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

Should you visit Cartagena or El Chalten?

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 El Chalten can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Cartagena or El Chalten?

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.

El Chalten

El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Colombia, The Best Eco Tours in Colombia, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Argentina, and The Best Adventure Tours to Argentina.


Which place is cheaper, El Chalten or Cartagena?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cartagena is $48, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $9.65. 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 Cartagena and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $27
    El Chalten $4.30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $54
    El Chalten $8.60
Compare Hotels in Cartagena and El Chalten

Looking for a hotel in Cartagena or El Chalten? 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 Cartagena


Hotels in El Chalten


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: Cartagena Hotel Prices and El Chalten Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $7.55
    El Chalten $2.30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Airport transfer to any hotel in Morros: $8.00
  • Airport transfer to any hotel in Getsemani: $8.00
  • Transfer from the Airport - Hotels in Marbella: $8.00
  • Airport transfer to any hotel in Cartagena: $8.00
  • Transfer aeropuerto-centro: $8.21
  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $10
  • Cartagena Airport: Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: $10
  • Shared Transfer from the Airport to Cartagena City or Vice Versa: $10
  • Airport transfer to any hotel in Manga: $11
  • transfer Airport to any Hotels in Bocagrande: $11
  • Cartagena:Transfer from the Airport - Hotels in the Bosque: $11
  • Transfer from the Airport to Hotels in Laguito: $11

Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten 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 $9.90
    El Chalten $3.56

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cartagena

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

  • Featured in NYTimes > Arepas and Dancing: Danceable Cooking Class in Cartagena: $32
  • Cooking class of typical food at the beach and sunset view: $39
  • Taste Cartagena Food tour: $40
  • Street Food Tour in Cartagena: $42
  • Guided Street Food Tour with Tastings: $44
  • Street Food cooking class, Mojito making & Fruit tasting: $50
  • Local Flavors Food Tour with Native Chef: $50
  • Cooking class, Caribbean lunch at our place: $54
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Private Dinner at a Local Chef's House in Cartagena: $58
  • Cooking class: Street Food & Mojito making: $60
  • Cartagena Gourmet: Cooking Class with a View, Elegance & Flavor: $60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $21
    El Chalten $2.59

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Emeralds Tour: $0.03
  • Cartagena de Indias: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Into the Walls of The City: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - The Great Battle: Fort of San Felipe: $6.99
  • Old Town & Getsemani Quarter Self-guided Tour: $8.57
  • Artists' Quarter Getsemani Self-guided Tour: $8.57
  • Old Town Highlights Self-guided Tour: $8.57
  • Tour the city on a rumba in a typical bus: $9.44
  • Barù Island Playa Blanca with tourist guide: $9.93
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Legends of the Streets of Downtown : $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: The Rise of the Wall City Part I: $10
  • Historic Free Tour Slavery and Gethsemane Heritage: $10

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • 3 Hours Grilled Lamb Experience in Estancia Bonanza: $55
  • Rafting experience on the Rio de las Vueltas in Patagonia: $120
  • Rio de las Vueltas Rafting Experience - El Chalten: $120

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $9.28
    El Chalten $1.18

Sample the Local Flavors in Cartagena

Also in Cartagena, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Pub Crawl Getsemaní: $18
  • Pub Crawl with Dancing Lessons and Free Shots: $19
  • Cartagena Pub Crawl: Let's Party & Matching in Getsemaní: $24
  • Nightlife Pub crawl in Cartagena: $72


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cartagena and El Chalten, we can see that Cartagena is more expensive. And not only is El Chalten much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to El Chalten would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in El Chalten 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 El Chalten.

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



When is the best time to visit Cartagena or El Chalten?

El Chalten has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Cartagena experiences a warm climate with fairly sunny weather most of the year.

Should I visit Cartagena or El Chalten in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cartagena and El Chalten. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Cartagena year-round.

In July, Cartagena is generally around the same temperature as El Chaltenin January. Daily temperatures in Cartagena average around 29°C (84°F), and El Chalten fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).

El Chalten receives a lot of rain in the summer. In July, Cartagena usually receives less rain than El Chaltenin January. Cartagena gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while El Chalten receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July and January
    Cartagena 29°C (84°F) 
    El Chalten 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or El Chalten in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Cartagena as well as El Chalten. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Cartagena is a little warmer than El Chalten in the autumn. The daily temperature in Cartagena averages around 27°C (81°F) in October, and El Chalten fluctuates around 21°C (70°F)in April.

It's quite rainy in El Chalten. Cartagena receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Cartagena usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as El Chaltenin April. Cartagena gets 150 mm (5.9 in) of rain, while El Chalten receives 150 mm (5.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October and April
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F) 
    El Chalten 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or El Chalten in the Winter?

Both El Chalten and Cartagena are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year.

In the winter, Cartagena is much warmer than El Chalten. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cartagena in January average around 27°C (81°F), and El Chalten averages at about 16°C (61°F)in July.

In January, Cartagena usually receives less rain than El Chaltenin July. Cartagena gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while El Chalten receives 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January and July
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F) 
    El Chalten 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or El Chalten in the Spring?

Both El Chalten and Cartagena during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Cartagena because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

In April, Cartagena is generally a little warmer than El Chaltenin October. Daily temperatures in Cartagena average around 28°C (82°F), and El Chalten fluctuates around 22°C (72°F).

In El Chalten, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Cartagena. In the spring, Cartagena often gets around the same amount of sunshine as El Chaltenin October. Cartagena gets 209 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while El Chalten receives 205 hours of full sun.

El Chalten gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Cartagena usually gets less rain in April than El Chaltenin October. Cartagena gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while El Chalten receives 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April and October
    Cartagena 28°C (82°F) 
    El Chalten 22°C (72°F)

Typical Weather for El Chalten and Cartagena

Cartagena El Chalten
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
Feb 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 150 mm (5.9 in)
Mar 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 25°C (77°F) 140 mm (5.5 in)
Apr 28°C (82°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 150 mm (5.9 in)
May 29°C (84°F) 50 mm (2 in) 19°C (66°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Jun 29°C (84°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Jul 29°C (84°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 16°C (61°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Sep 29°C (84°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 19°C (66°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 150 mm (5.9 in) 22°C (72°F) 130 mm (5.1 in)
Nov 28°C (82°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 160 mm (6.3 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 140 mm (5.5 in)