I had a long weekend off of school, so I decided to shoot down to Bogota, Colombia! The flight prices weren’t too bad, so I had a little more for my budget for Bogota. Since it was a pretty short trip, I mostly just stayed around in Bogota, so here is my trip to Colombia cost for a 5-day trip!
Activities for your Budget (Colombia)
Could you do it cheaper? No, I don’t think so!
Keep in mind: The Botero Museum is always free, but the Gold Museum is only on certain days. I was actually surprised at how low my trip to Colombia cost was for activities! I imagine if I had more time, there were more things I could have done.
|Furnicular up to Monserrate||$5.14|
The Salt Cathedral is located outside of Bogota in a city called Zipaquira. It wasn’t too far of a drive, but because of the roads and traffic, it still took at least 2 hours to get there from Bogota. I’d say worth it! The Salt Cathedral actually used to be a salt mine. From an engineering perspective, it is amazing!
Most of the Salt Cathedral is a path of crosses representing the different stops that Jesus made during his crucifixion. I’m not a super religious person, so I can’t speak much more on that, but there was an audio guide that tells you about the different stops!
There were two really cool spots inside, and my favorite was the Virtual Reality tour! It made me really appreciate the mine and Salt Cathedral much more because it showed the process of how the mine and then the church was constructed. Definitely look around for it!
There was also a reflecting pool which made for a good photo opp, but that was about it.
Zipaquira is also worth a visit as well. There is a super cute town square (I had lunch there! Scroll down to food to see what I had!). Another fun place for a silly photoshoot lol.
Take the furnicular up to the top of the mountain to visit Montserrat! The Cable Car was not open when I went, and let’s face facts… the hike wasn’t going to happen, so furnicular it is! The mountain top is a religious and sacred site, or just a beautiful spot for looking out over Bogota city!
When you’re up there, you have access to some restaurants and snacks, so never fear! There is also a monastery up there if that is also your thing.
The Graffiti tour was actually free and therefore doesn’t impact your trip to Colombia cost at all, but it is nice to slide your guide a tip at the end. We walked around the city and learned about the history of graffiti in the city and saw some truly stunning pieces. I have taken a Graffiti tour in Berlin (except we got to make our own there!), and since then I have a deeper appreciation for street art. However, I still really don’t understand and hate tagging. Especially over really nice places and things. Who cares about your name!
Anyway, so the tour shows you some amazing places, and ends in a cool coffee shop where you get to try a local drink!
I have seen the works of Botero around in the world (once was even a sculpture in Liechtenstein!), but I didn’t know his name. Apparently, he is a Colombian painter and sculptor who loves painting very thick and thicc people and animals! Here are some of my favorites!
The Botero Museum also has works from other famous artists (like Picasso!) and all was donated with the intent of being free to the Public, always. Enjoy!
The Gold Museum is free on Sundays, but is only about $1 on regular days. It definitely rises to its name because there is so much GOLD in this museum! At first, it is awe-inspiring, but then it becomes almost overwhelming. What I also loved about the museum (besides the beautiful and glittery substance) were all the interactive exhibits. Well worth the time.
If you’re interested in some other activities in and around Bogota, I really suggest these as interesting additions to your budget for Colombia.
Accommodations to include in your Budget (Bogota)
Could you do it cheaper? Yes, in hostels with mixed rooms.
Keep in mind: I stayed in hostels, but in private rooms.
|HCR Normandia (for 2 nights)||$40|
|Masaya (for 2 nights)||$70|
I stayed here the first two nights because it was close to both the airport and the bus station and was farther north. Since I was going to be going to the Salt Cathedral (which is North), it made more sense to be farther north to get there. I’m honestly not sure if it was a hotel or hostel? My friend and I had a private room and didn’t really see anyone else when we were there. It looked just like a regular house on the outside. I guess it was ok? Make sure you have the address with you when you arrive because it could be hard to find.
Masaya was such a pleasant surprise! Turns out that they have several accommodations throughout Colombia! The hostel itself is very close to the start of the walking tour, the historical square, and the Botero Museum. Inside the hostel are several lounging and sitting areas that range from more private to more social. There was even a dining area (where their amazing breakfast spread was set up!
It was nice having a bar right on the hostel grounds because then we didn’t need to wander out if we didn’t want to! Since it was Valentine’s weekend, they had a “Valentine’s” Dance party (I put that in quotes since the Colombian Valentine’s Day is in September). There were lots of people dancing.
I really recommend staying at Masaya hostel since it was clean, comfortable, fun and conveniently located. Even if you aren’t a party person, they have doors that really block out the noise and rooms in a different wing away from the music. Something for everyone!
Here are my suggestions for accommodations in Bogota if you want more options:
- For Mid Range ($50-60ish a night): The Selina looks really cool. It has the same vibe as Masaya, but it’s a hotel and not a hostel. It even has a super cool looking Rockstar Suite, but of course, that’s a more expensive room at about $130, but it looks realllllly cool. It’s also really close to the Botero Museum and the main plaza square.
- For slightly more luxurious (about $140 – 160 a night): I have to go with the Orchids. Again, it’s in the really great area of Candelaria, the square, and near Montseratte. The rooms are just gorgeous and could easily go for double that price in a more expensive country.
Transportation Prices for Trip to Colombia Cost
Could you do it cheaper? Absolutely, I definitely was taken advantage of with the price of the taxi from the airport.
Keep in mind: You should download the app called “Didi Rider” before you go!
|Taxi from Airport||$18.80|
|Didi from Bogota to Salt Cathedral||$8.07|
|Didi from Salt Cathedral back to Bogota||$15.41|
|Didi from 1st hotel to 2nd||$2.45|
|Taxi from Masaya back to airport||$7.35|
I was a little less prepared for Colombia than other trips since I was meeting someone there, and he had planned most of the trip. Normally, I would have researched the best way to get from the airport before leaving, but I was told to just grab a cab and it should be about $7. Well, when I arrived, my ATM card wasn’t working in any of the ATMs, so I found a taxi service that would accept credit cards, and they told me it was going to be $18.80. Yes, it was almost TWICE what my friend (Spanish Speaker) told me I’d pay, but I’ve paid almost twice that leaving the airport in St. Petersburg (for example), so I went ahead and paid it. It wasn’t until later that I found out just how much I was gouged.
Uber (AKA Didi)
So, Didi is definitely the app to download! We were originally going to take the Didi to the Bus station to catch a $2 bus out to Zipaquira, but then found out it was basically only $8 to get a private ride over 2 hours away? We didn’t have to stop all over the place and got to go straight there ( except for a snack stop!). Extra bonus, if we took the bus, we’d have to make our way up a hill to get to the entrance. Since we were with Didi, he dropped us off right by the entrance! Excellent!
It was more expensive coming back presumably because of the time of day, but still way worth it because the bus would have taken even longer.
The ride from one hotel to another was less than $3, and it was almost 45 minutes away. Great prices!
Taxi back to Airport
Here’s how you can tell how much I was gouged going from the airport, getting to the airport was only like $7 and that was at 6 in the morning!
Food Prices When Planning a Trip to Colombia
Could you do it cheaper? There were many cheaper options available, but since food was so cheap overall, #splurge
|Lunch at Fancy restaurant in Zipaquira||$7.34|
|Cheese Arepa and Oblea||$1.23|
|Various drinks (6 of them total)||$3.91|
I’m not going to talk about all the food since it wasn’t all important, but I do want to hit some not to miss options!
First of all, have you even been to Colombia if you don’t try the Paisa? The paisa is something of a national dish and is a combo of meats like steak, pork, maybe some chicken or sausage… then there is an egg, maybe an avocado, plantains, corn, rice, beans, potatoes and whatever else they feel like! I got this masterpiece at Carbon D Lena which was right up the street from the Botero Museum.
The arepa is a must in Colombia. You can get them as street food or in restaurants. It is basically a savory corn pancake, but it can have different flavors. I had a cheese arepa!
Another not to miss street food item is the oblea! An oblea is a dessert item that is made to order. It’s two giant wafers and you can get all sorts of stuff in there like dulce de leche, chocolate chips, peanuts, jam, and cheese if you can believe! Very cheap and tasty. It comes with a wrapper to make it easy to eat and walk. There is just no way to not include this in your budget for Bogota.
The last place was lunch at a pretty fancy place in the Zipaquira square. I thought it would be pretty expensive with the view, but it was only like $8 for this!
Alcohol ~ Important Cost of Travel Colombia
For alcohol, I’m not going to mention how much I had to drink in total, but I will tell you how much everything costs, so you can figure out how to apply it to yourself ?
|Bottle of wine at Monserrate||$14.67|
|Beer at a restaurant||$1.96|
|Glass of wine at a restaurant||$2.93|
|Beer at hotel||$0.61|
I split the bottle of wine with my friend and an internet friend that just happened to be in Colombia at the same time, so we met up! Of course, we had to cheers at this beautiful sunset!
Souvenirs ~ What to Buy in Colombia
Could you do it cheaper? Yes, Colombia is a haggling country! I’m just not a haggler.
Keep in mind: Based on what I saw, the large market by the Gold Museum had the best prices and the most options.
I don’t normally buy too many souvenirs, but I just love a good market place! And I’ve always loved the Latin American handicrafts that you can get in places like Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and down in Ushuaia on the way to Antarctica. So if you’re wondering what to buy in Colombia, I suggest just going to a market and seeing what they have to offer!
I really suggest getting something with alpaca or llama wool. They have blankets, backpacks, ponchos, and more. Colombia is also known for Emeralds. I went into a few shops and they weren’t too terribly priced, although over this teacher’s budget!
My coworker’s classroom pet guinea pig had just died before I left, so of course I had to get her a floofy guinea pig (fake!) as soon as I saw it. I also had to get my spoon since I collect small decorative spoons from all my trips.
I wasn’t planning on getting anything else, but then I saw these parrot earrings and I just HAD to have them. How cute are they??!
So, how much does a weekend Colombian trip cost?
Grand Total: $264.67 #CheapestTripEver