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What Do Things Cost In Colombia?


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Ashia Derry



Colombia, located in the northwestern part of South America, is a country known for its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. From the bustling metropolis of Bogota to the picturesque colonial town of Cartagena, Colombia offers a myriad of attractions for both locals and tourists alike.


In recent years, Colombia has gained popularity as a top travel destination due to its affordability. Whether you’re planning a short visit or considering a longer stay, it’s essential to understand the cost of living in Colombia.


In this article, we will delve into various aspects of daily expenses in Colombia. From food and dining to transportation and accommodation, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview to help you understand what things cost in this vibrant country.


It’s important to note that prices can vary depending on the city or region you are in. Major cities like Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena may have higher living costs compared to smaller towns. However, even in the big cities, you’ll find that Colombia offers excellent value for money.


Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or looking to relocate and make Colombia your home, this guide will give you a good understanding of the average costs you can expect to encounter.


Food and Dining

Colombian cuisine is a delightful fusion of indigenous, European, and African influences. From hearty stews to delectable street food, there is something to satisfy every palate. When it comes to dining out, Colombia offers a wide range of options, from budget-friendly eateries to high-end restaurants.


If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll be pleased to know that eating out in Colombia can be very affordable. A typical meal at a local restaurant, known as a “menu del día,” includes a soup, a main course, a side dish, and a non-alcoholic beverage, and costs around 10,000 to 20,000 Colombian Pesos (roughly $2.50 to $5 USD). Street food, such as arepas (stuffed cornbread), empanadas (fried pastries filled with meat or cheese), and chorizos, is even cheaper, usually ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 Colombian Pesos (less than $1 to $2 USD).


If you prefer a more upscale dining experience, you’ll find plenty of international restaurants and trendy cafes in major cities. Prices in these establishments can be higher, with a meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around 25,000 to 50,000 Colombian Pesos ($6 to $13 USD) per person. High-end restaurants can be pricier, ranging from 70,000 to 150,000 Colombian Pesos ($18 to $40 USD) per person, excluding drinks.


For those who enjoy cooking at home, grocery shopping in Colombia is relatively inexpensive. Basic food items like rice, beans, vegetables, and fruits can be purchased at local markets or supermarkets for reasonable prices. On average, a weekly grocery bill for a single person can range from 80,000 to 150,000 Colombian Pesos ($20 to $40 USD), depending on your dietary preferences and eating habits.


When it comes to beverages, Colombia is famous for its coffee production. You can indulge in a cup of rich and flavorful Colombian coffee at a local cafe for around 3,000 to 10,000 Colombian Pesos (less than $1 to $3 USD). If you prefer alcoholic beverages, a domestic beer at a restaurant or bar can cost between 5,000 and 10,000 Colombian Pesos (around $1 to $3 USD), while a cocktail may range from 15,000 to 30,000 Colombian Pesos ($4 to $8 USD).


Overall, dining in Colombia offers a range of options for every budget. Whether you choose to savor traditional Colombian dishes at local eateries or explore international cuisines in upscale restaurants, you’ll find that food in Colombia is not only delicious but also affordable.



When it comes to finding accommodation in Colombia, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From budget hostels to luxury hotels, there is an array of options to suit different preferences and budgets.


If you’re a budget traveler or looking for a more social experience, hostels are a popular choice. Prices for dormitory-style accommodation in hostels range from 25,000 to 50,000 Colombian Pesos ($6 to $13 USD) per night, depending on the location and facilities offered. Private rooms in hostels typically cost between 60,000 and 150,000 Colombian Pesos ($16 to $40 USD) per night.


If you prefer more privacy and comfort, guesthouses and budget hotels are great options. Prices for a standard room in these establishments range from 70,000 to 150,000 Colombian Pesos ($18 to $40 USD) per night, with prices varying depending on location and amenities.


For those seeking a higher level of luxury and comfort, Colombia also boasts luxury hotels and resorts. Prices for a night in a high-end hotel can range from 300,000 to 700,000 Colombian Pesos ($80 to $190 USD) or more, depending on the location and level of luxury.


If you’re planning an extended stay in Colombia, renting an apartment or house can be a cost-effective option. Prices for long-term rentals vary depending on the city and neighborhood, with major cities like Bogota and Medellin generally commanding higher rental prices compared to smaller towns. On average, monthly rental costs for a one-bedroom apartment can range from 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 Colombian Pesos ($270 to $675 USD) per month.


It’s worth noting that prices for accommodation in popular tourist destinations such as Cartagena or Santa Marta may be higher, especially during the peak travel season. Booking in advance or considering alternative accommodation options like Airbnb can help you find the best deals.


Overall, Colombia offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly hostel or a luxurious hotel, you’ll have no trouble finding a comfortable place to stay during your time in Colombia.



Getting around in Colombia is relatively easy and affordable, thanks to its well-developed transportation system. Whether you’re traveling within cities or exploring different regions, you’ll have multiple options to choose from.


One of the most popular and cost-effective ways to travel around Colombia is by bus. The country has an extensive network of bus routes that connect cities, towns, and villages. Prices for bus tickets vary depending on the distance and the level of comfort provided. In general, local bus fares within cities range from 1,500 to 3,000 Colombian Pesos (less than $1 USD). For longer distances, intercity bus tickets can range from 20,000 to 80,000 Colombian Pesos ($5 to $20 USD) or more, depending on the destination and the type of bus.


For those seeking a faster and more comfortable mode of transportation, domestic flights are also an option. Colombia has several domestic airlines that operate flights to major cities and popular tourist destinations. Prices for domestic flights can vary significantly depending on the distance and the time of booking. On average, a one-way domestic flight can cost anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 Colombian Pesos ($25 to $130 USD) or more.


In major cities, taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are widely available. Taxis in Colombia operate on a metered system, and fares can vary depending on the distance and the time of the day. Ride-sharing services are often cheaper and more convenient, with prices usually calculated based on distance and time.


If you prefer to have more flexibility and independence, renting a car is an option worth considering. Rental prices for cars in Colombia vary depending on the type of vehicle, the rental duration, and the rental company. On average, daily rental costs can range from 100,000 to 300,000 Colombian Pesos ($25 to $80 USD). However, it’s important to note that traffic conditions in cities like Bogota can be congested, and parking can be a challenge.


Overall, transportation in Colombia is affordable and convenient. Whether you choose to travel by bus, plane, taxi, or rental car, you’ll find options to suit your budget and travel preferences.


Entertainment and Activities

When it comes to entertainment and activities, Colombia offers a diverse range of options that cater to every interest and budget. From cultural attractions to outdoor adventures, there are plenty of experiences to enjoy during your time in the country.


Colombia is known for its vibrant music and dance scene. Whether you’re interested in salsa, cumbia, or vallenato, you can immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of Colombian music by attending live performances or dance classes. Prices for dance classes vary depending on the location and duration, starting from around 20,000 to 50,000 Colombian Pesos ($5 to $13 USD) per class. If you prefer to watch professional performances, tickets to music and dance shows can range from 40,000 to 150,000 Colombian Pesos ($10 to $40 USD).


For nature enthusiasts, Colombia offers stunning landscapes and outdoor activities. From hiking through lush rainforests to exploring the diverse ecosystems of national parks, there are countless opportunities to connect with nature. Entrance fees to national parks in Colombia vary, ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 Colombian Pesos ($1 to $8 USD) per person. Guided tours and activities like zip-lining or horseback riding may have additional costs.


Colombia also has a rich cultural heritage, and there are numerous museums, historical sites, and art galleries to explore. Entrance fees to museums typically range from 5,000 to 20,000 Colombian Pesos ($1 to $5 USD), depending on the museum and any temporary exhibitions. Some attractions offer discounted admission for students or seniors, so it’s worth checking for any available discounts.


If you’re a sports enthusiast, you can catch a football match and experience the passion of Colombian fans. Ticket prices vary depending on the teams playing and the venue, ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 Colombian Pesos ($5 to $26 USD) for regular matches. Major events or matches between popular teams may have higher ticket prices.


Colombia is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with cities like Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena offering a thriving club and bar scene. Prices for drinks at bars and clubs can range from 15,000 to 40,000 Colombian Pesos ($4 to $10 USD), depending on the establishment and the type of drink.


Overall, Colombia offers a wide range of entertainment and activities to suit different interests and budgets. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local music and dance scene, explore the natural beauty of the country, or indulge in cultural experiences, you’ll find plenty of options to make your time in Colombia memorable.



Colombia is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide variety of unique goods and traditional crafts. From colorful textiles and hand-woven hammocks to exquisite emeralds and coffee, there’s something to suit every taste and budget.


When it comes to shopping for souvenirs and local craftsmanship, markets and artisanal shops are the best places to explore. Popular markets like Paloquemao Market in Bogota and Bazurto Market in Cartagena offer a vast selection of fresh produce, traditional handicrafts, and clothing. Prices for souvenirs and crafts can vary depending on the item and the skill of the artisan. Bargaining is common in markets, so don’t hesitate to negotiate for a better price.


Colombia is famous for its emeralds, and you’ll find numerous jewelry stores specializing in these precious gemstones. Prices for emeralds can range from affordable to high-end, depending on the quality and size of the stone. It’s advisable to purchase emeralds from reputable stores and to ask for a certificate of authenticity.


If you’re a fashion enthusiast, Colombia has a thriving local fashion industry and is known for its high-quality leather goods and textiles. Shopping malls and boutiques in major cities offer a wide selection of local and international brands. Prices for clothing and accessories vary, with affordable options available in fast-fashion stores and higher-end brands in upscale boutiques.


Colombia is also renowned for its coffee production, and buying coffee as a souvenir is a popular choice for many visitors. Coffee beans and ground coffee can be found in grocery stores, specialty coffee shops, and even in souvenir shops. Prices for coffee vary depending on the brand and quality, but you can expect to pay around 10,000 to 30,000 Colombian Pesos ($2.50 to $8 USD) for a bag of high-quality coffee.


It’s important to note that Colombia has restrictions on the export of cultural artifacts and natural resources, such as certain plants and wildlife products. It’s advisable to check the regulations before purchasing any items that may be subject to export restrictions.


Overall, shopping in Colombia offers a wide range of options for both budget-conscious buyers and those looking for high-quality locally made products. Whether you’re looking for unique handicrafts, exquisite jewelry, fashionable clothing, or gourmet coffee, you’ll find a wealth of shopping opportunities to explore during your time in Colombia.



When it comes to healthcare, Colombia has made significant advancements in recent years and offers quality medical services to both residents and visitors. The country has a mix of public and private healthcare facilities, providing a range of options depending on your needs and budget.


The public healthcare system in Colombia, known as the Sistema General de Seguridad Social en Salud (SGSSS), provides coverage to Colombian citizens and residents. It is funded through contributions from both employers and employees. Under the public system, individuals are assigned to a specific healthcare provider based on their location of residence. While the public healthcare system aims to provide affordable and accessible care, waiting times for non-emergency procedures can be long.


Private healthcare in Colombia is renowned for its quality and efficiency. Private hospitals and clinics offer a higher level of comfort and personalized care, with shorter waiting times for appointments and procedures. The cost of private healthcare varies depending on the services and facilities provided. It is important to have international health insurance that covers medical expenses while traveling or living in Colombia.


Pharmacies are readily available throughout Colombia, and you can find both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Prescription medications are dispensed upon presenting a doctor’s prescription. While the cost of medications can vary, they are generally more affordable compared to many other countries.


It’s advisable to have travel insurance that includes medical coverage when visiting Colombia. This will provide financial protection in case of any unforeseen medical emergencies or accidents. It’s also important to check if your insurance covers medical evacuation, as Colombia has regions with limited healthcare infrastructure.


It’s worth noting that the quality of healthcare facilities can vary between urban and rural areas. Major cities like Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena have well-equipped hospitals and clinics with English-speaking medical professionals. However, in more remote or rural areas, the availability of specialized medical services may be limited.


In case of emergency, the general emergency number in Colombia is 123. This will connect you to the local emergency services, who can assist with ambulance services or direct you to the nearest healthcare facility.


Overall, healthcare in Colombia offers a mix of public and private options, with private healthcare known for its quality and efficiency. It’s important to have proper insurance coverage and to be aware of the healthcare facilities available in the area you’re visiting or residing in.



When it comes to utilities, Colombia offers reliable services to ensure comfort and convenience in daily life. Utilities in Colombia typically include electricity, water, gas, and internet services.


Electricity is widely available throughout the country, and the voltage is typically 110-120 volts. The cost of electricity varies depending on usage and location. On average, monthly electricity bills for a small apartment can range from 60,000 to 150,000 Colombian Pesos ($16 to $40 USD).


Water services in Colombia are generally reliable and accessible. The cost of water varies depending on the region and usage. In major cities, water bills for a small apartment can range from 20,000 to 50,000 Colombian Pesos ($5 to $13 USD) per month.


Gas services in Colombia are predominantly used for cooking and heating purposes. Natural gas is the most common type of gas used, and it is widely available in urban areas. Gas is typically supplied through a network of pipelines, and the cost is calculated based on usage. Monthly gas bills for a small apartment can range from 20,000 to 50,000 Colombian Pesos ($5 to $13 USD).


Internet services in Colombia are well-developed, and there are multiple providers offering a range of plans to suit different needs. The cost of internet services depends on the speed and data allowance. On average, monthly internet bills can range from 70,000 to 150,000 Colombian Pesos ($18 to $40 USD).


It’s important to note that prices for utilities can vary depending on the location and the size of the property. In some cases, utilities may be included in the cost of rent for apartments or houses, while in others, they are billed separately.


When it comes to setting up utilities in Colombia, it’s advisable to consult with the property owner or management to ensure a smooth process. They can provide guidance on the necessary steps and documentation required to set up and activate the different utility services.


Overall, utilities in Colombia are reliable and accessible, contributing to a comfortable and convenient lifestyle. Understanding the costs associated with electricity, water, gas, and internet services will help you budget and plan accordingly during your time in Colombia.


Communication and Internet

Communication and internet services in Colombia are well-developed, offering reliable connectivity and a range of options for staying connected with loved ones and accessing online resources.


Mobile phone services in Colombia are widely available, and there are several major providers to choose from. Prepaid SIM cards can be easily purchased at convenience stores, airports, or directly from the service providers. Prices for SIM cards range from 5,000 to 15,000 Colombian Pesos ($1 to $4 USD), and you can choose from various data and calling packages to suit your needs.


When it comes to internet services, Colombia has a good infrastructure and offers a range of options. Most residential areas have access to broadband internet services, with speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 100 Mbps or more. Internet service providers offer different plans with varying speeds and data allowances. Monthly prices for residential internet services can range from 80,000 to 200,000 Colombian Pesos ($20 to $54 USD), depending on the speed and package you choose.


In urban areas, you’ll also find various Wi-Fi hotspots available in cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, and public spaces. Many accommodations, such as hotels and hostels, also provide complimentary Wi-Fi access for guests.


If you need to make international calls, there are phone booths and calling centers available in major cities where you can make calls at affordable rates. Additionally, popular messaging apps and services like WhatsApp and Skype are widely used in Colombia for making voice and video calls over the internet.


It’s important to note that while internet connectivity and communication services are generally reliable in major cities and urban areas, coverage and signal strength may vary in more remote or rural areas.


Overall, staying connected in Colombia is convenient, with a range of options for mobile phone services, internet connectivity, and international calling. Whether you need to make local or international calls, access the internet, or simply stay connected while exploring the country, you’ll find the necessary services readily available.



Education is highly valued in Colombia, and the country has made significant strides in improving its educational system. From primary school to higher education, Colombia offers a range of educational opportunities for students of all ages.


Primary and secondary education in Colombia follows a national curriculum and is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 17. Public education is available free of charge, while private schools charge tuition fees. The quality of education can vary, with private schools often offering higher standards and additional extracurricular activities.


Colombia is also home to a number of reputable universities and higher education institutions. The country has both public and private universities, offering a variety of academic programs and degrees. Public universities are funded by the government and tend to have lower tuition fees, while private universities have higher tuition costs. Higher education in Colombia is highly regarded, and many universities have partnerships with international institutions, offering exchange programs and opportunities for international students.


English language education is becoming increasingly popular in Colombia, and many schools and language institutes offer English language courses for both children and adults. Learning English can provide additional opportunities for career advancement and enhance communication skills.


It’s worth noting that there may be regional variations in the quality and accessibility of education. Major cities like Bogota and Medellin have a higher concentration of reputable educational institutions, while rural areas may have limited options.


For expatriate families who are considering moving to Colombia, international schools can be a viable option. International schools in Colombia follow international curricula and offer classes in multiple languages. These schools tend to have higher tuition fees but provide a familiar educational environment for students from different countries.


Education costs in Colombia can vary depending on the type of institution and level of education. Public education and higher education in public universities are generally more affordable compared to private schools and universities.


Overall, Colombia offers a range of educational opportunities for students at all levels. Whether you’re seeking primary education for your children, pursuing higher education, or looking to learn a new language, you’ll find options to suit your needs and aspirations.



Colombia is a country that offers a diverse and captivating experience for both residents and visitors. From its rich cultural heritage to its breathtaking natural landscapes, Colombia has something for everyone. In terms of cost of living, Colombia is known for its affordability, making it an attractive destination for travelers and expatriates alike.


Food and dining in Colombia are not only delicious but also budget-friendly. Whether you choose to indulge in street food or savor traditional dishes at local eateries, you’ll find that meals are generally affordable, especially in comparison to other countries.


Accommodation options in Colombia range from budget hostels to luxury hotels, providing choices for every budget. Whether you prefer a social atmosphere or a more private setting, you’ll find comfortable and reasonably priced accommodations throughout the country.


When it comes to transportation, Colombia offers a well-developed system of buses, trains, and domestic flights, allowing both residents and visitors to explore the country easily and affordably. Whether you choose to travel by bus, plane, taxi, or rental car, there are options to suit your preferences and budget.


Colombia also offers a wide range of entertainment and activities. From music and dance to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, there are numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in the vibrant Colombian culture and natural beauty.


Shopping in Colombia is a delightful experience, with markets and malls offering a wealth of unique products and traditional crafts. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, jewelry, fashion, or coffee, you’ll find a wide range of choices to suit your taste and budget.


When it comes to essential services, Colombia provides reliable utilities and well-developed communication and internet services. Medical services and healthcare in Colombia are improving, with both public and private options available to cater to different needs.


Overall, Colombia offers an affordable and enriching experience for those seeking to explore its vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality. By understanding the costs associated with various aspects of daily life in Colombia, you can plan and budget accordingly to make the most of your time in this captivating country.