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

Should you visit Santa Marta or Arequipa?

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

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.

Arequipa

Sitting in the middle of the Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes of Peru is the enchanting city of Arequipa. With 468 years of history, the city is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Known to locals as the "white city," the city center, Plaza de Armas, is quite the sight with buildings of sillar white stone made from the rocks of the surrounding volcanoes.

Which city is cheaper, Arequipa or Santa Marta?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Santa Marta is $26, while the average daily cost in Arequipa is $34. 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 Santa Marta and Arequipa in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $17. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Arequipa the cost is $34 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santa Marta $11
    Arequipa $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santa Marta $22
    Arequipa $34

Food

Santa Marta food costs typically run travelers around $7.98 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.

The average traveler spends about $9.71 per day in Arequipa 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Santa Marta $7.98
    Arequipa $9.71
Typical Food prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Breakfast
    $3.13

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

Typical Food prices in Arequipa

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


  • Coke
    $0.37
  • Lunch
    $2.56
  • Ice Cream
    $0.97
  • Fruit
    $0.73
  • Ice Cream
    $0.85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arequipa

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

  • Skip the Line: Dinner and Typical Dances Show Ticket: $23
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $28
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market *Whatsapp for more información: $55
  • Curious Monkey -Arequipa Streets, Walking Food Tour: $55
  • Curious Monkey- Arequipa Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class in arequipa: $64
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 5 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $67
  • Peruvian market tour, cooking class, and dinner in Arequipa: $67
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • Food tour in Arequipa: $207

Local Transportation

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 $4.20 on transportation in Santa Marta on average per day.

The cost of a taxi ride in Arequipa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.40 per person, per day, on local transportation in Arequipa.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santa Marta $4.20
    Arequipa $4.40
Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Gas
    $5.22

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.22
  • Bus Ride
    $0.39
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.85

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • transfer Airport - Hotel: $21
  • Transfer in private minivan from Arequipa city to Rodríguez Ballón Airport (AQP): $20
  • Transfer in private minivan from Arequipa city to Rodríguez Ballón Airport (AQP): $16
  • Private Transfer from Arequipa to Alfredo Rodríguez Ballón (AQP) Airport: $40
  • Private Transfer from Arequipa Airport to City Center or Viceversa: $29
  • Private Departure Transfer: Arequipa Hotel to Airport: $14
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Arequipa Airport to Hotel: $14
  • One-Way Transfer between Arequipa Airport and City Centre: $54
  • Full day tour including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $87
  • Departure Private Transfer from Arequipa City to Arequipa Airport AQP by Minivan: $31
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Sedan Car: $19
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Minibus: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Santa Marta or Arequipa?

Prices for flights to both Arequipa and Santa Marta 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

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 and activities in Arequipa typically cost an average of $13 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santa Marta $11
    Arequipa $13

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Arequipa

Here are a few typical costs in Arequipa for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Monastery Entry
    $2.44
  • Salsa Class
    $2.44
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.66
  • Hot Springs
    $2.44

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

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

  • 2 Day - Colca Canyon and Condor Tour from Arequipa, Peru - Group Service: $221
  • 2 days 1 night Colca Canyon tour from Arequipa: $78
  • 2-Day Colca Valley Tour: $153
  • 2-Day Group Tour to Colca Canyon from Arequipa: $210
  • 2-Day Group Tour to Colca Canyon from Arequipa to Puno: $318
  • 2-Days Canyon Colca Small-Group Tour from Arequipa: $100
  • 2days: Private Tour Trekking in the Colca Canyon: $250
  • 3-day Colca Canyon Trek Adventure: $1,160
  • 3days Private tour trekking into Colca Canyon: $390
  • 4 days tour to Arequipa and Colca Canyon: $469
  • 4-Day Tour: Arequipa and the Colca Canyon: $617
  • 4-Days Tour to Cotahuasi Canyon in Arequipa: $612

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Santa Marta spend on average $5.34 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Arequipa may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santa Marta $5.34
    Arequipa $11
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
    $0.57
  • Beer
    $2.35

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Beer
    $2.19


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santa Marta and Arequipa, we can see that Arequipa 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 Arequipa would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arequipa than you might in Santa Marta.

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Santa Marta vs. Arequipa Travel Comparison

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