Cost of living 2018 in Colombia

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in Colombia.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in Colombia will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Colombia?

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Colombia?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Colombia?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in Colombia?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Prices for most of the things Priscilla mentioned vary wildly .. depending on your location, personal tastes, budget, ability to negotiate and various other factors.

Here are a few prices I encounter in Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia, near the Ecuador border at Rumichaca....

Routine office visit with a doctor at Clínica Las Lajas:  $33 US* or $30 for seniors (for fee paid in cash for non-insured patient).

Cup of rum raisin ice cream, one scoop, at the ice cream booth near the escalator at Gran Plaza mall:  87 cents US.

Slice of pineapple-carrot cake at the coffee shop in the same mall:  $1.35 US.

Minimum wager at a blackjack table in Ventura Casino:  $1.67 US.
Maximum wager at the higher-limit table:  $67 US.

Standard bus fare for adults:  40 cents US.

One-kilometer taxi ride:  $1.33 US.

*Prices above are paid in Colombian pesos.  Prices above are listed in U.S. dollars and cents due to Gringo unfamiliarity with the value of the peso (1 dollar = about 3,000 COP in early 2018, with a floating exchange rate.)

cccmedia in Ipiales, Nariño

As has been said, prices vary so much it is hard to give even an approximate price, the only constant is fuel which at the moment is approximately $8100 COP for a gallon of standard petrol/gasoline ( I wont use USD, because there are people from around the world, use a converter).
The reason the prices vary so much, is because properties are listed in Stratas from 0-6, this is primarily for rating purposes, but you also pay many of your bills according to your strata, utility bills etc, the lower your strata the lower your bills, hence many Expats seem to head for Strata 5 and 6, because they think that is where they should be, I'm not sure why, I am as happy as a pig in muck in strata 2 out in the country. The one benefit of higher strata is that the Police do give you more attention, which for us low lifes is frustrating, but at least you can sleep secure at night. You will also find that prices in shops tend to vary in the same fashion, however the one anomaly I found was that I expected prices to be cheaper in the Hypermarkets than the village Stores, which is the case back in Europe, but no, here more often than not it is cheaper to go to the corner Store and buy all your food goods, for example a six pack of litre bags of low fat milk in the Hypermarket $19100 COP, in my local Family run Supermarket the same item $15900 COP.
If you are lucky enough to be unclassified (estrata 0) you are living off the grid, so you need all the help you can get hahaha!

Priscilla :

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Colombia?

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in Colombia?

I also want to know answers of these two questions please.

Edit: for Bogota

The answer to the cost of renting or buying an apartment or house in Bogotá is - it depends.

There are dwellings suited to almost any budget.  Bogotá is generally more expensive than the rest of Colombia, though.  I do not know personally, but most people tell me the north part of Bogotá is generally safer.

You can find all kinds of rental information, for instance, just by doing a search for
bogota apartamento arriendo     for apartments, and
bogota casa arriendo                     for houses.

Just substitute "venta" for "arriendo" in the above searches to get an idea of purchase prices.  However it's highly recommended not to buy any property until you've lived in the area for a year or so -  there's a big chance of  a "pig in a poke" situation, or being on the wrong end of the saying, dar gato por liebre...

You can also check out free ads in Locanto for Bogotá, under "INMOBILIARIA".  Many of these are placed directly by the owner and not an agency:

http://bogota.locanto.com.co/

OsageArcher :

The answer to the cost of renting or buying an apartment or house in Bogotá is - it depends.

There are dwellings suited to almost any budget.  Bogotá is generally more expensive than the rest of Colombia, though.  I do not know personally, but most people tell me the north part of Bogotá is generally safer.

You can find all kinds of rental information, for instance, just by doing a search for
bogota apartamento arriendo     for apartments, and
bogota casa arriendo                     for houses.

Just substitute "venta" for "arriendo" in the above searches to get an idea of purchase prices.  However it's highly recommended not to buy any property until you've lived in the area for a year or so -  there's a big chance of  a "pig in a poke" situation, or being on the wrong end of the saying, dar gato por liebre...

You can also check out free ads in Locanto for Bogotá, under "INMOBILIARIA":

http://bogota.locanto.com.co/

Thanks bunch for advices. I will look the website now! Edit: Somehow the link did not work for me.

If the Locanto link does not work for you, just search for
locanto bogota
...and you'll get the page for it as the first hit.

Give it another try, it worked for me!

In reference to the cost of renting a house, I was investigating that question in Pereira the other day, and the young guy working at the hotel told me you can rent a nice house, 2 or 3 bdrom, 2 bth in a nice barrio for $150 a month.......but unfurnished......double that if furnished.......Armenia most likely the same.......Bogota, not a clue......and no reason to find out.....haha.......

I was able to rent a newly remodeled modern two bed apt in a modern gated community for $700k pesos in Santa Rosa and it cost roughly $200k to furnish, including fridge and stove.

SunsetSteve :

I was able to rent a newly remodeled modern two bed apt in a modern gated community for $700k pesos in Santa Rosa and it cost roughly $200k to furnish, including fridge and stove.

That's amazing, you furnished a two-bedroom apartment, including appliances, for the equivalent of $70 US!

Last week, a guy moving from Santa Rosa to Bogotá was asking for millions (of pesos) for his used furnishings.

How did you do it for $70 US, Steve?

cccmedia in Depto. de Nariño

cccmedia :

That's amazing, you furnished a two-bedroom apartment, including appliances, for the equivalent of $70 US!

Last week, a guy moving from Santa Rosa to Bogotá was asking for millions (of pesos) for his used furnishings.

How did you do it for $70 US, Steve?

cccmedia in Depto. de Nariño

Yes, I'd love to know as well, even using the local lower end furniture shops I couldn't do that! I can beat the rental price, I rented a three bed gated apartment in Bello (just outside Medellin) with communal swimming pool for 2 years at COL$450k pm, I understand it is now $550k, but even then it cost me a few million to furnish.

I shouldn’t have tried to shorten the numbers! Lol
$7M col

Ok, now that we got that straightened out...but still I dont see how you can completely furnish a house for $740 which is the equivalent to $2M right?  You mean you can buy fridges, stoves, sofas, chairs, dining room table, beds, mesitas, blenders, toasters, and all the other implements for that little money? Or quite possibly youre an even worse accountant than I am, Lol........

If you read his updated reply he says 7million COL, which by my reckoning is about USD 2450, and is certainly doable here, I just bought a new washing machine for $950.000,00 COP when you could pay 7million for one if you wanted to (Exito). Likewise you can buy a TV for 14million, or as little as $500.000,00 COP,  it's all down to budget.  personally if I had 14 million to spare, I rather spend it upgrading my 1996 Montero!!! :D

there's probably a number of smaller items im ignoring like cutlery and towels. and i only did the basics and one bedroom.  Cafetero donated a plastic table and chairs for the dining area. but stuff was very inexpensive. nice stuff too. bot not art or decor items .

OsageArcher :

If the Locanto link does not work for you, just search for
locanto bogota
...and you'll get the page for it as the first hit.

Thank you, that helped me much.

Hey Sunset......I think you might be on to something.....the outskirts of Medellin look better and better the farther I go.....Am in Ecuador now since yesterday morning......What absolute madness at the border with all the poor Venezuelans in exodus.......its a sight to see.........

Dumluk,  I am really interested in the outskirts (the surrounding areas) of Medellin too. I'm also very interested in Ecuador.  Do you have any insights you might like to share from your traveling in these two areas ? If anybody else has some stories or observations they'd like to share, that would be appreciated too.  Thank you :)

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