A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Cartagena vs. Cali

Should you visit Cartagena or Cali?

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 Cali 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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Cali 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 Cali is $20. 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 Cali 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.

Travelers usually pay around $9.96 for a double occupancy room in Cali If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $22
    Cali $4.98
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $44
    Cali $9.96

Food

In Cartagena travelers spend around $8.10 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.

Cali food costs typically run travelers around $7.13 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cartagena $8.10
    Cali $7.13

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cali

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

  • Culinary Journeys: Cooking Workshop + Dinner Party: $50
  • Night City Tour in Cali + Dinner: $110
  • Dinner Show in Cali: $189

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Cartagena is $6.18 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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cali than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $4.66 on transportation in Cali on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $6.18
    Cali $4.66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Transfer to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta or Barranquilla City from Cartagena: $84
  • Transfer service in Cartagena: $50
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cartagena City to Airport: $12
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cartagena City to Airport: $17
  • Transfer Cartagena: $50
  • Private transfer to Barranquilla from Cartagena- Traslado privado a Barranquilla: $170
  • Private transfer Cartagena airport -Mamonal: $65
  • Private Transfers in air conditioning buses: $7.00
  • Private Transfer: Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) to Cartagena: $40
  • Private Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG): $40
  • Private Transfer from Port of Cartagena to La Boquilla: $28
  • Private Transfer from Port of Cartagena to El Laguito: $28

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cali

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.03

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cali

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minibus: $179
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minivan: $105
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $255
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $255
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minibus: $179
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minivan: $105
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Cali to Alfonso B. Aragon Airport (CLO): $34
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport: $15
  • Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport (CLO): $19
  • Private Transfer to / from Buenaventura: $60

Entertainment

Cartagena's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 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.

Sightseeing expenses in Cali, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $8.80 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $18
    Cali $8.80

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • 2 Hour Panoramic tour for cruise ship passengers: $40
  • 4-Hour Fishing Experience with Locals Near Cartagena: $103
  • 6 Hr Cartagena Fishing Experience: $974
  • Accessible sightseeing tour of Cartagena: $140
  • Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias): $10
  • Aviario National Park Shared Tour: $63
  • Bar Tour for Guys and Bachelor Parties: $20
  • Bazurto Market + La Popa Convent Cartagena City Tour 4H: $81
  • Bazurto Market Half day tour in Cartagena: $125
  • Biking Tour Cartagena: $19
  • Birdwatching & Photography experience at the National Aviary in Barú: $279
  • Bolivar Pirate Island Experience with Lunch: $75

Tours and Activities in Cali

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

  • RiCo Salsa Tour: Cali Real: $19
  • Cali City Tour: $29
  • Walking Tour in the Historic Center of Cali City: $37
  • Private City Tour: $39
  • Historical Walking Cali City Tour 3H: $41
  • Private City Tour And Shopping: $44
  • Skip the Line: Show de Salsa Ticket: $46
  • Cali City Tour - The Best Of Cali In Comfort: $47
  • Alameda Market Fruit Tour: $55
  • Private Salsa Lesson Experience with Locals: $70
  • sightseeing paragliding adventure: $72
  • Private City Tour in Cali: $74

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cartagena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.60 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Cali spend on average $7.02 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $7.60
    Cali $7.02


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cartagena and Cali, we can see that Cartagena 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 Cartagena would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cartagena than you might in Cali.

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Cartagena vs. Cali Travel Comparison

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