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

Should you visit Recife or Santa Marta?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Recife and Santa Marta 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.

Santa Marta

Santa Marta is a city in the Magdalena Department of Colombia's Costa Norte. Over the last decade, security has steadily been replacing the shadow of the Colombia's violent past. One destination in Colombia's northeast region is now attracting more international visitors: the coastal Caribbean area of Santa Marta. Established in 1525 by the Spanish as a base of conquest, Santa Marta sits at the foot of the world's highest coastal mountain range, the towering Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is South America's oldest European-founded town and the second most important colonial city on Colombia's Caribbean coast. While many travelers complain about Santa Marta's horrible traffic and unsightly urban sprawl, the city holds a numerous amounts of great hotels, bars and restaurants and holds a few fantastic destinations nearby to which you can go during the daytime.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Marta or Recife?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Recife is $129, while the average daily cost in Santa Marta is $26. 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 Santa Marta in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Recife is $138. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Travelers usually pay around $22 for a double occupancy room in Santa Marta 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
    Recife $69
    Santa Marta $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Recife $138
    Santa Marta $22

Food

In Recife travelers spend around $55 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.

Santa Marta food costs typically run travelers around $7.98 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
    Recife $55
    Santa Marta $7.98

Typical Food prices in Santa Marta

For Santa Marta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Breakfast
    $3.13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Marta

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

  • Food Tour in Santa Marta Old City Half-Day: $60
  • Santa Marta 2-hour Street Food Tour: $75

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Recife is $6.61 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 Santa Marta than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $4.20 on transportation in Santa Marta on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Recife $6.61
    Santa Marta $4.20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Recife

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Recife:

  • Transfer Recife Airport x Porto de Galinhas: $28
  • Transfer to Boa Viagem/ Piedade: $34
  • Recife Boat Tour with Transfers: $69
  • Private transfer: Recife to Recife International Airport (REC): $22
  • Private transfer: Recife International Airport (REC) to Recife: $25
  • Private transfer from Recife Airport to and from Maragogi: $121
  • Private Transfer from Recife City to Recife (REC) Airport: $52
  • Private Transfer from Recife (REC) Airport to Vitória de Santo Antão: $154
  • Private Transfer from Recife (REC) Airport to Triunfo: $708
  • Private Transfer from Recife (REC) Airport to Tamandaré: $182
  • Private Transfer from Recife (REC) Airport to São Miguel dos Milagres: $322
  • Private Transfer from Recife (REC) Airport to São Lourenço da Mata: $91

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Marta

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santa Marta:


  • Gas
    $5.22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Marta

Also for Santa Marta, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer Round Trip Airport - Hotel (santa Marta): $10
  • Santa Marta Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $12
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $14
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR): $14
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Santa Marta: $18
  • Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR): $21
  • Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $21
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City: $28
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Taganga: $35
  • Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta: $35
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city: $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Tayrona Park: $59

Is it cheaper to fly into Recife or Santa Marta?

Prices for flights to both Santa Marta 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 $8.78 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 Santa Marta, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $11 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Recife $8.78
    Santa Marta $11

Tours and Activities in Recife

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

  • 5-Day Pernambuco Tour from Recife: $385
  • Carneiros Beach Day Tour: $40
  • City Tour Olinda And Recife Antigo: $26
  • City Tour of Olinda Including Instituto Ricardo Brennand: $77
  • City Tour of Recife Including the Park of Sculptures: $64
  • Cultutal Tour in Recife with Ricardo Brennand Institute: $26
  • Day Trip to Igarassu and Itamaracá Island Tour from Recife: $29
  • Full-Day Caruaru and Nova Jerusalém Theater Tour: $80
  • Gastronomic and Boat Evening Tour in Recife: $100
  • Half-Day Tour: Oficina Francisco Brennand and Ricardo Brennand Institute plus Park of Sculptures in Recife: $71
  • Igarassu And Itamaraca Island Tour: $38
  • Maragogi Beach Tour from Recife: $43

Tours and Activities in Santa Marta

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

  • Skip the Line: Santa Marta Marine World Aquarium Admission Ticket and Guide: $6.50
  • Musical Experience "Vive Musicaribe": $11
  • BE RELAX TOUR - Bahia Concha: $22
  • Taganga snorkeling experience: $23
  • Santa Marta city tour: $31
  • Graffiti Tour in Santa Marta Old City: $40
  • Old City + Museum Santa Marta City Tour 3H: $48
  • Aquarium and White Beach Tour: $49
  • Tour E-Bike Playa Grande: $49
  • City Tour Santa Marta: $51
  • BE TROPICAL TOUR - Buritaca & Playa Los Angeles: $51
  • Aracataca And Ciénaga - Gabriel García Márquez Tour: $53

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Santa Marta spend on average $5.34 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Recife -
    Santa Marta $5.34

Typical Alcohol prices in Santa Marta

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santa Marta from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.57
  • Beer
    $2.35

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Marta

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

  • Nicks 1892 Coffee farm & Brewery: $55


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Recife and Santa Marta, we can see that Recife is more expensive. And not only is Santa Marta much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Santa Marta would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Santa Marta 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 Santa Marta.

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.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Recife vs. Santa Marta 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.