A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cartagena vs. San Pedro de Atacama for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cartagena or San Pedro de Atacama?

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 San Pedro de Atacama 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.

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is a gateway to northern Chile. It is a good jumping off point for exploring the area's impressive landscape, most of which is included in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. It is popular with both Chilean and international tourists, and because of its popularity, it is a relatively expensive destination, with many prices comparable to what you might pay in Santiago.

Which city is cheaper, San Pedro de Atacama 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 San Pedro de Atacama is $48. 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 San Pedro de Atacama in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $19
    San Pedro de Atacama $26
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $38
    San Pedro de Atacama $52

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $5.30
    San Pedro de Atacama $7.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Transfer to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta or Barranquilla City from Cartagena: $84
  • Transfer service in Cartagena: $50
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cartagena City to Airport: $12
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cartagena City to Airport: $17
  • Transfer Cartagena: $50
  • Private transfer to Barranquilla from Cartagena- Traslado privado a Barranquilla: $170
  • Private transfer Cartagena airport -Mamonal: $65
  • Private Transfers in air conditioning buses: $7.00
  • Private Transfer: Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) to Cartagena: $40
  • Private Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG): $40
  • Private Transfer from Port of Cartagena to La Boquilla: $28
  • Private Transfer from Port of Cartagena to El Laguito: $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama

Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Atacama Airport Private Transfer: $93
  • Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer: $30
  • Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City: $115
  • Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport: $25
  • Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service: $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or San Pedro de Atacama?

Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama 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 $6.94
    San Pedro de Atacama $12

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 San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Empanadas
    $1.30
  • Lunch
    $11
  • Dinner
    $11
  • Drink
    $0.97
  • Empanada
    $5.41

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $15
    San Pedro de Atacama $17

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • 2 Hour Panoramic tour for cruise ship passengers: $40
  • 4-Hour Fishing Experience with Locals Near Cartagena: $103
  • 6 Hr Cartagena Fishing Experience: $974
  • Accessible sightseeing tour of Cartagena: $140
  • Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias): $10
  • Aviario National Park Shared Tour: $63
  • Bar Tour for Guys and Bachelor Parties: $20
  • Bazurto Market + La Popa Convent Cartagena City Tour 4H: $81
  • Bazurto Market Half day tour in Cartagena: $125
  • Biking Tour Cartagena: $19
  • Birdwatching & Photography experience at the National Aviary in Barú: $279
  • Bolivar Pirate Island Experience with Lunch: $75

Typical Entertainment prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for San Pedro de Atacama's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Sand Boarding
    $57

Tours and Activities in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour: $26
  • Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama: $33
  • Geysers del Tatio Tour: $40
  • Valle del Arcoiris Tour: $40
  • Floating experience in the Hidden Lagoons (Lagunas Escondidas): $41
  • Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de Atacama: $42
  • Astronomical Tour: $42
  • Puritama Springs - Half Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Typical Tour: $44
  • Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour: $44
  • Moon Valley Tour - Half Day Tour: $45
  • Small-Group tour to Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche: $46
  • Astronomic tour: $47

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $6.51
    San Pedro de Atacama $4.07

Typical Alcohol prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in San Pedro de Atacama:


  • Alcohol
    $25


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

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Cartagena vs. San Pedro de Atacama Travel Comparison

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