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

Should you visit Medellin or Arica?

Should I visit Medellin or Arica? 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.

Arica

A mixture of coastline, desert and high Andean plateau, Arica is a seaside resort town, known for its surfing beaches located at the tip of Northern Chile. Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Arica's tourism is still principally geared toward domestic visitors and those from southern Peru and La Paz, who flock to its beaches mid-December through February. It is very easy to spend a few days in Arica in the sand, or seeing the sights in town, at a slow pace but the city also offers plenty of fun activities and exciting day trips.

Which city is cheaper, Arica 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 Arica is $77. 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 Arica 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.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Arica, $68 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Arica, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $34, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Medellin $3.62
    Arica $34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Medellin $7.24
    Arica $68

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 in Arica costs travelers about $27 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
    Medellin $6.40
    Arica $27
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

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.

To get around in Arica, the average visitor spends $17 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Medellin $2.39
    Arica $17
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:

  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Medellin City to Medellin Airport (MDE): $38
  • Transfer in Private Car from El Poblado to Medellin Jose Maria Cordoba Airport: $22
  • Transfer Jose Maria Cordoba Airport -Hotel or Accommodation: $82
  • Private Transfer: Olaya Herrera International Airport (EOH) to Medellin: $622
  • Private Transfer: Medellin to Olaya Herrera International Airport (EOH): $622
  • Private Transfer: Medellin to José María Córdova International Airport (MDE): $622
  • Private Transfer from Medellín City to José María Córdova (MDE) Airport: $50
  • Private Round Transfer to Guatape lakes and Penol rock!: $239
  • Private Departure Transfer from Medellin City to MDE Medellin Airport: $28
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: José María Córdova Airport: $16
  • Private Arrival Transfer: MDE Medellin Airport to Medellin City: $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer : From Airport to Medellín Hotels: $55

Typical Local Transportation prices in Arica

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica

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

  • Arica Airport Private Transfer: $76

Is it cheaper to fly into Medellin or Arica?

Prices for flights to both Arica 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.

In Arica, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Medellin $10
    Arica $19

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

Tours and Activities in Arica

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

  • Half day Panoramic City Tour: $23
  • Arica Sightseeing Tour: $41
  • Full Day Tour to Tacna from Arica: $72
  • Arica Private Sightseeing Tour: $76
  • Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica: $82
  • Private Tour to Tacna from Arica: $165
  • Arica Private City Tour: $262
  • Private Arica and Ancient Cultures Tour: $346
  • 4-Days Unique Experience at the Chilean High Plateau: $1,038

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.

Typically, people visiting Arica spend on average $19 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Medellin $5.75
    Arica $19

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 Medellin and Arica, we can see that Arica 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 Arica would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arica than you might in Medellin.

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Medellin vs. Arica Travel Comparison

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