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

Should you visit Cartagena or Lima?

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.

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 $40, while the average daily cost in Lima is $60. 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 Lima in more detail.




Accommodation

Cartagena's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $46. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $23.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $76 for a double occupancy room in Lima.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $23
    Lima $38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $46
    Lima $76


Food

In Cartagena travelers spend around $8.26 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 Lima cost around $14 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 $5.60.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cartagena $8.26
    Lima $14

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
  • 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
  • Colombian Cooking Workshop: $201

Typical Food prices in Lima

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.20
  • Ice cream
    $3.41
  • Coffee
    $2.88
  • Donut
    $0.92

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
  • Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • #1 Lima Food Tour and Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • #1 Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Delicious Food Tour through Local Markets: $46
  • #1 Peruvian Food Tour through Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant: $49
  • Private Cooking Class With a Local Family in Lima: $52
  • 3–Hour Restaurant Dinner and Show Experience: $55
  • Dinner Show and Exhibition of Peruvian Horse including Pick up & drop off: $55
  • Peruvian Food Tour Through Local Markets: $55
  • Magic Water Circuit, Dinner & Show in Lima: $56


Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Cartagena is $6.30 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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Lima is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.66 per person, per day, on local transportation in Lima.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $6.30
    Lima $4.66

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
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Cartagena (transfer service): $14
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the hotel to the Rafael Nuñez AIRPORT: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG): $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG) to Cartagena: $16
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from El Laguito to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Bocagrande 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
    $5.25
  • Taxi Ride
    $5.25
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.93

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 Transfer: One Way: $16
  • 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


Entertainment

Cartagena's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 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.

Entertainment and activities in Lima typically cost an average of $6.69 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $18
    Lima $6.69

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Cartagena de Indias: Into the Walls of The City Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Cartagena de Indias: India Catalina to Plaza Santo Domingo Audio Tour - 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
  • Free walking tour Gethsemane old town & Forever colonial: $10
  • Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias): $10
  • Cartagena Ryhtm & Sunset - Musical experience: $12
  • Virtual Cartagena LiteraTour through Nobel Garcia Marquez work: $15
  • Chiva Party Bus Tour in Cartagena: $18
  • City Sightseeing Cartagena Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Shore Excursion: $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)
    $16
  • Movie Tickets
    $2.23

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
  • 4-Hour Walking Tour of the Historic Center of Lima: $25
  • Panoramic City Tour of Lima: $25
  • Half Day City Tour: $27
  • Half Day Panoramic City Tour Lima II: $27
  • Lima City Tour Express - Excursion: $28


Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cartagena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.74 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $3.79 on alcoholic beverages in Lima per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $7.74
    Lima $3.79

Typical Alcohol prices in Lima

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    $7.05
  • Beer
    $3.93
  • Cocktail
    $3.15

Sample the Local Flavors in Lima

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lima:

  • Lima 3.5-Hour Pisco Pub Crawl: $25
  • 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.

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Cartagena vs. Lima Travel Comparison

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