Cost of Living in Colombia

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Cost of Living in Colombia

Colombia is Latin America’s fifth-largest country and home to the world’s second most significant number of Spanish-speaking people. Colombia is a country of contrasts. The towering, snow-covered volcanoes and mountains of the Andes cut through its heart. The north and west sides of the island are lined with tropical beaches. Colombia is well-known for its arepas and specialty coffee and its people’s friendliness. It is well-known for its diverse landscapes and culturally rich legacy, including art, music, and theatre. It also boasts its fair share of celebrities, including Shakira and Sofia Vergara.

Also, we can say Colombia is one of the most beautiful countries globally. It offers a fantastic climate, some of the best woods, beaches, unique kinds of plants and animals, and diverse culture. The love of coffee is one of the most noticeable characteristics, and Colombian coffee farming is an integral component of the country’s identity.

So who would love to live in such a place? If you are looking forward to living in such a place, then you must go through this whole article where you will get to know how much it costs to live in Colombia.

Cost of Accommodation

Expect to pay between USD 560 and USD 700 for a two-bedroom unfurnished apartment in Medellin. This is also dependent on the area in which you live. The listed price is for a lovely and safe neighborhood in the city center with a security guard.

In Colombia, the cost of an unfurnished apartment varies.

Many luxury flats are available, which many Soon-To-Be Ex-pats discover when researching. These costs do not include the flats.

Unfurnished Apartment Prices in Medellin

  • COP 1.3 – 2.0Mio – USD 400 – 630 1 Bedroom
  • COP 1.8 – 2.3Mio – USD 560 – 700 2 Bedroom
  • COP 2.3 – 3.2 Mio – USD 700 – 990 3 Bedroom

Remember, In Bogota and Cartagena, you will pay 20% more, whereas, in other towns such as Cali, Pereira, and Santa Marta, you will pay 20% less.

In Colombia, the cost of a furnished apartment varies.

If you choose to rent a furnished flat, you can expect to pay between USD 800 and USD 1300 per month. Those costs typically include all amenities.

Prices for a Furnished Apartment in Medellin

  • COP 2.2 – 3.1Mio – USD 680 – 960 1 Bedroom
  • COP 2.6 – 4.1Mio – USD 800 – 1270 2 Bedroom
  • COP 4.0 – 5.3Mio – USD 780 – 1640 3 Bedroom

Food Prices in Colombia

Another significant perk of living in Colombia is food.

Eating out, for example, is relatively affordable; it’s astonishing what you get for your money; we’re still amazed at the pricing from time to time.


Breakfast costs between USD 1.50 to USD 5.00. It usually consists of coffee or hot chocolate, arepas with cheese, and eggs. You may also receive sausage and beans on occasion. It also depends on the city, as the coast differs from the Andes regions.


Lunch Prices for lunch range between USD 3 and USD 5. You’ll get soup, fruit juice, and the main course for that price. Colombians consume a lot of carbs, so it’s customary to have potatoes and rice and a bit of salad and your choice of protein.

Which is primarily made out of pork, beef, or fowl. They may occasionally provide fish or seafood, but this is unusual because seafood is more expensive than beef. That generally applies to the Andes region; the seaside is different; seafood and fish are incredibly cheap there.

The venues to have such a cheap lunch are usually unappealing to tourists. These are genuinely local establishments, and you should not expect them to take your order in English, depending on where you are.


Dinner is always less expensive than dinner. If you want the same amount of food, you’ll probably have to pay double or triple the price you’d pay at midday. (Which is still reasonably priced)

Dinner is a great neighborhood at a nice restaurant that is reasonably priced. For an excellent steak and french fries, you should expect to pay roughly $10 to $15 US dollars.

Colombian Grocery Prices

You would most likely spend approximately USD 300 to 350 US per month on groceries. It may be less expensive if you go to a local market, and however, that is the average amount you will spend. Every month, you can permanently save money by avoiding international aisles in grocery stores and purchasing local products.

Transportation Costs in Colombia

Transportation in Colombia is relatively cheap, as are taxi rides around town. It doesn’t matter where town you’re in; the ride will most likely cost between USD 5 and USD 7. In Medellin, the cheapest fare costs roughly USD 1.50.

Public transit is well developed in the larger cities, particularly in Medellin. Not so much on the coast. Again, we have a powerful metro system, and a single journey will cost you roughly 70 cents, and you can practically travel from one end of the city to the other.

That could take 40 to 50 minutes and cost you only 70 cents. You can go back and forth all day long if you don’t leave the checkout point. Buses are also reasonably priced, with an average fare of roughly 70 cents.

Bogota lacks a metro station but has well-organized bus lines. Like those in other cities, the bus system in Bogota can be congested, especially during rush hour, but it is inexpensive, costing 50 cents to USD 1 per ride.

Buses are used for public transportation in Cali, Pereira, Santa Marta, and Cartagena. On the other hand, ex-pats usually take a taxi or rent a car.

Utilities in Colombia Are Expensive

Utilities in Colombia cost roughly USD 100 per month. Gas, power, water, TV, phone, and Internet will all be included. Whatever you require in your home or apartment. If you rent a furnished apartment, this is usually already included in your monthly fee.

If you live near the coast, you will almost certainly use an air conditioner, which will increase your bills. It’s not particularly necessary in Medellin, Bogota, or Pereira, and you could need it in California.

Again, if you’re thinking of living by the seaside, the amenities will cost you roughly USD 20 to 30.

Colombian Healthcare Costs

We mean going to the doctor when we say medical. A visit to a general practitioner here will cost roughly USD 25.

A specialist will charge roughly USD 50 for every appointment. In a more severe injury, such as a broken bone, the cost will be roughly USD 3,000 to USD 4,000.

The Price of a Colombian Cell Phone Plan

Most ex-pats, including ourselves, prefer a prepaid plan rather than a contract. A prepaid package with Claro, for example, with 1.5 GB of data and unlimited calls costs roughly USD 15. They also allow WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook to be utilized without using any data you purchased.

The most excellent thing about using prepaid is that you can test out every provider to see which one works best for you and if you don’t know how long you’ll be staying, it’s much easier to leave the nation when you don’t have commitments to cancel.

Insurance Costs in Colombia

Colombia has a perfect insurance system called the EPS, a public medical insurance system that is quite affordable. It’s most likely between USD 80 and USD 150 per month, and the cost is undoubtedly affected by age and other factors. The quality is adequate, but if you want exceptional quality, you can apply for private insurance, which will cost between USD 150 and $250 per month.

Other Expenses

Other expenses you may incur are those for entertainment. Movies, bowling, Tejo, partying, and other forms of entertainment are available. These types of activities will cost you between USD 5 and USD 10.

Furthermore, depending on the season, there are many free events.

If you require assistance, you may consider hiring a maid. Many ex-pats hire a maid to come in full-time for one or two days a week. For around two days, the maid comes and cleans everything, does the laundry, and does whatever else you ask her to do. If she comes twice a week for an entire day, you may expect to pay a maid roughly USD 30-50 per month.

The Executive Summary of a Cost of Living Example

After stating so many low costs, I believe you can see why people come here for the inexpensive cost of living. Undoubtedly, more to Colombia continues to entice young and old Ex-pats to stay here.

Let’s have a look at everything. Let’s compile a list of all the living expenses stated.

In Medellin, Colombia, below is an example of a monthly budget. This is for a couple, not a single individual, and is most likely for a seasoned ex-pat with an unfurnished apartment.

  • USD 500 – Accommodation
  • $100 – Utilities
  • $200 – Food USD
  • 350 – Groceries
  • $50 – Medical
  • $100 – Transportation
  • 30 USD – Cell Phone
  • 120 USD – Insurance
  • USD 100 – Other USD 1600 – Colombian Living Expenses

You should have spent roughly USD 1600 by the end of the month. Don’t forget to include the 20 percent increase or decrease based on the city you’re considering moving to.

Is Colombia a Safe Country?

According to the Global Retirement Index, Colombia is one of the finest places to retire. The ranking, issued by the US platform Global Living, ranks Colombia sixth for retirees, owing to factors such as biodiversity, climate, cost of living, and the friendly, inviting demeanor of its people.

Is it Expensive to Live in Colombia?

The low cost of living is one of Colombia’s primary advantages. Furthermore, it is a low cost of living in a country that provides many first-world services and infrastructure that you would expect to find in a much more expensive area.

Is Colombia a Rich or Developing Country?

According to the International Monetary Fund, Colombia has an upper-middle-income economy and is one of Latin America’s largest economies. The country’s economy is influenced by its terrain, and it, like many other South American countries, is reliant on its abundant natural resources.

Is College in Colombia Free?

For the first time in Colombian history, all college-age students in income categories 1, 2, and 3 – or 97 percent of all Colombian students in public institutions and technical schools – will receive free tuition.

What Are Some Benefits of Living in Colombia?

You will have access to high-quality, low-cost healthcare. Colombia’s health system is ranked 22nd out of 191 countries reviewed by the World Health Organization (WHO). That is higher than Canada, which is ranked 30th, and the United States, ranked 37th. Colombia is home to 20 of the top 49 Latin American hospitals.

Foreigners who are residents and have obtained a cédula are eligible to join the national public health insurance plan, Entidades Promotoras de Salud (EPS) (national ID card).

There is no upper age limit, and pre-existing diseases are covered after a waiting time. Premiums might range from $30 to $80 per month, depending on your financial situation. Co-pays for laboratory testing, imaging, and other diagnostics are determined by a tiered system based on your income.

Obtaining a retirement visa is straightforward. The income need is relatively minimal, and the documentation process is straightforward. If you are receiving Social Security, you will apply for a pensionado visa. You can apply for the visa with as low as a $738 monthly benefit. To accompany your application, you must present certified proof of income.

If you are too young for Social Security but get a monthly private pension or 401K payment of at least $2,459, you can apply for a rentista visa. Along with your application, you must include apostilled years. There are no medical-related questions on either application.

Life will move at a slower pace for you. Colombians have a very family-centric culture, similar to the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. They enjoy Sunday dinners at Grandma’s place and enormous family gatherings with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins. They strike a balance between work and play. Offices close between 12 and 2 p.m. to allow staff to eat lunch. Many Colombians return home to prepare their main meal of the day.

Overall, Colombia offers a developed world lifestyle; it is a metropolitan metropolis with expensive businesses, sophisticated malls, etc. So everything you might want, but at a far lower price than in the United States, Canada, Australia, or Europe. People come to Colombia for various reasons, but one of the most common among our clients is the low cost of living.

Make sure you know how to acquire local prices because we frequently find our clients overpaying in the beginning until we teach them how it’s done the Colombian way. If you do things correctly, you can enjoy a fantastic life in Colombia with an unbelievable Bang-For-Your-Buck.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.