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

Should you visit Cartagena or Paracas?

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 Paracas 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.

Paracas

Paracas, also known as El Chaco, is a resort town on the Southern coast of the country, about 150 miles south of Lima. The town in located in one of the oldest regions of Peru, with a history dating back to 900 BC and offers many pre-Inca cultural sites throughout the area. Paracas is possibly best known for being home to the Paracas National Reserve, a nature reserve boasting one of the most abundant and diverse ecosystems in the world.

Which city is cheaper, Paracas 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 Paracas is $49. 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 Paracas 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.

Paracas's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $34. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $17.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $23
    Paracas $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $46
    Paracas $34

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.

Paracas food costs typically run travelers around $18 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cartagena $8.26
    Paracas $18

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paracas

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

  • Dinner on Paracas Desert: $393

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 average price of local transportation around Paracas is $14 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $6.30
    Paracas $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $8.00
  • Cartagena Airport Transfer (in and out) - Touristic Area Hotels - Sedan: $34
  • Cartagena Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $13
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Bocagrande to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from El Laguito to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by 2x4 Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by Minivan: $96
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Cartagena (transfer service): $14
  • One way private water transfer between Cartagena and the Islands (6 ppl max): $530
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the AIRPORT to the hotel.: $19
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the cruise terminal.: $13
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the hotel to the Rafael Nuñez AIRPORT: $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Paracas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Paracas:

  • Private Bus Station transfer in Paracas: $9.10
  • Private Transfer from Paracas to Ica: $110
  • Private transfer from Paracas to Lima (price per vehicle): $480
  • Private transfer from Paracas to Lima Airport (price per vehicle): $490
  • Transfer Paracas -Lima: $250

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.

Paracas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $19 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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $18
    Paracas $19

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

Tours and Activities in Paracas

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

  • Ballestas Islands Sightseeing Boat Ride from Paracas: $24
  • Ballestas Islands Group Tour from Paracas: $26
  • Ballestas Islands for cruise ship passenger - Paracas Harbour: $32
  • Ballestas Islands and Chandelier tour from Paracas: $36
  • Ballestas Islands Sigthseeing Tour: $36
  • Wildlife of the Ballestas Islands Boat Tour: $42
  • ATV Tour in Paracas: $45
  • Tour to Ballestas Islands from Chaco Dock: $49
  • Half day Tour to the Paracas National Reserve from Puerto San Martín: $54
  • Paracas National Reserve Private Tour: $59
  • Tour to Paracas National Reserve: $65
  • Tour Dune Buggies in Paracas: $80

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Paracas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.64 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $7.74
    Paracas $8.64


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

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Cartagena vs. Paracas Travel Comparison

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