You have been seduced by the passionate stories about Colombia, the pictures of beaches or forest, and the blog posts that talk about this beautiful country. But, you have a vacation budget not to exceed. Moreover, you want to have more details about the prices that can be found for food, transport or accommodation. We will help you to see more clearly with this small summary on the costs during your stay.
Let’s start at the beginning with the currency used in Colombia: the Colombian peso (COP). At the moment, 1 euro is worth about 3 500 pesos. So you’ll feel like you’re really rich when you go to the ticket counter with all those zeros.
Besides, it will not be just an impression. Your purchasing power will be much higher here than in Europe, since the cost of living in general is much lower.
Meal budget in Colombia
Depending on where you are, prices vary a bit, but overall, you will pay between 2 and 3 times cheaper than in Europe for food.
For example, in Bogota, count a dozen euros to eat a typical dish with a drink in a neighborhood restaurant. In a more upscale establishment, with less than 30 euros you will have an appetizer, a refined dish and a dessert.
At the Caribbean side, for a few euros budget you can enjoy ceviches by the sea. For instance, gourmet restaurants also offer prestigious menus, but still at affordable prices, between 50 and 60 euros for exceptional meals with wine.
In small villages inland, don’t expect culinary marvels. But, the dishes have the merit of being hearty and cheap in general. If you prefer to cook yourself, or buy prepared dishes in the markets, the food expenses will be limited to a few euros a day, which is quite reasonable.
You will be pleasantly surprised by the prices charged in Colombia. Travelers who like simplicity will find hostels with rates ranging from 10 to 20 euros a night all over the country.
For a 3-star hotel, it is possible to have prices less than 70 euros for a double room with breakfast in the big cities. Same thing for the apart-hotels, where we find all the necessary equipment to cook and spend a stay in complete independence.
Given the prices, it can be an opportunity for you to try a 5-star hotel just once. For less than 100 euros, you can take yourself for a celebrity the time of an evening. After all, you’re on vacation, right?
Regarding transport, several aspects are to be considered.
- Plane tickets to reach Colombia, which are relatively expensive. For example, for a round trip between Paris and Bogota, count between 700 and 1200 euros depending on the period and the company.
- The internal flights are quite inexpensive (between 20 and 50 euros depending on the destination). It’s sometimes better to fly than to move by bus in the country. But if you have a bad conscience to pollute the sky, the public transport, and especially the bus, are very developed in Colombia. For example, for a trip Bogota-Cartagena, it will cost you 20 euros for 24 hours of bus.
- In the cities, bus tickets are quite cheap, around 50 cents. For those who prefer the taxi, know that the race is more or less 1 euro per kilometer. Private drivers, Uber type, usually take a little less than that.
Overall, it doesn’t cost much to move around in Colombia, if we compare with France. The main item of expenditure is obviously the plane ticket to come and go.
Where the bill can quickly get heavier is by doing activities. When we visit a country as far away as Colombia, we think we may never come back, and we want to do everything.
Only in recent years tourism has really experienced an exceptional growth here. The inhabitants try to supplement their meager salary by proposing prices not always justified for the attractions.
For example, the trip to the Totumo volcano with mud bath in the crater is rather expensive for what you get. If you want to avoid costs, try to take public transport as much as you can to visit interesting sites. The entrance of the natural parks can sometimes be paid more than 20 euros per person. So, you have to budget accordingly.
However, it would be a shame to deprive oneself of the natural beauties of Colombia, under the pretext that prices are sometimes a bit high. See this as a financial contribution to the preservation of the environment and the development of local communities.
Therefore we recommend the following :
- Spend as much as possible with local guides
- Choose your excursions with people involved in the lives of the inhabitants.
The price you pay will make more sense, and everyone will be a winner.
Colombia is a country that enjoys a very good quality / price ratio in South America. Moreover, rates are significantly lower than in Europe in almost all areas, but the quality of accommodation, meals and activities comes up to the expectations.
Once paid for airline tickets, you can spend a pretty cheap holiday, and make you happy with a bit of luxury if the desire takes you. Feel free to invest in activities that benefit local communities, and make sense.
In conclusion, remember that your purchasing power in Colombia is much higher than that of locals, who often cannot afford to travel to another continent. So you only have to define precisely the budget of your holidays according to the duration of your trip and your desires. And above all, have fun!