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 place 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 $47, while the average daily cost in Lima is $74. 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 Lima in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $27
    Lima $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $54
    Lima $94
Compare Hotels in Cartagena and Lima

Looking for a hotel in Cartagena or Lima? 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 Lima


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 Lima Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $7.41
    Lima $5.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Transfer from the Airport to ALL Hotels in C/gena: $8.26
  • Transfer aeropuerto-centro: $9.53
  • Shared Transfer from the Airport to Cartagena City or Vice Versa: $10
  • Cartagena Airport: Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: $10
  • Service private transfers Airport/Hotel and vice versa in Cartagena: $12
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Rafael Nuñez Airport: $13
  • Private Cartagena Hotel to Airport transfer service: $13
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cartagena Airport (CTG) - City Center: $13
  • Rafael Nuñez Airport One Way Transfer: $14
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport to La Boquilla: $15
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from El Laguito to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $15
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport to El Laguito: $15

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Lima

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $5.19
  • Taxi Ride
    $5.19
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.90

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lima

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lima:

  • Airport Transfer Service in Lima: $95
  • Assistance /Transfer Hotel - Airport Lima Airport : $40
  • Deluxe Car Lima Transfer - Private Service: $29
  • Direct Private Transfer From Lima to Paracas, English Speaking Driver: $165
  • From The Larco Museum Tour with transfers included: $52
  • J.Chavez Airport to Miraflores City Hotels- Round Trip Transfer: $42
  • Jorge Chavez Airport (LIM) to Lima - Arrival Private Transfer : $31
  • Jorge Chavez Airport (LIM) to Lima - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $62
  • Jorge Chavez International Airport: Private Transfer: $25
  • LIMA AIRPORT SHUTTLE - Shared Transfer: $13
  • LIMA CAR TRANSFER - Private Service: $29
  • Larco Museum Tour & Gastronomic Experience with rountrip transfer: $134

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 $9.71
    Lima $17

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

Typical Food Prices in Lima

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.16
  • Ice cream
    $3.38
  • Coffee
    $2.86
  • Donut
    $0.91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lima

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

  • Lima Market Food Tour - Taste 9 Popular Peruvian Snacks: $17
  • Lima Market Food Tour: $36
  • Ceviche Cooking Class Including Pisco Sour Lesson: $40
  • Peruvian Food Tour Through Local Markets: $40
  • Street Food Tour in Miraflores District: $45
  • Cooking Workshop and Water Circuit Tour: $45
  • Private Cooking Class With a Local Family in Lima: $48
  • Exclusive Lima City and Food Tour - The Best of Both!!: $50
  • Lima Market Food Tour: $55
  • Dinner at Café del Museo Larco restaurant: $55
  • Food History & Local Markets (Food Tour): $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class: $59

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $21
    Lima $8.29

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
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: Ghost of Downtown: Fear in the streets. : $10
  • Shared Walking Tour through the Historic Center of Cartagena: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: The Rise of the Wall City Part II: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Legends of the Streets of Downtown : $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: The Rise of the Wall City Part I: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour of Getsemaní Neighborhood: $10
  • Republican Architecture Self-Guided Audio Tour in Cartagena: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: Pirate Tales in Cartagena: $10

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)
    $16
  • Movie Tickets
    $2.21

Tours and Activities in Lima

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

  • Free Walking Tour of Lima: $2.00
  • Lima Historic Center Walking Tour: $8.00
  • Lima Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • bike tour: $12
  • Customize your trip to Peru with Lima Experience: $12
  • Skip the Line: Larco Museum Admission Ticket: $13
  • Skip the Line: Peruvian Regional Dances Ticket: $14
  • Beach tour and surfboards for rent in Lima, Peru: $14
  • Private City Kickstart Tour: Lima: $14
  • Barranco Street Art Tour: $17
  • Lima City Tour with Catacombs: $17
  • Party tour Fridays Barranco / Saturdays Miraflores: $18

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $9.10
    Lima $5.39

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

Typical Alcohol Prices in Lima

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    $6.99
  • Beer
    $3.90
  • Cocktail
    $3.12

Sample the Local Flavors in Lima

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lima:

  • Exclusive Pub Crawl with 10+ benefits: $18
  • Lima Pub Crawl - Party tour: Friday Barranco/Saturday miraflores: $18
  • Party tour in Miraflores with Bar Crawl Lima: $18
  • Party tour in Miraflores with Bar Crawl Lima: $20
  • Gin and Rum Distillery Tour: $24
  • Local Wine Tour : $39
  • Ballestas Islands + Huacachina Oasis + Wine Tour !! The best price: $226


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.

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


Which is Bigger, Cartagena or Lima?

Lima has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Cartagena. When comparing the sizes of Cartagena and Lima, 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.


When is the best time to visit Cartagena or Lima?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate with nice 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. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Cartagena year-round. Lima attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

In July, Cartagena usually receives more rain than Lima. Cartagena gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Lima receives 12 mm (0.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.

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

In July, Cartagena is generally much warmer than Lima. Daily temperatures in Cartagena average around 29°C (84°F), and Lima fluctuates 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. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm 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 daily temperature in Cartagena averages around 27°C (81°F) in October, and Lima fluctuates 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. The warm climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Lima because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

In January, Cartagena usually receives more rain than Lima. Cartagena gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Lima receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the winter.

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

In the winter, Cartagena is a little warmer than Lima. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cartagena in January average around 27°C (81°F), and Lima averages at 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. Plenty of visitors come to Cartagena because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Lima year-round.

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. Daily temperatures in Cartagena average around 28°C (82°F), and Lima fluctuates 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)