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

Should you visit Guayaquil or Cartagena?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Guayaquil or Cartagena, 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.

Guayaquil

Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest city and seaport. From a tourist perspective, the city acts primarily as a transportation gateway to the country and the Galapagos Islands. While the city can be skipped altogether, should you have a free day to spend here, there are a few noteworthy things to do, as well as some terrific dining and nightlife options. Guayaquil’s main tourist attraction is Las Penas, a hill with old, colorfully painted buildings at the north end of the Malecon, where you can walk the 400 steps to the lighthouse at the top for good views of the city. The neighborhood is filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, and art galleries and is relatively safe. Other important sights include the Malecon 2000, a massive urban development project that has brought new life to the riverside in the city center and the Parque Seminario, filled with fountains, trees and iguanas, located at 10 de Agosto Ave and Chile Ave.

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 Guayaquil?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Guayaquil is $76, while the average daily cost in Cartagena is $39. 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 Guayaquil and Cartagena in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Guayaquil can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $25, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $50.

Cartagena's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $44. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $22.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guayaquil $25
    Cartagena $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guayaquil $50
    Cartagena $44

Food

In Guayaquil travelers spend around $23 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

In Cartagena travelers spend around $7.98 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Guayaquil $23
    Cartagena $7.98

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guayaquil

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

  • Homemade Local Food Tour in Guayaquil: $95
  • Cooking Class with Market Visit!: $103
  • Half Day :Eco Cooking Class and culinary Experience (Departure from Guayaquil): $135

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
  • 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
  • Colombian Cooking Workshop: $201

Local Transportation

Guayaquil's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $12 per person, per day on transportation in Guayaquil.

The average price of local transportation around Cartagena is $6.09 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.
    Guayaquil $12
    Cartagena $6.09

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guayaquil

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer: Guayaquil Airport GYE to Guayaquil City by Minivan: $74
  • Departure Private Transfer: Guayaquil City to Guayaquil Airport GYE by Minivan: $74
  • Golf at Lacosta Country Club in Guayaquil with Transfers: $175
  • Guayaquil Airport Private Transfer Service: $80
  • Guayaquil Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Guayaquil Departure Transfer: $15
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Arrival Transfer from the Airport to Hotels: $13
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Arrival Transfer from the Airport to Hotels: $14
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Arrival Transfer from the Airport to Hotels: $14
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Departure Transfer from Hotels to the Airport: $14
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Departure Transfer from Hotels to the Airport: $14
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Departure Transfer from Hotels to the Airport: $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Transfer to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta or Barranquilla City from Cartagena: $84
  • Transfer service in Cartagena: $50
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cartagena City to Airport: $12
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cartagena City to Airport: $17
  • Transfer Cartagena: $50
  • Private transfer to Barranquilla from Cartagena- Traslado privado a Barranquilla: $170
  • Private transfer Cartagena airport -Mamonal: $65
  • Private Transfers in air conditioning buses: $7.00
  • Private Transfer: Rafael NĂșñez International Airport (CTG) to Cartagena: $40
  • Private Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael NĂșñez International Airport (CTG): $40
  • Private Transfer from Port of Cartagena to La Boquilla: $28
  • Private Transfer from Port of Cartagena to El Laguito: $28

Is it cheaper to fly into Guayaquil or Cartagena?

Prices for flights to both Cartagena and Guayaquil 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Guayaquil can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $17 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Cartagena's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $17 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.
    Guayaquil $17
    Cartagena $17

Tours and Activities in Guayaquil

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

  • Walking Tour in the Artisan Market of Guayaquil: $9.99
  • Shared Walking Tour in Guayaquil City: $20
  • Guayaquil - City tour: $20
  • City Tour Guayaquil: $20
  • Shared Walking Tour in Guayaquil City: $20
  • Private Guayaquil City Tour: $27
  • Guayaquil City Tour: $30
  • 3-Hour City Tour: $40
  • Historical Park tour - Guayaquil: $40
  • Tour to the Zoo El Pantanal in Guayaquil: $40
  • Guayaquil Museum Tour: $43
  • Guayaquil City Tour Including the Light House of Cerro Santa Ana: $49

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 BarĂș: $279
  • Bolivar Pirate Island Experience with Lunch: $75

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Guayaquil spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cartagena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.48 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guayaquil $14
    Cartagena $7.48

Sample the Local Flavors in Guayaquil

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Guayaquil:

  • Process and Wine Tasting in Cellar Two Hemispheres - Puerto El Morro: $294


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

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Guayaquil vs. Cartagena Travel Comparison

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