San Gil Barichara street

Colombia trip cost: how expensive is it to travel to Colombia?

Table of Contents

Do you want to know how much Colombia travel budget you need and how to lower Colombia trip cost? Then you are on the right page. In this article, we will explore how expensive a trip to Colombia is and what your daily budget Colombia should look like. We have broken down our findings by type of traveler, so whether you’re looking for budget-friendly or luxury options, you’ll find something here.

We traveled through Colombia for 4 weeks and spent $65 per day on average, so in this article we will share our tips and tricks to help you lower your own Colombia trip cost.

Colombia is one of the cheapest countries to travel through from South America, however the prices vary by location. For example, Cartagena is generally more expensive to visit compared to other places in Colombia.

Before you travel, it is important to have an idea of how much budget for Colombia trip you need. This will largely affect your decision on whether or not to take a trip there and where you should stay while there.

Our tips, categories, and our travel costs to Colombia are based on the journey we made through the central part and the north of Colombia. So keep in mind that when you travel south or east, your Colombia trip cost will likely be lower due to prices are lower in these areas. So start exploring what a trip to Colombia cost.

Tayrona National Park

Colombia travel budget

Good to know if you want to travel with a very tight budget in Colombia that this is possible. You can stay in nice hostels for less than $35 a day, eat at local places and see a lot of the country.

Budget traveler: If you’re on a tight Colombia travel budget and pay close attention to what you spend, $30 – $35 per person a day may be sufficient. You can find great deals in hostels or hotels, enjoy local food and visit the main attractions without spending huge amount of money.

Mid-range traveler: If you want something a little more luxurious, doing a few more expensive activities, or staying in good accommodations, plan a daily budget for Colombia of $35 – $65 per person. This should cover mid-range quality hotels and restaurants as well as some additional activities such as boat trips and visits to local museums.

Luxury traveler: if you stay in the best accommodations in Colombia and you want comfort during your trip in Colombia, you should count on a Colombia budget of +$100 per person per day. This will cover luxurious rooms, premium restaurants with plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout your Colombia trip cost.

The amounts do not include airline tickets. Prices for airfare can vary quite significantly depending on which airline you choose and when you go. We use Skyscanner to compare prices for different airlines and recommend booking your tickets here in order to make the most of your Colombia trip cost.

$6 – $15
Street food: $1City bus/taxi:
$1 – $6
Valle de Cocora: $15Travel guide:
Budget room:
$9 – $48
$4 – $7
Regional bus:
$6 – $12
Travel insurance 3 weeks: $120
$48 – $70
Fancy food:
$12 – $20
Santa Marta–San Gil: $30Tayrona park:
Water bottle:
Luxury hotel: +$70Local beer:
$1 – $2
Domestic flight:
 Sleeping bag:
Below you can read the costs for backpacking Colombia in detail.
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Colombia trip cost: Accommodation

If you travel with a tight Colombia travel budget there are several options for budget travelers. First of all, you can choose to stay in hostels and hotels. If you are traveling alone, we recommend staying in hostels so that you can easily meet other travelers. If you are traveling as a couple, it can sometimes be nicer to stay in a hotel. In general, it is cheaper to stay in hostels. You can find in Colombia many hostels where you can stay in dorms or hammocks which is cheap.

Colombia is an affordable destination to travel in South America. Whether Colombia is cheap or expensive depends on what kind of trip you are looking for. If you are traveling with a tight budget, there are plenty of options available for budget travelers.

In general, staying at hostels and hotels is cheaper in Colombia compared to other countries in South America. Sleeping in a dorm will cost you $6 to $15 per night at the more popular hostels. A double room costs between $12 to $48 per night. If you want more luxurious rooms, you will soon pay more than $60 per night.

If you book in advance, it is possible to find cheaper options that will fit your budget. However, accommodation prices can vary widely throughout Colombia – cities like Cartagena are relatively expensive and Bogota is relatively cheap. So if you’re asking “is Colombia cheap?” – the answer really depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for and what kind of budget you have. If you plan ahead and book in advance, then it is possible to find affordable accommodations in Colombia. On the other hand, if you’re asking “is Colombia expensive?” – it can be if you don’t plan your trip properly or end up booking expensive accommodation last minute. But overall, Colombia is an affordable destination to explore!

Looking for places to stay? Check our favorite hotels and hostels in Colombia!

Colombia hotel

Colombia trip cost: Food

Colombian food is a mix of European and Latin American flavors, making it a great cuisine to explore on your trip to Colombia. You’ll find many different restaurants throughout the country, so make sure to try as much of the local fare as possible. Dishes from Colombia mainly consist of corn, beans, chicken, potatoes, meat, and rice. Many Colombian dishes are worth trying, such as sancocho, a hearty soup, or bandeja paisa, a dish featuring rice and beans with pork belly and sausage.

On average, dinner will cost you around $10. For breakfast expect to pay from $3-$7 depending on the restaurant. If you’re looking to save a bit of money on your trip to Colombia, we recommend eating at local places. In general, the food in Colombia isn’t expensive and you can get empanadas for as little as $1. Alcohol is also surprisingly cheap, with beers costing from $1-$2 on average. So overall, how expensive is Colombia? Not very if you looking to how much you will spend on food! You can easily enjoy your trip to Colombia cost without spending a lot of money.

Dishes that you really should try when you are in Colombia are:

  • Arepas: The most served side dish in Colombia. It is made from cornmeal and is usually served with corn or butter.
  • Ajiaco: A delicious soup consisting of chicken, avocado, potatoes, capers, corn, and sour cream.
  • Lechona: This is a roasted pig filled with rice, onions, peas, and herbs. This is often served as a specialty.
  • Empanadas: This is a delicious snack that you will find all over South America. The dish is originally from Spain and Portugal. Usually, empanadas are baked and filled with various ingredients.
  • Churros: A long-shaped dough that has been fried, really delicious. You see clearly the Spanish influence in this dish. Many Colombians eat this for breakfast.

Do you need help planning a trip to Colombia? Check out our Colombia itinerary for ideas.

Colombia food

Colombia trip cost: Transport

Colombia is a large country, if you want to save costs it is recommended to choose a certain region to discover, which means that travel costs are lower than when you travel through the entire country.

You can find all the transport tickets here at Bookaway. We used Bookaway to book all our bus tickets. They’re easy to use and book with, and we’ve explored the best destinations with their busses.

Often when you travel from one destination to another you have the choice to use the bus or plane. If it concerns long distances, it is best to take a night bus, for shorter distances you can use the normal bus. For this, you need to go to the bus terminal of the relevant location and buy a ticket. All bus companies are fine to use. During our trip we used Bolivariano, Expreso Palmira, Velotax Expreso Brasilia and Ochoa. When you arrive at your destination you can use a taxi to get to the accommodation.

The advantage is that night buses are cheaper than flights, and you also travel while sleeping, so you don’t lose time traveling during the day. It also saves you accommodation costs.

There is almost no information about night buses but between all popular destinations, you can use a night bus, for example from San Gil to Bogota or from Santa Marta to San Gil. You must be present at least 1 hour before the departure of the bus to buy a ticket. On average, a ticket costs $30.

For shorter distances, you can use the regional bus. It is a good way to transport yourself and will cost around $9 for a 2-hour ride. For shorter distances, you can use buses and taxis, which are safe to use in cities like Medellin and Bogota.

We traveled through the central part and the north so it was not necessary to travel all the way to the south. Read our Colombia itinerary if you want to know about it.

If you travel to Colombia by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.

image 100550758 13945005

Colombia trip cost: Activities

A trip to Colombia can be affordable if you plan accordingly. You don’t have to spend tons of money to do fun things, as many activities can be done independently. If you follow our Colombia itinerary you will do many excursions. For example, paragliding in Medellin will only cost you $36, a fraction of what it costs in other countries. Similarly, visiting Tayrona National Park in the north costs only $15, tubing in Palomino is $17 and watching the sunrise at San Lorenzo in Minca can cost you just as much. Even rafting in San Gil, which usually costs around $135 elsewhere, comes to only $60 if you plan your Colombia trip right.

Other activities like the Lost City Trek, a 4-5 day hike to Ciudad Perdida, are some of the more expensive excursions. But even then, they are relatively cheaper than other countries and offer an incredible adventure experience. So if you’re looking for how cheap is Colombia as a vacation destination – it’s definitely possible! Just make sure to plan your trip in a way that you can get the most out of it while still keeping costs low.

Usually, the more expensive excursions are very special, which makes them relatively expensive. We always advise not to cut on activities because the activities make a trip incredibly fun and ensure that you see and do a lot.

San Gil rafting

Colombia trip cost: Miscellaneous

How much you spend on other costs is of course very different per person. Here you can read several points that we always use during our trip and that we recommend.

A travel guide provides you with detailed information about the country, weather, and culture. We always use Lonely Planet. This Colombia travel guide is the best to order.

A water bottle is always handy to have with you. We use a Crazycap, this is a water bottle that kills all bacteria in the water using UV. This allows us to drink tap water anywhere in the world through this bottle. So we never have to buy water and can always drink tap water safely without bothering our stomachs. It is a one-time amount, but in the longer term you have this out.

Finally, you can also buy a sleeping bag, the advantage of this is that you always sleep in “your bed”. If you find it annoying to sleep in unknown beds and do you like hygiene, sleeping in a sleeping bag is a good solution.

Travel insurance

World Nomads travel insurance policies offer coverage for more than 150 activities. Get a quote, make a claim, or buy or extend your policy while on the road.

image 100550758 15379636

How much did the trip to Colombia cost us per day

How much does a trip to Colombia cost? It depends on where you stay, what kind of food you get, how you get around, and what activities you do. We stayed in nice hotels, ate at restaurants every night, used public transportation and did lots of fun things. Our total Colombia trip costs were:

  • Accommodation: $20
  • Transport: $12
  • Food: $23
  • Activities: $10

Our Colombia travel costs were in total: $64 per day (amounts have been rounded). This excludes the flight tickets and other costs. The airline tickets were $1100 for us. Our trip has cost in total per person: 25 (days) x $65 + #1100 = $2725.

We always stayed in nice hostels/hotels, enjoyed eating at local and hip restaurants, and did all the activities we wanted to do.

Accommodation: If you want to travel cheaper than we did, that’s possible. We always stayed in a private double room, if you stay in a dorm you will save money. Don’t choose ‘too’ cheap accommodations because these are often located outside the center and the facilities of these places are not good.

Food: Most of the time it is recommended to book breakfast at the accommodation, on this list you can see our recommended accommodations that offer this. As a result, you spend a lot less money than when you have breakfast in a restaurant. You can also save on food costs by eating at local restaurants. Finally, you can save costs by cooking your food during your trip.

Transportation: If you visit a certain area in Colombia, if you use the night buses instead of the plane, your transport costs will be lower than ours. We only knew after two domestic flights that it was possible to take night buses in Colombia.

Activities: When you follow the articles we have written about Colombia you will see that there is a lot to do in Colombia without the need to spend a lot of money. Recommended is not to cut down on activities. After all, you are going to travel to Colombia to see and do things right?

San Gil Barichara street

Trip to Colombia cost FAQ

How much is a trip to Colombia?

Traveling through Colombia is inexpensive. For example, for a mid-range traveler, a 3-week trip through Colombia costs $1744 per person (if you are traveling as a couple). This is when you fly from the United States to Bogota or Medellin.

For accommodation, food, transport, and activities you spend 21 days x $64 on average = $1344. The flight costs are on average $400 per person.

How much money should I take to Colombia?

Are you planning a trip to Colombia and wondering how much money to bring? The amount of money you need to bring depends on several factors, including the length of your trip and your itinerary. We recommend to bring 4x of your expected daily budget Colombia. If you are a budget traveler this is $140 ($35 x 4). for a mid-range traveler this is +/- $260 ($65 x 4), and for a luxury traveler $400 ($100 x 4).

This allows you to pay for the first expenses when you arrive, such as the bus, taxi, food, and accommodation. Then you have to go to the bank and withdraw money. Exchange rates are a lot better than when you exchange money at home. So it is advisable not to take to much money to Colombia.

How much money to take to Colombia for a week?

The amount of money to take to Colombia for a week depends on various factors such as your spending habits, itinerary, and travel style.

Shorter holidays are usually more expensive than longer ones. This is because airfare is spread over fewer days. People often want to do a lot in a short time, so transportation costs are higher. For budget traveler $55, mid-range traveler $90, and luxury traveler $140 per day is a good amount to budget for vacations. So based on the type of traveler you need to take for a week vacation to Colombia: budget travelers $385, mid-range traveler $630, and luxury traveler $980. You don’t need to bring money for your plane tickets as they have been already paid.

How much does it cost to go to Colombia for two weeks?

How much does it cost to go to Colombia for two weeks? Is Colombia expensive? The short answer is – it depends on what you’d like to do and your travel style. Generally speaking, if you are a mid-range traveler, a two-week trip in Colombia will cost +/- $1800 per person if you are traveling as a couple.

We spent $64 on accommodation, food, transport, and activities, but going for two weeks means you’ll want to see and do things in a shorter period, so the average cost is higher. That’s why you spend $85 per person per day.

For accommodation, food, transport, and activities you spend 14 days x $85 = $1590. The flight costs are approximately $400 per person.

How to visit Colombia on a budget?

It is not difficult to make a great trip through Colombia with a limited budget. For this, you need to do the following things to spend +/- $33 per day.

Stay at hostels in dorms or a hammock. In addition, book the accommodations well in advance, giving you a lot of choices to select budget-friendly hostels. When you do this you will spend +/- $8 per day.

To save on food, it is recommended to book a hostel where breakfast is included. This means you only have to buy food in the afternoon and evening. Eat where the locals eat, this is cheaper and often tastes better. You can save a lot of money if you cook your food. When doing this you spend $12 per day on food expenses.

For transport, it is recommended to visit a certain area in Colombia so that distances are as short as possible. You can also choose to visit only a limited number of destinations so that the transport costs remain low. If you do this, $5 per day is enough.

Of course, sometimes you need to buy an entrance ticket for something, but in general, you can keep these costs quite low. This is because you can do many activities independently in Colombia. For activities, $8 per day should be sufficient.

Is Colombia expensive to visit?

Colombia can be an affordable destination for travelers visiting the country. The cost of travel largely depends on your travel style, itinerary, and spending habits. On average, backpackers and budget travelers can plan to spend around $400 to $650 per week. This amount should cover essential expenses such as accommodations, meals, and transportation.

Compared to other South American countries like Brazil or Argentina, Colombia is generally considered a more budget-friendly destination. However, some areas like Cartagena or the coffee region can be more expensive. If you’re traveling during peak season or major holidays, prices for accommodation and activities may be higher. It’s always a good idea to do research ahead of time and create a budget that factors in your preferred activities and destinations.

Overall, Colombia is definitely an affordable country to visit. With some planning and budgeting, you can enjoy the vibrant culture, friendly locals, and stunning natural beauty that Colombia has to offer without spending huge amount of money.


The Colombia vacation cost isn’t high if you know what to do. Now that you know this, you come to the next point in preparation for your trip: drawing up your travel route through Colombia. To help you on your way, we have put together a travel route through Colombia in which you will see all the highlights. For each destination, there is an article in which you can read everything in detail if you want to know more. Click here to open it: Colombia itinerary.

You can combine this itinerary with our article “21 best accommodations in Colombia” to book the best hotels and hostels. All you have to do is to book and your preparation is ready!

If you want to know more about Colombia and want to prepare yourself well, it is recommended to read this Colombia travel guide. You can read what the best period is to visit Colombia, what the best places are to visit, how safe Colombia is to travel to, which items you need to bring, and other useful information.

What do you think of our Colombia budget tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Disclaimer: the prices mentioned in this article may differ from the current situation. We regularly update our articles. Would you like to help us to provide to best possible insights to help other travelers leave a comment with the latest information. Thanks!

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Hello, we are Cynthia & Alexander, the team behind Travel Your Memories! Traveling is our passion. When it comes to exploration, we love sharing our tips and adventures to inspire you. Welcome to Travel Your Memories, where we share our love for travel with you! Read our story.

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