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.

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Spendings In Central America 

We can now summarie our travels, we spent 80 days in Central America visiting every country except for Honduras, we averaged $32 a day per person. This includes every penny of spending from the attraction costs, accommodation, transport, food (our big expense) as well as our flight to Colombia. Costa Rica ended up being the most expensive country, followed by Beliz and Panama. On the other end Mexico and Guatemala were the cheapest with El Salvador and Nicaragua in between. To note, we spent quite a few nights couch surfing and hitchhiking, especially at the beginning, so our spendings might not always be the most accurate.

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No budget in Costa Rica 

Costa Rica was the most expensive country so far this trip. We ended up spending almost $50 pp a day. This time transportation was our biggest expense since we hired a 4×4 for a week. We ended up spending $322 for the hire and fuel. This was half the actual cost as we traveled with another couple. It was the best decision ever, since it allowed us to see a lot of places in a really short time frame. Also public transport in Costa Rica isn’t ideal, Buses are expensive and don’t come as often as in other Central American countries, sometimes as little as twice a day. Many tourist attractions are well of the beaten track where public transport doesn’t run, or work time wise. Accommodation made for number 2 since we only stayed in hostels and hotels this time with no use of Couch Surfing, although we were still able to find reasonable accommodation.

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How much does it cost to travel El Salvador ?

Did you know that since 2001 El Salvador is using the American dollar as its currency?

The currency change made everything a bit pricy. El Salvador was the most expensive country we have visited so far this trip, we saved money where we could and couch-surfed for over a half of the visit. This kept our spendings down as we had bbq most nights instead of eating out. We averaged $22 per person and most of this was entertainment. We had surf classes and climbed a volcano along with boat trips, and some restaurant meals. Groceries prices in the supermarkets are horrendous. We were asked to pay $4 for 2 peppers, where at the outdoor market stand you can get a whole bag of veggies for the same amount.
You can see a massive influence of America in El Salvador – shopping malls, a significant number of fast food chains and even a waltamart supermarket. While driving around the capital we started missing Belize, where all the franchise are banned and all you can see are local comedores (canteens) and food markets.



T I P S

☄we took an air conditioned bus (always bring warm clothes with you as they are freezing!) from San Salvador to Leon for $25 each. Initially, Transporte del Sol said it would cost us $50 pp, but after some negotiating we ended up paying $50 for the two of us – great deal, and it had breakfast, horrible lunch and drinks included.

☄ border crossings to Nicaragua were really slow, we ended up waiting for about 2 hours until our passports went through. You will be asked to pay $3 to enter Honduras and $12 to enter Nicaragua.

☄public transportation (chicken buses) are extremely cheap in El Salvador, ex. 60c for an hour journey.