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

Should you visit Cartagena or Valparaiso?

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

Where Should I go: Cartagena or Valparaiso?


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.


Valparaiso, often referred to as Valpo, is an attractive city on the Pacific Coast in Chile. The city has a population of about 300,000 and is only 120 kilometers west of Santiago. The city's main industries aside from tourism include shipping and petroleum refining.

Valparaiso is popular with travelers because of its bohemian culture and brightly colored homes. It also offers some wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean. Although the city is short on specific sights, the atmosphere and beautiful setting make it a wonderful place to visit.

Valparaiso has a mild Mediterranean climate that is comparable to San Francisco or Santa Barbara. The summer is dry but fog is common year around. Rain can be heavy during the winter season and snow falls occasionally in the highest parts of the city. Winds can also be strong during the winter months.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Colombia, The Best Eco Tours in Colombia, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Chile, and The Best Luxury Tours to Chile.

Which place is cheaper, Valparaiso or Cartagena?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cartagena is $45, while the average daily cost in Valparaiso is $69. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cartagena and Valparaiso in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cartagena $25
    Valparaiso $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cartagena $50
    Valparaiso $74
Compare Hotels in Cartagena and Valparaiso

Looking for a hotel in Cartagena or Valparaiso? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cartagena

Hotels in Valparaiso

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cartagena Hotel Prices and Valparaiso Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cartagena $7.06
    Valparaiso $5.04

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • 18.Transfer (Rafael N-Hotel Decameron Baru Airport) or vice versa: $90
  • 20. Transfer Rafael N. Airport-HOTEL LAS ISLAS-CALABLANCA: $142
  • 8. Transfer to BARRANQUILLA from Cartagena Private or vice versa: $160
  • Airport Hotel Transfer: $24
  • Airport Transfer Hotel: $35
  • Airport Transfers Cartagena: $36
  • Arrival Transfer Cartagena Airport CTG to Cartagena by MiniSuv: $105
  • Baru: Rafael Nunez International Airport Private Transfer: $80
  • Cartagena Airport (CTG) to Cartagena - Arrival Private Transfer: $24
  • Cartagena Airport: Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: $10
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Manzanillo del Mar to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $25
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport to La Boquilla: $15

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Valparaiso

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Valparaiso are as follows:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Valparaiso

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Valparaiso:

  • Pick up Valparaiso Port Visit El Cuadro Winery & Transfer: $270
  • Pick up Valparaiso Visit William Cole Winery & Transfer to Hotel: $270
  • Pick up at the Pier and Valparaiso -Viña del Mar and transfer to the Airport: $269
  • Private Transfer Viña del Mar to Santiago Airport: $170
  • Private Transfer from San Antonio Port to Valparaiso or Viña del Mar.: $133
  • Private Transfer from Valparaiso Cruise Port to Santiago hotels: $81
  • Private Transfer from Valparaiso Hotel or port To Santiago Airport or Hotel: $107
  • Private Transfer from Valparaiso Port to Santiago Airport (SCL): $81
  • Private Transfer from Viña Del Mar or Valparaiso City Hotel To Santiago City: $89
  • Private Transfer from Viña del Mar to Arturo Merino Benítez (SCL) Airport: $238
  • Small group transfer from Valparaiso/S.Antonio+Tour in Santiago: $140
  • Transfers from Valparaiso or Viña del Mar to Santiago: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Cartagena or Valparaiso?

Prices for flights to both Valparaiso 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 Meals for one day
    Cartagena $9.25
    Valparaiso $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cartagena

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

  • Cooking class of typical food at the beach and sunset view: $39
  • Taste Cartagena Food tour: $40
  • Guided Street Food Tour with Tastings: $42
  • Street Food Tour in Cartagena: $42
  • Street Food Cooking Class, Mojito making & Fruit tasting: $50
  • Cooking class, Caribbean lunch at our place: $50
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Private Dinner at a Local Chef's House in Cartagena: $58
  • Dinner Cruise Along Cartagena's Bay: $60
  • Cooking class: Street Food & Mojito making: $60
  • Cartagena Island Dinner (Island of Tierra Bomba): $60
  • Cartagena Gourmet: Cooking Class with a View, Elegance & Flavor: $65

Typical Food Prices in Valparaiso

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Valparaiso:

  • Empanada

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Valparaiso

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

  • Learn to Cook Like a Local: Private Cooking Class in a Viña del Mar Home: $102

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cartagena $20
    Valparaiso $19

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Into the Walls of The City: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Old Town Highlights Self-guided Tour: $8.46
  • Artists' Quarter Getsemani Self-guided Tour: $8.46
  • Old Town & Getsemani Quarter Self-guided Tour: $8.46
  • Tour the city on a rumba in a typical bus: $8.85
  • Barù Island Playa Blanca with tourist guide: $9.31
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: The Rise of the Wall City Part II: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: The Rise of the Wall City Part I: $10
  • Emerald Museum and Factory Tour: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: Ghost of Downtown: Fear in the streets. : $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: Pirate Tales in Cartagena: $10
  • Shared Walking Tour through the Historic Center of Cartagena: $10

Typical Entertainment Prices in Valparaiso

Here are a few typical costs in Valparaiso for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Boat Tour

Tours and Activities in Valparaiso

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

  • Valparaiso Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $32
  • Valparaiso : Private Custom Tour with A Guide (Private Tour): $33
  • Famous Viña del Mar! Premium Walking Tour with a Native Guide: $35
  • Famous Valparaíso! Premium Walking Tour with a Native Guide: $35
  • 2 Hour Walking Tour in Valparaiso: $35
  • Walking Tour of Valparaiso and the House of Neruda La Sebastiana: $38
  • Guided Panoramic Tour in Valparaíso: $40
  • Private walking tour in Valparaíso: $55
  • 3-Hour Bike Tour along the Coast of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso: $55
  • Valpo in 1 day: Authentic + Famous! Semi-private walking tour & public transport: $60
  • Private City Tour of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar: $65
  • Private Tour in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar: $87

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cartagena $8.67
    Valparaiso $8.12

Sample the Local Flavors in Cartagena

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

  • Pub Crawl Getsemaní: $18
  • Pub Crawl with Dancing Lessons and Free Shots: $18
  • Cartagena Pub Crawl: Let's Party & Matching in Getsemaní: $20
  • Thursday Night Bar Crawl in Cartagena, Colombia: $20
  • Pub Crawl-Last Call For Alcohol-Cartagena Night Tour (Bar/Club) : $27
  • Get the Nightlife Vibe & Bar crawl: $44
  • Nightlife Pub crawl in Cartagena: $68
  • Pub Crawl: $70

Typical Alcohol Prices in Valparaiso

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Valparaiso are as follows:

  • Beer

Sample the Local Flavors in Valparaiso

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Valparaiso:

  • Private Wine Tour in Valparaiso: $166

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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cartagena Expensive? and Is Valparaiso Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Cartagena or Valparaiso?

Cartagena has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Valparaiso. When comparing the sizes of Cartagena and Valparaiso, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.