The Cost of Visiting Cartagena, Colombia: A Budget Breakdown


Cartagena is the Most Expensive city in Colombia. The beautiful and historic city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is a popular tourist destination known for its charming streets, colonial architecture, and vibrant culture. The cost of visiting Cartagena can vary depending on factors like your travel style, accommodation preferences, and the activities you plan to do. Today I will provide a general overview of the expenses you can expect when visiting Cartagena.


1. Flights

The cost of flights to Cartagena depends on your departure location, the time of year, and how far in advance you book your tickets. Generally, flights from the United States to Cartagena can range from $300 to $800 round trip. To get the best deals on flights, consider booking during the low season (April to June and September to November) and monitoring fare prices with tools like Google Flights or Skyscanner. The main US Airline carriers that fly to Cartagena include American Airlines, Spirt, and Jetblue. Book Your Flight here for Best rates


2. Accommodation

Cartagena offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. When booking hotels I recommend using Hotels website for the best rates. Here’s a rough estimate of nightly prices for different types of accommodations:


  • Budget (hostels, guesthouses): $10 – $30 per night
  • Mid-range (standard hotels, boutique hotels): $50 – $150 per night
  • Luxury (high-end hotels, resorts): $200 and up per night

To save money on accommodations, consider booking in advance, traveling during the low season, or staying in less touristy neighborhoods.

AirBnB prices are usually $30- $1000 a night. You can choose to stay in a shared room or a Historical mansion.


3. Food and Drink

Cartagena boasts a diverse culinary scene, offering both local Colombian cuisine and international dishes. Dining costs can vary based on the type of restaurant and your personal preferences. Here’s a rough estimate of food and drink expenses:


  • Budget (street food, local markets): $3 – $7 per meal
  • Mid-range (casual restaurants, cafes): $10 – $25 per meal
  • High-end (fine dining, upscale restaurants): $30 and up per meal

To cut down on food expenses, consider eating at local markets or street food stalls, where you can find delicious and affordable meals.


4. Transportation

Transportation costs in Cartagena are generally quite affordable. Here’s an overview of the approximate costs for various modes of transportation:


  • Bus: $0.50 – $1 per ride
  • Taxi: $3 – $15 per ride, depending on distance
  • Bicycle rental: $5 – $15 per day

Remember that many attractions within Cartagena’s historic center are within walking distance, making it easy to explore the city on foot without spending much on transportation. The Price of the Current airport rate can be found by scanning a QR code posted outside the airport. The last Taxi price was 23,000 pesos from The Rafael Núñez International Airport to Barrio Laguito.


Taxi vs Uber in Cartagena


The cost of using Uber is usually a little bit cheaper than using a taxi in Cartagena, especially at night. Taxi tend to overcharge during the night hours. The price from Bocagrande to old wall city should cost 7000 pesos. At night it is impossible to get a taxi returning to Bocagrande for less than 12,000 pesos but most will tell you 15,000.


Although Cartagena is usually safe using Uber provides better security because all the trips are documented just in case something goes wrong.


5. Activities and Sightseeing

The cost of activities and sightseeing in Cartagena can vary widely based on your interests. Some popular attractions and their approximate entrance fees include:


  • Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas: $10
  • Palacio de la Inquisición: $8
  • Convento de la Popa: $5
  • Palenque Tour: $30 to $100
  • Volcan de Lodo El Totumo $30+ not including tips
  • Bora Bora Beach Club: $80
  • Rosario Islands: $50
  • Cartagena Nightlife $50+

Many of Cartagena’s attractions, such as the historic city walls, colorful streets, and plazas, can be enjoyed for free. However, if you plan to take guided tours, participate in water sports, or visit nearby islands, expect to pay additional fees ranging from $20 to $100 or more, depending on the activity. Bora Bora Beach Club is one of my favorite but I also Like visiting Playa Blanca because of the Blue water. Also make sure you get the VIP tickets at Bora Bora.


The Palenque tour usually has a Group tour every Monday that starts at $30. If you miss that opportunity then you will need to pay for an uber also which can make the price close to $100. If you are planning to party at night clubs drinks can get expensive. You can choose to just walk around the walled city which is free but any of the famous bars expect to spend a lot. Learn more about Cartagena Nightlife.


Nothing is Free in Cartagena


You will meet a lot of friendly people. Some of them will bombard you with “samples” etc. There is nothing Free in Cartagena. Even if you wanted to take a picture with the nice ladies from Palenque that are selling the fruit. The Rappers that harass you when walking down the street will also want compensation after they finish their song. The massage ladies offering you free samples lol and tell you it’s okay. No, it isn’t lol. Anything someone does for you expect to be compensation paid.


In conclusion, the cost of visiting Cartagena, Colombia, depends on your travel style, accommodation choices, and planned activities. By carefully planning your trip, setting a budget, and prioritizing your expenses, you can enjoy a memorable visit to this charming city without breaking the bank.


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