A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Sao Paulo vs. Cartagena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Sao Paulo or Cartagena?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sao Paulo or Cartagena, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Sao Paulo or Cartagena?

Sao Paulo

With a population of around 11 million, and 20 million in the metropolitan area, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It's also one of the wealthiest cities in the southern hemisphere, although you don't have to look far to see the income disparities and inequalities that exist. The city is diverse and culturally rich, with excellent food, music, and entertainment.

Cartagena

The capital of the Bolivar Department of Colombia, Cartagena is one of the most visited cities in the country. It sits on Colombia's northern coast by the Caribbean Sea. It's a port city with a population of almost 900,000, making it the fifth largest city in Colombia. The city has a rich history and was the first Spanish colony on the American continent. It was also one of the first sanctuaries for freed African slaves in the Americas.

Which city is cheaper, Cartagena or Sao Paulo?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Sao Paulo is $42, while the average daily cost in Cartagena is $30. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Sao Paulo and Cartagena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sao Paulo $24
    Cartagena $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sao Paulo $48
    Cartagena $34
Compare Hotels in Sao Paulo and Cartagena

Looking for a hotel in Sao Paulo or Cartagena? 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 Sao Paulo


Hotels in Cartagena


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: Sao Paulo Hotel Prices and Cartagena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sao Paulo $4.79
    Cartagena $4.69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

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

  • Airport Transfer: São Paulo Hotels to GRU International Airport: $50
  • CGH Airport transfer Sao Paulo city / Hotel: $38
  • Creative & Natural Transfer São Paulo-Paraty: $375
  • Departure Private Transfer São Paulo to Guarulhos Airport GRU by Standard Car: $43
  • Departure Private Transfer São Paulo to Guarulhos Airport GRU in Business Car: $82
  • Departure Private Transfer São Paulo to Guarulhos Airport GRU in Luxury Van: $77
  • Guarulhos International Airport Transfer: $100
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport to Guarulhos City - One Way: $122
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport to São Paulo City - One Way: $122
  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo to Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Int. Airport (GRU): $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Int. Airport (GRU) to Sao Paulo: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo/Congonhas Airport (CGH) to Sao Paulo: $22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • One way private water transfer between Cartagena and the Islands (6 ppl max): $530
  • Private Transfer from La Manga Club to Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport: $259
  • Private Transfer from Cartagena to Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport: $249
  • Private Transfer Cartagena to Palomino (or vice versa): $195
  • Private transfer to Barranquilla from Cartagena- Traslado privado a Barranquilla: $170
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by Minivan: $96
  • Transfer to Tayrona Park, Santa Marta or Barranquilla City from Cartagena: $84
  • Departure Private Transfer Cartagena City to Cartagena Airport CTG by 2x4 Car: $72
  • Private transfer Cartagena airport -Mamonal: $65
  • Transfer Cartagena: $50
  • Transfer service in Cartagena: $50
  • Private Transfer: Cartagena to Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG): $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Sao Paulo or Cartagena?

Prices for flights to both Cartagena and Sao Paulo 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
    Sao Paulo $12
    Cartagena $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sao Paulo

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

  • Sao Paulo - Pinheiros Gourmet Food Tour (4 hours tour + 3 dishes included): $45
  • Brazilian Cooking Class: $79
  • Cooking Class in São Paulo: $268
  • Private Food Tour in São Paulo: $278

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cartagena

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

  • Cartagena Cuisine Cooking Experience: $30
  • BIKE & BITE food tour: $52
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Street food tour with Julie: $64
  • Food Tour in Cartagena Walled City: $66
  • Street Food & Local Food Tour: $66
  • SkyKitchen 4 Course Cooking Class: $81
  • Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena: $92
  • Cartagena - Food Tour: $100
  • Caribbean Cuisine Cooking Class: $105
  • Shared Local Cooking Class and Lunch in Cartagena: $110
  • Bazurto Local Market Tour & Cooking Class: $115

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sao Paulo $3.29
    Cartagena $13

Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sao Paulo.

  • Downtown São Paulo: An audio tour tracing the city's epic history: $5.00
  • Virtual Live Tour of Sao Paulo Graffiti Hosted by Artist: $25
  • Street art is not for lazy tourists :P: $25
  • São Paulo Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • Discover Sao Paulo History Guided Tour: $31
  • Paulista Avenue Walking Tour: $31
  • Private São Paulo Historic Center Walking Tour: $45
  • Small Group Highlights Tour in São Paulo: $49
  • City Tour Meet São Paulo Half-Day: $50
  • Alternative City Tour: $50
  • Rain Forest Trail - Cantareira Natural Park day tour from São Paulo: $58
  • Embu das Artes Largest Handicraft Fair Tour from São Paulo: $58

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

Here are a few actual costs in Cartagena for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Hour Panoramic tour for cruise ship passengers: $40
  • 4-Hour Fishing Experience with Locals Near Cartagena: $103
  • 6 Hr Cartagena Fishing Experience: $974
  • Accessible sightseeing tour of Cartagena: $140
  • Audio Guide - Walking Tour with Interactive (Cartagena de Indias): $10
  • Aviario National Park Shared Tour: $63
  • Bar Tour for Guys and Bachelor Parties: $20
  • Bazurto Market + La Popa Convent Cartagena City Tour 4H: $81
  • Bazurto Market Half day tour in Cartagena: $125
  • Biking Tour Cartagena: $19
  • Birdwatching & Photography experience at the National Aviary in Barú: $279
  • Bolivar Pirate Island Experience with Lunch: $75

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sao Paulo $2.86
    Cartagena $5.76

Sample the Local Flavors in Sao Paulo

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Sao Paulo:

  • 4 Hours Pub Crawl in Vila Madalena: $69


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sao Paulo and Cartagena, we can see that Sao Paulo is more expensive. And not only is Cartagena much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cartagena would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cartagena 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 Sao Paulo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sao Paulo than you might in Cartagena.


When is the best time to visit Sao Paulo or Cartagena?

Sao Paulo has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Cartagena experiences a tropical climate with fairly warm weather most of the year.

Should I visit Sao Paulo or Cartagena in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Sao Paulo as well as Cartagena. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In January, Sao Paulo is generally cooler than Cartagenain July. Temperatures in Sao Paulo average around 25°C (77°F), and Cartagena stays around 29°C (84°F).

Sao Paulo receives a lot of rain in the summer. Sao Paulo usually gets more rain in January than Cartagenain July. Sao Paulo gets 170 mm (6.7 in) of rain, while Cartagena receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January and July
    Sao Paulo 25°C (77°F) 
    Cartagena 29°C (84°F)

Should I visit Sao Paulo or Cartagena in the Autumn?

Both Cartagena and Sao Paulo are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cartagena throughout the year.

Sao Paulo is cooler than Cartagena in the autumn. The temperature in Sao Paulo is usually 22°C (72°F) in April, and Cartagena stays around 27°C (81°F)in October.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Cartagena. In April, Sao Paulo usually receives less rain than Cartagenain October. Sao Paulo gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Cartagena receives 150 mm (5.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April and October
    Sao Paulo 22°C (72°F) 
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Sao Paulo or Cartagena in the Winter?

Both Cartagena and Sao Paulo during the winter are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Cartagena because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

In the winter, Sao Paulo is cooler than Cartagena. Typically, the winter temperatures in Sao Paulo in July are around 19°C (66°F), and Cartagena is about 27°C (81°F)in January.

Sao Paulo usually gets more rain in July than Cartagenain January. Sao Paulo gets 20 mm (0.8 in) of rain, while Cartagena receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July and January
    Sao Paulo 19°C (66°F) 
    Cartagena 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Sao Paulo or Cartagena in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Sao Paulo and Cartagena. Cartagena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In October, Sao Paulo is generally cooler than Cartagenain April. Temperatures in Sao Paulo average around 21°C (70°F), and Cartagena stays around 28°C (82°F).

In October, Sao Paulo usually receives more rain than Cartagenain April. Sao Paulo gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Cartagena receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October and April
    Sao Paulo 21°C (70°F) 
    Cartagena 28°C (82°F)

Typical Weather for Cartagena and Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo Cartagena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°C (77°F) 170 mm (6.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 25°C (77°F) 170 mm (6.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Mar 24°C (75°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 22°C (72°F) 50 mm (2 in) 28°C (82°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
May 21°C (70°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 29°C (84°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 29°C (84°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Jul 19°C (66°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 29°C (84°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 28°C (82°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 21°C (70°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 29°C (84°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 21°C (70°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 27°C (81°F) 150 mm (5.9 in)
Nov 23°C (73°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 24°C (75°F) 150 mm (5.9 in) 27°C (81°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)


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Sao Paulo vs. Cartagena Travel Comparison

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