A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Colonia del Sacramento vs. Santa Marta for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Colonia del Sacramento or Santa Marta?

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 Colonia del Sacramento and Santa Marta can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Colonia del Sacramento or Santa Marta?

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

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in Uruguay, The Best Adventure Tours to Uruguay, The Best Eco Tours in Colombia, and The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Colombia.


Which place 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 $68, while the average daily cost in Santa Marta is $32. 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 Colonia del Sacramento and Santa Marta in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Colonia del Sacramento $34
    Santa Marta $14
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Colonia del Sacramento $68
    Santa Marta $28
Compare Hotels in Colonia del Sacramento and Santa Marta

Looking for a hotel in Colonia del Sacramento or Santa Marta? 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 Colonia del Sacramento


Hotels in Santa Marta


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: Colonia del Sacramento Hotel Prices and Santa Marta Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Colonia del Sacramento $17
    Santa Marta $5.27

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 : $15
  • Colonia Bus Terminal Private Transfer : $15

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Gas
    $5.24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Marta

Also for Santa Marta, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfers to Palomino, Tayrona Park, Buritaca Guachaca from Santa Marta: $23
  • Transfers SANTA MARTA AIRPORT TO HOTEL IN SANTA MARTA: $31
  • Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR): $21
  • Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $21
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR): $14
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $14
  • Tayrona / Santa Marta Transfer: $85
  • Santa Marta to or from Tayrona Park Private Transfer: $35
  • Santa Marta to or from Tayrona Park Private Transfer: $40
  • Santa Marta to or from Barranquilla Private Transfer: $67
  • Santa Marta Airport to Santa Marta - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $63
  • Santa Marta Airport to Santa Marta - Arrival Private Transfer: $32

Is it cheaper to fly into Colonia del Sacramento or Santa Marta?

Prices for flights to both Santa Marta and Colonia del Sacramento 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
    Colonia del Sacramento $19
    Santa Marta $10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Colonia del Sacramento

For Colonia del Sacramento, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Sensory Experience - Blind dinner in Colonia Del Sacramento: $95

Typical Food Prices in Santa Marta

For Santa Marta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Breakfast
    $3.14

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:

  • Santa Marta Walking Food Tour: $40
  • Food Tour in Santa Marta Old City Half-Day : $66
  • Santa Marta Street Food Tour: $75
  • Food Tour in Santa Marta Old City: $75

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Colonia del Sacramento $24
    Santa Marta $14

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:

  • Almacén de la Capilla - Winery Experience at Carmelo: $215
  • Bus Ticket from Colonia del Sacramento to Carmelo: $27
  • City Tour Colonia del Sacramento - Uruguay: $90
  • Colonia del Sacramento City Tour : $58
  • Adventure Sightseeing Bike Tour: $53
  • Historical Walking Tour with Snack: $58
  • Colonia: Private City Tour on Foot (Historic District): $89
  • Experience an typical Uruguayan dish: Chivito & Tannat Wine: $78
  • From Best Private Wine Experience: $185
  • From Horse Ride Experience: $72
  • From Montevideo: Colonia Day Trip & Sightseeing: $150
  • Full Day Birdwatching and Nature Tour: $200

Tours and Activities in Santa Marta

For Santa Marta, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • "Chocoserrano" Chocolate Tour 1 day -- Santa Marta: $115
  • "Gabo Márquez" Tour - Aracataca and Cienaga: $205
  • 2 days 1 night tour - in Trompito, I meet indigenous community Kogui Uldezhaxa.: $189
  • 2-Day Cultural Tour to Gotsezhy from Santa Marta: $198
  • 2-Day Tour to Ancestral Heritage from Santa Marta: $190
  • 3-Day Private Tour of Taorayiná Ecolodge and Nature Reserve: $200
  • 4 Days Adventure; Medellin to Santa Marta- Beach of the Dead: $374
  • 4 Days Adventure; Medellin to Santa Marta- Beach of the Dead: $334
  • Amazing full day tour to Minca with a private guide: $178
  • Ancestral Thought Tour: $180
  • Ancestral Thought Tour (Indigenous life in Kogui people) Santa Marta: $192
  • Ancestral Thought Tour two days and one night: $200

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Colonia del Sacramento $5.85
    Santa Marta $6.71

Typical Alcohol Prices in Santa Marta

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santa Marta from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.58
  • Beer
    $2.36


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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Colonia del Sacramento Expensive? and Is Santa Marta Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Colonia del Sacramento or Santa Marta?

Santa Marta has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Colonia del Sacramento. When comparing the sizes of Colonia del Sacramento and Santa Marta, 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.