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

Should you visit Cartagena or Iquique?

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 Iquique can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Cartagena or Iquique?


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 place 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 $47, while the average daily cost in Iquique is $95. 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 Iquique in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $27
    Iquique $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $54
    Iquique $84
Compare Hotels in Cartagena and Iquique

Looking for a hotel in Cartagena or Iquique? 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 Iquique

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $7.41
    Iquique $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • 15. Transfer to SANTA MARTA from Cartagena Private or vice versa.: $290
  • Cartagena to Santa Marta (or vice versa) Private Transfer : $265
  • Cartagena to Santa Marta Private Transfer Service: $166
  • 8. Transfer to BARRANQUILLA from Cartagena Private or vice versa: $160
  • San Diego to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $158
  • Cartagena to or from Tayrona Park Private Transfer: $149
  • 20. Transfer Rafael N. Airport-HOTEL LAS ISLAS-CALABLANCA: $142
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cartagena Airport CTG to Cartagena City by Minibus: $129
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by Minibus: $129
  • Cartagena to or from Santa Marta Private Transfer: $125
  • Cartagena to or from Tayrona Park Private Transfer: $125
  • Full-Day in Isla del Encanto with Lunch and Transfer to the Pier: $114

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Iquique

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

  • Sandboard activity in Iquique with transfer: $60

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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Cartagena $9.71
    Iquique $33

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 In A Real Restaurant At Old City: $38
  • Taste Cartagena Food tour: $40
  • Street Food Tour in Cartagena: $42
  • Guided Street Food Tour with Tastings: $44
  • Local Flavors Food Tour with Native Chef: $50
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Private Dinner at a Local Chef's House in Cartagena: $58
  • Dinner Cruise Along Cartagena's Bay: $60
  • Flavors of Colombia - Cartagena Street Food Tour: $60
  • Street food tour: $61
  • Cartagena Gourmet: Cooking Class with a View, Elegance & Flavor: $65

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $21
    Iquique $27

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Accessible sightseeing tour of Cartagena: $165
  • Beach Buggy ATV Adventure Tour CARTAGENA: $125
  • Eco cultural Historical Tour beyond Old City! + Pool: $98
  • Exciting Beach Buggy ATV Tour in Cartagena : $150
  • Palenque Native Guide, free entrance tickets, dance show & lunch: $110
  • Playa Blanca Private tour : $162
  • Playa Morena Beach Club Whith Lunch And Walking tour of fort San Fernando: $39
  • Private Beach Tour in Barú and Optional Bird Aviary: $120
  • Private Tour & the best coffee of the world in Cartagena (Also for cruisers): $250
  • Private city tour: $197
  • Rosario Islands Full Day Tour: $156
  • Tour around the Rosario Islands 4 islands: $55

Tours and Activities in Iquique

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Iquique.

  • City Tour in Iquique: $89
  • Pintados Geoglyphs Humberstone and Salar Crespo tour: $130

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $9.10
    Iquique $20

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 with Dancing and Complimentary Drinks: $18
  • Cartagena's Best Pub Crawl all included!: $20
  • Cartagena Pub Crawl: Let's Party & Matching in Getsemaní: $20
  • Pub Crawl Only Locals Have Fun In The Walled City: $60
  • Pub Crawl Nightlife in Cartagena : $60
  • Pub Crawl: $70

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.

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

Which is Bigger, Cartagena or Iquique?

Cartagena has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Iquique. When comparing the sizes of Cartagena and Iquique, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.