A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Guayaquil vs. Santa Marta

Should you visit Guayaquil or Santa Marta?

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

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.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Marta 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 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 Guayaquil and Santa Marta 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.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guayaquil $25
    Santa Marta $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guayaquil $50
    Santa Marta $22

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.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Guayaquil $23
    Santa Marta $8.10

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

Typical Food prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Breakfast
    $3.18

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: $60
  • Santa Marta 2-hour Street Food Tour: $75

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.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Guayaquil $12
    Santa Marta $4.26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guayaquil

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

  • Transfer from Guayaquil Airport to Hotel: $20
  • Transfer Guayaquil Hotel - Aeropuerto: $27
  • Transfer Airport - Guayaquil Hotel: $27
  • Private Transfer: José J. de Olmedo International Airport (GYE) to Guayaquil: $622
  • Private Transfer: Guayaquil to José J. de Olmedo International Airport (GYE): $622
  • Private Transfer from Guayaquil to Cuenca: $83
  • Private TRANSFER OUT from Hotel to Guayaquil Airport: $15
  • Private TRANSFER OUT from Hotel to Guayaquil Airport: $15
  • Private TRANSFER IN from Guayaquil Airport to Hotel: $15
  • Private TRANSFER IN from Guayaquil Airport to Hotel: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer from Guayaquil Airport to Hotel: $19
  • Guayaquil PRIVATE Departure Transfer from Hotels to the Airport: $13

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Gas
    $5.30

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): $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
  • Transfer Round Trip Airport - Hotel (santa Marta): $10
  • Santa Marta Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $12
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city: $43
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City: $28
  • Private transfer between Santa Marta and Cartagena (or vice versa): $194
  • Private Transfer to Cartagena or Barranquilla City from Santa Marta: $84
  • Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta: $35
  • Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa): $96

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.

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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guayaquil $17
    Santa Marta $11

Tours and Activities in Guayaquil

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

  • 'Hacienda La Danesa' Cacao & Chocolate Experience: $200
  • 'Tren del Hielo I' Experience: Riobamba - Urbina - La Moya - Riobamba: $206
  • 3 Days - Sun Route of Ecuador & Montañita Experiences from Guayaquil: $1,242
  • 3-Day Tour to Salinas and Montañita from Guayaquil: $469
  • 4 Days Guayaquil " Total Experiences ": $734
  • 9-Day Ecuadorian Coast Tour Including Isla de la Plata from Guayaquil: $2,295
  • Canal del Morro Boat Tour and Varadero Beach from Guayaquil: $195
  • Canyoning level IV Adventure day trip near Guayaquil: $86
  • City Tour Guayaquil: $20
  • City Tour in Guayaquil, Ecuador: $55
  • Contrasts of Ecuador 7-Day Adventure Tour: $1,012
  • Cultural tour, 3 days, INCA EXPRESS Ingapirca - Cuenca - Cajas Nationalpark: $667

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: $205
  • 2 Day Coastal Motorcycle Tour: $333
  • 4-Day Lost City Small-Group Tour in Santa Marta: $380
  • 5-Day Private Guided Hiking Experience to The Lost City: $699
  • Aracataca And Ciénaga - Gabriel García Márquez Tour: $53
  • Archeological Tour in Taironaka with River Tubing and a small Lost City: $177
  • Arrecife and Cañaveral tour from Santa Marta: $74
  • BE RELAX TOUR - Bahia Concha: $22
  • BE TROPICAL TOUR - Buritaca & Playa Los Angeles: $51
  • Cartagena - City Tour: $128
  • City Tour Santa Marta: $51
  • Coffee Tour La Victoria: $125

Alcohol

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

Typically, people visiting Santa Marta spend on average $5.43 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guayaquil $14
    Santa Marta $5.43

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

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
    $2.39

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: $55


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Guayaquil and Santa Marta, we can see that Guayaquil 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 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 Santa Marta.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Guayaquil vs. Santa Marta Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.