Should you visit Santa Marta or Pucon?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Santa Marta and Pucon can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
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.
A popular hub for adventure tourism, Pucon is a town in the Lake District of the South American nation of Chile. Located on Lake Villarirca with the snowcapped Villarrica volcano looming above and plenty of forested valleys below, the town has become a home base year-round for a full range of outdoor activities.
Check out our ultimate guide to Traveling in Patagonia.
Which city is cheaper, Pucon 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 Pucon is $97. 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 Pucon in more detail.
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.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Pucon is $84. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
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.
Pucon food costs typically run travelers around $36 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.
Meals for one day
Santa Marta $7.98
Typical Food prices in Santa Marta
For Santa Marta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
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:
Santa Marta 2-hour Street Food Tour:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pucon
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Pucon.
Learn to Cook Like a Local: Private Cooking Class in a Viña del Mar Home:
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 Pucon is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $19 per person, per day, on local transportation in Pucon.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Marta
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santa Marta:
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:
Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Taganga:
Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Tayrona Park:
Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa):
Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta:
Private Transfer to Cartagena or Barranquilla City from Santa Marta:
Private transfer between Santa Marta and Cartagena (or vice versa):
Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City:
Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city:
Santa Marta Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal:
Transfer Round Trip Airport - Hotel (santa Marta):
Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pucon
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Pucon:
Pucon Temuco Airport Private Transfer:
Private Transfer from Pucon To Temuco Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Santa Marta or Pucon?
Prices for flights to both Pucon 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.
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 Pucon typically cost an average of $36 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
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:
Musical Experience "Vive Musicaribe":
BE RELAX TOUR - Bahia Concha:
Taganga snorkeling experience:
Santa Marta city tour:
Graffiti Tour in Santa Marta Old City:
Old City + Museum Santa Marta City Tour 3H:
Aquarium and White Beach Tour:
Tour E-Bike Playa Grande:
City Tour Santa Marta:
BE TROPICAL TOUR - Buritaca & Playa Los Angeles:
Aracataca And Ciénaga - Gabriel García Márquez Tour:
Tours and Activities in Pucon
Here are a few actual costs in Pucon for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Full Day Tour to Conguillio National Park from Pucon:
Half Day Tour to The Eyes Of Caburgua from Pucon:
Mapuche Reserve Horseback Riding Tour in Pucon:
Pucón Sightseeing City Tour:
Sightseeing Tour in Pucon with optional Villarica:
Villarrica Volcanic Caves Park Admission Ticket:
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 Pucon may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $26 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Typical Alcohol prices in Santa Marta
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santa Marta from other travelers:
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:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santa Marta and Pucon, we can see that Pucon 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 Pucon would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Pucon than you might in Santa Marta.
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