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

Should you visit Salvador or Cartagena?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Salvador or Cartagena, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Salvador

Salvador de Bahia was the first capital of Brazil, founded by the Portuguese in 1549. Also known as "Brazil's capital of happiness," Salvador is famous for its plentiful and spirited street festivals. The third most populous city in Brazil, Salvador is also well-known for its Afro-Brazilian culture and Portuguese colonial architecture.

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 Salvador?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Salvador is $34, 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 Salvador and Cartagena in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Salvador is about $38 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

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
    Salvador $19
    Cartagena $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salvador $38
    Cartagena $44

Food

In Salvador travelers spend around $10 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
    Salvador $10
    Cartagena $7.89
Typical Food prices in Salvador

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


  • Dinner for 2
    $1.34

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Salvador

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

  • Pelourinho By Night - Dinner & Show: $70
  • Pelourinho By Night With Folkloric Show and Dinner: $80
  • Private Tour to Cultural Show and Dinner in Salvador: $80
  • Private Cooking Experience in Salvador: $100
  • Salvador by Night: Cultural Dinner and Show: $110
  • Bahia By Night: Dinner and Folkloric show: $114
  • Cooking Class with a Local and Spice Gift: $125
  • Bahia By Night Dinner and Dance Show Ticket: $135

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

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $4.73 per day to get around in Salvador.

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.
    Salvador $4.73
    Cartagena $6.02
Typical Local Transportation prices in Salvador

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Salvador:


  • Bus from Airport
    $1.15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salvador

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salvador:

  • Grand Palladium Imbassai Private Transfer 4 to 12 Pax: $114
  • Iberostar Praia do Forte or Bahia Private Transfer 4 to 12 Pax: $107
  • Ivan Bahia, Private Transfer Lençois (Chapada Diamantina) to / from Salvador BA: $280
  • Morro de São Paulo Shared Transfer From/To Salvador: $100
  • Praia do Forte Private Transfer From Salvador: $103
  • Praia do Forte Shared Transfer From Salvador: $43
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer: Salvador de Bahia Airport to Salvador City: $62
  • Private Airport Transfer: Salvador Int. Airport (SSA) to Salvador de Bahia: $21
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Salvador de Bahia to Salvador Int. Airport (SSA): $21
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Salvador de Bahia Airport to Salvador City: $31
  • Private Departure Transfer from Salvador City to Salvador de Bahia Airport: $31
  • Private One Way Airport Transfer - Morro de São Paulo: $366

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $8.00
  • Cartagena Airport Transfer (in and out) - Touristic Area Hotels - Sedan: $34
  • Cartagena Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $13
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from Bocagrande to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17
  • Cartagena Private Transfer from El Laguito to Rafael Núñez (CTG) Airport: $17
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by 2x4 Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by Minivan: $96
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Cartagena (transfer service): $14
  • One way private water transfer between Cartagena and the Islands (6 ppl max): $530
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the AIRPORT to the hotel.: $19
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the cruise terminal.: $13
  • PRIVATE Transfer from the hotel to the Rafael Nuñez AIRPORT: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Salvador or Cartagena?

Prices for flights to both Cartagena and Salvador 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 $4.46 per person, per day in Salvador. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

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.
    Salvador $4.46
    Cartagena $17

Tours and Activities in Salvador

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

  • Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova Guided Tour Including Entrance Ticket: $9.53
  • Discover the Ancient Deities of Brazil's Candomblé (Online Experience): $15
  • Salvador Panoramic City Tour: $21
  • Salvador Historical City Center Tour: $21
  • Panoramic Salvador Half Day City Tour: $25
  • Historical Salvador City Tour: $25
  • Shared Salvador City Tour: $27
  • Half Day Historical City Tour (Private): $28
  • Historic City Tour in Salvador: $33
  • Panoramic Sightseeing City Tour: $37
  • Schooner Tour to Ilha dos Frades and Itaparica from Salvador: $37
  • North Beach Praia do Forte and Guarajuba Tour: $40

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 Salvador may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.96 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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
    Salvador $5.96
    Cartagena $7.40
Typical Alcohol prices in Salvador

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Salvador:


  • Beers for 2
    $1.34


When comparing the travel costs between Salvador and Cartagena, we can see that Cartagena is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Salvador vs. Cartagena Travel Comparison

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