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

Should you visit Cartagena or Lima?

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

Where Should I go: Cartagena or Lima?

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.

Lima

Lima, the capital city of Peru, is likely to be your point of entry for the country. Lima was founded in 1535 and was the seat of the Spanish rule for 300 years. It's a surprisingly modern city despite its rich history, but many beautiful churches and colonial architecture remain today. There are also large slum areas that highlight the poverty that exists in the city. The city and its surrounding metropolitan area have a population of about 8.5 million people, many of whom came from the Andes Mountains in search of work. Unfortunately the work opportunities are limited and the poverty is obvious as you arrive in Lima.

Which city is cheaper, Lima 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 Lima is $58. 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 Lima in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $19
    Lima $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $38
    Lima $74

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $5.32
    Lima $4.32

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 Lima

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Lima are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $5.11
  • Taxi Ride
    $5.11
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.83

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lima

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lima:

  • Airport Transfer Service in Lima: $59
  • Airport transfer Lima / English speaking driver: $20
  • Departure Private Transfer from Lima City to Lima Airport LIM by Sedan Car: $30
  • From Palomino Islands Cruise & Swimming with Sea Lions with Transfers: $125
  • LIMA - PERÚ, 4 Days and 3 Nights + acommodation *** + Transfer + 4 tours IN LIMA: $559
  • LIMA CAR TRANSFER - Private Service: $25
  • Larco Museum Restaurant Dining Experience with Transfer: $59
  • Lima Airport Arrival Transfer: $24
  • Lima Airport Departure Transfer: $24
  • Lima Airport Transfers: Jorge Chavez Airport LIM to Lima City in Standard Car: $30
  • Lima Airport Transfers: Jorge Chavez Airport LIM to Lima City in Standard Van: $35
  • Lima Airport Transfers: Lima City to Jorge Chavez Airport LIM in Standard Car: $30

Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or Lima?

Prices for flights to both Lima 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 $6.97
    Lima $13

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 Lima

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.09
  • Ice cream
    $3.32
  • Coffee
    $2.81
  • Donut
    $0.89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lima

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

  • Virtual Peruvian Cooking Class "Lomo Saltado": $18
  • Cooking Workshop and Water Circuit Tour: $45
  • #1 Lima Food Tour and Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • #1 Peruvian Food Tour through Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • Delicious Food Tour through Local Markets: $46
  • #1 Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant: $49
  • Private Cooking Class With a Local Family in Lima: $52
  • Half-Day Fountains Tour with Dinner & Folklore Show: $53
  • Peruvian Food Tour Through Local Markets: $55
  • Dinner Show and Exhibition of Peruvian Horse including Pick up & drop off: $55

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $15
    Lima $6.53

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 Lima

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


  • Entrance to Museo Larco (for 2)
    $15
  • Movie Tickets
    $2.17

Tours and Activities in Lima

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

  • MATE Admission Ticket: $4.00
  • Cathedral of Lima Admission Ticket: $6.35
  • Skip the Line: Peruvian Regional Dances Ticket: $8.99
  • Skip the Line: Larco Museum Admission Ticket: $10
  • Museo del Oro and Armas del Mundo Admission Tickets from Lima: $11
  • Half Day Panoramic City Tour Lima III: $15
  • Live online experience: Prepare cocktails with a Peruvian bartender: $19
  • Panoramic City Tour of Lima: $25
  • Half-Day Colonial and Modern Lima Tour: $25
  • Half Day City Tour: $27
  • Half Day Panoramic City Tour Lima II: $27
  • Barranco Walking tour - Art & Culture: $30

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $6.54
    Lima $4.24

Typical Alcohol prices in Lima

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Lima are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $6.88
  • Beer
    $3.83
  • Cocktail
    $3.07

Sample the Local Flavors in Lima

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lima:

  • Ballestas Islands + Huacachina Oasis + Wine Tour (Unique Experience): $226
  • Mysterious Nazca Lines, Overflight from Ica, Huacachina Oasis & Wine Tour!: $490


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cartagena and Lima, we can see that Lima 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 Lima would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Lima than you might in Cartagena.


When is the best time to visit Cartagena or Lima?

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Cartagena or Lima in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cartagena and Lima. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Lima attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In July, Cartagena usually receives more rain than Lima. At this time of the year, Cartagena gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Lima receives 12 mm (0.5 in) of rain.

In Cartagena, it's very sunny this time of the year. Cartagena usually receives more sunshine than Lima during summer. At this time of the year, Cartagena gets 207 hours of sunny skies, while Lima receives 36 hours of full sun.

In July, Cartagena is generally much warmer than Lima. Temperatures in Cartagena average around 29°C (84°F), and Lima stays around 18°C (64°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cartagena 29°C (84°F) 
    Lima 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or Lima in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Cartagena as well as Lima. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Lima throughout the year.

Cartagena receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Cartagena usually gets more rain in October than Lima. Cartagena gets 150 mm (5.9 in) of rain, while Lima receives 7 mm (0.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the autumn, Cartagena often gets more sunshine than Lima. Cartagena gets 175 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lima receives 60 hours of full sun.

Cartagena is a little warmer than Lima in the autumn. The temperature in Cartagena is usually 27°C (81°F) in October, and Lima stays around 19°C (66°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F) 
    Lima 19°C (66°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or Lima in the Winter?

Both Lima 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. Plenty of visitors come to Lima because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

In January, Cartagena usually receives more rain than Lima. At this time of the year, Cartagena gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Lima receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cartagena. Cartagena usually receives more sunshine than Lima during winter. At this time of the year, Cartagena gets 278 hours of sunny skies, while Lima receives 185 hours of full sun.

In the winter, Cartagena is a little warmer than Lima. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cartagena in January are around 27°C (81°F), and Lima is about 23°C (73°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F) 
    Lima 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or Lima in the Spring?

Both Lima and Cartagena during the spring are popular places to visit. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Lima attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

Cartagena usually gets more rain in April than Lima. Cartagena gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Lima receives 2 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

It's quite sunny in Cartagena. In the spring, Cartagena often gets more sunshine than Lima. Cartagena gets 209 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lima receives 182 hours of full sun.

In April, Cartagena is generally a little warmer than Lima. Temperatures in Cartagena average around 28°C (82°F), and Lima stays around 22°C (72°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cartagena 28°C (82°F) 
    Lima 22°C (72°F)

Typical Weather for Lima and Cartagena

Cartagena Lima
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Apr 28°C (82°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
May 29°C (84°F) 50 mm (2 in) 20°C (68°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Jun 29°C (84°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 19°C (66°F) 11 mm (0.4 in)
Jul 29°C (84°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 18°C (64°F) 12 mm (0.5 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (63°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Sep 29°C (84°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 13 mm (0.5 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 150 mm (5.9 in) 19°C (66°F) 7 mm (0.3 in)
Nov 28°C (82°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 20°C (68°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 22°C (72°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)


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Cartagena vs. Lima Travel Comparison

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