A Travel Price Comparison for Colombia Pereira vs. Cartagena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Pereira or Cartagena?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Pereira and Cartagena. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Pereira or Cartagena?


Situated in a small valley in the western Andes, Pereira is the capital city of Risaralda, Colombia. The city is surrounded by coffee producing agriculture and sits in the middle of a triangle of cities including Bogota, Medillin and Cali, each of which is about a three to five hour drive away.

The city itself is very much student oriented, as there are many universities around town and at least one quarter of the population is made up of students. There is also a very European vibe to the city and you will find the area beautiful with many parks and museums.

Pereira's economy is based on government, agriculture, manufacturing, logistics, trade, commerce, and tourism. Agricultural products include sugarcane, cacao, rubber, cereals, coffee, and livestock. Apparel is the main manufacturing product, along with aluminium goods, motorcycles and telecommunications technology.

Pereira is found in a warm moorland area with an average temperature of around 72 degrees. The temperatures remain relatively consistent throughout the year with highs in the high 70s Fahrenheit to low 80s Fahrenheit. Low temperatures are usually in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Rain is heaviest during the months of April and May as well as October and November.


The capital of the Bolivar Department of Colombia, Cartagena is one of the most visited cities in the country. It sits on Colombia's northern coast by the Caribbean Sea. It's a port city with a population of almost 900,000, making it the fifth largest city in Colombia. The city has a rich history and was the first Spanish colony on the American continent. It was also one of the first sanctuaries for freed African slaves in the Americas.

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

Which place is cheaper, Cartagena or Pereira?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Pereira is $65, while the average daily cost in Cartagena is $48. 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 Pereira and Cartagena in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Pereira $26
    Cartagena $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Pereira $52
    Cartagena $54
Compare Hotels in Pereira and Cartagena

Looking for a hotel in Pereira or Cartagena? 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 Pereira

Hotels in Cartagena

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: Pereira Hotel Prices and Cartagena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Pereira $21
    Cartagena $7.55
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Pereira

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

  • Short Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pereira

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Pereira:

  • Private Transfer Pereira to Salento (or vice versa): $62
  • Manizales Arrival or Departure Transfer La Nubia Airport: $20
  • Manizales Arrival or Departure Transfer: Matecaña Airport: $45
  • Manizales Arrival or Departure Transfer: Matecaña Intl Airport: $41
  • One way transfer from Pereira to Salento AND/OR Salento to Pereira: $43
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Matecaña Airport: $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Private Transfer from Bocagrande to Port of Cartagena: $25
  • 18.Transfer (Rafael N-Hotel Decameron Baru Airport) or vice versa: $90
  • 2. Transfer from the Airport to the Cartagena Hotel (or vice versa): $29
  • 20. Transfer Rafael N. Airport-HOTEL LAS ISLAS-CALABLANCA: $142
  • 6.Transfer (Airport-Manzanillo KARIBANA-ESTELAR) Or Vice Versa: $40
  • 8. Transfer to BARRANQUILLA from Cartagena Private or vice versa: $160
  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $10
  • Airport Transfer - Hotel Cartagena: $24
  • Airport Transfers Cartagena: $38
  • Arrival Transfer Cartagena Airport CTG to Cartagena by MiniSuv: $105
  • Baru: Rafael Nunez International Airport Private Transfer: $86
  • Cartagena Airport (CTG) to Cartagena - Arrival Private Transfer: $24

Is it cheaper to fly into Pereira or Cartagena?

Prices for flights to both Cartagena and Pereira 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 Meals for one day
    Pereira $23
    Cartagena $9.90
Typical Food Prices in Pereira

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

  • Hamburger

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cartagena

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

  • Featured in NYTimes > Arepas and Dancing: Danceable Cooking Class in Cartagena: $32
  • Cooking class of typical food at the beach and sunset view: $39
  • Taste Cartagena Food tour: $40
  • Street Food Tour in Cartagena: $42
  • Guided Street Food Tour with Tastings: $44
  • Street Food cooking class, Mojito making & Fruit tasting: $50
  • Local Flavors Food Tour with Native Chef: $50
  • Cooking class, Caribbean lunch at our place: $54
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Private Dinner at a Local Chef's House in Cartagena: $58
  • Cooking class: Street Food & Mojito making: $60
  • Cartagena Gourmet: Cooking Class with a View, Elegance & Flavor: $60

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Pereira $18
    Cartagena $21

Tours and Activities in Pereira

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

  • Coffee Tour at the Finca del Café: $40
  • City Tour Historic Center of Manizales in Caldas: $46
  • Santa Rita Waterfall and Salento Hike Tour: $48
  • Cocora Valley and Salento Hike Tour: $79
  • Coffee Farm and Salento Walking Tour with Lunch: $87
  • Coffee Farm and Salento Walking Tour with Lunch: $92
  • Paratrike experience over the sky of Colombia: $95
  • Coffee Heritage, A multisensory experience: $100
  • Tour to hot springs of Santa Rosa from Pereira, Armenia or Salento: $104
  • Private Tour of Chocolate Plantation and Processing: $113
  • Private Tour to the Coffee Park from Pereira or Armenia: $115
  • Tour Santa Rosa hot springs from Pereira, Armenia or Salento: $117

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Emeralds Tour: $0.03
  • Cartagena de Indias: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Into the Walls of The City: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - The Great Battle: Fort of San Felipe: $6.99
  • Old Town & Getsemani Quarter Self-guided Tour: $8.57
  • Artists' Quarter Getsemani Self-guided Tour: $8.57
  • Old Town Highlights Self-guided Tour: $8.57
  • Tour the city on a rumba in a typical bus: $9.44
  • Barù Island Playa Blanca with tourist guide: $9.93
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Legends of the Streets of Downtown : $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: The Rise of the Wall City Part I: $10
  • Historic Free Tour Slavery and Gethsemane Heritage: $10

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Pereira $14
    Cartagena $9.28

Sample the Local Flavors in Cartagena

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

  • Pub Crawl Getsemaní: $18
  • Pub Crawl with Dancing Lessons and Free Shots: $19
  • Cartagena Pub Crawl: Let's Party & Matching in Getsemaní: $24
  • Nightlife Pub crawl in Cartagena: $72

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Pereira and Cartagena, we can see that Pereira is more expensive. And not only is Cartagena much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cartagena would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cartagena 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 Pereira would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Pereira than you might in Cartagena.

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

Which is Bigger, Pereira or Cartagena?

Cartagena has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Pereira. When comparing the sizes of Pereira and Cartagena, 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.