A Travel Price Comparison for Colombia Medellin vs. Cali for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Medellin or Cali?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Medellin or Cali? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Medellin or Cali?

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.

Cali

Cali is Colombia's third largest city. Founded in 1536, can be explored on foot: walk under the shade of trees along the riverbank, admire the architecture of churches and other national monuments, and visit the city's many museums. Being the salsa capital of the world, Cali is primarily a destination for salsa and party but it also offers some great days out in the nearby natural surroundings. In Cali, travelers can enjoy music festivals, learn about sugarcane farming, and take in the mountainous landscapes.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Colombia, The Best Eco Tours in Colombia, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Colombia, and The Best Luxury Tours to Colombia.


Which place is cheaper, Cali or Medellin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Medellin is $23, while the average daily cost in Cali is $25. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Medellin and Cali in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Medellin $4.75
    Cali $6.16
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Medellin $9.50
    Cali $12
Compare Hotels in Medellin and Cali

Looking for a hotel in Medellin or Cali? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Medellin


Hotels in Cali


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Medellin Hotel Prices and Cali Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Medellin $4.14
    Cali $5.76
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Medellin

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


  • Taxi
    $1.65

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Medellin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Medellin:

  • Transfer in private minivan Guatape- Medellin airport (MDE): $42
  • Transfer from or to Medellin's airport: $55
  • Transfer Private Car from Medellin city - Medellin Airport (MDE): $23
  • Transfer Private Car from Medellin Airport (MDE) - Medellin city: $23
  • Transfer Jose Maria Cordoba Airport -Hotel or Accommodation: $79
  • Transfer José María Córdova Airport - Medellin - Private Ride Airport .. !!: $45
  • Santa Marta Airport to Santa Marta (or vice versa) Private Transfer : $16
  • RoundtripTransfer Privatecar Medellin Airport (MDE) Medellin City: $40
  • Private Transfer from MDE Airport to Hotels and City of Medellín: $120
  • Private Transfer Jose Marie Cordova Airport to Medellin Bello: $100
  • Private Round Transfer to Guatape lakes and Penol rock!: $239
  • Private Medellin Airport Transfer with English-Speaking Driver: $50

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cali

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.02

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cali

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

  • Airport Transfers Cali (per way): $35
  • Alfonso Airport CLO to Cali or Palmira Hotels Arrival Transfer: $24
  • Alfonso B.Aragon Airport (CLO) to Cali/Palmira-RoundTrip Transfer: $48
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minivan: $102
  • Arrival Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by MiniSuv: $98
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $272
  • Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airpot One Way Transfer: $19
  • City Highlights Private Bus Tour with Transfer: $152
  • National Park Waterfalls Tour with Lunch & Transfer: $117
  • From Cali Airport: One-way Privater Transfer to Cali: $58
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport : $17
  • RoundTrip Transfer in Private Minivan Cali Airport (CLO) - Cali City: $51

Is it cheaper to fly into Medellin or Cali?

Prices for flights to both Cali 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Medellin $9.61
    Cali $8.77
Typical Food Prices in Medellin

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


  • Lunch
    $2.10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Medellin

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

  • Homemade Paisa Dinner at a Local's Home in Medellín: $71
  • Half-Day Food Tour Visiting the Best Viewpoints in Medellín!: $75
  • Sabor Colombiano Cooking Studio: $75
  • Food Tour in An Authentic Culinary Experience: $109
  • Combo Tour: Street Art, Christmas Lights and Food Tour in Medellin: $131
  • Medellin tour with Fernando Botero´s, street art and food tour: $138
  • Medellin City Tour Including The History of Tango and Lunch or Dinner: $138
  • Full Day Private Medellin City, Street Art and Food Tour: $145
  • Private tour: Medellin City – Pablo Escobar and Food Tour: $166
  • Combo Tour: Metro System, Christmas Lights and Food Tour of Medellin: $166
  • Combo Tour: Dark days & Christmas tour Including Lunch or Dinner: $166
  • A Night Out in Medellin with Dinner and Drinks Included: $175

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cali

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

  • Alameda Market Cali Food Tour: $14
  • Street Food Tour: $21
  • Alameda Market Food Tour: $55
  • Flavors of Food tour at the local market: $59

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Medellin $13
    Cali $11

Tours and Activities in Medellin

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

  • Medellin City Private Tour: $83
  • Private Full Day Tour in Guatape: $40
  • Private Tour to Explore Comuna 13 in Medellín: $65
  • Private tour Guatapé Peñol stone and coffee farm: $139
  • 2 Hour Medellin Off Road ATV Experiences: $160
  • 3 Hours City Tour in Medellin Colombia: $27
  • 4 hours Private Pablo Escobar Dark days Tour of Medellin: $60
  • 5-Hour Coffee and Pablo Express Mix Tour in Medellín: $110
  • ATV Quad Tour from Medellin with Transportation : $132
  • ATV Tour 3 Mountains Medellin: $170
  • ATV | Medellín: Quad Tour : $155
  • Amazing Arvi natural reserve private tour: $118

Tours and Activities in Cali

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

  • Gastronomic Tour at the Alameda Market Shared: $13
  • Salsa, Urban Art & Resistance Tour in Cali: $13
  • Cali Salsa & Resistance Street Art Tour: $14
  • Cali's Cultural and Historical Walking Tour: $14
  • Walking Tour in the Historic Center of Cali City: $25
  • The Cali Street Food Walking Tour: $30
  • Cali Bike Tour: $32
  • Private half day tour in Siloé Cali: $35
  • Coffee Tasting Experience in Cali Colombia : $35
  • Walking Tour: $35
  • Medicinal Plant Private Tour in La Galeria Alameda of Cali: $35
  • Walking tour of the historic center: $37

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Medellin $7.21
    Cali $8.68

Sample the Local Flavors in Medellin

Also in Medellin, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Medellin Pub Crawl Including Food and City Tour: $139


When comparing the travel costs between Medellin and Cali, we can see that Cali is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Medellin Expensive? and Is Cali Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Medellin or Cali?

Cali has a larger population, and is about 20% larger than the population of Medellin. When comparing the sizes of Medellin and Cali, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.