Are you planning a trip to Colombia and not sure what it’s going to cost you?
We recently spent one month traveling through Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Santa Marta and Palomino and would go back in a heartbeat….
Soo, I think you’re going to like it too!
Now that we’re back I thought it would be helpful to put together a Colombia cost guide for you so you can have more of an idea about how much to save.
Note: This cost breakdown isn’t particularly for budget or luxury travelers.
We balanced our one month trip so that we could save money when we were in the ‘backpacker spirit’ and enjoy more comfort when we needed it.
So to give you a proper idea of how much it costs to travel in Colombia for one month, this report is for a ‘mid-range traveler’ or digital nomad.
Cost Breakdown: How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Colombia For One Month?
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As were were in Brazil before Colombia we were able to book some fairly low priced tickets.
If you are flying from the US I know that sometimes they have some really good flight deals going as well.
You can check here for flight deals to Colombia.
In terms of domestic flights, there is a low cost airline in Colombia called Viva Colombia but we were still able to find cheaper tickets with Latam.
The Breakdown of Flights
International flights: $375 USD pp
- Curitiba, Brazil -> Bogotá, Colombia
- Cartagena, Colombia -> Curitiba, Brazil
Domestic flights: $110 USD pp
- Medellín -> Cartagena
Flight Total: $485 USD per person
Of course, when you travel abroad, the accommodation is always one of the most expensive parts.
You can definitely find cheaper accommodation than this is you are a backpacker or budget traveler but you will be staying in hostels.
There’s always the option to Couchsurf too which would significantly reduce your accommodation expenses.
If you prefer luxury travel, Colombia can cater to this as well, with hotels ranging from as little as $30 per night up to at least $1,000.
Also, if you are a digital nomad and plan to stay in each city longer, you can find monthly Airbnb rentals which would reduce your accommodation expenses.
The Breakdown of Accommodation
Booking.com: $483 / double room
- 2 nights at Hotel Du Parc Royal, Medellín: $240
- 2 nights at La Casa Del Piano Hotel Boutique, Santa Marta: $140
- 2 nights at TRIBE Guesthouse, Palomino: $103
Airbnb: $592 / double room
- 1 night private room in Bogotá: $21
- 5 nights private room, El Poblado, Medellín: $132
- 9 nights private room, El Poblado, Medellín: $285
- 4 nights private room, Laureles, Medellín: $82
- 4 nights private room, Cartagena: $72
Hostelworld: $75 per person
- 3 nights dorm at Hostal Casa Escallon, Cartagena: $51 (This was a guesthouse)
- 1 night dorm at La Villana Hostel, Santa Marta: $11
- 1 night dorm at Mi Llave Hostels, Cartagena: $13
Accommodation Total: $1,150 / double room (except hostels)
If you travel with another person the price of Airbnb’s and hotels can be split in half, making it around $240 each for hotels and $295 each for Airbnb’s.
Often, because it was so hot while we were traveling in Colombia, we would usually eat 2 big meals per day and then a small snack in between.
We did eat out a lot… In fact, everyday.
Some days we might have had eggs from the supermarket in the morning, then gone for a coffee, had a local lunch and then gone out for a nice dinner at night.
Other times we might have had fruit or eggs for breakfast, gone out for coffee, then had a snack or two during the day and a cheap dinner at night.
It really depended on what we felt like doing…
Sometimes we were so tired at night that we’d skip dinner altogether.
Also, sometimes breakfast was included in our room price.
Below I’ve broken down the average amount that we spent on food.
It’s pretty fair to say that wherever we travel, we always spend huge amounts of money on food!
Also, because we are digital nomads and work while we travel, we tend to spend a lot of time in cafés, hence the large coffee bill.
The Breakdown of Food
Eating out (restaurants): $180 – $270 per person
- 18 X $10 to $15 per meal
Eating out (local food): $20 – $60 per person
- 10 X $2 to $6 per meal
Eating out (fast food): $30 – $60 per person
- 6 X $5 to $10 per meal
Eating/drinking out (cafés): $80 – $160 per person
- 20 X $4 to $8 per meal
- Note: This price is for coffee & cake or coffee & lunch
Street Food: $20 – $30 per person
Supermarket (snacks): $20 – $30 per person
Food Total: $350 – $600 per person
Yes, there is a big difference here and that’s because this amount can really vary depending on how much you like to eat, how often you like to eat, which types of restaurants you prefer, etc.
I’m sure you can gauge this based on your eating habits at home.
During our time in Colombia we mainly used Uber to get around within each city and went via bus to other cities.
Uber was the cheapest option for getting around (other than catching local public transport) and it was the most comfortable.
The only times we used the taxi service in Colombia were:
a) When we arrived at the airport in Bogotá and didn’t have internet to book an Uber
b) When we were in Cartagena, as taxi’s seemed more available than Uber
To get from Bogotá to Medellín we used a ‘deluxe’ travel bus service called Bolivariano.
From Cartagena to Santa Marta we went with a mini-bus company called Marsol.
From Santa Marta to Palomino we took the local bus which runs past Tayrona National Park (you can catch this from the Central Market in Santa Marta).
And from Palomino back to Cartagena (where we flew out of) we went via Marsol again.
The Breakdown of Transport
Buses: $62.50 per person
- Bogotá -> Medellín = $20 per person
- Cartagena -> Santa Marta = $14 per person
- Santa Marta -> Palomino = $3.50 per person
- Palomino -> Cartagena = $25 per person
Ubers: $45 – $105 for up to 4 people
- 15 trips x $3 to $7
- 1 trip to the airport (1 hour away) = $28
Taxis: $12.50 – $20 for up to 4 people
- 5 trips X $2.50 to $4 each
Transport Total: $120 to $190 per person (solo travel)
This price will be less if you travel with someone else or within a group because you can split Uber and Taxi costs between up to 4 people.
Now we couldn’t go all the way to Colombia and not have some fun!
During our month traveling through Colombia we tried to do at least one fun thing in each place (not that traveling in and of itself isn’t fun).
We used Santa Marta as a place to relax and get some work done in the comfort of an air-conditioned hotel, so what fun activities we lacked in Santa Marta, we made up for in Medellín and Cartagena.
The Breakdown of Activities and Tours
- Cable car up to Monserrate, Bogotá: $5
- Paragliding, Medellín: $49.50 (inc. transport)
- Parque Explora, Medellín: $10
- Playa Blanca Tour, Cartagena: $22 (inc. transport & lunch)
- Cinema, Cartagena: $6
- Tubing, Palomino: $12 (inc. transport)
Activities Total: $105 per person
This section applies to all ‘other’ expenses when you’re working out the cost to travel in Colombia.
Again, if you are traveling on a budget, you might not worry about haircuts or sim cards or even getting your laundry done (I know, a shower can do the job too!)
These are just a few of the costs we came across during our one month trip to Colombia.
The Breakdown of Miscellaneous Expenses
- Toiletries: $10 pp
- Laundry: $15 pp
- Sim card:$2
- Phone credit: $15
- Mens haircut: $5
- ATM fees: $30
- Donation: $18
Miscellaneous Total: $95 per person
So, How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Colombia For One Month?
The Total Cost (Mid-Range Budget)
Food: $350 – $600
Transport: $120 – $190
Total: $2,382 – $2,625
Now before you start getting worried, it’s important to understand that we did not do this trip on a backpackers budget.
We did stay in hotels sometimes and we spent far more time in Airbnb’s than hostels.
Also, Uber was our preferred method of transport, not public transport and we ate out a lot.
If you are on a backpacker’s budget, you can travel in Colombia for much less than this.
The other point is, if you are traveling with someone, a lot of these costs can be divided, such as accommodation and transport.
Straight away, you can cut this total amount in half.
The cost to travel in Colombia can vary greatly depending on your travel style but I hope this guide has helped you to gain perspective and start working out how much you need to save.
I wish you all the best on your journey!
Now it’s over to you! Leave your answers below…
- Are you still left wondering, how much does it cost to travel in Colombia? Have some questions? Ask away and I’ll do my best to help you out!
- Have you already traveled in Colombia on a mid-range budget? What were your total expenses for the month?