In North America, many of us do not think of $100 as a large sum of money. Our cost of living and the average income is higher than in most other parts of the world.
But what about for the popular tourist destination country of Columbia? This article goes into detail on the frequently asked question, is $100 a lot of money in Colombia?
So let’s get into it.
$100 is not considered to be a lot of money in Columbia, but more so a moderate amount. While it can buy you a few weeks’ worth of necessities such as food, transportation, and essential household items, it won’t go very far in terms of luxury items, travel, or more expensive purchases.
How far would $100 USD get you in a country like Colombia?
In this article, I’ll cover what your $100 USD can buy when traveling through the country. I’ll also compare costs between the two countries so you can see exactly why $100 is considered a lot of money in Colombia.
Is $100 a lot of money in Colombia?
Yes! Things are considered comparatively cheap in Colombia although larger cities like Bogota will still be priced similarly to other big cities. Still, the value of your $100 USD is what needs to be taken into consideration here. According to current foreign exchange rates, $100 USD converts to about 470,000 Colombian Pesos.
So the minimum wage rate in Colombia is about 1 million Colombian Pesos per month. Some simple math will tell us that this is the equivalent of about $212 USD per month. While the average salary is higher, you can see the difference in income levels between Colombia and the United States. For those who earn minimum wage in Colombia, $100 USD is nearly half a month of income.
As with any city, accommodations and rent will vary depending on the neighborhood you stay in. For locals, rent can cost as little as about $300 USD per month. Colombia also uses a tiered estrato system for paying utilities. This means that the government takes the average income of a neighborhoods and charges a rate based on the median income of its residents. Colombia is a great example of a high wealth disparity with a wide gap between the wealthiest class and the impoverished.
This is another reason why for most Colombians, $100 USD would be considered a lot of money. If you are traveling in the country, you’ll find you can get a high-quality meal for well under $100 USD. This can even include transportation as taxis in Colombia are very affordable, especially compared to major US cities like New York or Los Angeles.
How Much Money Do I need Per Day in Colombia?
This is a great question and an important one to answer when considering your travel budget when visiting Colombia. Since we are already on the topic, it’s safe to say you can easily get by on your trip with $100 USD per day in Colombia! Let’s not include accommodations since everyone’s preference for a hotel, Airbnb or hostel differs.
For food, transportation, and general shopping you can easily get by with $50-60 USD per day in Colombia. In fact, you likely won’t even need to spend that much on most days unless you are a big shopper. Most travel sites say you can get by with about 200,000 Colombian Pesos per day, You know your own spending habits better than I do, so plan accordingly.
Personally, I like to treat myself to a couple of nice meals on every trip I take so I always factor that into my travel budget.
Another thing to consider is whether to carry cash or use a debit or credit card while traveling. Credit cards are widely accepted in Colombia so you don’t have to worry about only having to use cash. As with any foreign country, you might want to limit how much cash you carry since you will likely stand out as a tourist.
This is not to say that Colombia is dangerous for tourists, but you can never be too safe when traveling in a foreign country!
How Much Cash Should I Take to Colombia?
When you’ve figured out your travel budget, you can then consider how much of that budget you want to take in cash. As I just mentioned, credit cards are widely accepted in Colombia so you don’t have to take your entire budget in cash. In fact, most travel websites will advise against bringing all this cash on your trip, to begin with! Here’s what I mean by that.
In this day and age, there are plenty of ways to get money in most countries around the world. Colombia is no different. There are plenty of banks and ATMs that accept foreign debit cards if you want to take out some more Colombian Pesos after you land. There’s no need to take out your whole budget in Colombian Pesos at home and then carry it around with you on your trip.
You can take out a set amount for your trip and then supplement this with further cash withdrawals in Colombia. No matter where you are it’s never the safest idea to walk around with a huge wad of cash in your pocket.
Please folks, travel safe and travel smart!
Related Financial Geek Article: 4 Ways to Save Money without a Bank Account (That are Safe)
Summary: Is $100 A Lot of Money in Colombia?
We learned that relatively speaking, $100 USD is considered to be a lot of money in Colombia. As a traveler in the country, you can easily get by with less than $100 USD per day, so don’t worry about bringing a large amount of cash with you on your trip.
Remember, credit cards are widely accepted in Colombia so cash is not going to be your only payment method.
Bon Voyage, and enjoy your trip to beautiful Colombia!