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

Should you visit Medellin or Arequipa?

Should I visit Medellin or Arequipa? 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.

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.

Arequipa

Sitting in the middle of the Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes of Peru is the enchanting city of Arequipa. With 468 years of history, the city is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Known to locals as the "white city," the city center, Plaza de Armas, is quite the sight with buildings of sillar white stone made from the rocks of the surrounding volcanoes.

Which city is cheaper, Arequipa or Medellin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Medellin is $16, while the average daily cost in Arequipa is $34. 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 Medellin and Arequipa in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $17. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Arequipa the cost is $34 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Medellin $3.62
    Arequipa $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Medellin $7.24
    Arequipa $34

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.

The average traveler spends about $9.71 per day in Arequipa 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 Meals for one day
    Medellin $6.40
    Arequipa $9.71
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

Typical Food prices in Arequipa

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


  • Coke
    $0.37
  • Lunch
    $2.56
  • Ice Cream
    $0.97
  • Fruit
    $0.73
  • Ice Cream
    $0.85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arequipa

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

  • Skip the Line: Dinner and Typical Dances Show Ticket: $23
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $28
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market *Whatsapp for more información: $55
  • Curious Monkey -Arequipa Streets, Walking Food Tour: $55
  • Curious Monkey- Arequipa Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class in arequipa: $64
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 5 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $67
  • Peruvian market tour, cooking class, and dinner in Arequipa: $67
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • Food tour in Arequipa: $207

Local Transportation

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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Arequipa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.40 per person, per day, on local transportation in Arequipa.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Medellin $2.39
    Arequipa $4.40
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:

  • Airport Transfer: $43
  • Departure Private Transfer from Medellin City to Medellin Airport MDE by 2x4 Car: $82
  • 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
  • History and Street Art Tour in Comuna 13 with Private Transfer: $18
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Medellin (transfer service): $25
  • Medellin Airport Pick-up (transfer service): $25
  • Medellin Coffee Tour with transfer: $123
  • Medellín Private Transfer from Medellín City to Olaya Herrera (EOH) Airport: $50
  • Medellín Private Transfer from Olaya Herrera (EOH) Airport to Medellín City: $50
  • Medellín Private Transfer to / from Guatapé: $55
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer: MDE Medellin Airport to Medellin City: $55

Typical Local Transportation prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.22
  • Bus Ride
    $0.39
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.85

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • 2 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $113
  • 3 day trek including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $128
  • Airport transfer Arequipa / From airport to hotel: $19
  • Arequipa Airport Arrival Transfer: $13
  • Arequipa Airport Departure Transfer: $13
  • Arequipa private departure bus station transfer: $22
  • Arrival bus station private transfer in Arequipa: $43
  • Colca Canyon + Transfer To Puno: $103
  • Colca Canyon Sightseeing Tour 2D1N and Transfer to Puno: $125
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Minibus: $40
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Sedan Car: $19
  • Departure Private Transfer from Arequipa City to Arequipa Airport AQP by Minivan: $31

Is it cheaper to fly into Medellin or Arequipa?

Prices for flights to both Arequipa and Medellin 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

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 and activities in Arequipa typically cost an average of $13 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Medellin $10
    Arequipa $13

Tours and Activities in Medellin

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

  • Medellin Walking Tour with Snacks and Skip The Line Access: $5.00
  • Skip the Line: Museum of Antioquia Admission Ticket: $6.50
  • Virtual Tour: Colonial Santa Fe de Antioquia: $14
  • Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour: $15
  • Comuna 13 Tour Graffiti by Locals Sag Tour Medellin: $17
  • Graffiti tour electrical stairs!: $19
  • Tropical Exotic Fruits Tour in Laureles: $19
  • Storytellers Tours: $21
  • The "not polite to use his name" City Tour: $24
  • Medellín Experience (full inmersion into the Aburrá Valley and its surroundings): $24
  • The North Side - Medellín Downtown Experience: $25
  • Atours - the side b of medellín, a tour for the real city: $25

Typical Entertainment prices in Arequipa

Here are a few typical costs in Arequipa for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Monastery Entry
    $2.44
  • Salsa Class
    $2.44
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.66
  • Hot Springs
    $2.44

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

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

  • Museo Santuarios Andinos Arequipa Admission Ticket: $7.00
  • Tour Around The City Arequipa In Bus: $10
  • Monasterio de Santa Catalina Admission Ticket: $12
  • Small-Group Arequipa Countryside Tour Including La Mansion del Fundador -Mirabus: $15
  • Arequipa Historical Downtown Tour: $18
  • Tour Colca Full Day Promotional Price: $22
  • San Camilo Market Tour: $25
  • City tour & Countryside Tour Bus: $25
  • Private Walking Tour Arequipa: $26
  • Arequipa E-Bike Tour: $27
  • Walking Tour Arequipa: $36
  • Colca Canyon Tour 2 Days: $38

Alcohol

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Arequipa may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Medellin $5.75
    Arequipa $11

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Beer
    $2.19


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

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Medellin vs. Arequipa Travel Comparison

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