Should you visit Cartagena or Valdivia?
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 Valdivia 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.
Valdivia is a vibrant university city situated in southern Chile. It sits at the meeting point of three rivers in the aptly named Region de Los Rios (The Rivers Region) and is approximately 200 kilometers from both Temuco and Puerto Montt. Due to a large student population, Valdivia boasts a youthful and energetic vibe that is visible in its many bars, cafes and restaurants. The city is also known for having one of Chile's best craft beer cultures, which had its early beginnings when German settlers arrived in the 1840s. The rivers, nearby Pacific coastline and wetlands offer plenty for lovers of the outdoors, too.
Which city is cheaper, Valdivia or Cartagena?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cartagena is $40, while the average daily cost in Valdivia is $72. 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 Valdivia in more detail.
Cartagena's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $46. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $23.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $84 in Valdivia For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
In Cartagena travelers spend around $8.26 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.
Valdivia food costs typically run travelers around $22 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
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:
The average price of local transportation around Cartagena is $6.30 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.
To get around in Valdivia, the average visitor spends $8.52 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
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):
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Valdivia
Also for Valdivia, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Valdivia Airport Private Transfer:
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.
In Valdivia, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $14 per person, per day.
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 Valdivia
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Valdivia.
Sightseeing Tour in Valdivia:
City tour in Valdivia & Niebla:
Kayak Experience in Valdivia:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cartagena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.74 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 Valdivia, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.05.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cartagena and Valdivia, we can see that Valdivia 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 Valdivia would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Valdivia than you might in Cartagena.
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