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

Should you visit Fortaleza or Cartagena?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Fortaleza and Cartagena can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Fortaleza or Cartagena?

Fortaleza

A major city on Brazil's northeastern coast and the capital city of Ceara state, Fortaleza is best characterized by its city landscape lined with beaches and palm trees. It also features some great seafood as well as long-standing folk traditions in culture and dance.

Cartagena

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.

Which city is cheaper, Cartagena or Fortaleza?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Fortaleza is $55, while the average daily cost in Cartagena is $33. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Fortaleza and Cartagena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fortaleza $24
    Cartagena $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fortaleza $48
    Cartagena $38

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fortaleza $17
    Cartagena $5.20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Fortaleza

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer from Fortaleza Airport FOR to Fortaleza by Minivan: $51
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Fortaleza Airport FOR to Fortaleza by Sedan Car: $41
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Fortaleza Airport FOR to Jericoacoara by Minivan: $336
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Fortaleza Airport FOR to Jericoacoara by Sedan Car: $253
  • Beach Park Transfer from Fortaleza: $20
  • Cumbuco Private Transfer From Fortaleza: $36
  • Departure Private Transfer: Fortaleza City to Fortaleza Airport FOR by Minivan: $51
  • Departure Private Transfer: Fortaleza City to Fortaleza Airport FOR by Sedan Car: $41
  • Fortaleza Airport Private Transfer: $28
  • Fortaleza Airport Shared Transfer: $19
  • Fortaleza Roundtrip Airport Transfers: $38
  • Jericoacoara Private Transfer From Fortaleza: $240

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): $530
  • Private Transfer from La Manga Club to Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport: $259
  • Private Transfer from Cartagena to Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport: $249
  • Private Transfer Cartagena to Palomino (or vice versa): $195
  • Private transfer to Barranquilla from Cartagena- Traslado privado a Barranquilla: $170
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by Minivan: $96
  • Transfer to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta or Barranquilla City from Cartagena: $84
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by 2x4 Car: $72
  • Private transfer Cartagena airport -Mamonal: $65
  • Transfer Cartagena: $50
  • Transfer service in Cartagena: $50
  • Private Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG): $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Fortaleza or Cartagena?

Prices for flights to both Cartagena and Fortaleza 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
    Fortaleza $19
    Cartagena $6.82

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: $30
  • BIKE & BITE food tour: $52
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Street food tour with Julie: $64
  • Food Tour in Cartagena Walled City: $66
  • Street Food & Local Food Tour: $66
  • SkyKitchen 4 Course Cooking Class: $81
  • Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena: $92
  • Cartagena - Food Tour: $100
  • Caribbean Cuisine Cooking Class: $105
  • Shared Local Cooking Class and Lunch in Cartagena: $110
  • Bazurto Local Market Tour & Cooking Class: $115

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fortaleza $12
    Cartagena $15

Tours and Activities in Fortaleza

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Fortaleza.

  • Cumbuco Beach with City Tour from Fortaleza: $14
  • Tour to Cumbuco Beach: $17
  • Fortaleza City Tour: $18
  • Tour to Morro Branco & Fontes Beach: $21
  • Tour to Lagoinha Beach: $22
  • Tour to Aguas Belas Beach: $24
  • Tour to Canoa Quebrada Beach: $29
  • Fortaleza Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • Beach Park Full-Day Trip Including Brief Tour of Fortaleza: $35
  • Tour to Mundau Beach: $41
  • Canoa Quebrada Tour from Fortaleza - With Transportation, Guide and Buggy Ride: $100
  • Full-Day Guided Tour in Jericoacoara from Fortaleza: $100

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: $40
  • 4-Hour Fishing Experience with Locals Near Cartagena: $103
  • 6 Hr Cartagena Fishing Experience: $974
  • Accessible sightseeing tour of Cartagena: $140
  • Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias): $10
  • Aviario National Park Shared Tour: $63
  • Bar Tour for Guys and Bachelor Parties: $20
  • Bazurto Market + La Popa Convent Cartagena City Tour 4H: $81
  • Bazurto Market Half day tour in Cartagena: $125
  • Biking Tour Cartagena: $19
  • Birdwatching & Photography experience at the National Aviary in Barú: $279
  • Bolivar Pirate Island Experience with Lunch: $75

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fortaleza $7.89
    Cartagena $6.39


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


When is the best time to visit Fortaleza or Cartagena?

Fortaleza has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Cartagena experiences a tropical climate with fairly warm weather most of the year.

Should I visit Fortaleza or Cartagena in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Fortaleza as well as Cartagena. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year.

Fortaleza is around the same temperature as Cartagena in the summer. The temperature in Fortaleza is usually 28°C (82°F) in January, and Cartagena stays around 29°C (84°F)in July.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cartagena. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Fortaleza this time of the year. In the summer, Fortaleza often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Cartagenain July. Fortaleza gets 221 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cartagena receives 207 hours of full sun.

Fortaleza receives a lot of rain in the summer. Fortaleza usually gets more rain in January than Cartagenain July. Fortaleza gets 119 mm (4.7 in) of rain, while Cartagena receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January and July
    Fortaleza 28°C (82°F) 
    Cartagena 29°C (84°F)

Should I visit Fortaleza or Cartagena in the Autumn?

Both Cartagena and Fortaleza are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Cartagena because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

In the autumn, Fortaleza is around the same temperature as Cartagena. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Fortaleza in April are around 27°C (80°F), and Cartagena is about 27°C (81°F)in October.

Fortaleza usually receives less sunshine than Cartagena during autumn. At this time of the year, Fortaleza gets 159 hours of sunny skies, while Cartagena receives 175 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Cartagena. It's quite rainy in Fortaleza. In April, Fortaleza usually receives more rain than Cartagenain October. At this time of the year, Fortaleza gets 356 mm (14 in) of rain, while Cartagena receives 150 mm (5.9 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April and October
    Fortaleza 27°C (80°F) 
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Fortaleza or Cartagena in the Winter?

Both Cartagena and Fortaleza during the winter are popular places to visit. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In July, Fortaleza is generally around the same temperature as Cartagenain January. Temperatures in Fortaleza average around 26°C (79°F), and Cartagena stays around 27°C (81°F).

In Cartagena, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Fortaleza. In the winter, Fortaleza often gets less sunshine than Cartagenain January. Fortaleza gets 256 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cartagena receives 278 hours of full sun.

Fortaleza usually gets more rain in July than Cartagenain January. Fortaleza gets 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Cartagena receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July and January
    Fortaleza 26°C (79°F) 
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Fortaleza or Cartagena in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Fortaleza and Cartagena. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year.

Fortaleza is around the same temperature as Cartagena in the spring. The temperature in Fortaleza is usually 28°C (82°F) in October, and Cartagena stays around 28°C (82°F)in April.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cartagena this time of the year. In Fortaleza, it's very sunny this time of the year. Fortaleza usually receives more sunshine than Cartagena during spring. At this time of the year, Fortaleza gets 287 hours of sunny skies, while Cartagena receives 209 hours of full sun.

In October, Fortaleza usually receives more rain than Cartagenain April. At this time of the year, Fortaleza gets 13 mm (0.5 in) of rain, while Cartagena receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October and April
    Fortaleza 28°C (82°F) 
    Cartagena 28°C (82°F)

Typical Weather for Cartagena and Fortaleza

Fortaleza Cartagena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 28°C (82°F) 119 mm (4.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 27°C (81°F) 205 mm (8.1 in) 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Mar 27°C (80°F) 323 mm (12.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 27°C (80°F) 356 mm (14 in) 28°C (82°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
May 27°C (80°F) 256 mm (10.1 in) 29°C (84°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jun 26°C (80°F) 142 mm (5.6 in) 29°C (84°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Jul 26°C (79°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 29°C (84°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 27°C (80°F) 22 mm (0.9 in) 28°C (82°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 29°C (84°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 28°C (82°F) 13 mm (0.5 in) 27°C (81°F) 150 mm (5.9 in)
Nov 28°C (82°F) 12 mm (0.5 in) 28°C (82°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 28°C (82°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)


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Fortaleza vs. Cartagena Travel Comparison

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