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

Should you visit Salvador or Santa Marta?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Salvador or Santa Marta, 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.

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 Salvador?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Salvador is $33, 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 Salvador and Santa Marta in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Salvador is about $36 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

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
    Salvador $18
    Santa Marta $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salvador $36
    Santa Marta $22

Food

In Salvador travelers spend around $9.82 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 $8.07 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
    Salvador $9.82
    Santa Marta $8.07
Typical Food prices in Salvador

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


  • Dinner for 2
    $1.30

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

Typical Food prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Breakfast
    $3.17

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

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $4.59 per day to get around in Salvador.

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 $4.24 on transportation in Santa Marta on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Salvador $4.59
    Santa Marta $4.24
Typical Local Transportation prices in Salvador

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


  • Bus from Airport
    $1.12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salvador

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salvador:

  • Transfer roundtrip in Salvador with Historical City Tour: $70
  • Transfer Sauipe Resorts All Inclusive até 4 Pax: $94
  • Transfer Salvador to Barra Grande Round Trip: $200
  • Transfer Iberostar Praia do Forte ou Bahia até 4 Pax: $80
  • Transfer Grand Palladium Imbassai até 4 Pax: $49
  • Transfer From Salvador to Morro de São Paulo Round Trip Semi Terrestre: $95
  • Shared Transfer from hotels to Salvador airport: $12
  • Shared Transfer from Airport to hotels in Salvador: $15
  • Sauipe Resorts Private Transfer 4 to 12 Pax: $76
  • Salvador Airport Transfer to Salvador City Hotels: $37
  • Salvador Airport Transfer to Praia do Forte & Sauipe Hotels: $74
  • Salvador Airport Roundtrip Transfer: $50

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Gas
    $5.28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Marta

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Santa Marta: $18
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Taganga: $35
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Tayrona Park: $59
  • Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa): $96
  • Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta: $35
  • Private Transfer to Cartagena or Barranquilla City from Santa Marta: $84
  • Private transfer between Santa Marta and Cartagena (or vice versa): $194
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City: $28
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city: $43
  • Santa Marta Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $12
  • Transfer Round Trip Airport - Hotel (santa Marta): $10
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $14

Is it cheaper to fly into Salvador or Santa Marta?

Prices for flights to both Santa Marta 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 $4.33 per person, per day in Salvador. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

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.
    Salvador $4.33
    Santa Marta $11

Tours and Activities in Salvador

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

  • 4-Days Experience at Salvador de Bahia, Savour the cultural fusion - Brasil: $690
  • 8h City Tour of Salvador da Bahia: $80
  • African historical walking tour 03 hours: $90
  • Beaches North Coast 2 tours with overnight hotel Coconut Coast experience: $509
  • Best Value Full Day Sightseeing Tour Salvador the first Capital of Brazil: $104
  • Cachoeira Countryside Flavor Private Tour from Salvador: $110
  • Candomble Religion Mysteries Private Tour in Salvador: $80
  • Candomblé Ceremony Private Tour from Salvador: $70
  • Chapada Diamantina Adventure: $2,898
  • Costa de Camaçari 3 days 2 night, beach, tour, hotel, meals, guide: $477
  • Cruise Ship Special Private Tour Salvador da Bahia Historic Old Town Bonfim and Barra: $136
  • Discover the Ancient Deities of Brazil's Candomblé (Online Experience): $15

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

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Salvador may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.79 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Santa Marta spend on average $5.41 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Salvador $5.79
    Santa Marta $5.41
Typical Alcohol prices in Salvador

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


  • Beers for 2
    $1.30

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
    $0.58
  • Beer
    $2.38

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 Salvador and Santa Marta, we can see that Salvador 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 Salvador would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Salvador than you might in Santa Marta.

Budget Your Trip

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Salvador vs. Santa Marta Travel Comparison

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