Should you visit Cartagena or Tilcara?
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 Tilcara can help you decide which place is right for you.
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.
Tilcara signifies shooting star in Quechua. At 2465m of altitude, the little town of Tilcara is one of the most animated place of the area of the quebrada de humahuaca. Many South American backpackers and tourists from all around the world come to visit Tilcara and its pucara, the forteresse built by the Incas at the top of the hill, providing a stunning walk around the town. Tilcara hosts many festivals for different occasions such as the celebration of the Pachamama in August, the semana santa (Holy Week) in April, and the Enero Tilcareno, held in January as its name indicates, which is probably the busiest month of the year for the little town. If you enjoy concerts, parades and folklorique parties then definitely try to visit Tilcara during a festival month and avoid them if you prefer a calm and more relaxed holiday. There are many available activities around Tilcara including horseback riding, VTT, and you could also even try a ride in a caravan pulled by llamas.
Which city is cheaper, Tilcara 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 Tilcara is $60. 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 Tilcara in more detail.
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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $48 in Tilcara For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
On average, meal and food prices in Tilcara cost around $25 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $10.
Meals for one day
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:
BIKE & BITE food tour:
Street food tour with Julie:
Food Tour in Cartagena Walled City:
Street Food & Local Food Tour:
SkyKitchen 4 Course Cooking Class:
Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena:
Cartagena - Food Tour:
Caribbean Cuisine Cooking Class:
Shared Local Cooking Class and Lunch in Cartagena:
Bazurto Local Market Tour & Cooking Class:
Colombian Cooking Workshop:
Typical Food prices in Tilcara
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tilcara:
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Tilcara than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $16 on transportation in Tilcara on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:
One way private water transfer between Cartagena and the Islands (6 ppl max):
Private Transfer from La Manga Club to Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport:
Private Transfer from Cartagena to Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport:
Private Transfer Cartagena to Palomino (or vice versa):
Private transfer to Barranquilla from Cartagena- Traslado privado a Barranquilla:
Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by Minivan:
Transfer to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta or Barranquilla City from Cartagena:
Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by 2x4 Car:
Private transfer Cartagena airport -Mamonal:
Transfer service in Cartagena:
Private Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG):
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tilcara
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Tilcara:
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 expenses in Tilcara, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $14 per day, per person.
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:
4-Hour Fishing Experience with Locals Near Cartagena:
6 Hr Cartagena Fishing Experience:
Accessible sightseeing tour of Cartagena:
Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias):
Aviario National Park Shared Tour:
Bar Tour for Guys and Bachelor Parties:
Bazurto Market + La Popa Convent Cartagena City Tour 4H:
Bazurto Market Half day tour in Cartagena:
Biking Tour Cartagena:
Birdwatching & Photography experience at the National Aviary in Barú:
Bolivar Pirate Island Experience with Lunch:
Tours and Activities in Tilcara
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tilcara.
Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour to Juella from Tilcara:
Full-Day Tour to Laguna de los Pozuelos from Tilcara:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Tilcara, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.72.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cartagena and Tilcara, we can see that Tilcara 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 Tilcara would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tilcara than you might in Cartagena.
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