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

Should you visit Cartagena or Santiago?

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

Where Should I go: Cartagena or Santiago?

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.

Santiago

Santiago is the capital city of Chile. It is centrally located in the long and narrow country, making it a good jumping off point to explore everywhere else. It's convenient location means that you can go skiing in the Andes one day, and hang out at the beach the next.

Santiago has a cool semi-arid climate that is similar to Mediterranean climates. The summers, which are between November and March, are warm and dry. The temperatures climb to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The winters, between June and August, are humid with cold mornings. The daily highs are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows stay a few degrees above freezing. Rain is more common in the winter months and the dry season is between December and March.

Which city is cheaper, Santiago 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 Santiago is $114. 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 Santiago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $19
    Santiago $89
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $38
    Santiago $178

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $5.32
    Santiago $4.35

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
  • Cartagena Airport: Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: $14
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Cartagena (transfer service): $14
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the hotel to the Rafael Nuñez AIRPORT: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG) to Cartagena: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG): $16
  • Private Transfer from Cartagena City to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santiago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santiago:


  • Metro Ride
    $1.14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago:

  • Airport Transfer: $200
  • Arrival Private Transfer Santiago Airport SCL to Santiago in an Executive SUV: $46
  • Arrival Private Transfer Santiago Airport SCL to Santiago in an Luxury Van: $71
  • Departure Private Transfers : Santiago to Santiago Airport SCL in Business Car: $73
  • Departure Private Transfers : Santiago to Santiago Airport SCL in Luxury Van: $96
  • From Concha y Toro Winery Tour with Transfer: $48
  • Maipo Valley Wine Tour, Concha y Toro, Private Transfer from Santiago: $161
  • Premium Ski resort transfer: $250
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Santiago de Chile to Santiago Int. Airport (SCL): $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Airport to Hotel in Santiago: $27
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santiago de Chile Airport to Santiago City: $28
  • Private Departure Transfer from Santiago City to Santiago de Chile Airport: $28

Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or Santiago?

Prices for flights to both Santiago 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 $6.97
    Santiago $10

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 Santiago

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


  • Empanada
    $1.89
  • Hamburger
    $2.51
  • Dinner
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santiago

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

  • Dinner at a Typical Chilean Restaurant with a Traditional Dance Show in Santiago: $73
  • Chilean Dinner and Show Experience in Santiago: $77
  • ChileCooks - Food Tours: $91
  • Traditional Dinner Show in Santiago: $96
  • Bali Hai Dinner & Show Including Transport: $97
  • Traditional Chilean Show with Dinner and Private Transportation in Santiago: $107
  • Chilean Folklore Show and Dinner with Private Transport: $110
  • Small-Group Night City Tour: San Cristobal Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Small-Group Tour: Night City Tour with Santa Lucia Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Chilean Cooking Class in a Local Home: $117
  • Small group Night City Tour With dinner including wine pairing and National Food: $130
  • Bali Hai Dinner Show in Santiago de Chile: $130

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $15
    Santiago $38

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

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

Tours and Activities in Santiago

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Santiago are as follows:

  • Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino Admission Ticket: $14
  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial español: $18
  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $18
  • Cousiño Macul Official Winery Tour with Tasting: $18
  • Santiago City Tour SCL & Santa Lucía Hill: $25
  • Half-Day Small-Group Panoramic Santiago Tour: $27
  • Santiago City Tour: $27
  • Small-Group Tour to Valle Nevado and Farellones from Santiago: $30
  • Half Day Guided City Tour in Santiago - Small Groups - Multi Language: $30
  • Welcome to Private Tour with a Local: $30
  • Santiago Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $32
  • Walking tour "Popular flavors of Chile": $33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $6.54
    Santiago $6.75

Sample the Local Flavors in Santiago

Also in Santiago, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Traditional Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Official English: $18
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $30
  • Premium Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Spanish official: $30
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Official english: $30
  • Half Day Trip to Undurraga Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $40
  • Half Day Trip to Concha y Toro Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $45
  • Concha y Toro Traditional Wine Tour from Santiago: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Santa Rita Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $50
  • Half Day Trip to Cousiño Macul Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $55
  • half day wine tour to concha y toro from Santiago seasonal offer: $57
  • Concha y Toro Marques Wine Tour from Santiago: $64
  • Premium Wine Tasting in Santiago de Chile: $71


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


When is the best time to visit Cartagena or Santiago?

Santiago has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Cartagena experiences a tropical climate with fairly warm weather most of the year.

Should I visit Cartagena or Santiago in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cartagena and Santiago. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year.

Cartagena is a little warmer than Santiago in the summer. The temperature in Cartagena is usually 29°C (84°F) in July, and Santiago stays around 21°C (70°F)in January.

In July, Cartagena usually receives more rain than Santiagoin January. At this time of the year, Cartagena gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Santiago receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July and January
    Cartagena 29°C (84°F) 
    Santiago 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or Santiago in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Cartagena as well as Santiago. Plenty of visitors come to Cartagena because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

In the autumn, Cartagena is much warmer than Santiago. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cartagena in October are around 27°C (81°F), and Santiago is about 15°C (59°F)in April.

Cartagena receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Cartagena usually gets more rain in October than Santiagoin April. Cartagena gets 150 mm (5.9 in) of rain, while Santiago receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October and April
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F) 
    Santiago 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or Santiago in the Winter?

Both Santiago and Cartagena are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In January, Cartagena is generally much warmer than Santiagoin July. Temperatures in Cartagena average around 27°C (81°F), and Santiago stays around 9°C (48°F).

In January, Cartagena usually receives less rain than Santiagoin July. At this time of the year, Cartagena gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Santiago receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January and July
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F) 
    Santiago 9°C (48°F)

Should I visit Cartagena or Santiago in the Spring?

Both Santiago and Cartagena during the spring are popular places to visit. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year.

Cartagena is much warmer than Santiago in the spring. The temperature in Cartagena is usually 28°C (82°F) in April, and Santiago stays around 15°C (59°F)in October.

Cartagena usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Santiagoin October. Cartagena gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Santiago receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April and October
    Cartagena 28°C (82°F) 
    Santiago 15°C (59°F)

Typical Weather for Santiago and Cartagena

Cartagena Santiago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 20°C (68°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Mar 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 18°C (64°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 28°C (82°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 15°C (59°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
May 29°C (84°F) 50 mm (2 in) 12°C (54°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jun 29°C (84°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 9°C (48°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Jul 29°C (84°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 9°C (48°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 10°C (50°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Sep 29°C (84°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 150 mm (5.9 in) 15°C (59°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Nov 28°C (82°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 20°C (68°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Cartagena vs. Santiago Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.