Money, money, money – how much do I need for traveling Colombia?

We loved Colombia and would highly recommend it to everyone. The people are so friendly, there is a lot of interesting history to dive into, be it art, culture, or the infamous drug cartels, it will keep you reading for weeks. The landscapes are stunning and the prices are very low. This is no doubt one of our favourite countries. There is just so much to see, you can jump from the coast, to hiking in the mountains, to lakes, waterfalls even a desert (well sort of). We felt we could have spent so much more time in this country and will no doubt regret we didn’t, but we’ve chosen to leave some attractions for Ecuador and the rest of South America where we will be visiting the Amazon and then onwards. As you’ve probably realised from our blog we are trying to fit a huge trip into a small time frame, so we’re having to get pretty picky about how we’re spending time. Anyway if you have a month and your wondering where to go I will put this at the top of your list.

We only spent 20 days in Colombia, averaging $29 pp a day, our spendings have definitely increased on this trip for a few reasons, not necessarily the country being more expensive than others, but we haven’t done any couch surfing, and our food expenses have definitely increased. There is only so long you can stick to eating the classic rice, beans and meat before you go insane. So I would say we’ve been treating ourselves slightly to some foreign foods and drinks. So a typical comedor (local canteen) meal will set you back between 2-4 dollas. Whereas foreign coucine, and I’m not talking posh nosh, we’re backpackers at the end of the day, will set you back anywhere between 5-12.

Roasted goat, a local speciality on the desert

Trout in cheese sauce, another local dish

Accommodation, it’s very similar to all the other countries we’ve visited, if your going to go with it, turn up without reservations and a cheeky bit of haggling your going to find some great deals. We find we can’t stick to a plan and you never really know what there advertising is actually what you get. We are traveling slightly out of season so there seems to be a huge number of empty rooms so it’s normally the safest option. Plus you cut the booking fees, so every penny counts. Typically private rooms here are on average $17.50, slightly more in big cities and less in villages.

Transportation is fairly cheap (about $2 per hour of driving), buses are comfortable and depart all the time, the distances aren’t massive, but the obstacle of the Andes adds a huge number of hours to any journey. I would say this is actually something we are slightly struggling with now. We got very used to the short, ease of traveling in Central America. Here you can spend a full day on the road, that coupled with some of the hair raising mountain roads, which day and night they race along, overtaking on blind bends, it doesn’t leave you feeling rested. We find we’re spending a few more days at each location, the drive to keep going so quickly now has gone. But maybe it’s just a slightly different style of traveling here.

Brocken down on a mountain road

TIPS

☄The smaller the bus, the better. At first we were only looking for the big busses with bathrooms and air con but after a while we switched into the little ones as they are so much quicker and make less stops!

☄Never leave your belongings unattended and don’t trust anyone. We almost ended up being left with nothing as a driver decided to change his waiting spot to another side of a massive terminal, when we went to a bathroom, without letting us know. Unfortunately ending up with missing items so be aware. : (

☄Buses in Colombia are not cheap, but you can get good deals if you buy tickets just before departure. We never had problems buying last minute tickets.

☄Wifi never works on the buses, so don’t count on that.

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