If you are looking for a budget destination for a trip, Colombia fits the bill. Colombia may be one of the cheapest countries we’ve traveled to but that doesn’t mean you won’t love every second. There are such varied landscapes, available activities, and entertainment along with a rich culture it definitely packs a punch!
How much does it cost to travel to Colombia?
Over the course of approx 30 days, spent will be of $2,908.50 USD, or $78.60 per day. Here’s how that breaks down:
- Accommodation – 3,690,531 COP ($1122.10 USD)
- Food – 3,231,903 COP ($982.66 USD)
- Drinks (Starbucks, water, tea, etc.) – 183,488 COP ($55.78 USD)
- Alcoholic drinks – 691,170 COP ($210.15 USD)
- Taxis – 386,000 COP ($117.36 USD)
- Public transportation – 37,000 COP ($11.25 USD)
- Intercity buses – 238,200 COP ($72.42 USD)
- Uber – 518,447 COP ($157.63 USD)
- Walking/day tours- 541,500 COP ($164.64 USD)
- Miscellany (Band-Aids, soap, etc.) – 47,650 COP ($14.48 USD)
The more you move around, the higher the budget climbs. If you need to cut costs, consider visiting fewer destinations.
This budget breakdown for Colombia does not include our international flights. These will obviously vary widely depending on your origin and so need to be determined by you alone. We highly recommend Google Flights to find the best prices.
COP354,980 (approx. $114.38 USD) – VivaColombia flight from Medellin to Santa Marta.
- $42.53 USD – Bolivariano bus from Bogota to Salento
- COP94,000 (approx. $30.29 USD) – Bus from Salento to Medellin
- COP84,000 (approx. $27.07 USD) – Mirasol bus from Santa Marta to Cartagena
- COP40,000 (approx. $12.89 USD) – taxi from Bogota airport to la Candelaria
- COP70,000 (approx. $22.55 USD) – taxi from Medellin to Jose Maria Cordova airport
- The total cost for our trip to Colombia was $1482.57 USD.
- $41.18 USD per person per day.
Most hostel dorm rooms in Colombia cost between ($9-14 USD) per night. While you can find them for as little as 23,048 COP ($7 USD) in smaller cities and towns. In the big cities, you can sometimes find them for that low. But the facilities are usually rather mediocre. Private hostel rooms start at roughly ($15.50 USD), though expect to pay twice as much during peak season. Colombian budget hotels start at roughly 60,000 COP ($18 USD) per night. On the seaside and during peak season, most accommodations will cost around 120,000 ($36 USD) per night.
Food and Drinks
The majority of the native cuisine costs between 10,000 and 15,000 COP ($3-5 USD) per dinner. In the countryside, you can find a lot for roughly 5,000-10,000 ($1.50-3 USD). There is also a lot of affordable food available, such as empanadas, for ($0.06-0.15 USD) (they make the best snack food). On the street, one arepa will cost around 3,000 COP ($0.90 USD). Ceviche costs roughly 15,000 COP ($4.55 USD) and is popular throughout the country.
Most “Western” meals will set you back between $6 to 9 USD per person. Or 15,000 $4.55 USD if you order fast food from McDonald’s or Subway. Food in the nation can be quite expensive, so prices only rise from there.
Beer at the bar can cost as cheap as 2,500 COP ($0.75 USD), but you’ll almost certainly pay twice that at a backpacker bar. Cocktails cost roughly 20,000 COP ($6 USD) and are becoming increasingly popular in Colombia.
Local transportation is reasonably priced. A one-way metro ticket in Medellin costs roughly 2,500 COP ($0.76 USD). In towns and cities, local buses are the most frequent kind of transportation. The fare ranges from 1,000 to 2,5000 COP ($0.30-0.80 USD).
Uber is less expensive than taxis, and you can get it almost everywhere for roughly $5 USD.
Colombia’s best mode of transportation is intercity buses. A bus from Bogotá to Medellin costs approximately $20 USD. While a bus from Bogota to Quito, Ecuador costs approximately 175,000 COP ($54 USD). It costs 42,000 COP ($12.75 USD) to travel from Medellin to Manizales, and 27,000 COP ($8.20 USD) to travel from Salento to Cali.
Typical tour prices for Colombia
How much do tours to Colombia cost? Multi-day tours can often be an efficient way to see the highlights of a country or region.
Contiki tours for 18-35-year-olds
G AdventuresAdventure and cultural tours
IntrepidSmall group tours for everyone
#Tips to Save Your Money
Here are some money-saving suggestions for Colombia:
Eat like a local – Sticking to traditional Colombian cuisine will keep you on a budget. There is also a lot of affordable food available, such as empanadas, for$0.06-0.15 USD. On the street, one arepa will cost around 3,000 COP ($0.90 USD). In a nutshell, eat local and eat cheap. Colombian cuisine isn’t the healthiest, but it’s filling and affordable.
Negotiate with taxi drivers
Colombia has no meters. While airport costs are already set and cannot be changed. But everything else is up to you and your negotiation skills. If you’re taking a cab, bargain before getting in the car.
Colombia now boasts a slew of great cocktail bars, especially in Medelln. But these drinks are pricey, costing around 20,000 COP ($6 USD) on average (and up to 30,000 COP, or $9 USD on rare occasions). That’s insane, especially when a drink costs roughly 4,000 COP ($1.25 USD). If you’re on a tight budget, avoid the cocktails and stick to beer instead.
Fly Viva Air
If you want to travel around Colombia, Viva Air has the greatest offers. It offers the most affordable airfares in the country (though it flies to the fewest places). It’s better to make a reservation a few weeks ahead of time. (LAN and Avianca, two significant carriers, occasionally have deals as well.)