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

Should you visit Santa Marta or Huaraz?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Santa Marta and Huaraz 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.

Huaraz

Huaraz is a large town in the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru's Central Sierra. Huaraz stands tall at 3100m; travellers from Lima might need a day or two to acclimatize to the change in atmosphere. Nearly wiped out by the earthquake of 1970, the town of 100,000 blends a mix of modern and native culture. Huarez is first and foremost a trekking metropolis. During high season the streets buzz with hundreds of backpackers and adventurers freshly returned from arduous hikes or planning their next expedition. The town has many markets, shops, quality restaurants and hopping bars catering to tourist and local needs. Mountain adventures in the off-season can be equally rewarding, but the vibe is calmer and some places go into hibernation once the rains set in.

Which city is cheaper, Huaraz 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 Huaraz is $36. 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 Huaraz 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.

Huaraz's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $28. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $14.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santa Marta $11
    Huaraz $14
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santa Marta $22
    Huaraz $28

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.

While meal prices in Huaraz can vary, the average travelers spends about $13 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Huaraz should cost around $5.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Huaraz is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Santa Marta $7.98
    Huaraz $13
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 Huaraz

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


  • Lunch
    $5.36
  • Chips
    $1.34

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 Huaraz is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $7.32 per person, per day, on local transportation in Huaraz.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santa Marta $4.20
    Huaraz $7.32
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 Huaraz

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.95

Is it cheaper to fly into Santa Marta or Huaraz?

Prices for flights to both Huaraz 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 Huaraz typically cost an average of $14 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
    Huaraz $14

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 Huaraz

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


  • Climbing Gear
    $15

Tours and Activities in Huaraz

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

  • "WAROMA eco tours peru" 10 day hike in the huayhuash mountain range.: $158
  • CORDILLERA BLANCA CIRCUIT the virgin non Touristic route: $450
  • Discover a world of Adventure: Climbing Pisco (4 days): $1,010
  • From Chavín de Huantar fullday tour: $50
  • From Llanganuco Lagoon fullday tour: $50
  • From Nevado Pastoruri Tour fullday tour: $50
  • Full-Day Llanganuco Lakes Private Tour from Huaraz: $100
  • Full-Day Private Tour of Chacas from Huaraz: $105
  • Full-Day Private Tour to Callejón de Huaylas and Llanganuco: $130
  • Full-Day Private Tour to Laguna 69: $129
  • Full-Day Tour to Callejón de Huaylas and Llanganuco: $89
  • Full-Day Tour to Lake Paron from Huaraz, Peru: $80

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 Huaraz 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
    Huaraz $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


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

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Santa Marta vs. Huaraz Travel Comparison

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