Costs in Colombia versus Costs in Mexico
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jul 10, 2012 9:07 PM Last Post By: hardnosethehigh...
Jul 4, 2012 7:39 AM
I am thinking of going to Medellin initially, as I can fly there with just 1 stop in Panama leaving from Mexico, and I arrive early in the afternoon, Rates for apts. and hotels quoted online for this city give the impression that it is, for one, a really modern city (no problem with that), but certainly the prices seem slightly higher than here in Mexico and certainly more than in Mexico City. A really decent middle class hotel can be had for $35 -$40 in Mexico City, and you can eat like a European for around $25 including a glass of wine.
But there are any number of unlisted posadas and small hotels that are not online, and they can be as low as $15 a night with bath. I am not saying that this is "cheap", especially by comparison with parts of Asia, but it appears that Colombia is generally more expensive than Mexico. Any thoughts or up-to-date opinions from those who know both countries, or at least know Colombia n 2012 well, would be appreciated.
Jul 4, 2012 7:49 AM
1I forgot to mention that I always wanted a breakdown of what groceries cost in the market. I was just looking at a site called Numbeo.com that lists food costs in Medellin, and these seem to be considerably more than in Mexico. I cannot believe, for example, the quote that a capuccino costs $2.79 in a restaurant, in a country that grows coffee. On the other hand, they say that a 1 bedroom apartment costs $215 in the city centre of Medellin, and that is about the same or actually less than one here.
Jul 4, 2012 3:27 PM
2Firstly Posada is not a word used in Colombia. Secondly the city centre is not somewhere you would be advised to stay so I wouldn't use prices "in the city centre" for any comparison. To get an idea about prices check out real information rather than online forums:
www.airbnb.com - the biggest and best holiday accomodation booking site (they list both apartments and shared accomodation options, much better than a hostel but the same price.)
www.exit.com - Colombia's largest supermarket chain
If you expect good coffee in Colombia your in for a disappointment, all the good stuff is exported and they barely know how to make a decent cappucino here. But you will forget all that when you land in Medellin and realise your in Paradise and by far the best city in Colombia.
Edited by: Lonozbob
Jul 4, 2012 6:40 PM
3"One acquaintance who says he got an English teaching job in Cali says that Colombia is fairly cheap, and he claimed at least that it was cheaper than Mexico, which I do not think is true."
Since you've never been there how would you know?
When was the last time you travelled in Mexico-a place that no one defines as cheap any longer?
On average I would say that Colombia is somewhat cheaper for accommodation and food but overall not cheap at all-does that help?.
BTW-any place that sells Capuccino is much more expensive than the average Colombian comedor.
Jul 4, 2012 7:44 PM
4I am also not the backpacker type I stay away from dorm rooms. Expect to pay $50 and up for a decent private room with a shower in big cities. Cheaper in remote towns. Food in Colombia is not something to write home about unless you go to northern Bogota. But you are not going to Colombia for that. In general food in Colombia is cheap. Hotel rooms less so.
Jul 5, 2012 9:40 AM
5Well, I guess I did not make it clear in my original message that I LIVE IN MEXICO. I seem to have omitted this in my original posting.
Jul 5, 2012 9:53 AM
6Also, I looked at the hi-tech site, airbnb, which someone else mentioned. I had never heard of it before. It looks like an interesting tool to find accommodation (there were many listings for Medellin, for example, including apartments for rent). But people have mentioned that you should really try to contact the renter of the room or apartment by email or by phone to be sure they are legit, and that you are in fact getting what you see in their posted ad.
I am sorry to hear that the food is not great in Colombia, and that even the coffee is lousy, because Lonozbob says that all the good stuff is exported. Luckily, here in Mexico, the coffee is often very good, and one can find excellent coffee in the big and medium sized cities to either drink or simply buy the beans; the highest quality organic stuff here costs around $18 a kilo based on the current rate of exchange.
Mexico-a place that no one defines as cheap any longer
Who said this? Mexico isn't cheap by Bangladesh standards admittedly, but then again it is not Bangladesh either! It is certainly considerably less expensive than the US, as least as far food is concerned.
Jul 6, 2012 5:52 AM
7The prices of beans vary, some supermarket brands fall into the "gourmet" category. The best and freshest beans are found in fincas or cafes in the coffee region towns. Coffee shop chains like Oma and Juan Valdez generally use reasonable quality whole beans, whereas most tiendas and restaurants use garden variety ground coffee. The problem is that Colombia simply can't produce enough export quality beans to satisfy the demands of the international market, in fact production has slumped due to averse weather in recent years, so hardly any of it remains for local consumption and comes with a premium price tag. Most people drink "tinto" (filtered black coffee). The price for capuccino in Colombia doesn't really mean anything. Compare an almuerzo ejecutivo (set lunch) and fruit, tinto, juices or beer to get a better idea for regular items. Also note the strength of peso has been increasing quite a lot in recent years, to point of creating economic problems for export industries (coffee, flowers, bananas).
Jul 9, 2012 5:54 PM
Jul 9, 2012 8:00 PM
9But people have mentioned that you should really try to contact the renter of the room or apartment by email or by phone to be sure they are legit, and that you are in fact getting what you see in their posted ad.
Airbnb offer a free service where they come to the apartment and take the fotos for you. You can be pretty sure if the fotos are taken by airbnb then what you see is what you get. Also airbnb allow you to contact the owner through the site through their verified phone number, so no problem there either. Was just discussing with friends today how the future of hostels and overpriced tourist rentals is changing due to the success of airbnb.
Jul 9, 2012 9:45 PM
10"Was just discussing with friends today how the future of hostels and overpriced tourist rentals is changing due to the success of airbnb."
All to the good then!
However one fly in the ointment that we've seen here in Vancouver.
Many condo buildings don't allow apartments to be rented out for less than 3 months-in short people don't want to live in a hotel and they have the legal right to determine how the building is run.
Any owner caught by the Strata Council doing short term rentals can be fined heavily-and the prospective tenant/visitors are then turfed out/left out of pocket with no legal recourse unless they paid with a credit card.
And of course people who suspect their building rules are being broken can easily surf popular sites like Air B&B, Craigslist and the like, and Yes I know someone who does this and they have caught owners breaking the rules.
Jul 10, 2012 6:56 PM
11Yes its true, in Colombia rentals less than 30 days are subject to neighbour approval and goverment registration. Anyone renting rooms in an apartment block is generally doing so illegally as there is only a handful of buildings with permission in Medellin and I haven't seen any on airbnb. Anyone renting a room less than 30 days could ask to see the government registration documents but its unlikely they will have it. Either way this is Colombia and if a neighbour reported the problem to the goverment it would probably take years for them to take any action, the building administration has no legal standing to enforce anything.
Jul 10, 2012 9:07 PM
12" the building administration has no legal standing to enforce anything."
One clever idea that one Strata Council put into action in suburban Bogota was to put up in the elevators a list of all owners who were behind on their fees-the suite number and the amount of arrears both.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$90.39 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$52.68 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$71.79 per night