Backpacking in Colombia: costs, sights and preparation

If you’ll be backpacking in Colombia soon, it is sensible that you simply need to get a common concept of ​​this South American country. What are the costs which you can anticipate, which sights are value seeing and what do you have to think about before you travel?

I provides you with a transparent answer to these kind of questions in this mini journey information. Use the ideas from this guide for planning your Colombia adventure and make it an unforgettable journey.

It’ll definitely not be the Colombians' fault. They’re referred to as one of the crucial friendly individuals in South America. So with a little bit of a constructive want to journey, things should go properly goed.

The themes of this text are …

Costs backpacking Colombia
Sights Colombia
Preparation backpacking Colombia

Backpacking in Colombia – the costs

Admittedly, Colombia shouldn’t be the most cost effective country in South America. Locations akin to Peru and especially Bolivia rating better in that regard. Nevertheless, it is once more not as expensive as, for instance, Brazil, Chile or Argentina. Furthermore, there are many options for backpacking on a low price range.

On this section I will talk about the standard costs you could anticipate in phrases of lodging, meals & drink, transport and activities. I may even offer you recommendation for the required day by day price range.

The costs are all the time in Colombian Peso (COP) and in euros. The change price I used is three,600 COP = 1 euro. You possibly can all the time consult this website for probably the most up-to-date ratio between the 2 currencies. I like to recommend that you simply achieve this, since this fee is fluctuating significantly.


In Colombia you could have the choice of reasonably priced sleeping places in a dorm (a spot in a dormitory), but in fact you can even opt for probably the most luxurious five-star lodge.

When you opt for a hostel and the aforementioned dorm (dorm), rely on round 13,000 COP (€ 3.60) to 25,000 COP (€ 6.95) per night time. If you would like a personal room, you possibly can go from round 25,000 COP (€ 6.95) to 80,000 COP (€ 22.20) per night time. In case you are traveling with someone else, you possibly can in fact share these prices.

Know that in a metropolis like Cartagena it will probably all grow to be slightly costlier in phrases of lodging compared to other cities. For instance, once I take a look at Hostelbookers.com, the most cost effective dorm I encounter is € 6.20 at Tree House Hostel Getsemani. For comparability: in Bogota the lowest worth is € 3.64 at Casa Locombia. For € 7 you even have your personal room at the Villacandelaria Hostel ..

A double room in a three-star lodge will value you 160,000 COP (€ 44.45) or more. In a five-star lodge you possibly can anticipate double.

Meals and drink

When you go for road meals, you possibly can often eat very tasty dishes for a chew. There are the so-called “set lunches” that include, for example, soup, rice, potatoes or beans. Often a recent fruit juice is included. The prices of this amount to five,000 COP (€ 1.40) to 12,000 COP (€ 3.35).

In case you are in search of a Western dish reminiscent of a hamburger or pizza, take into consideration a minimum of 15,000 COP (€ Four.15). For a Massive Mac Menu, the typical worth is 15,000 COP (€ Four.15).

A bottle of water (1.5 liters in the grocery store) prices a mean of 2,700 COP (€ 0.75), the favored snack 'empanadas' between 500 COP and 1,000 COP (most € zero.30), the fish-oriented fish recognized in Colombia' ceviche '15,000 COP (€ Four.15), a packet of Marlboro 5,500 COP (€ 1.55) and a domestic beer (zero.5 liter in the grocery store) 2,500 COP (€ zero.70). As a finances traveler you (higher) ignore wine, as a result of a bottle can easily value you 30,000 COP (€ 8.35).

Whenever you dive into the nightlife, you lose round 4,000 COP (€ 1.10) for a beer, but for example a cocktail costs round 20,000 COP (€ 5.55). In case you go to a flowery membership, the worth for a beer can go as much as 12,000 COP (€ 3.35). For a bottle of spirits it’s a must to think of 40,000 COP (€ 11.10) in a daily bar to 100,000 COP (€ 27.80) in a hip nightlife spot.


You need to use the bus between cities and cities. Know that this may be fairly an expensive affair. For example, it isn’t unusual for a bus experience from 9 to 10 hours (for instance Bogota to Medellin by way of Redbus) to quantity to 65,000 COP (€ 18). An excellent various is to verify the price range strains. The costs can in reality be the same as those on the bus ticket or maybe barely greater.

For instance, if I search for a flight from Bogota to Medellin, these are already obtainable on Skyscanner for € 20. This journey takes just one hour and 5 minutes. The bus journey takes 9 to 10 hours and will value you virtually the identical. Nicely, then I might know.

The bus can also be reasonably priced inside the city. For instance, a single experience costs you on common between 1,200 COP and 2,000 COP (most € 0.55). Other means of transport that you simply discover in smaller places are tricycles and shared jeeps and are comparable in terms of worth.

In case you are in a rush, the taxi may be a sensible choice. Think about around Four,800 COP (€ 1.35) per kilometer. Good to know is that the majority taxis have a meter. With around 2,500 COP (€ 0.70) per experience, the metro is usually additionally a superb choice.

Excursions & activities

Identical to for some other nation in the world, the prices of actions additionally range for Colombia. In Salento you are able to do an Ocasa Coffee Tour for 20,000 COP (€ 5.55), visit national parks for 30,000 COP (€ 8.35) to 40,000 COP (€ 11.10), and even utterly free.

Costlier issues to do are, for example, getting your diving certificates, consider 900,000 COP (€ 250). Or a 4- to 7-day trek via the “lost city” from Santa Marta. The costs of this are around $ 348 by way of Magic Tour.

Price range per day Colombia

As a solo finances traveler I counsel you to go from 100,000 COP to 120,000 COP (most € 33.35) per day. It can be cheaper when you do quite a bit yourself and stay at a vacation spot for a comparatively long time. Should you go for a extra snug room and you exit extra typically, then a maximum of 190,000 COP (€ 52.80) is an amount to take note of every single day. Should you journey collectively, you possibly can in fact share the lodging costs.

Backpacking in Colombia – locations and places of curiosity

Under is an summary of 10 cool issues to see and do in Colombia. The order is totally random, by the best way.

1. Do a multi-day trek to the “Lost City”

Are you ready for the hike to the Misplaced Metropolis?

I already talked about the Misplaced Metropolis in the fee overview. To be exact, I am talking about Ciudad Perdida, the misplaced metropolis that was discovered in 1972 and is situated in the center of the jungle. The multi-day tour, which lasts 4 to 7 days, takes you from Santa Marta previous all types of climbs and pure water swimming pools. By way of Ciuadad Perdida you then hike again to Machette and finally the civilized world.

2. Uncover atmospheric Medellin

There’s all the time one thing happening in Medellin

Medellin is the 2nd largest metropolis in Colombia. Nicely which may not be something that appeals to you instantly. In any case, giant cities in South America typically assure chaos and may be quite overwhelming. Medellin, however, is a spot with an actual cultural heart that you might fall in love with.

Salsa dancing, chilling in one of the many parks, consuming freshly floor coffee or discovering the fantastic nightlife. There’s actually all the things to expertise. Day journeys to the colorful Guatape and El Peñol are also cool to do.

Maybe you already knew that Medellin is understood for its drug historical past and not in the least because of the infamous Pablo Escobar. If you wish to know extra about this historical past, the Pablo Escobar Tour is something that you have to have finished. The town stroll with Real Free Strolling Excursions can also be greater than worthwhile.

The Pageant of the Flowers takes place every year, and the town's nickname is the Capital of Flowers for good cause. In addition to the various colourful flowers, numerous live shows are organized, among other things.

Nearly all of backpackers keep in the El Pobablo district. In case you are in search of a quieter place, go to Envigado.

three. Take pleasure in delicious espresso in Salento and the encompassing area

Cocora valley

Have you ever ever seen such tall palm timber?

If, like me, you’re keen on coffee, then Salento in the guts of Colombia is an absolute should to go. You’ll be able to loosen up with a cup, go to a espresso plantation or take a walk by means of the really breathtaking surroundings.

What is much more worthwhile is to go to the Salento viewpoint. Right here you’ll be able to take pleasure in a powerful view of the Cocora valley, which is situated at a peak of two,400 meters. Enjoyable reality: plainly the very best palm timber in the world are discovered here. One more reason to go and have a look 🙂.

In case you are nonetheless on the lookout for an authentic solution to spend the night time, go to La Serrana the place you’ll be able to stay in a safari tent.

Four. Go on an adventure in San Gil

Chicamocha Canyon

You can even discover the Chicamocha Canyon from a cable automotive

If you want to unleash the adventurer within yourself and don't miss a challenge, then San Gil is a should go to. It is called the “outdoor capital” of Colombia. The town is partly because of its favorable location between the mountains and the various rivers, waterfalls and caves.

You possibly can, for instance, paraglide on the spectacular Chicamocha Canyon. However activities akin to cave exploration, rafting, mountain biking and trekking are all attainable. Talking of rafting: are you an adrenaline junkie? Then a visit on the Rio Suarez is beneficial.

5. Really feel at residence in Tayrona Nationwide Park


Cabo San Juan Seashore, one of the beaches in the national park

Tayrona National Park is a destination that nature lovers can’t ignore. It is a place the place the seashore and tropical rainforest merge.

You might assume that you’ve landed in a dream: the impressive boulders in the water, the white sand, the palm timber and the turquoise water. Squeeze your self in your arms just as soon as extra to seek out out that you’ve truly ended up in paradise.

Know that this can be a well-liked destination amongst backpackers and other travelers. It is subsequently advisable to ebook accommodation in advance. Sleeping in a tent at Cabo San Juan is an unforgettable expertise.

6. Entertain yourself in the versatile Taganga


The gorgeous sunset in Taganga

The busy fishing village of Taganga, which can also be near the aforementioned Tayrona National Park, has some lovely bays and it’s a place the place you’ll be able to eat scrumptious recent fish. Fish that’s freshly caught every day by the various fishermen current in the village.

A party can all the time be discovered somewhere in the town. Common destinations for backpackers to go to incorporate the rooftop membership El Mirador and Hostel Benjamin. Especially with the former, you’ll be able to benefit from the view of the setting solar.

In addition to sunbathing on the seashore and going out there’s far more to do. Consider studying Spanish, following a yoga class and deep sea fishing. But Taganga, for instance, can also be a useful start line to start out the aforementioned Lost Metropolis Stroll.

Good to know is that Taganga is likely one of the cheaper places in the world to get your PADI certification. The underwater world will not be probably the most special, however your certificates can only be acquired. Are you on the lookout for really nice spots to dive, then go to San Andrés and Providencia.

7. Loosen up in the mountains of Minca

The refreshing mountain air in Minca makes you are feeling reborn

Just some hours' drive from Taganga, one can find the small mountain village of Minca. It’s a place that lies at a peak of around 600 meters, which is why it is comparatively cool there. Minca is the perfect destination in case you have had it for a while with the crowds and you need to use some refreshing mountain air.

Value seeing are the waterfalls of Marinca and the natural springs of Pozo Azul. Moreover, visiting a coffee plantation and having fun with the view at Mirador Los Pinos. Are you prepared for some bodily problem, then mountain biking or the hike from Minca to Paso Del Mango is beneficial.

In case you are nonetheless on the lookout for a nice place to spend the night time, I can advocate Casa Elemento. Here you could have an unforgettable view of the mountains and forests of Sierra Nevada and you possibly can chill in one of the big hammocks.

8. Discover the capital, Bogota


“Street art” is something you see so much in the capital

The capital of Colombia has rather a lot to offer backpackers. To start with, it is good to know that the town is a minimum of 2,600 meters excessive. It is surrounded by many mountains, of which Monserrate is one of the best recognized. A nice exercise is to climb this mountain, in about 1.5 hours you stroll to the highest. An alternate is the cable automotive that takes you to the very best level in just 10 minutes.

Among different things, what characterizes Bogota is graffiti. Many artistic individuals categorical themselves on the town partitions by the use of probably the most inventive paintings. We advocate taking the Bogota Graffiti Tour, the place you’ll be able to walk along the impressively painted walls of the Candelaria district. Moreover, the great English-speaking guide tells you fascinating background information about the artists and the graffiti.

The Simon Bolivar Central Park, also called “Parque Simon Bolivar” is a stupendous piece of nature to visit. And that right in the center. The park is even bigger than New York's Central Park. You will also find amenities similar to a swimming pool, sauna, fitness amenities and even a water park. You’re utterly away from the bustle of the town with out truly leaving the town. Can it’s even higher 🙂?

You’re additionally in the fitting place for an evening out in Bogota. In that respect, Zona Rosa is a neighborhood that I can advocate. You can too eat very nicely here at one of the many native eating places.

9. Stand nonetheless on the time at Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva

The picturesque village of Villa de Leyva

No doubt, Villa de Leyva is among the nicer colonial villages in Colombia. This place was founded in 1572 by the Spaniards current, however since then virtually the whole lot has remained the identical. You subsequently have the concept time has stood nonetheless.

Attribute are the white houses, balconies, particular doors, arch shapes and paved roads. All constructed in a typical Spanish type. In Villa de Leyva, incidentally, it is nice and quiet and you’ll not encounter many vacationers, particularly through the week. In addition to the peace and quiet, you get a nice image of how the – typically very completely happy – locals reside.

Expertise for yourself why that is seen by many as one of many nicest locations in Colombia.

10. Stroll by way of the Previous Town of Cartagena


With its Spanish-Mediterranean influences, Cartagena is a feast for the eyes

Cartagena is a metropolis with a fantastic colonial middle, an all the time busy port and an enormous wall. Additionally, you will find several lovely white beaches alongside the coast with the corresponding colourful coral reefs.

A walk by means of the previous middle is an expertise in itself. With out exaggerating, it appears like you could have landed in a type of open-air museum. The coloured houses present a magical impact. Additionally observe the Four-kilometer-long wall – “Las Murallas” – that was built to guard the internal city towards hazard from outdoors.

One other suggestion is to go to the previous port of Muelle de los Pegasos. You possibly can go on a ship journey with an area fisherman and go for the true “local experience”.

By the way, the nightlife of Cartagena is certainly value it. Salsa music but in addition digital movements akin to techno and home could be heard lots.

Preparation for backpacking in Colombia: what it is advisable know

1. Greatest travel time to Colombia

In Colombia it depends a bit on where you are going, though you possibly can truly visit all of them yr round.

December to February and June to July type the official excessive season of Colombia. Maintain in thoughts that it will possibly get crowded during these durations, since most (worldwide) tourists go to the country. It’ll even be a lot more costly compared to the off-season.

The driest months in the Andes region are December to March and July to August.

In the Amazon you’ll be able to anticipate roughly the identical climate all yr spherical.

The low season runs from September to November. On average, there’s extra rainfall than in the opposite months, although this can be better than expected. The prices are most favorable throughout this era.

2. Visa Colombia

Whenever you enter Colombia, you get a free visa that entitles you to stay in the nation for 180 (!) Days, or 6 months. If you wish to backpack for more than 6 months in Colombia, it is best to contact the Colombian embassy in The Hague.

All the time be sure that your passport continues to be valid for at the very least 6 months after the date of your departure.

3. Money Colombia

As described in this text, the foreign money of Colombia is the Colombian peso, additionally abbreviated to COP. The observe with the smallest value is 1,000 COP whereas probably the most invaluable notice has a worth of 50,000 COP.

What about pin in Colombia? PIN could be very straightforward in Colombia. There is a cash machine on virtually each nook of the road. For each transaction you (sadly) all the time pay round € 7 in additional costs, relying on the relevant change price. It’s subsequently greatest to withdraw the very best attainable quantity. The bounds differ per financial institution, but with Citibank you possibly can withdraw probably the most money in one go.

Four. Vaccinations and vaccinations Colombia

No vaccinations or vaccinations are required for Colombia. Nevertheless, there are a selection of vaccinations which might be beneficial. Whatever the length of stay, these are: DTP, hepatitis A and in some instances additionally yellow fever. The latter is the case, for instance, if you enter areas which are decrease than 2,300 meters.

Are you staying longer than 3 months? Then vaccinations towards hepatitis B and rabies are additionally advised.

Finally, I need to inform you that there is malaria in Colombia. Whether you need to take treatment for that is up to you. I recommend that you simply seek the advice of a medical skilled.

5. Journey insurance Colombia

Ensure you are usually not faced with unpleasant surprises in case you are in need. Subsequently, take out journey insurance coverage. I personally am very glad with FBTO. On this useful step-by-step plan you possibly can learn how I got here to this selection.

For a complete overview and comparing totally different providers, I advise you to use Independer.

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