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

Should you visit Medellin or Lima?

Should I visit Medellin or Lima? 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.

Lima

Lima, the capital city of Peru, is likely to be your point of entry for the country. Lima was founded in 1535 and was the seat of the Spanish rule for 300 years. It's a surprisingly modern city despite its rich history, but many beautiful churches and colonial architecture remain today. There are also large slum areas that highlight the poverty that exists in the city. The city and its surrounding metropolitan area have a population of about 8.5 million people, many of whom came from the Andes Mountains in search of work. Unfortunately the work opportunities are limited and the poverty is obvious as you arrive in Lima.

Which city is cheaper, Lima 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 Lima is $56. 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 Lima 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $72 for a double occupancy room in Lima.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Medellin $3.62
    Lima $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Medellin $7.24
    Lima $72

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.

On average, meal and food prices in Lima cost around $13 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $5.20.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Medellin $6.40
    Lima $13
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 Lima

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lima are as follows:


  • Lunch for Two
    $3.90
  • Ice cream
    $3.17
  • Coffee
    $2.68
  • Donut
    $0.85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lima

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

  • Virtual Peruvian Cooking Class "Lomo Saltado": $18
  • Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • #1 Lima Food Tour and Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • #1 Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Delicious Food Tour through Local Markets: $46
  • #1 Peruvian Food Tour through Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant: $49
  • Private Cooking Class With a Local Family in Lima: $52
  • 3–Hour Restaurant Dinner and Show Experience: $55
  • Dinner Show and Exhibition of Peruvian Horse including Pick up & drop off: $55
  • Peruvian Food Tour Through Local Markets: $55
  • Magic Water Circuit, Dinner & Show in Lima: $56

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 Lima is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.33 per person, per day, on local transportation in Lima.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Medellin $2.39
    Lima $4.33
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:

  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: José María Córdova Airport: $16
  • History and Street Art Tour in Comuna 13 with Private Transfer: $18
  • Transfer in Private Car from El Poblado to Medellin Jose Maria Cordoba Airport: $22
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Medellin (transfer service): $25
  • Medellin Airport Pick-up (transfer service): $25
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Medellin to Jose Maria Córdova Int. Airport (MDE): $27
  • Private Arrival Transfer: MDE Medellin Airport to Medellin City: $28
  • Private Departure Transfer from Medellin City to MDE Medellin Airport: $28
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Medellin City to Medellin Airport (MDE): $38
  • Airport Transfer: $43
  • Private Transfer from Medellín City to José María Córdova (MDE) Airport: $50
  • Medellín Private Transfer from Medellín City to Olaya Herrera (EOH) Airport: $50

Typical Local Transportation prices in Lima

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.87
  • Taxi Ride
    $4.87
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.65

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lima

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lima:

  • Airport Transfer Service in Lima: $59
  • Airport transfer Lima / English speaking driver: $20
  • Departure Private Transfer from Lima City to Lima Airport LIM by Sedan Car: $30
  • From Palomino Islands Cruise & Swimming with Sea Lions with Transfers: $125
  • LIMA - PERÚ, 4 Days and 3 Nights + acommodation *** + Transfer + 4 tours IN LIMA: $559
  • LIMA CAR TRANSFER - Private Service: $25
  • Larco Museum Restaurant Dining Experience with Transfer: $59
  • Lima Airport Arrival Transfer: $24
  • Lima Airport Departure Transfer: $24
  • Lima Airport Transfer: One Way: $16
  • Lima Airport Transfers: Jorge Chavez Airport LIM to Lima City in Standard Car: $30
  • Lima Airport Transfers: Jorge Chavez Airport LIM to Lima City in Standard Van: $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Medellin or Lima?

Prices for flights to both Lima 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 Lima typically cost an average of $6.22 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
    Lima $6.22

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 Lima

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Lima are as follows:


  • Entrance to Museo Larco (for 2)
    $15
  • Movie Tickets
    $2.07

Tours and Activities in Lima

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lima are as follows:

  • MATE Admission Ticket: $4.00
  • Cathedral of Lima Admission Ticket: $6.35
  • Skip the Line: Peruvian Regional Dances Ticket: $8.99
  • Skip the Line: Larco Museum Admission Ticket: $10
  • Museo del Oro and Armas del Mundo Admission Tickets from Lima: $11
  • Half Day Panoramic City Tour Lima III: $15
  • Live online experience: Prepare cocktails with a Peruvian bartender: $19
  • 4-Hour Walking Tour of the Historic Center of Lima: $25
  • Panoramic City Tour of Lima: $25
  • Half Day City Tour: $27
  • Half Day Panoramic City Tour Lima II: $27
  • Lima City Tour Express - Excursion: $28

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.

The average person spends about $3.52 on alcoholic beverages in Lima per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Medellin $5.75
    Lima $3.52

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 Lima

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    $6.55
  • Beer
    $3.65
  • Cocktail
    $2.92

Sample the Local Flavors in Lima

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lima:

  • Lima 3.5-Hour Pisco Pub Crawl: $25
  • Ballestas Islands + Huacachina Oasis + Wine Tour (Unique Experience): $226
  • Mysterious Nazca Lines, Overflight from Ica, Huacachina Oasis & Wine Tour!: $490


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

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Medellin vs. Lima Travel Comparison

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