Should you visit Manaus or Santa Marta?
Should I visit Manaus or Santa Marta? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Manaus is a Brazilian city, capital of the state of Amazonas, and is located on the Rio Negro a few miles before it meets the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon River. The city is a major departure point for those visiting the Amazon Rainforest, though there are a few sights worth seeing within the city itself as well.
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 Manaus?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Manaus is $46, 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 Manaus and Santa Marta in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $66 in Manaus For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
Food in Manaus costs travelers about $9.68 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.
Santa Marta food costs typically run travelers around $7.98 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.
Meals for one day
Santa Marta $7.98
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Manaus
For Manaus, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Folklore Themed Dinner - Jantar FolclÃ³rico TemÃ¡tico:
Typical Food prices in Santa Marta
For Santa Marta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
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:
Santa Marta 2-hour Street Food Tour:
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Manaus than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $6.20 on transportation in Manaus on average per day.
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 $4.20 on transportation in Santa Marta on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Manaus
Also for Manaus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfers from the airport to any place in Manaus City:
Shared Transfer from hotels to Manaus airport:
Shared Transfer from Airport to hotels in Manaus:
Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Eduardo Gomes International Airport:
Private Transfers in Manaus Amazon:
Manaus Transfer/Sightseeing with an English Speaking Tour Guide:
Manaus Airport: 1-Hour Shared Transfer to Manaus Hotels:
Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Marta
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santa Marta:
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):
Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city:
Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR):
Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city:
Transfer Round Trip Airport - Hotel (santa Marta):
Santa Marta Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal:
Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city:
Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City:
Private transfer between Santa Marta and Cartagena (or vice versa):
Private Transfer to Cartagena or Barranquilla City from Santa Marta:
Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta:
Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa):
Is it cheaper to fly into Manaus or Santa Marta?
Prices for flights to both Santa Marta and Manaus 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.
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.
Tours and Activities in Manaus
For Manaus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
2-Day Amazon Jungle Tour to Anaconda Lodge/Rio Negro:
3 Day Amazon River Boat Tour:
3 Days Amazon Jungle Adventure Tour:
3-Day Amazon Jungle Adventure Tour to Juma Eco Lodge:
3-Day Amazon Jungle Tour to Rio Negro/Anaconda Lodge:
3-Day Manaus Amazon Jungle Adventure:
3-Day Rio Negro River Cruise from Manaus:
3-Hour Manaus City Tour:
4 Day Rio Negro River Cruise:
4 Days Amazon Jungle Adventure Tour:
4-Day Amazon Tour to Anaconda Lodge/Rio Negro:
4-Day Manaus Amazon Jungle Adventure:
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 MÃ¡rquez" Tour - Aracataca and Cienaga:
2 Day Coastal Motorcycle Tour:
4-Day Lost City Small-Group Tour in Santa Marta:
5-Day Private Guided Hiking Experience to The Lost City:
Aracataca And CiÃ©naga - Gabriel GarcÃa MÃ¡rquez Tour:
Archeological Tour in Taironaka with River Tubing and a small Lost City:
Arrecife and CaÃ±averal tour from Santa Marta:
BE RELAX TOUR - Bahia Concha:
BE TROPICAL TOUR - Buritaca & Playa Los Angeles:
Cartagena - City Tour:
City Tour Santa Marta:
Coffee Tour La Victoria:
Typically, people visiting Manaus spend on average $2.21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Santa Marta spend on average $5.34 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in Santa Marta
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santa Marta from other travelers:
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:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Manaus and Santa Marta, we can see that Manaus 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 Manaus would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Manaus than you might in Santa Marta.
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