Should you visit Cartagena or Iquique?
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 Iquique can help you decide which place is right for you.
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.
Located in a golden crescent of coastline, the beautiful beach city with an ocean that's several shades of blue and a historic centre that offers the perfect balance of culture and relaxation is counted among Chile's premier beach resorts. The city is home to the duty free zone called "Zofri" and a growing number of high rise resort hotels along its beaches. Slightly more expensive and polluted than neighboring population centers, such as Arica, Iquique and its chaotic duty-free shopping zone (zona franca) have become the perfect summer holiday destination for Chilean families.
Which city is cheaper, Iquique or Cartagena?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cartagena is $37, while the average daily cost in Iquique is $90. 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 Iquique in more detail.
Cartagena's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $42. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $21.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $80 in Iquique For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
In Cartagena travelers spend around $7.64 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.
On average, meal and food prices in Iquique cost around $32 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $13.
Meals for one day
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:
BIKE & BITE food tour:
Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine:
Street food tour with Julie:
Food Tour in Cartagena Walled City:
Street Food & Local Food Tour:
SkyKitchen 4 Course Cooking Class:
Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena:
Cartagena - Food Tour:
Caribbean Cuisine Cooking Class:
Shared Local Cooking Class and Lunch in Cartagena:
Bazurto Local Market Tour & Cooking Class:
The average price of local transportation around Cartagena is $5.83 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.
To get around in Iquique, the average visitor spends $21 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:
One way private water transfer between Cartagena and the Islands (6 ppl max):
Private Transfer from La Manga Club to Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport:
Private Transfer from Cartagena to Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport:
Private Transfer Cartagena to Palomino (or vice versa):
Private transfer to Barranquilla from Cartagena- Traslado privado a Barranquilla:
Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by Minivan:
Transfer to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta or Barranquilla City from Cartagena:
Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by 2x4 Car:
Private transfer Cartagena airport -Mamonal:
Transfer service in Cartagena:
Private Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG):
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Iquique
Also for Iquique, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Airport Transfer: Diego Aracena International Airport (IQQ) to Iquique:
Private Airport Transfer: Iquique to Diego Aracena International Airport (IQQ):
Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or Iquique?
Prices for flights to both Iquique 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.
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.
In Iquique, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $25 per person, per day.
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:
4-Hour Fishing Experience with Locals Near Cartagena:
6 Hr Cartagena Fishing Experience:
Accessible sightseeing tour of Cartagena:
Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias):
Aviario National Park Shared Tour:
Bar Tour for Guys and Bachelor Parties:
Bazurto Market + La Popa Convent Cartagena City Tour 4H:
Bazurto Market Half day tour in Cartagena:
Biking Tour Cartagena:
Birdwatching & Photography experience at the National Aviary in Barú:
Bolivar Pirate Island Experience with Lunch:
Tours and Activities in Iquique
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Iquique.
Pintados Geoglyphs Humberstone and Salar Grande tour:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cartagena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.17 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Iquique, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $19.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cartagena and Iquique, we can see that Iquique 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 Iquique would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Iquique than you might in Cartagena.
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