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

Should you visit Medellin or La Serena?

Should I visit Medellin or La Serena? 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.

La Serena

La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!

Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.

Which city is cheaper, La Serena 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 La Serena is $84. 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 La Serena 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $82 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Medellin $3.62
    La Serena $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Medellin $7.24
    La Serena $82

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.

La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $26 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
    La Serena $26
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 La Serena, the average visitor spends $20 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
    La Serena $20
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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena: $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC): $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Medellin or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena 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 La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Medellin $10
    La Serena $23

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 La Serena

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

  • Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour: $58
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley: $90
  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $263
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum: $269

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 La Serena spend on average $22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Medellin $5.75
    La Serena $22

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

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Medellin vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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