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Is Colombia Cheap? Trip to Colombia Cost

Is Colombia cheap to visit? If you plan to visit Colombia, you are probably wondering about the Colombia trip cost based on Colombia prices for travel, lodging, food, and more. Knowing what to expect regarding your budget is essential for several reasons:

1. You’ll know how much money to bring

2. You can avoid overpaying for things

In this post, I’m sharing everything about average Colombia prices, the cost of living in Bogota Colombia, and the best places to travel for cheap to keep your Colombia trip cost at a minimum. I’ve also created a Colombia travel budget for budget backpackers, mid-range travelers, and luxury vacationers!

Don’t forget to check out my other Colombia travel posts, including my Colombia itineraries and packing list. Need a Colombia backpacking itinerary? Click here to read mine.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

What Currency Does Colombia Use?

The peso (COP) is Colombia’s official currency—you may see Colombia prices listed with a dollar sign $ but don’t get confused and expect American prices! Are you wondering, “Is $100 a lot of money in Colombia?” The exchange rate varies, but the COP is typically worth 0.00026 United States dollars. This is a significant chunk of change and can go far in Colombia, especially considering the low cost of living in Bogota Colombia and other major cities.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Colombia ToursClick here to check out the top Colombia tours
Best Colombia Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Colombia
Best Colombia Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Colombia

Is Colombia Cheap?

Is Colombia cheap to visit? Yes! It’s one of the best cheap places to travel in Latin America. However, the cost of your trip to Colombia can quickly escalate if you don’t plan accordingly. It’s easy to see Colombia on a budget, but there are many places to spend money if you want fancy restaurants and luxury hotels.

Colombia Prices for a Night Out

The price of a night out in Colombia varies significantly depending on what you are doing and where you plan to go. Enjoying a few drinks at a tienda before hitting the bars and clubs is a Colombian tradition, along with buying beers to drink at home with friends. Most Colombian clubs have a $10,000 to $15,000 COP cover ($3.20 to $4.80 USD) that you must pay to enter.

Average Colombia Cost for Drinks

I usually go dancing (Salsa and Bachata) with friends and stick to beers or rum and Cokes, followed by a few water bottles. One beer from a Colombian tienda costs around $8,000 COP ($2 USD), though it will be more expensive at a nightclub or bar.

What I Spent On My Last Night Out in Colombia:

  • Tienda beer: $2,500 COP
  • Uber to the club: $7,000 COP
  • Water: $3,000 COP
  • Uber to next club: $7,000 COP
  • Cover for club: $10,000 COP
  • Rum and Coke and water: $23,000 COP
  • Total: $52,500 COP ($14 USD)

Colombia Cost of Food

Solo Travel | What I Learned Traveling Solo in Colombia as a Woman

Like the cost of alcohol, Colombia prices for food vary depending on where you shop or eat. For the best grocery shopping deals, stick to local markets, small tiendas, and street vendors. As a rule, only shop in the supermarket for things you can’t find anywhere else, as they can be pricey.

A quick note on the water in Colombia: In most Colombian places, you can drink water directly from the tap. Check with someone local first, but I know that Bogota, Cali, Medellin, and Salento have drinkable water. Save your money (and the planet) by investing in a good water bottle—if you are worried, get one of these filtered bottles.

You can also save money on your Colombia trip cost by cooking. When you break down the cost of living in Bogota Colombia, for instance, weekly groceries for one person are around $100,000 COP ($32 USD). Ensure your accommodations have a kitchen first!

Colombia Restaurant Prices

Salento Colombia restaurants not to miss:

The cost of a meal out in Colombia can vary drastically. Once, I paid almost $50,000 COP ($13 USD) for an arepa and some chicharron in a fancy place in Bogota. If I bought it on the street, I’d probably pay around $12,000 COP ($2.50 USD).

Those on a budget should eat like a local for breakfast with an arepa con queso (arepa with cheese) and find a good local place for a menu del dia, which typically costs between $8,000 to $15,000 COP ($2 to $4 USD). This normally includes soup, an arepa, meat or chicken, rice, a salad, and a drink. You will often get a small sweet or a piece of fruit. In the evening, I usually eat something small from a street cart for $5,000 COP ($1.30 USD).

Average Restaurant Prices:

Budget: $27,000 COP ($6 USD)

Mid-range: $60,000 COP ($14 USD)

Fancy: $90,000 COP ($22 USD)

Colombia Prices for Accommodations

bus to salento in Colombia

Accommodations are a significant part of your overall Colombia trip cost—lodging prices depend on your comfort standards and the season you travel. Expect to pay more during December, January, and Samana Santa, as these are peak times.

Average Lodging Prices:

Dorm room in a hostel: $154,500 COP ($38 USD)

Private room with ensuite in a budget hotel: $450,000 COP ($113 USD)

Upscale ensuite room in a nice hotel: $935,000 COP ($233 USD)

Airbnb is also popular in Colombia, but it can be expensive. It’s a great option if you are a digital nomad or plan to stay longterm. Read this before booking your Airbnb!

Read these guides to Medellin and Bogota for specific accommodation recommendations.

Colombia Cost of Activities

Colombia trekking Valle de Cocora

You must ensure your Colombia travel budget includes all the activities you want to do. To help you estimate your trip to Colombia cost, I’ve listed some of the country’s top activities and tours and their prices in US dollars:

Scuba Diving Colombia | Dive Spots You Can't Miss
San Andres, Colombia

There are many more things to see and do in Colombia that will cost money, but this gives you an idea of the typical Colombia cost of activities to help you budget accordingly.

Transportation Prices in Colombia

I’ve always found the transport cost in Colombia reasonable—I’ve paid more to get my nails done in Bogota than I have on travel between cities! I prefer to take the bus (usually overnight) as I like to leave things to the last minute, and flight costs are often inflated when you book the night before.

If you can book several days in advance, it can be budget-friendly to fly throughout Colombia. Remember to add in the cost of baggage, which can more than double your airfare if you have checked luggage.

Need Transportation in Colombia?

I highly recommend booking Colombia transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and flights on their website—I love their customer service. I know them personally from my time living in Guatemala, and they genuinely care for their customers. If a delay occurs and you miss your bus, call them for help.

If you book through GottoGo, you will pay more than at the bus station, but it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Colombia.

Colombia Travel Tips from Someone Who Actually Lived there

I’ve broken down the average Colombia transportation costs below. It’s also worth mentioning that if you book using Busbud, you will pay more for your ticket. Sometimes, you can haggle the price of your bus ticket down a little. The bus companies are eager for business, so don’t be afraid to try to get a cheaper ticket!

Bogota to Medellin
Bus: $132,500 COP ($33 USD)
Plane: $401,000 COP ($100 USD)

Medellin to Cali
Bus:128,000 COP to 192,000 COP ($32-48 USD)
Plane: 167,349 COP to 739,810 COP ($42-$180 USD)

Medellin to Cartagena
Bus: 47,000 COP to 78,000 COP ($12 – $20 USD)
Plane: 111,335 COP to 615,398 COP ($28 – $154 USD)

Taxis, Ubers, and buses are cheap ways to travel around Colombian cities. I have a detailed guide to public transportation in Medellin. Bogota is more complicated—I was almost robbed the one time I used the bus in Cali, so I stick with Ubers!

Quick Tip: View my full Colombia packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Colombia Essentials shopping list here.

Colombia Trip Cost for All Budgets

Backpacker Colombia Budget

Colombia is one of the best places to travel for cheap in Latin America. Colombia was made for budget travelers and backpackers!

Budget Breakdown

  • Accommodations: 30,000 – 50,000 ($9.60 – $16.00 USD)
  • Food: 35,000 – 50,000 COP ($11 – $16 USD)
  • Activities: 10,000 – 30,000 COP ($3.20 – $9.60 USD)
  • Total: 75,000 – 130,000 COP ($24 – $41 USD) per day

Mid-Range Colombia Budget

You can stay somewhere nicer on a mid-range budget—expect a private room and bathroom. This budget also allows for more eating out and more expensive activities.

Budget Breakdown

  • Accommodations: 60,000 – 100,000 COP ($19 – $32 USD)
  • Food: 50,000 – 80,000 COP: ($16 – $25 USD)
  • Activities: 20,000 – 50,000 COP ($6 – $16 USD)
  • Total: 130,000 – 230,000 COP ($41 – $73 USD) per day

Luxury Colombia Budget

With a luxury Colombia budget, you will stay in the best accommodations, go sightseeing with private Colombian tour guides, fly between cities, and do all the activities in style.

Budget Breakdown

  • Accommodations: 200,000+ COP ($64 + USD)
  • Food: 100,000+ COP ($32 + USD)
  • Activities: 50,000+ COP ($16 + USD)
  • Total: 350,000+ COP ($112+ USD) per day

Wondering where to stay? Check out these options!

Purple Monkey Hostel
Los Patios Hostel
Masaya Casas Viejas

Colombia Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Colombia?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Colombia which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Colombia on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Colombia?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Colombia?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Is Colombia Cheap? Final Thoughts

I hope this trip to Colombia cost breakdown has answered all your questions about “What currency does Colombia use?” and “Is $100 a lot of money in Colombia?” Colombia is one of the best cheap places to travel in Latin America! You now have a deeper understanding of average Colombia prices and how to budget for your trip.

Don’t forget to check out my other Colombia blog posts (I have many), pin this post for later, and share it on social media!

Also, please consider using my links to book your trip. Every time you book using my links, I get a small commission (at no cost to you). This is how I can keep this blog going and ensure I’m sharing the most updated information with you.

The Cost of Travel in Colombia on Any Budget


Monday 22nd of May 2023

heee great infos thank you,i will fly to medellin in around 2 weeks super excited. some friend recommended to me using this app, atm fee saver. it shows atm with low fees around you.. i will try it out :) maybe you heard about it already