Should you visit Colonia del Sacramento or Santa Marta?
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 Colonia del Sacramento and Santa Marta can help you decide which place is right for you.
Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento is in the Rio de la Plata region of Uruguay. It is filled with old colonial buildings and cobbled streets, and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Colonia del Sacramento was founded in 1680 by the Portuguese, sandwiched in between the Portuguese colony of Brazil and the Spanish Viceroyalty of the River Plate, later Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil. Its strategic position and use as a smuggling port meant that its sovereignty was constantly contested and the city changed hands several times between Spain and Portugal. The irresistibly picturesque town's charm and its proximity to Buenos Aires draw thousands of Argentine and other visitors on weekends and in summer. Prices rise in these periods and it can be difficult to find a room so make sure to book your trip well in advance.
Santa Marta is a city in the Magdalena Department of Colombia's Costa Norte. Over the last decade, security has steadily been replacing the shadow of the Colombia's violent past. One destination in Colombia's northeast region is now attracting more international visitors: the coastal Caribbean area of Santa Marta. Established in 1525 by the Spanish as a base of conquest, Santa Marta sits at the foot of the world's highest coastal mountain range, the towering Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is South America's oldest European-founded town and the second most important colonial city on Colombia's Caribbean coast. While many travelers complain about Santa Marta's horrible traffic and unsightly urban sprawl, the city holds a numerous amounts of great hotels, bars and restaurants and holds a few fantastic destinations nearby to which you can go during the daytime.
Which city is cheaper, Santa Marta or Colonia del Sacramento?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Colonia del Sacramento is $48, while the average daily cost in Santa Marta is $26. 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 Colonia del Sacramento and Santa Marta in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $48 in Colonia del Sacramento For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Travelers usually pay around $22 for a double occupancy room in Santa Marta If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Colonia del Sacramento $24
Santa Marta $11
Typical double-occupancy room
Colonia del Sacramento
While meal prices in Colonia del Sacramento can vary, the average travelers spends about $13 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Colonia del Sacramento should cost around $5.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Colonia del Sacramento is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Santa Marta food costs typically run travelers around $8.10 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.
Typical Food prices in Santa Marta
For Santa Marta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Marta
For Santa Marta, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Food Tour in Santa Marta Old City Half-Day:
Santa Marta 2-hour Street Food Tour:
To get around in Colonia del Sacramento, the average visitor spends $12 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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Santa Marta than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $4.26 on transportation in Santa Marta on average per day.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Colonia del Sacramento $12
Santa Marta $4.26
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Colonia del Sacramento
Also for Colonia del Sacramento, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Colonia Port Terminal Private Transfer:
Colonia Bus Terminal Private Transfer:
Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Marta
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santa Marta:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Marta
Also for Santa Marta, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR):
Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city:
Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR):
Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city:
Transfer Round Trip Airport - Hotel (santa Marta):
Santa Marta Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal:
Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city:
Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City:
Private transfer between Santa Marta and Cartagena (or vice versa):
Private Transfer to Cartagena or Barranquilla City from Santa Marta:
Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta:
Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa):
In Colonia del Sacramento, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $17 per person, per day.
Sightseeing expenses in Santa Marta, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $11 per day, per person.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Colonia del Sacramento $17
Santa Marta $11
Tours and Activities in Colonia del Sacramento
For Colonia del Sacramento, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Colonia Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour:
Colonia del Sacramento City Tour:
Full Day Birdwatching and Nature Tour:
Half day city tour in Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay:
Half day city tour in Montevideo:
Tours and Activities in Santa Marta
For Santa Marta, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
"Gabo Márquez" Tour - Aracataca and Cienaga:
2 Day Coastal Motorcycle Tour:
4-Day Lost City Small-Group Tour in Santa Marta:
5-Day Private Guided Hiking Experience to The Lost City:
Aracataca And Ciénaga - Gabriel García Márquez Tour:
Archeological Tour in Taironaka with River Tubing and a small Lost City:
Arrecife and Cañaveral tour from Santa Marta:
BE RELAX TOUR - Bahia Concha:
BE TROPICAL TOUR - Buritaca & Playa Los Angeles:
Cartagena - City Tour:
City Tour Santa Marta:
Coffee Tour La Victoria:
Typically, people visiting Colonia del Sacramento spend on average $4.13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Santa Marta spend on average $5.43 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in Santa Marta
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santa Marta from other travelers:
Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Marta
Also in Santa Marta, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Nicks 1892 Coffee farm & Brewery:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Colonia del Sacramento and Santa Marta, we can see that Colonia del Sacramento is more expensive. And not only is Santa Marta much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Santa Marta would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Santa Marta 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 Colonia del Sacramento would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Colonia del Sacramento than you might in Santa Marta.
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