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

Should you visit Cartagena or Salta?

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

Where Should I go: Cartagena or Salta?


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 the heart of the famous Northwest region of Argentina, at 1200m of elevation and at the foot of the Cerro San Bernardo, Salta is the largest city of the region and perhaps the most beautiful colonial city of Argentina. Founded in 1582 by the Spanish, Salta was an important stop for merchants who followed the usual trade road through Bolivia and Peru. Argentines call this city nestled in the foothills of the Andes and surrounded by mountains, of just over half a million inhabitants, Salta La Linda (Salta the Beautiful) and it's easy to see why. Young and traditional at the same time, Salta and its renowned museums, plaza side cafes and live musica folklorica of its bustling penas, is a sophisticated and lively city day and night.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Colombia, The Best Eco Tours in Colombia, The Best Photography Tours in Argentina, and The Best Luxury Tours to Argentina.

Which place is cheaper, Salta or Cartagena?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cartagena is $45, while the average daily cost in Salta is $9.23. 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 Salta in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $25
    Salta $3.32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $50
    Salta $6.64
Compare Hotels in Cartagena and Salta

Looking for a hotel in Cartagena or Salta? 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 Salta

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 Salta Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $7.06
    Salta $3.84

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • luxury private Vehicle, airport/hotel transfer or viceversa: $35
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Cartagena HTL-APT(CTG): $17
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Cartagena APT-HTL(CTG): $17
  • Transfer service in Cartagena: $53
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cartagena Airport (CTG) - City Center: $10
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from City Center - Cartagena Airport (CTG): $14
  • Transfer Private Vehicle Cartagena Airport (CTG) -City Cent: $20
  • Transfer High-end - Kia Quoris: $90
  • Transfer High-end - Ford Explorer: $90
  • Transfer Airport/Hotel or Hotel/Airport: $18
  • The best private Transfer from / to Cartagena airport. ONE WAY.: $20
  • Shared Transfer from the Airport to Cartagena City or Vice Versa: $10

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Salta

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

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salta

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

  • From Cafayate and Hornocal 2-Day Tour with Transfer: $88
  • From Salinas and Hornocal 2-Day Tour with Transfer: $99
  • Round Trip Shared Transfer Salta Airport/Downtown Hotel: $9.00
  • Salta Airport One-Way or Round-Trip Transfers: $45
  • One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer: $5.50
  • Yungas : full day with gauchos - transfer inc. from Salta: $240

Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or Salta?

Prices for flights to both Salta 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 $9.25
    Salta $3.13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cartagena

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

  • Cooking class of typical food at the beach and sunset view: $39
  • Guided Street Food Tour with Tastings: $41
  • Street Food Tour in Cartagena: $42
  • Cooking class, Caribbean lunch at our place: $50
  • Street Food Cooking Class, Mojito making & Fruit tasting: $50
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Private Dinner at a Local Chef's House in Cartagena: $58
  • Cooking class: Street Food & Mojito making: $60
  • Cartagena Gourmet: Cooking Class with a View, Elegance & Flavor: $65
  • Street Food & Local Food Tour: $67
  • Dinner cruise on Cartagena's bay with Sibarita Master: $70
  • Getsemaní District at Night (with dinner included): $71

Typical Food Prices in Salta

For Salta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Emplanadas
  • Ice Cream
  • Lunch
  • Coffee

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $20
    Salta $3.26

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Cartagena City Tour & Convento de la Popa : $32
  • Cartagena Efoil FliteBoard Experience in Fenix Beach 1H: $150
  • Eco cultural Historical Tour beyond Old City! + Pool: $98
  • Playa Blanca Private tour : $148
  • Private Tour & the best coffee of the world in Cartagena (Also for cruisers): $250
  • Private city tour: $197
  • Rosario Islands Full Day Tour: $156
  • Shore excursion Accessible sightseeing tour : $170
  • Tour around the Rosario Islands 4 islands: $65
  • ¡The Zenú Weaving Tour!: $84
  • 1 Hour Efoil FliteScooter Experience in Fenix Beach Cartagena : $120
  • 2 hrs Tour in Cartagena Bay with Sunset View: $26

Typical Entertainment Prices in Salta

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Salta's activities, tours, and tickets:

  • Gondola Ride
  • Pool
  • Wine and Cheese night

Tours and Activities in Salta

For Salta, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 4-Hour Guided Highlights City Tour: $15
  • From City Tour and San Lorenzo on a half-day tour: $18
  • From City Tour of the city on a half-day ride: $18
  • Salta City Half Day Tour: $20
  • Half-Day City Tour of Salta: $23
  • City Tour and sorroundings: $28
  • From Full-day tour to Cachi and Los Cardones National Park: $30
  • From Full-Day Tour to Cafayate, Land of Wines: $30
  • Best of Guided City Tour: $30
  • Guided Half-Day City Tour with Cathedral and Museum: $30
  • From Cachi and Los Cardones National Park Tour: $31
  • Full-Day Tour Cafayate Calchaqui Valleys with Wine: $32

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $8.67
    Salta $1.31

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 Lessons and Free Shots: $18
  • Pub Crawl Getsemaní: $18
  • Cartagena Pub Crawl: Let's Party & Matching in Getsemaní: $20
  • Cartagena's Best Pub Crawl all included!: $21
  • Get the Nightlife Vibe & Bar crawl: $44
  • Nightlife Pub crawl in Cartagena: $67
  • Pub Crawl: $70

Typical Alcohol Prices in Salta

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

  • Beer
  • Alcohol

Sample the Local Flavors in Salta

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Salta:

  • From Cafayate Day Trip with Wine Tasting: $30
  • Full-day Cafayate, Lerma Valley, and Wine Tasting from Salta: $30
  • From Full-Day Tour to Cafayate with Wine Tasting: $33

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cartagena and Salta, we can see that Cartagena is more expensive. And not only is Salta much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Salta would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Salta 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 Cartagena would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cartagena than you might in Salta.

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

Which is Bigger, Cartagena or Salta?

Cartagena has a larger population, and is about 86% larger than the population of Salta. When comparing the sizes of Cartagena and Salta, 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.