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

Should you visit Santa Marta or Punta Arenas?

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

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is in the far south of Chile and has a long history of maritime commerce, oil extraction, and sheep farming. It's the most populated city on the Strait of Magellan and has all the facilities you might need as a traveler, including banks, markets, drugstores and equipment shops. With a population of about 130,000, the city is a comfortable place to spend time. It serves as a base for Antarctic expeditions, although many expeditions also start in Ushuaia, Argentina, and Christchurch New Zealand.

Which city is cheaper, Punta Arenas 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 Punta Arenas is $61. 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 Punta Arenas 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.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $62 in Punta Arenas For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santa Marta $11
    Punta Arenas $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santa Marta $22
    Punta Arenas $62

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 Punta Arenas can vary, the average travelers spends about $20 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Punta Arenas should cost around $8.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Punta Arenas is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Santa Marta $7.98
    Punta Arenas $20
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 Punta Arenas

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Punta Arenas:


  • Donut
    $1.27
  • Dinner
    $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Punta Arenas

For Punta Arenas, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Punta Arenas Small Group Sightseeing and food Tour with a Local Guide: $76

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.

Punta Arenas's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $1.74 per person, per day on transportation in Punta Arenas.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santa Marta $4.20
    Punta Arenas $1.74
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 transfer between Santa Marta and Cartagena (or vice versa): $194
  • Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa): $96
  • Private Transfer to Cartagena or Barranquilla City from Santa Marta: $84
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Tayrona Park: $59
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city: $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Taganga: $35
  • Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta: $35
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City: $28
  • Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $21
  • Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR): $21
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Santa Marta: $18
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta Arenas

Also for Punta Arenas, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer from Punta Arenas Hotel to Punta Arenas Airport: $32
  • Transfer from Punta Arenas (city or airport) to Puerto Natales: $250
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ): $29
  • Private Airport Transfer: Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ) to Punta Arenas: $29
  • Bus transfer from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia: $169
  • Arrival Transfer: Punta Arenas Airport to Hotel: $33

Is it cheaper to fly into Santa Marta or Punta Arenas?

Prices for flights to both Punta Arenas 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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Punta Arenas can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $6.24 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santa Marta $11
    Punta Arenas $6.24

Tours and Activities in Santa Marta

For Santa Marta, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • "Gabo Márquez" Tour - Aracataca and Cienaga: $205
  • 2 Day Coastal Motorcycle Tour: $333
  • 4-Day Lost City Small-Group Tour in Santa Marta: $380
  • 5-Day Private Guided Hiking Experience to The Lost City: $699
  • Aracataca And Ciénaga - Gabriel García Márquez Tour: $53
  • Archeological Tour in Taironaka with River Tubing and a small Lost City: $177
  • Arrecife and Cañaveral tour from Santa Marta: $74
  • BE RELAX TOUR - Bahia Concha: $22
  • BE TROPICAL TOUR - Buritaca & Playa Los Angeles: $51
  • Cartagena - City Tour: $128
  • City Tour Santa Marta: $51
  • Coffee Tour La Victoria: $125

Tours and Activities in Punta Arenas

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Punta Arenas.

  • 4-Day Private Tour to Patagonia: Torres del Paine, Glaciers & Penguins: $2,200
  • Bus ticket from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina): $88
  • City Tour of Punta Arenas: $110
  • FULL DAY KING PENGUIN COLONY (private tours): $410
  • FULL DAY KING PENGUIN COLONY (regular tours): $174
  • Full Day Torres del Paine Private tour, departing from Punta Arenas: $323
  • Full Day Torres del Paine, From Punta Arenas (Private Tours): $410
  • Full day Punta Arenas (Regular tours): $103
  • Full day Torres del Paine from Punta Arenas ,Regular tours: $133
  • Full-Day Punta Arenas and Magellan Strait Tour: $95
  • Full-day experience in Chilean Antártica: $7,052
  • Isla Tortuga Catamarán Cruises from San Jose: $173

Alcohol

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

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Punta Arenas, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.70.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santa Marta $5.34
    Punta Arenas $4.70
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 Punta Arenas

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


  • Alcohol
    $8.88

Sample the Local Flavors in Punta Arenas

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Punta Arenas:

  • Punta Arenas Small Group Beers & Brewery Tour with a Local Guide: $68


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

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Santa Marta vs. Punta Arenas Travel Comparison

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