A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Recife vs. Cartagena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Recife or Cartagena?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Recife and Cartagena can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Recife

One of the largest cities on Brazil's northeast coast, Recife is also the capital of the state of Pernambuco. The city gets its name from the Portuguese word for "reef," as it was built around a landscape of natural reef beaches. Many people visit to enjoy these beaches, experience the culture, and explore the history of this important Brazilian city.

Cartagena

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.

Which city is cheaper, Cartagena or Recife?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Recife is $124, while the average daily cost in Cartagena is $38. 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 Recife and Cartagena in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Recife is $132. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Cartagena's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $44. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $22.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Recife $66
    Cartagena $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Recife $132
    Cartagena $44

Food

In Recife travelers spend around $53 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

In Cartagena travelers spend around $7.89 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Recife $53
    Cartagena $7.89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cartagena

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

  • Cartagena Cuisine Cooking Experience: $30
  • BIKE & BITE food tour: $52
  • Street food tour with Julie: $64
  • Food Tour in Cartagena Walled City: $66
  • Street Food & Local Food Tour: $66
  • SkyKitchen 4 Course Cooking Class: $81
  • Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena: $92
  • Cartagena - Food Tour: $100
  • Caribbean Cuisine Cooking Class: $105
  • Shared Local Cooking Class and Lunch in Cartagena: $110
  • Bazurto Local Market Tour & Cooking Class: $115
  • Colombian Cooking Workshop: $201

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Recife is $6.35 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 average price of local transportation around Cartagena is $6.02 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Recife $6.35
    Cartagena $6.02

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Recife

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Recife:

  • Arrival Private Transfer: Recife Airport REC to Porto de Galinhas by Minivan: $166
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Recife Airport REC to Porto de Galinhas by Sedan Car: $55
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to João Pessoa: $109
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to Maceió: $256
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to Maragogi Hotels: $100
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to Praia da Pipa: $192
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport of Recife to São Miguel dos Milagres: $160
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Boa Viagem Pina or Piedade: $20
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Cabo de Santo Agostinho: $30
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Olinda: $40
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Porto de Galinhas - Muro Alto or Serrambi: $40
  • Arrival Transfer from Recife Airport to Praia dos Carneiros: $80

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Private Transfers in air conditioning buses: $7.00
  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $8.00
  • Private Transfer From Cartagena Airport to Hotel in the City: $8.00
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cartagena City to Airport: $12
  • Cartagena Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $13
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the cruise terminal.: $13
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Cartagena (transfer service): $14
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the hotel to the Rafael Nuñez AIRPORT: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG): $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG) to Cartagena: $16
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from El Laguito to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Bocagrande to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17

Is it cheaper to fly into Recife or Cartagena?

Prices for flights to both Cartagena and Recife 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

Recife's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $8.43 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.

Cartagena's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $17 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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Recife $8.43
    Cartagena $17

Tours and Activities in Recife

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

  • Recife and Olinda City Tour: $26
  • City Tour Olinda And Recife Antigo: $26
  • Cultutal Tour in Recife with Ricardo Brennand Institute: $26
  • Recife Tour By Night: $27
  • Day Trip to Igarassu and Itamaracá Island Tour from Recife: $29
  • Recife & Olinda Tour in Spanish & Portuguese, English Option: $29
  • Recife Culture Tour Including Ricardo Brennand Institute: $37
  • Igarassu And Itamaraca Island Tour: $38
  • Recife Boat Tour: $38
  • Recife 1-Day Tour to Porto Galinhas: $39
  • Carneiros Beach Day Tour: $40
  • Maragogi Beach Tour from Recife: $43

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Cartagena de Indias: Into the Walls of The City Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Cartagena de Indias: India Catalina to Plaza Santo Domingo Audio Tour - VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Ghost of Downtown: Fear in the streets. Cartagena Sensorial Tour: $6.99
  • Monasterio de la Popa, tickets de entrada: $7.00
  • Cartagena City Tour By Bicycle: $8.00
  • City Tour Cartagena With Bazurto Market: $8.00
  • Free walking tour Gethsemane old town & Forever colonial: $10
  • Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias): $10
  • Cartagena Ryhtm & Sunset - Musical experience: $12
  • Virtual Cartagena LiteraTour through Nobel Garcia Marquez work: $15
  • Chiva Party Bus Tour in Cartagena: $18
  • City Sightseeing Cartagena Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Shore Excursion: $18

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cartagena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.40 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Recife -
    Cartagena $7.40


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

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Recife vs. Cartagena Travel Comparison

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