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

Should you visit Rosario Islands or Cartagena?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Rosario Islands and Cartagena can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Rosario Islands or Cartagena?

Rosario Islands

The Rosario Islands, also referred to as Coral Islands of Rosario, is an archipelago located off the coast of Colombia, approximately 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Cartagena. The Rosario Islands are integrated by 28 islands and all of them form one of the 46 Natural National Parks of Colombia, created to protect one of the most important coral reefs in the Colombian Caribbean Coast. Only three of these islands are property of the Colombian state. Before establishing the national park in 1977, wealthy families used this natural paradise to build their summer houses, but then the government allowed them to keep their properties, only if they paid annual rent and taxes to be there, and complied with certain rules to preserve the ecosystem of the islands. People can visit the national park area of the islands, and tours are available. Isla Rosario has an aquarium and open-sea oceanarium that people can visit. Activities on the Rosario Islands include swimming, snorkeling and fishing, among others. The best time to visit Colombia in general, and especially the Rosario Islands is the dry-season months from December to March. These uninterrupted sunny days are just perfect for a Caribbean coastal experience and to enjoy all the activities it has to offer.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Colombia, The Best G Adventures Tours to Colombia, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Bogota, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Colombia.


Which place is cheaper, Cartagena or Rosario Islands?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Rosario Islands is $89, 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 Rosario Islands and Cartagena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Rosario Islands $34
    Cartagena $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rosario Islands $68
    Cartagena $54
Compare Hotels in Rosario Islands and Cartagena

Looking for a hotel in Rosario Islands 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 Rosario Islands


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: Rosario Islands Hotel Prices and Cartagena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rosario Islands $47
    Cartagena $7.64

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
  • 20. Transfer Rafael N. Airport-HOTEL LAS ISLAS-CALABLANCA: $142
  • 8. Transfer to BARRANQUILLA from Cartagena Private or vice versa: $128
  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $21
  • Airport Transfer - Hotel Cartagena: $23
  • Airport Transfer Hotel: $26
  • Airport Transfers Cartagena: $39
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cartagena Airport CTG to Cartagena City by Minibus: $129
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cartagena Airport CTG to Cartagena City by Minivan: $93
  • Arrival Transfer Cartagena Airport CTG to Cartagena by MiniSuv: $106
  • Baru: Rafael Nunez International Airport Private Transfer: $87

Is it cheaper to fly into Rosario Islands or Cartagena?

Prices for flights to both Cartagena and Rosario Islands 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Rosario Islands $28
    Cartagena $10

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: $45
  • Local Flavors Food Tour with Native Chef: $50
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Private Dinner at a Local Chef's House in Cartagena: $58
  • Cartagena Gourmet: Cooking Class with a View, Elegance & Flavor: $59
  • Street food tour: $61
  • Street Food & Local Food Tour: $67
  • Street Food Tour in Cartagena Walled City and Getsemani: $74

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rosario Islands $14
    Cartagena $22

Tours and Activities in Rosario Islands

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

  • One-day tour to Playa Blanca by land Popular sector: $45

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Emeralds Tour: $0.03
  • Into the Walls of The City: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Cartagena de Indias: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - The Great Battle: Fort of San Felipe: $6.99
  • Shared walking tour in the historic center: $9.95
  • Emerald Museum and Factory Tour: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: The Rise of the Wall City Part I: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Legends of the Streets of Downtown : $10
  • Historic Free Tour Slavery and Gethsemane Heritage: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: Ghost of Downtown: Fear in the streets. : $10
  • Republican Architecture Self-Guided Audio Tour in Cartagena: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour of Getsemaní Neighborhood: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rosario Islands $6.12
    Cartagena $9.39

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 with Dancing and Complimentary Drinks: $18
  • Cartagena's Best Pub Crawl all included!: $20
  • Cartagena Pub Crawl: Let's Party & Matching in Getsemaní: $20
  • Pub Crawl Only Locals Have Fun In The Walled City: $35
  • Pub Crawl: $70
  • Nightlife Pub crawl in Cartagena: $73


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