    Arequipa $34

Food

In Cartagena travelers spend around $7.98 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about $9.71 per day in Arequipa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cartagena $7.98
    Arequipa $9.71

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cartagena

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

  • Cartagena Cuisine Cooking Experience: $30
  • BIKE & BITE food tour: $52
  • Street food tour with Julie: $64
  • Food Tour in Cartagena Walled City: $66
  • Street Food & Local Food Tour: $66
  • SkyKitchen 4 Course Cooking Class: $81
  • Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena: $92
  • Cartagena - Food Tour: $100
  • Caribbean Cuisine Cooking Class: $105
  • Shared Local Cooking Class and Lunch in Cartagena: $110
  • Bazurto Local Market Tour & Cooking Class: $115
  • Colombian Cooking Workshop: $201

Typical Food prices in Arequipa

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


  • Coke
    $0.37
  • Lunch
    $2.56
  • Ice Cream
    $0.97
  • Fruit
    $0.73
  • Ice Cream
    $0.85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arequipa

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

  • Skip the Line: Dinner and Typical Dances Show Ticket: $23
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $28
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market *Whatsapp for more información: $55
  • Curious Monkey -Arequipa Streets, Walking Food Tour: $55
  • Curious Monkey- Arequipa Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class in arequipa: $64
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 5 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $67
  • Peruvian market tour, cooking class, and dinner in Arequipa: $67
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • Food tour in Arequipa: $207

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Cartagena is $6.09 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

The cost of a taxi ride in Arequipa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.40 per person, per day, on local transportation in Arequipa.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $6.09
    Arequipa $4.40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $8.00
  • Cartagena Airport Transfer (in and out) - Touristic Area Hotels - Sedan: $34
  • Cartagena Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $13
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Bocagrande to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from El Laguito to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by 2x4 Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by Minivan: $96
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Cartagena (transfer service): $14
  • One way private water transfer between Cartagena and the Islands (6 ppl max): $530
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the AIRPORT to the hotel.: $19
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the cruise terminal.: $13
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the hotel to the Rafael Nuñez AIRPORT: $16

Typical Local Transportation prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.22
  • Bus Ride
    $0.39
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.85

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • 2 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $113
  • 3 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $128
  • Airport transfer Arequipa / From airport to hotel: $19
  • Arequipa Airport Arrival Transfer: $13
  • Arequipa Airport Departure Transfer: $13
  • Arequipa private departure bus station transfer: $22
  • Arrival bus station private transfer in Arequipa: $43
  • Colca Canyon + Transfer To Puno: $103
  • Colca Canyon Sightseeing Tour 2D1N and Transfer to Puno: $125
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Minibus: $40
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Sedan Car: $19
  • Departure Private Transfer from Arequipa City to Arequipa Airport AQP by Minivan: $31

Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or Arequipa?

Prices for flights to both Arequipa and Cartagena 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.





Entertainment

Cartagena's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $17 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Entertainment and activities in Arequipa typically cost an average of $13 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $17
    Arequipa $13

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Cartagena de Indias: Into the Walls of The City Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Cartagena de Indias: India Catalina to Plaza Santo Domingo Audio Tour - VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Ghost of Downtown: Fear in the streets. Cartagena Sensorial Tour: $6.99
  • Monasterio de la Popa, tickets de entrada: $7.00
  • Cartagena City Tour By Bicycle: $8.00
  • City Tour Cartagena With Bazurto Market: $8.00
  • Free walking tour Gethsemane old town & Forever colonial: $10
  • Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias): $10
  • Cartagena Ryhtm & Sunset - Musical experience: $12
  • Virtual Cartagena LiteraTour through Nobel Garcia Marquez work: $15
  • Chiva Party Bus Tour in Cartagena: $18
  • City Sightseeing Cartagena Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Shore Excursion: $18

Typical Entertainment prices in Arequipa

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


  • Monastery Entry
    $2.44
  • Salsa Class
    $2.44
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.66
  • Hot Springs
    $2.44

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

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

  • Museo Santuarios Andinos Arequipa Admission Ticket: $7.00
  • Tour Around The City Arequipa In Bus: $10
  • Monasterio de Santa Catalina Admission Ticket: $12
  • Small-Group Arequipa Countryside Tour Including La Mansion del Fundador -Mirabus: $15
  • Arequipa Historical Downtown Tour: $18
  • Tour Colca Full Day Promotional Price: $22
  • San Camilo Market Tour: $25
  • City tour & Countryside Tour Bus: $25
  • Private Walking Tour Arequipa: $26
  • Arequipa E-Bike Tour: $27
  • Walking Tour Arequipa: $36
  • Colca Canyon Tour 2 Days: $38

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cartagena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.48 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Arequipa may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $7.48
    Arequipa $11

Typical Alcohol prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Beer
    $2.19


When comparing the travel costs between Cartagena and Arequipa, we can see that Cartagena is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Cartagena vs. Arequipa Travel Comparison

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