a green mountainous landscape in the Colombia countryside

Published: 6/6/19 June sixth, 2019

A vacation to Colombia wasn&#8217t likely to break your budget. I understood much.

But will it be a good deal?

Merely a visit there’d let me know without a doubt.

And thus, captured, I spent over five days there, different time between college dorms and cooking my very own food around the one hands and remaining in boutique hotels and eating luxury meals alternatively.

I will tell you that although individuals are right — Colombia isn’t likely to break your bank — if you are not careful, your costs can escalate rapidly, particularly if you enjoy the up-and-coming gastronomy scene.

Just how much will it cost to go to Colombia?

And how will you cut costs there?

Let’s break it lower and review my trip for example.

Just how much did I spend?

people walking around a plaza with a fountain in Cartagena, Colombia

During the period of 37 days, I spent $2,908.50 USD, or $78.60 each day. Here’s how that breaks lower:

  • Accommodation &#8211 3,690,531 COP ($1122.10 USD)
  • Food &#8211 3,231,903 COP ($982.66 USD)
  • Drinks (Starbucks, water, tea, etc.) &#8211 183,488 COP ($55.78 USD)
  • Alcoholic drinks &#8211 691,170 COP ($210.15 USD)
  • Taxis &#8211 386,000 COP ($117.36 USD)
  • Public transit &#8211 37,000 COP ($11.25 USD)
  • Intercity buses &#8211 238,200 COP ($72.42 USD)
  • Uber &#8211 518,447 COP ($157.63 USD)
  • Walking/day tours- 541,500 COP ($164.64 USD)
  • Miscellany (Band-Aids, soap, etc.) &#8211 47,650 COP ($14.48 USD)

Total: 9,565,889 COP ($2908.50)

I spent a lot money for 2 reasons: I remained in many hotels, and that i ate out at lots of fancy restaurants. They destroyed my budget. Whether it wasn’t for individuals things, I figure I’d have spent about $1,000 less (thanks, Cartagena, for individuals lovely but pricey boutique hotels!) or around $53 each day, which isn’t bad, and nearer to my ideal $50 each day budget.

I do not have regrets, though. I’d lots of buddies visit me also it was difficult to convince them in which to stay hostels and eat cheap meals. They desired to splurge within the couple of days they’d.

Just how much must you travel in Colombia?

a beach resort in Colombia

Accommodation &#8211 Most hostel college dorms in Colombia cost between 30,000-45,000 COP ($9-14 USD) every night, though in smaller sized metropolitan areas and towns you’ll find them as low 23,048 COP ($7 USD) every night. You are able to sometimes locate them that lower in the large metropolitan areas however the facilities are usually pretty meh. Private hostel rooms start around 50,000 COP ($15.50 USD), though throughout the peak season as well as in major urban centers, you&#8217ll likely spend double that.

Budget hotels in Colombia start around 60,000 COP ($18 USD) every night. Around the coast as well as in our prime season, you&#8217ll find most places is going to be nearer to around 120,000 ($36 USD) every night. Should you&#8217re searching to remain at a few of the great boutique hotels the nation provides, you are very likely to pay for around 658,533 COP ($200 USD) or even more an evening.

Airbnb will come in the bigger metropolitan areas, with shared accommodation prices beginning around 35,000 COP ($11 USD) every night. For a whole home or apartment, prices start at 90,000 COP ($28 USD) but average nearer to 250,000 COP ($78 USD) every night.

Food &#8211 The majority of the local meals are around 10,000-15,000 COP ($3-5 USD) per meal. You will find a lot for approximately 5,000-10,000 ($1.50-3 USD) within the countryside. There are also lots of cheap food like empanadas for like 200-500 COP ($.06-.15 USD) (they get the best treats). An arepa in the pub is going to be about 3,000 COP ($.90 USD). Ceviche, that is popular through the country, is about 15,000 COP ($4.55 USD).

Most &#8220Western&#8221 food will definitely cost about 20,000-30,000 COP ($6-9 USD) each, or 15,000 COP ($4.55 USD) when you get junk food like McDonald’s or Subway. You’ll find some really costly food in the united states so prices go up from that. Beer in the bar are available for less than 2,500 COP ($.75 USD) but, typically, you&#8217re prone to pay double that the backpacker bar. Cocktails, that are becoming really popular here, cost around 20,000 COP ($6 USD).

Food shopping is extremely cheap, costing about 110,000 COP ($34 USD) each week if you are considering buying your personal groceries.

Transportation &#8211 Local transportation is affordable. The metro in Medellin is just around 2,500 COP ($.76 USD) for any one-way fare. Local buses are the most typical kind of transportation in towns and metropolitan areas. The fare is generally between 1,000-2,5000 COP ($.30-.80 USD).

Uber (a ridesharing service) is much less expensive than taxis and you may virtually get anywhere for approximately 16,463 COP ($5 USD). It can save you $15 off the first Uber ride with this particular code: jlx6v.

Intercity buses are the easiest method to circumvent Colombia. A bus from Bogota to Medellin will definitely cost around 65,000 COP ($20 USD) while a bus to Quito, Ecuador from Bogota will definitely cost around 175,000 COP ($54 USD). Medellin to Manizales is 42,000 COP ($12.75 USD) and Salento to Cali is all about 27,000 COP ($8.20 USD). Typically, you&#8217ll most likely spend 20,000-40,000 ($6-12 USD) for any bus, more should you&#8217re groing through 9 hrs.

The likes of Bolivariano, Expreso Palmira, and Trejos are good companies plus they allow it to be simple to research schedules and fares on their own websites.

Tours &#8211 Most tours cost around 30,000 COP ($9 USD) and many museums are 10,000 COP ($3 USD) or fewer.

I don&#8217t want to invest lots of money in Colombia. On the backpacker’s budget, you’ll most likely spend about 160,000 COP ($48 USD) each day. This really is presuming you’re remaining inside a hostel, eating local food, cooking some of your meals, and taking advantage of local transportation to obtain around. You’ll roughly spend around 60,000 COP ($18 USD) each day on hostels, 30,000-40,000 ($9-12 USD) on food, and 60,000 COP ($18 USD) on anything else. If you are planning to consume a great deal, do more tours, or consume a lot more Western food, I&#8217d most likely budget between 181,097-197,560 COP ($55-60 USD) each day.

On the mid-range budget of approximately 306,000 COP ($92 USD) each day, you really can afford a personal room in a hostel, Airbnb, or hotel eat anywhere you would like within reason (splurging every now and then) fly a few occasions, and take whatever tours you would like. You’re likely to spend around 99,000-132,000 COP ($30-40 USD) every night on lodging, 99,000 ($30 USD) on food, and 99,000 ($30 USD) on anything else.

Should you&#8217re going that you follow more luxury hotels, meals, drink more, or otherwise use any points, I&#8217d budget maybe 329,266 COP ($100 USD) approximately each day.

Next, heaven is usually the limit.

I discovered my trip a great among. Within the next section, I&#8217ll talk more on how to cut costs in Colombia but, overall, I didn&#8217t want for anything on my small trip. I ate cheap after i wanted, balanced my partying, cooked some food, used hotel points after i could, required public transit around I possibly could, and, just overall, attempted to balance the 2 budget types above.

How to save cash in Colombia

a street food vendor in Colombia selling fruit

Its not necessary to perform a lot to save cash in Colombia. It’s relatively cheap to go to, and there are plenty of excellent deals through the country.

Accommodation is affordable unless of course you’re remaining at major hotels chains. Hostels are cheap (particularly when you depart the large metropolitan areas) and there are plenty of effective value local hotels through the country. There’s a lot of markets with cheap food. Local attractions are cheap. Buses are cheap. Really, should you travel as the average Colombian lives, you will be challenged to invest a great deal.

Listed here are my 12 tips about how to cut costs in Colombia:

Eat like locals – It’s very easy to consume on a tight budget here should you stay with local Colombian food. There are also lots of cheap food like empanadas for like 200-500 COP ($.06-.15 USD) (they get the best treats). An arepa in the pub is going to be about 3,000 COP ($.90 USD). Ceviche, that is popular through the country, is about 15,000 COP ($4.55 USD). Within the countryside, you’ll find meals nearer to 10,000 COP ($3 USD)! In a nutshell: eat local, eat cheap. Sure, Colombian food isn’t the healthiest (it’s heavy on meat and fried food) but it’s filling and affordable.

Skip the cocktails – Colombia provides extensive awesome cocktail bars now — particularly in Medellín — however these drinks are costly, usually costing around 20,000 COP ($6 USD) (sometimes as much as 30,000 COP, or $9 USD). I am talking about, that’s crazy, particularly when beer can cost you around 4,000 COP ($1.25 USD). If you are on a tight budget, you need to certainly skip the cocktails and stay with beer.

Prepare the food – While local meals are really cheap, you may also reduce your cost by food shopping, although I did not find that it is a great value. It require me to pay 50,568 COP ($15 USD) for 3 times of food (plus, the hostels had terrible cooking facilities). Should you choose shop, I suggest getting breakfast food or snacks and consuming meals out. You receive more value for your money this way.

Steer clear of the hostels around the Caribbean coast – The hostels around the Caribbean coast were pretty lackluster. These were costly and didn’t have great facilities, particularly the bigger “resort” ones in beachside towns like Palomino. Rather, you’ll find affordable budget hotels on Booking.com for under a personal room and just slightly greater than a dorm bed.

Avoid Gringolands – Everything in which the gringos are is double the amount normal cost. Avoid remaining in areas with a lot of vacationers and expats, like Poblado in Medellín, Cartagena’s Old Town, or Park 93 in Bogotá, since you’ll finish up having to pay more for everything.

Couchsurf – Nothing’s less expensive than free. Couchsurfing connects you with locals who won’t provide you with a free destination but additionally function as a local tour guide and expose you to the awesome stuff only locals learn about around! You’ll discover the most hosts attending college towns and large metropolitan areas.

Fly Viva Air – If you are intending to fly around Colombia, the very best deals take presctiption Viva Air. Her least expensive fares in the united states (although it flies towards the least places). It’s better to book a couple of days ahead of time. (LAN and Avianca, the 2 major carriers, also provide deals sometimes.)

Use miles and points – You should use your miles on LAN (a part of Oneworld) and Avianca (a part of Star Alliance). There’s also lots of hotel chains for that can be used points. For those who have miles and/or points, you are able to burn through many of them in Colombia — and also the redemption rates work great too!

Steer clear of the air travel surcharge – Non-Colombians are billed greater ticket prices than locals. Should you consider the non-local form of the web site, you will not begin to see the super saver cheap fares. To obtain for this, stock up the neighborhood Spanish versions of the airlines’ websites. Then make use of your browser extension to translate the web pages and book away! You will see the cheaper, Colombian prices, with no you will challenge you at check-within your ticket fare.

Take Uber – Uber is definitely the least expensive method of getting around Bogotá, Cali, and Medellín. Sturdy 1/3 around taxis. (Note: Uber is really illegal, so don’t sit within the back seat or you will get stopped.) I additionally prefer to tip the Uber motorists here, because the fares are extremely cheap and they’re taking a chance. But all of the motorists I met did this from necessity — they couldn’t pay their bills whether it wasn’t for Uber.

Haggle with taxi motorists – There aren’t any meters in Colombia. While prices in the airports are controlled and non-negotiable, anything else is only a matter of your bargaining skills. If you are likely to take taxis, haggle before getting within the vehicle.

Take free walking tours – Most major and medium-sized metropolitan areas in Colombia have free walking tours. They are a way to determine the town on a tight budget and discover by asking your best guide questions. Here are a few of my top picks:

  • Free Walking Tour Cartagena
  • Free Walking Tour Bogota
  • Real City Tours Medellin


Colombia is a nice affordable country should you be careful about your paying for food and accommodation. Of all days, after i wasn’t eating fancy dinners, I discovered myself spending under 134,850 COP ($40 USD), particularly if I had been remaining in dorms. Costs are additionally a lot cheaper within the southern and eastern areas — I had been having to pay 25,000 COP ($7.50 USD) an evening in my own room in Popayan contributing to one fourth for empanadas!

In a nutshell, Colombia is simple to go to on a tight budget. Since you know just how much I really like the area, you will not be amazed that I suggest you book a visit (and check out a few of the scrumptious cuisine)!

Book Your Vacation to Colombia: Logistical Tips and Methods

Book Your Flight

Look for a cheap flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favorite search engines like google simply because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know nothing remains unturned.

Book The Resort

You are able to book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to stay somewhere apart from a hostel, use Booking.com because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and economical hotels. I personally use them constantly.

Don&#8217t Forget Travel Cover

Travel cover will safeguard you from illness, injuries, thievery, and cancellations. It&#8217s comprehensive protection in situation anything goes completely wrong. Irrrve never use a trip without them when i&#8217ve had for doing things many occasions previously. I&#8217ve used World Nomads for 10 years. My personal favorite firms that provide the best service and cost are:

  • World Nomads (for everybody below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for individuals over 70)

Searching to find the best companies to save cash with?

Take a look at my resource page to find the best companies to make use of whenever you travel! I list all of the ones I personally use to save cash after i travel &#8211 and i believe can help you too!

Searching for additional info on visiting Colombia?

Take a look at my in-depth destination help guide to Colombia with increased tips about things to see, do, costs, methods to save, and far, a lot more!

The publish Just How Much Will it Cost to visit Colombia? made an appearance first on Nomadic Matt&#039s Travel Site.

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