A Travel Price Comparison for Colombia Salento vs. Medellin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Salento or Medellin?

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

Should I visit Salento or Medellin? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Salento or Medellin?


Founded in 1850, Salento is one of the oldest towns in Quindio. This colonial Colombian town has retained much of its old world charm, with its colorful buildings, large square and, of course, the obligatory church. Because the main route between Cali and Bogota which used to pass through Salento was diverted, the town didn't develop as quickly as others in the Quindio region. This gave Salento the opportunity to evolve into a thriving community of craftsmen and artisans as well as remaining one of the region's most prolific coffee producers. Salento is located 24 km northeast of the departmental capital Armenia. However, unlike its colorful neighbor, Armenia itself has very little to offer tourists. Salento attracts those wishing to learn about the coffee regions and for those who simply admire breathtaking scenery, and especially the stunning Cocora Valley.


In addition to big improvements in public safety, Medellin has witnessed a huge surge in urban development projects, including Colombia's first metro system and cable cars to service poorer neighborhoods located high on the mountain sides. There is an abundance of parks, libraries, museums and public spaces with many cultural events taking place. Many travelers also enjoy visiting the surrounding villages, where life is simple and landscapes and nature reserves are wonderful. Medellin has now become one of the "it" cities in the world, with tons of tourists visiting and foreigners settling and retiring here. Beautiful mountains, warm weather, friendly locals, and a vibrant culture are just a few of the reasons why you should visit Medellin.

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, Medellin or Salento?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Salento is $32, while the average daily cost in Medellin is $22. 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 Salento and Medellin in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Salento $11
    Medellin $4.66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salento $22
    Medellin $9.32
Compare Hotels in Salento and Medellin

Looking for a hotel in Salento or Medellin? 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 Salento

Hotels in Medellin

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: Salento Hotel Prices and Medellin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Salento $14
    Medellin $4.06

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salento

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salento:

  • Pereira Airport Private Transfer Service: $55

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Medellin

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

  • Taxi

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Medellin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Medellin:

  • Santa Marta Airport to Santa Marta (or vice versa) Private Transfer : $16
  • Transfer Private Car from Medellin city - Medellin Airport (MDE): $20
  • Medellin Airport MDE to Downtown Arrival Private Transfer: $21
  • Medellin to Jose Maria Cordova Airport (MDE) - Departure Transfer: $21
  • Medellin Airport (MDE) to Downtown hotels - Arrival Transfer: $21
  • Medellín Airport shuttle - Airport Transfer: $25
  • Medellin to Olaya Herrera Airport(EOH)-Departure Private Transfer: $28
  • Transfer in Private Car from Guatape- Medellin airport (MDE): $34
  • Jose Maria Cordova Airport(MDE) to Medellin - Round-Trip Transfer: $42
  • Medellin Airport (MDE) to Downtown hotels - Round-Trip Transfer: $42
  • Transfer in private minivan Guatape- Medellin airport (MDE): $42
  • Transfer José María Córdova Airport - Medellin - Private Ride Airport .. !!: $45

Is it cheaper to fly into Salento or Medellin?

Prices for flights to both Medellin and Salento 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
    Salento $9.38
    Medellin $9.43

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Salento

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

  • Cooking Stories - Cocinando Historias: $46

Typical Food Prices in Medellin

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

  • Lunch

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Medellin

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

  • Community project cooking class and Medellin social transformation tour: $66
  • Half-Day Food Tour Visiting the Best Viewpoints in Medellín!: $75
  • Food Tour in An Authentic Culinary Experience: $109
  • Medellin City Tour Including The History of Tango and Lunch or Dinner: $138
  • Full Day Private Medellin City, Street Art and Food Tour: $145
  • Best Food Tour and Horseback Adventure in Medellin: $163
  • Private tour: Medellin City – Pablo Escobar and Food Tour: $166
  • A Night Out in Medellin with Dinner and Drinks Included: $175

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Salento $12
    Medellin $13

Tours and Activities in Salento

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

  • City tour + Nature: $25
  • Coffee tour in the heart of the coffee region: $28
  • Santa Rita Waterfall and Salento Hike Tour: $49
  • Filandia and Salento Coffee Towns Tour: $65
  • Private Colombian Coffee Farm Tour with Tastings in Armenia: $78
  • Cocora Valley and Salento Hike Tour: $79
  • Coffee Tour at Finca El Ocaso: $84
  • Coffee Farm and Salento Walking Tour with Lunch: $87
  • Private birding tour for beginners and intermediate: $90
  • Coffe Experience: Daily departure from Salento: $93
  • Pereira: Cocora Valley and Salento Guided Hiking Tour: $94
  • Coffee Tour and Salento Walking Tour with lunch: $99

Tours and Activities in Medellin

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

  • Guided Nightlife Tour of Comuna Trece in Medellin : $5.00
  • Skip the Line: Museum of Antioquia Admission Ticket: $7.20
  • Graffiti Tour | Commune 13 guided by locals and Snacks: $11
  • Graffitour Medellín: History, Transformation and Overcoming": $13
  • Shared Tour of El Poblado "Sin Taboos" in Medellin: $13
  • Shared Tour of the Historical and Cultural Center of Medellín: $13
  • Post-conflict and Violence Tour (after Pablo) in Medellin: $13
  • Virtual Tour: Colonial Santa Fe de Antioquia: $14
  • GRAFITOUR COMUNA 13 more than a tour an EXPERIENCE: $15
  • Walking Historical tour of Medellín, walking reality.: $15
  • Medellin Shared Walking Tour Metro ticket included: $16
  • Comuna 13 History and Graffiti Tour with Cable Car: $20

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Salento $11
    Medellin $7.07

Sample the Local Flavors in Medellin

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

  • Medellin Pub Crawl Including Food and City Tour: $139

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

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

Which is Bigger, Salento or Medellin?

Medellin has a larger population, and is about 480 times larger than the population of Salento. When comparing the sizes of Salento and Medellin, 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.