Money and Currency in Colombia

Currency in Colombia

Buy Colombia Pesos Online

Money and How To Use It

What to do about Currency in Colombia

The official currency in Colombia is the Colombian Peso (pronounced 'pay-so') and in contrast to many of its neighbours, the US dollar - although widely exchanged - really is not generally accepted as money in Colombia at all, so you'll be using pesos throughout your holiday in Colombia.

Latest Colombian Peso Exchange Rate
Colombian Peso£1 = $4821.59
Last Updated: 18:17 19 May 2024
Buy Colombian Pesos Online

Happily, the Colombian Peso is fairly stable (although it has dipped in value just recently) and widely available overseas, so either exchanging pesos while you're in Colombia, or getting hold of them in the UK, shouldn't be too much of an issue: retailers like the Post Office usually stock Colombian Pesos, for example.

How many Colombian Pesos will you need?

Sample Holidays in Colombia

  • Caribbean & Colonial

    • Length: 14 days
    • From: £1995pp
    • Highlights: Cartagena, Santa Marta, Tayrona

    Two weeks on Colombia's gorgeous Caribbean coast, from the colonial charm of Cartagena to the Tayrona National Park ...

    Book this trip now
  • Colombia Highlights

    • Length: 14 days
    • From: £2050pp
    • Highlights: Bogota, Cartagena, Coffee Region, Medellin

    This two week tour includes some of the real highlights of Colombia: Tours of Bogota and Cartagena, a trip into the Coffee Region and a visit to the stylish and under-rated city of Medellin...

    Book this trip now
  • Gran Colombia

    • Length: 18 days
    • From: £2850pp
    • Highlights: Cartagena, Rosario Islands, San Agustin, Villa de Leyva

    Our most full-featured 2020/21 Colombia holidays allow you to explore everything from the prehistoric wonders of San Agustin and colonial Colombia to the Caribbean paradise of the Rosario Islands ...

    Book this trip now
  • Caño Cristales

    • Length: 10 days
    • From: £1695pp
    • Highlights: Caño Cristales, Bogota

    Every year from July to December, the crystal-clear rivers of the Serrania de la Macarena explode in colour, as their aquatic plants bloom in rich reds, blues, greens, yellows and deep black...

    Book this trip now
  • Lost City Trek

    • Length: 14 days
    • From: £1995pp
    • Highlights: Bogota, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Ciudad Perdida

    If you'd like to spend two weeks exploring Colombia's Caribbean coast, including the fantastic five-day trek through the jungle to the lost city of Ciudad Perdida... look no further!

    Book this trip now
  • Two Lost Cities

    • Length: 21 days
    • From: £3095pp
    • Highlights: Ciudad Perdida, Cusco, Machu Picchu

    This fantastic 3-week holiday has you trekking to two of South America's most fantastic sights: the lost city of Ciudad Perdida in Colombia, and its Peruvian twin, Machu Picchu...

    Book this trip now

Using Cash in Colombia

You can order Colombian currency from a selection of providers in the UK, although they do usually have a minimum order limit of £250-300, and if you're only planning a short holiday in Colombia you'll probably find this more than enough. The alternative is to take US Dollars with you, and then change your money in Colombia, but if you do want to take cash then it's probably easiest to just buy Colombian pesos in the UK and take them.

Colombian peso coins

The alternative is to rely on using your bank card to withdraw money in Colombia. There is a decent network of cash machines in Colombia and they take most UK bank cards so there shouldn't be a problem with this, but many people do prefer to take a pre-paid currency card instead. Again, these are available from a wide variety of outlets and you basically "charge" them with a set amount before leaving the UK - you can then use them to pay for things or use cash machines to withdraw money in Colombia.

However you end up with your cash, you are likely to end up with a lot of large-denomination notes and you'll find that getting change can be a real pain in Colombia. You should try and break up large notes as often as possible, in places like supermarkets so that you have got the change ready for that all-important coffee when you need it...

Travellers Cheques in Colombia

It is quite difficult these days to use travellers cheques in Colombia, and although some bureaux de change will accept them, the commission rates are highly uncompetitive. As with pre-paid currency cards, if you do want to use them then dollar-denominated ones are preferable.

Tipping in Colombia

The first thing to say is that you don't need to tip any of our drivers or guides in Colombia - at any rate not unless you think they've gone absolutely beyond the call of duty. Generally speaking, Colombia is similar to the UK in its tipping culture. Some restaurants will add a 10% Servicio charge to the bill, but many won't and in these cases the tip is discretionary - although again, like the UK, around 10% for a 'proper' meal is usual. For drinks or a quick snack, you might want to just leave the change.

An exception to this is that hotel porters will usually expect a small tip (perhaps around USD$5 or $10000 Pesos) for carrying your bags. Obviously it's totally up to you, but the porters do tend to receive almost no salary, so the tips are effectively their wages.

Setting a budget for your holidays to Colombia

Colombia's economy is stable and diverse, and so factors like inflation needn't be a concern when planning your holidays to Colombia. Although you can certainly splurge on food and drink in cities like Medellin and Bogota, even in popular tourist areas like the Walled City in Cartagena you're likely to be pleasantly surprised by the value on offer. The following is a rough guide to the kinds of prices you can expect on your holiday to Colombia:

ItemCost (£)
Postcard £1
Set Lunch Menu (low-mid range) £2
Lunch/Dinner (a la carte - mid-range) £7-8
Lunch/Dinner (a la carte - high-end) £15-30
Bottle of water £0.30
Bottle of beer £0.75 (local) / £1.50 (imported)
Glass of wine £5
Coffee / Tea £1

As well as bottles of water, you'll also find that most shops sell disposable 'bags' of water as well - they come with a straw and in this tropical climate you can often find yourself finishing the whole thing in one go, so there's no need to carry a bottle around with you!

Share on FacebookShare on PinterestShare on twitter Back to top