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?


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.

Which city 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 $34, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $47. 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 El Chalten in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $19
    El Chalten $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $38
    El Chalten $42
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

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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $5.32
    El Chalten $11

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

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 Meals for one day
    Cartagena $6.97
    El Chalten $17

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

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $15
    El Chalten $13

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

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305
  • 2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre: $333
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $553
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $789

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $6.54
    El Chalten $5.76

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

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 tropical climate with fairly warm 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. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In July, Cartagena is generally around the same temperature as El Chaltenin January. Temperatures in Cartagena average around 29°C (84°F), and El Chalten stays 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. At this time of the year, Cartagena gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while El Chalten receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain.

  • 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. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year.

Cartagena is a little warmer than El Chalten in the autumn. The temperature in Cartagena is usually 27°C (81°F) in October, and El Chalten stays 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. Plenty of visitors come to Cartagena because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

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

In January, Cartagena usually receives less rain than El Chaltenin July. At this time of the year, Cartagena gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while El Chalten receives 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain.

  • 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. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In April, Cartagena is generally a little warmer than El Chaltenin October. Temperatures in Cartagena average around 28°C (82°F), and El Chalten stays 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)

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Cartagena vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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