Cost of Living in Colombia

For those reading this, you all might be interested to know how much is the cost of living in Colombia.

You might be wondering this for any number of reasons….

Maybe you want to enjoy life down here with many of the sexy Colombian women?

Perhaps you are planning on visiting for tourism purposes?

Maybe you were offered a job down here and are taking a trip?

Or perhaps a combination of these reasons plus something else…

Either way, you are planning on visiting Colombia and need to know how much it costs.

Well, I first visited Colombia in 2006 to study abroad in Barranquilla

Afterwards, I have been to numerous Colombian cities since living down here from 2008 until now

Since my first trip here in 2006….

Prices in pesos have gone up for just about anything as you would imagine

However, the exchange rate has improved greatly

To where the US Dollar is still killing it with the Colombian Peso

Therefore, there arguably couldn’t be a better time to visit Colombia

After all, prices are very reasonable here

Now when it comes to the cost of living in Colombia, it’s going to depend on a few things

Factors to Consider

cost of living in colombia

Considerations for Cost of Living

  • Are you going to live here alone or are you bringing kids or a partner?
  • How high are your standards for what you want in life?
  • How long you going to be living here?
  • Have any plans on spending time here on a tourist visa or getting residency?
  • Do you speak Spanish?
  •  Any experience living in Latin America more broadly or Colombia specifically?
  • Do you have any health issues that need to be taken care of consistently?
  • Where in Colombia do you live?

Of course, there are likely other things to consider that I didn’t think of in the moment

On top of my head, these are just some of the things that you need to consider

Now let’s break those considerations down:

Consideration 1: Living Alone?

Sort of self explanatory. If you have kids or a spouse, your finances are going to change obviously and will likely be higher given you have more people to take care of.

Consideration 2: Standards of Living

This is one of the bigger issues that you need to consider. In my first year living in Barranquilla, I met a woman from Spain that had to take taxis or private transportation everywhere.

For her, she wouldn’t even consider it as an option

So obviously her cost of living here was much higher than mine was

For others, they might like to party a lot and always eat out

In addition, some people insist on living in only the best and most touristy neighborhoods

While, for myself, I prefer to live in more residential areas that are calmer, less touristy and cheaper

Considerations 3 & 4: Length of Visit and Residency or Tourist

If your visit to Colombia is short (less than a month), then your living costs will be higher than normal most likely

Mostly due to the fact that you probably won’t be staying at an apartment that is cheaper

And will probably have to stay at a hotel or Airbnb that is a little more costly

On the other hand, some of you are going to want to live in Colombia longer term

Keep in mind that those visiting on a tourist visa have to leave the country after 180 days in a calendar year

Which is something you will have to budget for when it comes to your exit out of Colombia

In addition, some of you may want to get residency down here

Which can be a costly, lengthy and bureaucratic process

So before you visit Colombia, try to ask yourself if you only want to be a tourist here or a resident

Considerations 5 & 6: Spanish & Experience

Over the years living here, I have seen apartments offered online that were advertised….

In English

Now ask yourself: How many Colombians are looking for apartments in Colombia in English?

Basically none

So then why are there some Colombian folks advertising their apartments in English?

Who are they advertising to?

Thomas Jefferson?

Probably not

The thing is some of these guys are mostly trying to advertise to foreigners

Foreigners who have a lot more money

Who ideally don’t speak Spanish

And don’t know how much apartments cost in Colombia because of lack of experience

And who are use to spending upwards of 1000 dollars or more for a place

Whenever I look for an apartment, I always drop it out of consideration if it is advertised in English

Even though there are some good deals out here advertised in English

In my experience, a lot of these places are overpriced

And it’s mostly because of the reasons above

So if you are looking for apartments or other services in Colombia, you should always do your best to look for them in Spanish online than English

Therefore, your cost of living in Colombia will depend on your Spanish skills and experience down here

And if you want a better experience then, make sure to improve your Spanish! You can do so well with some of the resources you can purchase online at Amazon

Or if you find your Spanish to still be limited even with helpful resources, make sure to get a translator to help you in communicating with Colombians down here

speaking spanish

Do you speak spanish?

Consideration 7: Health Issues?

This is not an issue I have any real experience with

Given that I am in pretty good health and still fairly young in my 30s

However, I have gotten to know other foreigners much older than I am

And almost all of them have had health issues that need special care for

Therefore, take this into consideration when factoring in your cost of living

Consideration 8: Where in Colombia do you live?

Finally, this is one of the other major issues to consider

If you live some of the best neighborhoods of Medellin or Cartagena, your cost of living in Colombia is going to be a bit higher

However, if you are living in Pereira or Barranquilla, your cost of living is going to be a little bit lower

In fact, Pereira is one of the better deals you can get in Colombia for cheaper cost of living and for what you get for living there:

  • Less tourists
  • Very sexy women
  • Plenty of easy women too who are down for fun
  • Some of the best nature in the country to experience
  • Amazing climate
  • Some decent restaurants too

For myself, I live in Bogota right now.

Main reason being is that it is simply a much better fit for me

I prefer a more urban city with everything that it has to offer

And in my opinion, Bogota is reasonably priced for what it offers

Especially with the exchange rate as good as it is

So when talking about cost of living in Colombia, it’s important for us to narrow it down to a city

Given the wide difference in cost of living as mentioned before, it would be difficult to put a cost of living on every city in Colombia here

Especially since I don’t live in every Colombian city at the same time obviously

So when considering the cost of living, let’s focus on my favorite Colombian city, Bogota, as our example for cost of living in Colombia:

Applying my List to Myself

First, let’s break down the previous list used:

  • I live alone in my own apartment with no kids
  • Average.  I don’t like to spend money and have a strong preference for saving. So I don’t spend a lot of money on things but I do have some basic standards like anyone else would.
  • Been “living” here since 2008 after college. Still here and not planning on leaving anytime soon.
  • Have residency.
  • Speak Spanish.
  • I have many years of experience living here in Colombia and visiting other Latin American countries.
  • No health issues.
  • Bogota
Breaking Down My Monthly Budget in Bogota

cost of living in colombia


As said before, I always aim to save a lot of my money each month and I don’t like to spend much

Some have called me a “minimalist,” but I don’t really care if I fit that label or not

I just spend money to what I feel comfortable with spending and to how much I prefer to save each month

So according to a document I have on my monthly budget, here are the numbers:

  • Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment: $1,500,000 Colombian pesos per month (465 USD)
  • Note: This apartment is furnished also
  • ATM fees: About 10 bucks a month.
  • Groceries: $200 bucks a month
  • Eating in restaurants: $50 bucks a month
  • Drinkable water costs: $30 bucks a month
  • Beer money: $50 bucks a month
  • Transportation (taxis and busses): $50 bucks a month
  • Fun money: $100 bucks a month
  • Miscellaneous (if something unexpected happens): $50 bucks a month
  • Total:  $1,005 bucks a month.
Some things to note here:
  • Given I am older now, I don’t visit the bars as much as before. I mostly prefer drinking at home. If you like to go out a lot, add maybe 50 more bucks to this budget. But it will depend on how much you like to drink and go out.
  • Having seen other foreigners spend more money on transportation and others less. So my number there may not be the most accurate.
  • I usually don’t spend the “miscellaneous” money. Therefore, my real budget is more like $955 bucks a month.
  • Finally, you will probably want to visit your family in your home country every year regardless if you are a resident or tourist. I do so 2 times a year, which adds up to around $750 per trip roughly. That’s $1,500 a year in travel costs.
My Annual Costs of Living in Colombia

To figure out my annual costs of living in Colombia, do the math:

Monthly Budget: $1,005 USD x 12 = $12,060 USD in a year

Flights: $1,500 total.

Special Moments (Birthday, Christmas, New Years, etc): Let’s say $1,000 is spent celebrating all of the nicer days of the year.

                Note: I’m not really sure how much I spend for these days but $1,000 seems like an overestimate so let’s go with that so we don’t underestimate it.

Total Costs of Living in Colombia for a year: $14,560.

Applying These Numbers to the Rest of Colombia

Keep in mind that Bogota is one of the more expensive cities for cost of living in Colombia

There are a few other cities in Colombia that are also very expensive – Medellin and Cartagena

Granted, not as expensive as the US, but still…

On the other hand, there are cheaper cities as well as mentioned before

So even though I don’t have numbers on cost of living in other Colombian cities in 2019, I can make an estimated guess that:

  • Most cities in Colombia are going to be cheaper than Bogota and so you can most likely spend less than $14,560 in a year or $1,005 in a month.
  • When factoring in Medellin or Cartagena, the cost of living is going to be a little bit similar if not more expensive than what I am paying.
In Summary

Thinking of living in Colombia and enjoying the cheap cost of living down here?

Who wouldn’t with all the sexy women and amazing nature & nightlife that can be found here

cost of living in colombia

Plenty of sexy women that wait for you in Colombia

It’s a great deal for anyone!

Make sure to check out what Colombian cities to visit before making your trip

And when you are ready to book the trip to Colombia, do so with Avianca Airlines, which is a great airline company 

And I hope you have good luck with your time in Colombia!

Hasta luego parceros,


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