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

Should you visit Cartagena or Cusco?

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

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 Cusco 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.

Cusco

Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness. (Read this advice about managing the altitude in Cusco and Machu Picchu.)

Which city is cheaper, Cusco or Cartagena?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cartagena is $38, while the average daily cost in Cusco is $40. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cartagena and Cusco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $22
    Cusco $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $44
    Cusco $36

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $6.02
    Cusco $7.84

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Private Transfers in air conditioning buses: $7.00
  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $8.00
  • Private Transfer From Cartagena Airport to Hotel in the City: $8.00
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cartagena City to Airport: $12
  • Cartagena Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $13
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the cruise terminal.: $13
  • Cartagena Airport: Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: $14
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Cartagena (transfer service): $14
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the hotel to the Rafael Nuñez AIRPORT: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG) to Cartagena: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG): $16
  • Private Transfer from Cartagena City to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cusco

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.06

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Aiport Transfers Service: $41
  • Airport Cusco Transfers: $60
  • Airport Transfer, City Tour, Sacred Valley & Machupicchu (All Included): $580
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cusco Airport CUZ to Cusco City by Minivan: $27
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cusco Airport CUZ to Cusco City by Sedan Car: $18
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cusco Airport CUZ to Cusco City by Sprinter Minibus: $51
  • Arrival Transfer & Cusco City Tour: $43
  • CUSCO MAGICAL 4D Transfer, Hotel, City Tour, Sacred Valley and Machu picchu: $641
  • Cusco – Puno Direct Transfers: $30
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $8.20
  • Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer: $9.67
  • Cusco Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $9.70

Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cartagena $7.89
    Cusco $10

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
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • 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

Typical Food prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of dining costs in Cusco are as follows:


  • Sandwich
    $2.11
  • Mango
    $0.53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

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

  • Small-Group Virtual Peruvian Cooking Experience: $25
  • Small-Group Virtual Ceviche Cooking Experience: $25
  • Tunupa Cusco Restaurant: Dinner with Show: $28
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS LUNCH 12:00PM TO 1:30PM (Available only in English): $37
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $39
  • Dinner at Calle del Medio restaurant: $40
  • Dinner at Pachapapa restaurant.: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market Tour: $40
  • Peruvian Cooking Classes: $43
  • Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit: $45
  • Dinner at Tunupa restaurant with folkloric show.: $45
  • Dinner at Inca Grill Restaurant: $45

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $17
    Cusco $23

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Cartagena de Indias: India Catalina to Plaza Santo Domingo Audio Tour - VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Cartagena de Indias: Into the Walls of The City Walking Audio Tour by 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
  • Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias): $10
  • Free walking tour Gethsemane old town & Forever colonial: $10
  • Cartagena Ryhtm & Sunset - Musical experience: $12
  • Virtual Cartagena LiteraTour through Nobel Garcia Marquez work: $15
  • City Sightseeing Cartagena Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Shore Excursion: $18
  • Chiva Party Bus Tour in Cartagena: $18

Typical Entertainment prices in Cusco

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Cusco are as follows:


  • Salsa Class
    $2.64

Tours and Activities in Cusco

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cusco are as follows:

  • Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $7.00
  • the best tour 4 ruins cusco: $10
  • Cusco Cathedral Admission Ticket: $10
  • Walking tour in Cusco: $10
  • Walking Tour Game: $11
  • city cusco tour: $12
  • Open-Top Bus City Tour: $12
  • Short Guided Bus Tour: $13
  • City Tour in Cusco: $14
  • Tours in Cusco with mgtravelsperu: $14
  • City Tour cusco and archaeological sites: $15
  • City Tour Cusco Peru: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $7.40
    Cusco $7.44


When comparing the travel costs between Cartagena and Cusco, we can see that Cusco 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. Cusco Travel Comparison

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