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

Should you visit Medellin or Cali?

Should I visit Medellin or Cali? 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.

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.

Which city 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 $16, while the average daily cost in Cali is $20. 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 Cali 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.

Travelers usually pay around $9.80 for a double occupancy room in Cali 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
    Medellin $3.62
    Cali $4.90
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Medellin $7.24
    Cali $9.80

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.

Cali food costs typically run travelers around $7.02 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
    Medellin $6.40
    Cali $7.02
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cali

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

  • Culinary Journeys: Cooking Workshop + Dinner Party: $50
  • Night City Tour in Cali + Dinner: $110
  • Dinner Show in Cali: $189

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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cali than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $4.59 on transportation in Cali on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Medellin $2.39
    Cali $4.59
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 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:

  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minibus: $179
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minivan: $105
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $255
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $255
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minibus: $179
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minivan: $105
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Cali to Alfonso B. Aragon Airport (CLO): $34
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport: $15
  • Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport (CLO): $19
  • Private Transfer to / from Buenaventura: $60

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.





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.

Sightseeing expenses in Cali, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $8.66 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Medellin $10
    Cali $8.66

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 Cali

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

  • RiCo Salsa Tour: Cali Real: $19
  • Cali City Tour: $29
  • Walking Tour in the Historic Center of Cali City: $37
  • Private City Tour: $39
  • Historical Walking Cali City Tour 3H: $41
  • Private City Tour And Shopping: $44
  • Skip the Line: Show de Salsa Ticket: $46
  • Cali City Tour - The Best Of Cali In Comfort: $47
  • Alameda Market Fruit Tour: $55
  • Private Salsa Lesson Experience with Locals: $70
  • sightseeing paragliding adventure: $72
  • Private City Tour in Cali: $74

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 Cali spend on average $6.92 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Medellin $5.75
    Cali $6.92

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

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.

More City Comparisons
Share This Page
Pin This Page
Medellin vs. Cali 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.