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

Should you visit Cartagena or San Pedro de Atacama?

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 $39, while the average daily cost in San Pedro de Atacama is $59. 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 San Pedro de Atacama in more detail.



Accommodation

Cartagena's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $44. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $22.

For a normal double-occupancy room in San Pedro de Atacama, $64 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Pedro de Atacama, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $32, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $22
    San Pedro de Atacama $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $44
    San Pedro de Atacama $64

Food

In Cartagena travelers spend around $8.10 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.

Food in San Pedro de Atacama costs travelers about $14 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cartagena $8.10
    San Pedro de Atacama $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 San Pedro de Atacama

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


  • Empanadas
    $1.60
  • Lunch
    $13
  • Dinner
    $14
  • Drink
    $1.20
  • Empanada
    $6.68

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Cartagena is $6.18 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.

San Pedro de Atacama's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $9.33 per person, per day on transportation in San Pedro de Atacama.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $6.18
    San Pedro de Atacama $9.33

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

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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Pedro de Atacama can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $21 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $18
    San Pedro de Atacama $21

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
    $71

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
  • Sandboarding Adventure in Death Valley: $29
  • 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

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cartagena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.60 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $5.03 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $7.60
    San Pedro de Atacama $5.03

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
    $31


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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