A Travel Price Comparison for Colombia Santa Marta vs. Salento for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Santa Marta or Salento?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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

Where Should I go: Santa Marta or Salento?

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.

Salento

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Eco Tours in Colombia, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Colombia, The Best Luxury Tours to Colombia, and The Best G Adventures Tours to Colombia.


Which place 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 $32, while the average daily cost in Salento is $33. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Santa Marta and Salento in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santa Marta $14
    Salento $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santa Marta $28
    Salento $22
Compare Hotels in Santa Marta and Salento

Looking for a hotel in Santa Marta or Salento? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Santa Marta


Hotels in Salento


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Santa Marta Hotel Prices and Salento Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santa Marta $5.27
    Salento $14
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Gas
    $5.24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Marta

Also for Santa Marta, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Simon Bolivar Airport (One Way): $12
  • Arrival or Departure Transfer: Simón Bolívar Airport: $14
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $14
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR): $14
  • 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
  • Transfers to Palomino, Tayrona Park, Buritaca Guachaca from Santa Marta: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Santa Marta: $25
  • Private Transfer from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Cruise Port: $28
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City: $28
  • Transfers SANTA MARTA AIRPORT TO HOTEL IN SANTA MARTA: $31
  • Private Transfer from Santa Marta Cruise Port to Santa Marta city: $31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salento

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salento:

  • Pereira Airport Private Transfer Service: $55

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Santa Marta $10
    Salento $9.56
Typical Food Prices in Santa Marta

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


  • Breakfast
    $3.14

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 : $66
  • Santa Marta Street Food Tour: $75
  • Food Tour in Santa Marta Old City: $77

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Salento

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

  • Cooking Stories - Cocinando Historias: $46

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santa Marta $14
    Salento $12

Tours and Activities in Santa Marta

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

  • Old Town, Harbour & Highlights Self-guided Tour: $6.28
  • Skip the Line: Santa Marta Marine World Aquarium Admission Ticket and Guide: $6.67
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: the Pearl of America: $6.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Botanical Garden: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino : $10
  • Cultural Heritage Tour Santa Marta: $16
  • Santa Marta Bike Tour: $16
  • BE RELAX TOUR - Bahia Concha: $22
  • Full Day Tour to Bahía Concha and Tayrona Park with Pickup: $25
  • Horse Riding at La Mello Adventure Lodge: $35
  • Guided Walking Food Experience: $38
  • Santa Marta Food Experience: $39

Tours and Activities in Salento

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Salento are as follows:

  • Cocoa and Coffee Farm Tours from Pereira or Armenia: $192
  • Cocora Valley and Salento Hike Tour: $79
  • Cocora Valley and Salento Horseback Riding Day Tour: $137
  • Cocora Valley, Salento and Coffee Farm Day Tour : $124
  • Cocora, Salento and Filandia Tour: $100
  • Coffe Experience: Daily departure from Salento: $92
  • Coffee Farm and Salento Walking Tour with Lunch: $87
  • Coffee Tour and Salento Walking Tour with lunch: $98
  • Coffee tour in the heart of the coffee region: $28
  • Filandia and Salento Coffee Towns Tour: $105
  • Filandia and Salento Coffee Towns Tour: $64
  • Filandia, Salento and Cocora Valley Tour: $112

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santa Marta $6.71
    Salento $12
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
    $0.58
  • Beer
    $2.36


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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Santa Marta Expensive? and Is Salento Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Santa Marta or Salento?

Santa Marta has a larger population, and is about 100 times larger than the population of Salento. When comparing the sizes of Santa Marta and Salento, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.