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

Should you visit Santa Marta or Salta?

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

Salta

Located in the heart of the famous Northwest region of Argentina, at 1200m of elevation and at the foot of the Cerro San Bernardo, Salta is the largest city of the region and perhaps the most beautiful colonial city of Argentina. Founded in 1582 by the Spanish, Salta was an important stop for merchants who followed the usual trade road through Bolivia and Peru. Argentines call this city nestled in the foothills of the Andes and surrounded by mountains, of just over half a million inhabitants, Salta La Linda (Salta the Beautiful) and it's easy to see why. Young and traditional at the same time, Salta and its renowned museums, plaza side cafes and live musica folklorica of its bustling penas, is a sophisticated and lively city day and night.

Which city is cheaper, Salta 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 Salta is $68. 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 Salta 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $48 in Salta For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santa Marta $11
    Salta $24
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santa Marta $22
    Salta $48

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 Salta can vary, the average travelers spends about $23 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Salta should cost around $9.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Salta is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Santa Marta $7.98
    Salta $23
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 Salta

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


  • Emplanadas
    $0.05
  • Ice Cream
    $0.06
  • Lunch
    $5.92
  • Coffee
    $1.22

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.

To get around in Salta, the average visitor spends $28 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santa Marta $4.20
    Salta $28
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:

  • Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR): $21
  • Transfer in private minivan from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $21
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta city to Santa Marta Airport (SMR): $14
  • Transfer in Private Car from Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to Santa Marta city: $14
  • Transfer Round Trip Airport - Hotel (santa Marta): $10
  • Santa Marta Arrival or Departure Transfer: Airport / Cruise Ship Terminal: $12
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Santa Marta Airport (SMR) to city: $43
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Santa Marta Airport(SMR) to City: $28
  • Private transfer between Santa Marta and Cartagena (or vice versa): $194
  • Private Transfer to Cartagena or Barranquilla City from Santa Marta: $84
  • Private Transfer to / from Palomino, Tayrona Park or Minca from Santa Marta: $35
  • Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa): $96

Typical Local Transportation prices in Salta

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.05

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salta

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

  • Shared Departure Transfer: Salta Hotels to Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport: $27
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport to Salta: $19
  • One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer: $5.50
  • Salta City Tour & Round Trip Transfers airport - hotel: $62
  • Salta Airport Shuttle Transfer: $9.97
  • Salta Airport Private Transfer: $50
  • Private Airport Transfer: Salta to Martin Miguel de Guemes Int. Airport (SLA): $30
  • Private Airport Transfer: Martin Miguel de Guemes Int. Airport (SLA) to Salta: $30
  • Humahuaca, 7-color Hill & round trip transfers airport - hotel in Salta: $127

Is it cheaper to fly into Santa Marta or Salta?

Prices for flights to both Salta 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.

In Salta, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $24 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santa Marta $11
    Salta $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

Typical Entertainment prices in Salta

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Salta's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Gondola Ride
    $0.15
  • Pool
    $0.51
  • Wine and Cheese night
    $37

Tours and Activities in Salta

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

  • 2-Day Calchaquí Valley Tour to Cachi and Cafayate: $318
  • 2-day tour: Humahuaca Canyon + Cachi and Calchaquies Valleys: $165
  • 2-day tour: Humahuaca Canyon + Cafayate Wine Country: $165
  • 3-Days Salta, Purmamarca & Salinas Grandes Private Experience: $625
  • 3-day Overland Adventure in Tolar Grande, Salta: $1,240
  • 4 x 4 Safari Tour to Puna, Salt Falts and Purmamarca from Salta: $120
  • 4-Days Discovering Amazing Salta - Nature & Adventure: $645
  • 4-Days Tour of Salta Cafayate and Humahuaca: $808
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Salta: $527
  • 6-Day Tour in Salta, Purmamarca, Humahuaca, Tolar Grande & Salt flats!: $1,813
  • 6-day Tour in Salta y Jujuy - Best of The Northwest: $1,095
  • 7-Day Tour in Salta, the Calchaqui Valley and Cafayate and San Pedro de Atacama: $1,292

Alcohol

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

Typically, people visiting Salta spend on average $9.62 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santa Marta $5.34
    Salta $9.62
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 Salta

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Salta are as follows:


  • Beer
    $0.10
  • Alcohol
    $3.06

Sample the Local Flavors in Salta

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Salta:

  • Full-day Cafayate, Lerma Valley, and Wine Tasting from Salta: $24
  • From Cafayate Day Trip with Wine Tasting: $25
  • From Full-Day Tour to Cafayate with Wine Tasting: $27
  • Luxury Colome wine tour: $806


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

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Santa Marta vs. Salta Travel Comparison

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