A Travel Price Comparison for Colombia Tena vs. Cartagena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tena or Cartagena?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Tena and Cartagena 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: Tena or Cartagena?


Tena is the capital of the Napo Province, an attractive and quiet city in the Amazon rainforest, and is known as the "cinnamon capital" of Ecuador. Tena has a friendly population, lots of backpacker infrastructure, a gorgeous setting surrounded by jungle-covered hills and a high concentration of surrounding rivers where white-water lovers from around the world come to paddle and kayak. The town provides a gateway to exploration into Ecuador's most accessible part of the great Amazon rainforest, which does not leave visitors disappointed. Beyond being a base for discovering the jungle and its wildlife, Tena is also a hub for adventure sports which are abundant in the area. Tena is a charming place where many travelers find themselves hanging around quite happily before or after a trip into the rainforest.


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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Colombia, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Bogota, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Colombia, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Colombia.

Which place is cheaper, Cartagena or Tena?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tena is $50, while the average daily cost in Cartagena is $48. 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 Tena and Cartagena in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tena $23
    Cartagena $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tena $46
    Cartagena $54
Compare Hotels in Tena and Cartagena

Looking for a hotel in Tena 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 Tena

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: Cartagena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tena $16
    Cartagena $7.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tena:

  • Private Transfer from Villavieja to San Agustín: $150
  • Popayan to Cali Private Transfer: $272
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Palonegro Airport(BGA) to Bucaramanga: $29
  • Roundtrip transfer Private Car Medellin airport (MDE)- Guatape: $68
  • Transfer in Private Car from Bucaramanga Palonegro Airport (BGA) to Bucaramanga: $15
  • Transfer in private minivan Medellin airport (MDE)- Guatape: $42

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cartagena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cartagena:

  • Private Transfer from Bocagrande to Port of Cartagena: $25
  • 15. Transfer to SANTA MARTA from Cartagena Private or vice versa.: $290
  • 18.Transfer (Rafael N-Hotel Decameron Baru Airport) or vice versa: $90
  • 20. Transfer Rafael N. Airport-HOTEL LAS ISLAS-CALABLANCA: $142
  • 6.Transfer (Airport-Manzanillo KARIBANA-ESTELAR) Or Vice Versa: $40
  • 8. Transfer to BARRANQUILLA from Cartagena Private or vice versa: $160
  • Air Conditioning Bus transfer: $21
  • Airport Transfer - Hotel Cartagena: $24
  • Airport Transfer Hotel: $26
  • Airport Transfers Cartagena: $39
  • Airport to Hotel LAS ISLAS O CALABLANCA Transfer o viceversa: $160
  • Airport to Hotel in BARU Transfer or vice versa: $99

Is it cheaper to fly into Tena or Cartagena?

Prices for flights to both Cartagena and Tena 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 Meals for one day
    Tena $15
    Cartagena $9.82

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cartagena

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

  • Featured in NYTimes > Arepas and Dancing: Danceable Cooking Class in Cartagena: $32
  • Cooking Class In A Real Restaurant At Old City: $38
  • Taste Cartagena Food tour: $40
  • Street Food Tour in Cartagena: $42
  • Guided Street Food Tour with Tastings: $45
  • Local Flavors Food Tour with Native Chef: $50
  • Cruise by the Bay with Dinner and Wine: $55
  • Private Dinner at a Local Chef's House in Cartagena: $58
  • Cartagena Gourmet: Cooking Class with a View, Elegance & Flavor: $59
  • Street food tour: $61
  • Street Food & Local Food Tour: $67
  • Dinner cruise on Cartagena's bay with Sibarita Master: $70

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tena $14
    Cartagena $21

Tours and Activities in Tena

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

  • Full Day Adventure to the Páramo de Ocetá from Mongua: $20
  • 4-Hour Private Walking Tour along Ruta de Las Flores: $42
  • Colonial Guaduas Tour: $43
  • Angelópolis Coffee Tour: $62
  • Private 2-hour Diving Experience with Instructor: $65
  • Coffee Tour Daytrip at Finca La Manchuria - Exclusive Experience.: $80
  • Tour 5 Rosario Islands: $94
  • Scuba Diving Private Tour in San Andres: $132
  • Enjoy a Coffee Tour & Santa Fe de Antioquia Colonial Town!!: $135
  • Coffee Experience-La Palma & El Tucán: $138
  • Tour Tierradentro Archaeological Park in Popayán: $180
  • Hacienda Tour + Adventure Sports From Cali : $195

Tours and Activities in Cartagena

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

  • Emeralds Tour: $0.03
  • Into the Walls of The City: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Cartagena de Indias: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - The Great Battle: Fort of San Felipe: $6.99
  • Republican Architecture Self-Guided Audio Tour in Cartagena: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Legends of the Streets of Downtown : $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: The Rise of the Wall City Part I: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour of Getsemaní Neighborhood: $10
  • Historic Free Tour Slavery and Gethsemane Heritage: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: Ghost of Downtown: Fear in the streets. : $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour of San Diego Neighborhood Tour: $10
  • Emerald Museum and Factory Tour: $10

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tena $10
    Cartagena $9.21

Sample the Local Flavors in Cartagena

Also in Cartagena, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Pub Crawl with Dancing and Complimentary Drinks: $19
  • Cartagena's Best Pub Crawl all included!: $20
  • Cartagena Pub Crawl: Let's Party & Matching in Getsemaní: $21
  • Pub Crawl Only Locals Have Fun In The Walled City: $35
  • Pub Crawl: $70
  • Nightlife Pub crawl in Cartagena: $74

When comparing the travel costs between Tena and Cartagena, we can see that Tena 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 Tena Expensive? and Is Cartagena Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Tena or Cartagena?

Cartagena has a larger population, and is about 1370 times larger than the population of Tena. When comparing the sizes of Tena and Cartagena, 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.