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

Should you visit Tena or Santa Marta?

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 Santa Marta 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 Santa Marta?

Tena

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.

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.

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, Santa Marta or Tena?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tena is $51, while the average daily cost in Santa Marta is $32. 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 Santa Marta in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tena $24
    Santa Marta $14
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tena $48
    Santa Marta $28
Compare Hotels in Tena and Santa Marta

Looking for a hotel in Tena or Santa Marta? 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 Santa Marta


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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tena $17
    Santa Marta $5.27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tena

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tena:

  • Transfer in private minivan Medellin airport (MDE)- Guatape: $42
  • Transfer in Private Car from Bucaramanga Palonegro Airport (BGA) to Bucaramanga: $15
  • San Andres hotels to San Andres Airport (ADZ) Departure Transfer: $36
  • Roundtrip transfer in private minivan Medellin airport (MDE)- Guatape: $84
  • Round trip transfer in Private Car from-to Palonegro Airport(BGA) to Bucaramanga: $29
  • Popayan to Cali Private Transfer: $272
  • Popayan to Cali Private Transfer: $272
  • Private Transfer from Villavieja to San Agustín: $150

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:

  • 1.Transfer to TAYRONA park from Cartagena Private or Viceversa.: $256
  • Arrival or Departure Transfer: Simón Bolívar Airport: $14
  • Barranquilla / Santa Marta Transfer: $245
  • Cartagena / Santa Marta Transfer: $340
  • Cartagena to or from Santa Marta Private Transfer: $146
  • Exclusive transfer Santa Marta - Cartagena: $229
  • Exclusive transfer Santa Marta Airport - Tayrona Park Sector: $64
  • Private Airport Transfer: From Santa Marta Airport to Hotel in Santa Marta: $25
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Simon Bolivar Airport (One Way): $12
  • Private Transfer Santa Marta to Palomino (or vice versa): $121
  • Private Transfer from Santa Marta Cruise Port to Cartagena hotels: $76
  • Private Transfer from Santa Marta Cruise Port to Cartagena hotels: $68

Is it cheaper to fly into Tena or Santa Marta?

Prices for flights to both Santa Marta 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Tena $15
    Santa Marta $10

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tena $15
    Santa Marta $14

Tours and Activities in Tena

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

  • 4-Hour Private Walking Tour along Ruta de Las Flores: $42
  • Enjoy a Coffee Tour & Santa Fe de Antioquia Colonial Town!!: $135
  • Full Day Adventure Laguna Negra-Páramo de Ocetá from Mongua: $20
  • Gastronomic Private Walking Tour in Popayán: $50
  • Popayán Tour from Cali: $216
  • Popayan and Silvia Town Private Tour from Cali: $240
  • Private 2-hour Diving Experience with Instructor: $65
  • Private Guided Tour to Piedra Colgada and Indian Face and Lagoon: $75
  • Scuba Diving Private Tour in San Andres: $130
  • Tour 5 Rosario Islands: $94
  • Unique experience flying paragliding: $50

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tena $10
    Santa Marta $6.71

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

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


Which is Bigger, Tena or Santa Marta?

Santa Marta has a larger population, and is about 620 times larger than the population of Tena. When comparing the sizes of Tena and Santa Marta, 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.