Should you visit Santa Marta or Salento?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Santa Marta and Salento 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.
Founded in 1850, Salento is one of the oldest towns in Quindio. This colonial Colombian town has retained much of its old world charm, with its colorful buildings, large square and, of course, the obligatory church. Because the main route between Cali and Bogota which used to pass through Salento was diverted, the town didn't develop as quickly as others in the Quindio region. This gave Salento the opportunity to evolve into a thriving community of craftsmen and artisans as well as remaining one of the region's most prolific coffee producers. Salento is located 24 km northeast of the departmental capital Armenia. However, unlike its colorful neighbor, Armenia itself has very little to offer tourists. Salento attracts those wishing to learn about the coffee regions and for those who simply admire breathtaking scenery, and especially the stunning Cocora Valley.
Which city is cheaper, Salento 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 Salento 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 Santa Marta and Salento 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.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $9.09. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Salento the cost is $18 on average.
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 Salento can vary, the average travelers spends about $7.62 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Salento should cost around $3.05 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Salento is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
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:
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.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $12 per day to get around in Salento.
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:
Transfer Round Trip Airport - Hotel (santa Marta):
Santa Marta Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal:
Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city:
Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR):
Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Santa Marta:
Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR):
Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city:
Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City:
Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Taganga:
Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta:
Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city:
Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Tayrona Park:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salento
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salento:
Arrival or Departure Transfer: Armenia Airport, Bus Station / Salento, Filandia:
Is it cheaper to fly into Santa Marta or Salento?
Prices for flights to both Salento 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $9.49 per person, per day in Salento. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
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 Salento
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Salento are as follows:
3-Day Coffee Tour by Bike in Salento:
5 Day Coffee Culture Experience:
Cocora Valley & Hummingbirds House Adventure:
Cocora Valley + Horseback Riding Day Tour:
Cocora Valley on a Jeep & Hike Day Tour:
Coffee Amusement & Museum Park Day Tour:
Coffee Farm Hacienda El Ocaso Half-Day Tour:
Coffee Tour at Hacienda Venecia near Salento:
Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Coffee Farm Tour (from Salento):
Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Filandia Coffee Town (from Salento):
Full day coffee farm experience at Hacienda San Alberto from Salento:
Full-Day Coffee Farm Experience at Finca El Ocaso from Salento:
Typically, people visiting Santa Marta spend on average $5.34 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $9.31 on alcoholic beverages in Salento per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
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 comparing the travel costs between Santa Marta and Salento, we can see that Salento is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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