A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Galapagos Islands vs. Medellin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Galapagos Islands or Medellin?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Galapagos Islands or Medellin, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife, much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises let visitors get up close. This archipelago of about 19 islands and many smaller islets found over 620 miles off Ecuador's coast in the Pacific Ocean is a double World Heritage site, where both land and sea are protected. Each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from black, volcanic rocks to white sand beaches and gemstone-blue waters. There is no bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands but the busiest months for tourism tend to be June, July and August, as well as mid-December to mid-January. This is when prices are at their highest.

Medellin

In addition to big improvements in public safety, Medellin has witnessed a huge surge in urban development projects, including Colombia's first metro system and cable cars to service poorer neighborhoods located high on the mountain sides. There is an abundance of parks, libraries, museums and public spaces with many cultural events taking place. Many travelers also enjoy visiting the surrounding villages, where life is simple and landscapes and nature reserves are wonderful. Medellin has now become one of the "it" cities in the world, with tons of tourists visiting and foreigners settling and retiring here. Beautiful mountains, warm weather, friendly locals, and a vibrant culture are just a few of the reasons why you should visit Medellin.

Which city is cheaper, Medellin or Galapagos Islands?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Galapagos Islands is $111, while the average daily cost in Medellin is $16. 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 Galapagos Islands and Medellin in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Galapagos Islands can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $52, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $104.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $3.62. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Medellin the cost is $7.24 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Galapagos Islands $52
    Medellin $3.62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Galapagos Islands $104
    Medellin $7.24

Food

The average traveler spends about $27 per day in Galapagos Islands for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

Food in Medellin costs travelers about $6.40 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Galapagos Islands $27
    Medellin $6.40

Typical Food prices in Medellin

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


  • Lunch
    $2.09

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Medellin

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

  • Medellin Local Flavours: Night Street Private Food Tour: $50
  • Half-day Medellín Street Food tour with a local guide: $65
  • Homemade Paisa Dinner at a Local's Home in Medellín: $69
  • Homemade Paisa Dinner at a Local's Home in Medellín: $69
  • Community project cooking class and Medellin social transformation tour: $70
  • Private Market Tour and Colombian Cooking Lesson With a Local Family in Medellin: $80
  • Withlocals LIVE Meditation and Online Cooking for a Healthy Mind and Body: $93
  • Medellín Food Tour: $94
  • food tour: $97
  • Sabaneta and Envigado Best Local Food Tour from Medellin: $99
  • Full Day Private Medellin City, Street Art and Food Tour: $104
  • Private Market Tour & Colombian Cooking Lesson with a Local in her Medellín Home: $111

Local Transportation

To get around in Galapagos Islands, the average visitor spends $43 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.

The average price of local transportation around Medellin is $2.39 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Galapagos Islands $43
    Medellin $2.39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galapagos Islands

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

  • Private Transfer In from Baltra Airport to Hotels in Santa Cruz Island: $115

Typical Local Transportation prices in Medellin

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


  • Taxi
    $1.64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Medellin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Medellin:

  • Private Transfer: Medellin to José María Córdova International Airport (MDE): $622
  • Private Transfer: Medellin to Olaya Herrera International Airport (EOH): $622
  • Private Transfer: Olaya Herrera International Airport (EOH) to Medellin: $622
  • Private Round Transfer to Guatape lakes and Penol rock!: $239
  • Departure Private Transfer from Medellin City to Medellin Airport MDE by Minibus: $188
  • Departure Private Transfer from Medellin City to Medellin Airport MDE by Minivan: $188
  • Medellin Coffee Tour with transfer: $123
  • Transfer Jose Maria Cordoba Airport -Hotel or Accommodation: $82
  • Departure Private Transfer from Medellin City to Medellin Airport MDE by 2x4 Car: $82
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer: MDE Medellin Airport to Medellin City: $55
  • Medellín Private Transfer to / from Guatapé: $55
  • Private Arrival Transfer : From Airport to Medellín Hotels: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Galapagos Islands or Medellin?

Prices for flights to both Medellin and Galapagos Islands 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.





Entertainment

In Galapagos Islands, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $28 per person, per day.

Medellin's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $10 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Galapagos Islands $28
    Medellin $10

Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands

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

  • 4-Day Galapagos Islands Express Tour: $714
  • 4-Day Galapagos Land Tour Visiting Isabela and Santa Cruz: $876
  • 4-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,090
  • 4-Day Budget Isabela Tour: $1,106
  • Galapagos Discovery Tour 4 Days / 3 Nights: $1,126
  • 5-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,195
  • 4-Day Galapagos Tour: Santa Cruz & 2 Uninhabited Islands: $1,239
  • 5-Day Galapagos Diving Tour: Accommodation and Full-Day Diving Excursions: $1,286
  • 5-Day Guided Galapagos & Los Tuneles Tour: $1,289
  • 6-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,320
  • 6-Day Galapagos Land Tour: Los Tuneles Program: $1,412
  • 7-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,530

Tours and Activities in Medellin

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

  • "Tradicion Paisa": Silleteros and Santa Elena tour from Medellin: $73
  • 3 Element Tour - ATV 1hr + PARAGLIDING + RAFTING 3hr from MEDELLIN: $344
  • 3 Element Tour - ATV 2hr + PARAGLIDING + RAFTING 3hr from MEDELLIN: $379
  • 3-Day Great Pablo Tour: $900
  • 4-hour Paragliding Adventure from Medellin: $157
  • 9-Hour Full Day Tour of Pablo Escobar Including C13, Museum and Barrio PE: $165
  • ATV Tours: $133
  • ATV | Medellín: Quad Tour: $75
  • ATVs Private Tour Medellin: $172
  • ATVs experience on the outskirts: $112
  • Advanced package Pablo Escobar tour including C13 and barrio PE aprox 8 hrs: $125
  • Adventure Motorcycle Rental in Medellin: $103

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Galapagos Islands, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Medellin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.75 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Galapagos Islands $12
    Medellin $5.75

Sample the Local Flavors in Medellin

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

  • Live the Nightlife Rooftop Pub Crawl: $20
  • Medellin private bar crawl: $94
  • Medellin Pub Crawl Including Food and City Tour: $145


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Galapagos Islands and Medellin, we can see that Galapagos Islands is more expensive. And not only is Medellin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Medellin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Medellin 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 Galapagos Islands would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Galapagos Islands than you might in Medellin.

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Galapagos Islands vs. Medellin Travel Comparison

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