Colombia Travel Cost Per Day: Full Breakdown (2024)

While in the process of deciding where to go anywhere in the world, there is always the most important question, how much do things cost?

I spent a quarter of a year travelling through Colombia and in this article, I am going to explain what costs to expect from Colombia.

Key Takeaways

  • Colombia, in general, is a cheap country for visitors from Europe and North America.
  • Prices can vary dramatically and hospitality in high-end tourist areas can still be expensive.
  • Budgets will vary on what kind of holiday you are planning to go on. For example, parts of Medellín are more expensive than rural Salento.
  • Travelling safely in Colombia can be accommodated for all types of budgets.

Estimated Total Cost for 1 Person

This table estimates the cost of travelling in Colombia for one person, but travelling as a couple so certain costs are halved (taxis, private room accommodation, etc).

The table can act as a rough guide to your travels as prices are likely to change on a variety of factors.

Some of these could be the area you are in, time of year or how far you book in advance.

High-end budget Medium budget Limited budget
Accommodation $60 / night $20 / night $11 / night
Food (3 meals per day) $15 / meal $10 / meal $6 / meal
  • 2 activities per day: $105
  • 1 activity per day: $50
  • Free activities
  • Taxi/Uber: $15 (4 rides)
  • Taxi/Uber: $7.50 (2 rides)
  • Metro/bus: $0.20 (2 rides)
  • Taxi/Uber: $7.50 (2 rides)
  • Metro/bus: $0.10 (1 ride)
Total for 1 week $1,230 $730 $233
Total per day $175.60 / day $104 / day $33 / day

Prices are in USD per person



Colombia, like the rest of the world when it comes to accommodation can vary massively when it comes from booking from one night to the next.

During my time in the country, there seemed to be no sure-fire way to ensure paying the cheapest price for accommodation.

Accommodation tips:

There’s several ways to go about paying for hostels and hotels in Colombia.

The most popular way is to book through third-party websites such as and Hostelworld.

These are great options if you want to get a good lay of the land and compare prices of accommodations from the areas you are going to.

However, and Hostelworld don’t always provide the cheapest prices and some of the best things to do can be to book directly with the hotel or hostel you are planning to visit or, if you’re more of a freer spirit, ask for a bed on arrival.

Again, this may still not be the best option as I have ended up paying more to extend my stay at a hostel reception than had I done so online. To save money, weigh up all your options and make a decision from there.

Reviews are always a solid basis for information and when booking be sure to give the reviews a quick read.

In the table below you can find an example of the costs from all different types of accommodations from Medellín, a top tourist destination in Colombia.

Medellín is one of Colombia’s more expensive destinations so please consider the prices a middle-high range of what to expect in the country. Just be aware, a cheap option is not always a safe option.

Another thing to consider if you are on a smaller budget and travelling with a companion is getting a private room in a hostel.

Private rooms can often be more cost efficient and you can get a better sleep.

The prices in this table are for total costs.

Accommodation Price (per night US$)
A bed in a dorm (cheapest) $5
A bed in a dorm (average) $13
A private hostel room (average) $37
Double room in hotel (cheapest) $12
Double room in hotel (average) $60
Double room in hotel (high-end) $110
Airbnb (mid-range) $56


Airbnb is a great option for travellers to Colombia.

The country has an abundance of availability of Airbnbs and with monthly discounts available, anyone planning on moving to digital nomad in Colombia should be thinking about finding accommodation on this platform.

Monthly discounts vary depending on the host but tend to be around 20%-25%.

However with many aspects of living in Colombia, just be careful to research the properties and areas you are thinking about going to by reviews and looking at google maps.

Area High-end budget Medium budget Limited budget
Medellín $34 $22 $16
Cartagena $93 $43 $8
Bogotá $37 $15 $10

Prices are in USD, per night per person.

Medellín remains expensive throughout the year due to the high amount of digital nomads, but prices in Cartagena can fluctuate due to seasonality.

The decision to Airbnb can also be bolstered by the access to a host. Having a host can be helpful to make the most out of your stay by providing local knowledge of the area you are visiting.



Many hostels and hotels provide cheap breakfast options that are worth doing to get your day started.

Hostels have breakfasts for as little as US$2 and hotels can provide a full spread of fresh fruit and cereal for reasonable prices.

In much of Colombia, you can buy fresh fruit from street sellers and panaderias are another cheap option, but the quality is not always high.

Juan Valdez is a Colombian version of Starbucks, and you can get a coffee and a bite to eat for around $4

Lunch and Dinner

In much of Colombia, there are restaurants that suit every budget.

In the big cities such as Medellín and Cartagena, there are some expensive options and prices can be as high as anywhere else in the world.

Venue Price (USD, per person)
High-end restaurant $30
Vegan restaurant $8.50
Medium-range $8.50
Limited budget $3.50
McDonalds/KFC Around $5

For smaller budgets, if you make the effort to get away from the beaten tourist tracks, there’s some great restaurants for a fraction of the price.

You can buy burgers from $2.80 and beers from $1.

The local food “menu of the day” (menu del dia) is often a cheap option too ($2).


Buying groceries and eating in restaurants in Colombia tends to be cheap.

Shopping malls tend to have high-end grocery stores such as Carulla where you can have access to international brands and imported goods.

However, if your budget is squeezed there are cheaper options available. In many areas, you can find ‘tiendas’. Tiendas are smaller independent shops, where there’s a more local feel and prices are cheaper.

If you are after a cultural shop, there are local markets to visit.

In Cartagena, I did a lot of shopping at the local market and it is certainly the cheapest option.

However, the main way of paying for goods is to haggle and this may be difficult for people who don’t speak Spanish.

Supermarket Price of milk Price of eggs Price of bread (a loaf)
D1 $1.17 for 900ml $4 for 30 $1
Ara $1.10 for 900ml $3.50 for 30 $1
Exito $0.80 for 900ml $3.50 for 30 $1.15
Carulla $1.26 for 900ml $4.90 for 30 $2.40

All prices are in USD

Activities and Tours

Colombia has a diverse range of tours and activities that can cater for every individual. For beach goers to adrenaline junkies, there is something for everyone.

As a general rule of thumb, activities are less expensive in Colombia than elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean they are cheap.

You can book in advance through tour operators but this tends to be the most expensive way. For example, in Colombia’s coffee region, you can turn up at a coffee farm and pay US$9 for a ticket, but online you may get charged US$87 which would also include transport.

Ultimately the price for activities and tours can depend on the length of your trip and if you are happy to try and figure things out when you arrive at a location.

Tour Price (USD)
Guatape and Piedra del Peñol tour $35
Rosario Island and beach tour $75
Guatavita and Salt Cathedral tour $76
Salento Coffee tour $10
4 day hike to the Lost City, Santa Marta $468

There are also ‘free’ activities available in Colombia. Guided walking and graffiti tours can show you around cities, like the ones on offer through Medellín’s Communa 13. However, a tip is expected at your discretion, but $5-10 is usually expected.


Transportation is cheap in Colombia.

Taxis are a cheap and efficient way of getting around, with Uber and Cabify being the standout options. For 20-minute journeys, trips are around US$5 and trouble-free.

Public transport is also another option and cheaper.

However, be aware that the quality of the public transport varies from city to city and in some places may not be a great option. Medellín has the standout metro in Colombia, but not everywhere is as well integrated.

Long distance bus journeys are also a solid way of travelling with comfy, air conditioned buses.

Trips can be relatively expensive as the cost to get from Cartagena to Medellín will cost around US$40-$50 and is safe.

My advice is to get a taxi from your accommodation to the bus station and book a taxi to your accommodation when you arrive at the next destination.

Here’s a rough guide to cost of transport within Colombia:

Trip Price (USD)
Medellín- Salento bus $15
Medellín- Bogotá flight $33 (without cabin storage)
Cartagena- Bogotá flight $45 (without cabin storage)
7 days car rental in Salento $140

Walking within cities is of course free and can be a good way to see the city but I don’t recommend it, especially alone.

Research the areas you are visiting and try to stay away from exploring at dark.

My Tips

  • For travellers who are concerned about their budget the most, it is a good idea to stick to a defined plan so you can budget accordingly.
  • For smaller wallets, look for accommodations with kitchens so you can prepare your own food.
  • If you have a bigger budget, there is no need to rush into booking. Colombia is a country where a lot of opportunities are not yet online, so there may be options that you may prefer, but not be aware of yet. Not having anything booked allows a level of freedom and flexibility.


Should you come with US dollars in Colombia?

It is not necessary to bring US dollars to Colombia, but it’s a good idea to have US dollars in case of an emergency.

How much cash should you bring to Colombia?

For an individual, US$150 worth of Colombian Pesos is a good amount to bring to the country.

Card payments are available at accommodations so cash is great for taxis and restaurants.

To bring more could be a safety risk and Colombia has plenty of ATMs to withdraw money from.

Is Colombia cheap to visit?

Yes, Colombia is a cheap country to visit with the cost of living significantly less than North America and Europe.

Is Colombia cheaper than Mexico?

Overall, Colombia is approximately 30% less expensive compared to Mexico.

Is US$50 a lot in Colombia?

US$50 is a lot for a backpacker in Colombia and could keep you going for a couple of days.

However, if you chose to have a more expansive budget, you could go through US$50 in a day.


Overall, Colombia is a cheap country and can provide great value for money.

The situation surrounding money is relatively smooth and shouldn’t be a roadblock when thinking about travelling to the country.

Leave a Comment