A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Rio de Janeiro vs. Cali for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Rio de Janeiro or Cali?

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

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the most popular travel destination in Brazil. It is the second largest city in Brazil and the sixth largest in the Americas. A portion of the city has been designated a World Heritage Site. The peak time to visit is during the city's famous Carnival festival, which is one of the most famous festivals in the world. However, Rio's appeal as a travel destination is apparent year around. The city has a wonderful natural harbour that is surrounded by Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca, creating an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting. And you can't miss the beach, either!

Cali

Cali is Colombia's third largest city. Founded in 1536, can be explored on foot: walk under the shade of trees along the riverbank, admire the architecture of churches and other national monuments, and visit the city's many museums. Being the salsa capital of the world, Cali is primarily a destination for salsa and party but it also offers some great days out in the nearby natural surroundings. In Cali, travelers can enjoy music festivals, learn about sugarcane farming, and take in the mountainous landscapes.

Which city is cheaper, Cali or Rio de Janeiro?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Rio de Janeiro is $81, while the average daily cost in Cali is $20. 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 Rio de Janeiro and Cali in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Rio de Janeiro is $100. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Travelers usually pay around $9.80 for a double occupancy room in Cali 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
    Rio de Janeiro $50
    Cali $4.90
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rio de Janeiro $100
    Cali $9.80

Food

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in Rio de Janeiro for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

Cali food costs typically run travelers around $7.02 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
    Rio de Janeiro $15
    Cali $7.02
Typical Food prices in Rio de Janeiro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Popcorn
    $0.57
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.76
  • Hamburger
    $0.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rio de Janeiro

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro: $30
  • Cooking Class for Cacao Lovers: $51
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $55
  • Plant-based Brazilian Flavours Cooking Class: $56
  • Dinner & Rio Scenarium Nightclub Admission with Transfer: $60
  • Private Tour in Rio Scenarium with Dinner: $65
  • Skip the line: Samba Show Admission & Transfer with Dinner Option: $70
  • Dinner and Brazilian Music Show in Rio Scenarium: $70
  • Small-Group Boozy 7-Recipe Brazilian Cooking Class: $75
  • Brazilian Food And Caipirinhas Cooking Class: $75
  • Food Tour Experience in Rio de Janeiro (Small Groups or Private): $80
  • Secret Food Tours Rio de Janeiro: $82

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cali

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

  • Culinary Journeys: Cooking Workshop + Dinner Party: $50
  • Night City Tour in Cali + Dinner: $110
  • Dinner Show in Cali: $189

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.22 per day to get around in Rio de Janeiro.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cali than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $4.59 on transportation in Cali on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rio de Janeiro $6.22
    Cali $4.59
Typical Local Transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Taxi Ride
    $2.86

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Visit to an Original Historic Coffee Farm Guided Tour including Transfer: $140
  • Visit to Madureira Park in Rio de Janeiro with Transfer: $66
  • VIP Private Transfer Santos Dumond(SDU)-Rio de Janeiro: $65
  • Transfers: $139
  • Transfer in Rio: $35
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport to City: $23
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport to City: $73
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Rio de Janeiro Galeao(GIG) Airport to City: $73
  • Transfer in Private Car from Galeao Airpor t(GIG) to Rio de Janeiro city center: $23
  • Transfer from South Zone/Downtown to Santos Dumont Airport (SDU): $30
  • Transfer from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to South Zone/Downtown hotels: $47
  • Transfer from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to Barra da Tijuca/São Conrado: $71

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cali

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.02

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cali

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minibus: $179
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minivan: $105
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $255
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $255
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by 2x4 Vehicle: $75
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minibus: $179
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minivan: $105
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Cali to Alfonso B. Aragon Airport (CLO): $34
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport: $15
  • Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport (CLO): $19
  • Private Transfer to / from Buenaventura: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Rio de Janeiro or Cali?

Prices for flights to both Cali and Rio de Janeiro 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Rio de Janeiro. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing expenses in Cali, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $8.66 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rio de Janeiro $17
    Cali $8.66

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

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

  • 2 Days in Rio: Cultural & Ecologic Tours: $284
  • 2 Days in Rio: Tijuca Forest & Two Brothers Hiking Tours: $265
  • 2 Hour Vidigal Favela Tour Discovery the Most Laidback Favela: $19
  • 3 Hour Sailing Experience in Rio: $39
  • 3-Day Customizable Tour of Rio de Janeiro: $365
  • 4 horas - Tour private: Corcovado e praias: $154
  • 4 hours - Tour Private: Pão de Açúcar e Catedral Metropolitana: $154
  • 4-Day Private Guided Tour from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo – Coastal Trip: $990
  • 4-Days Ilha Grande Experience - Unlocking Brazil's 'Garden of Eden': $1,025
  • 4-Hour Urban Arts Walking Tour: $43
  • 4-hour Rio Downtown Sites & Bites Small Group Tour: $62
  • 4-hour Sum-up Of Rio de Janeiro "Private Tour" – Optional Airport & Port Pick-up: $92

Tours and Activities in Cali

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

  • RiCo Salsa Tour: Cali Real: $19
  • Cali City Tour: $29
  • Walking Tour in the Historic Center of Cali City: $37
  • Private City Tour: $39
  • Historical Walking Cali City Tour 3H: $41
  • Private City Tour And Shopping: $44
  • Skip the Line: Show de Salsa Ticket: $46
  • Cali City Tour - The Best Of Cali In Comfort: $47
  • Alameda Market Fruit Tour: $55
  • Private Salsa Lesson Experience with Locals: $70
  • sightseeing paragliding adventure: $72
  • Private City Tour in Cali: $74

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Rio de Janeiro may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $9.43 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Cali spend on average $6.92 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rio de Janeiro $9.43
    Cali $6.92

Sample the Local Flavors in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Pub Crawl Rio de Janeiro: $11
  • Skip the line: Ipanema Pub Crawl: $28
  • Beautiful Imperial Petropolis City Tour Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $34
  • Rio By Night Tour: Pub Crawl Experiencing Music, Dancing, Drinks & Local Culture: $105
  • Petrópolis City and Brewery Bohemia Tour - Best of Rio's Mountains: $135
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $160


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

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Rio de Janeiro vs. Cali Travel Comparison

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