Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 14, 2012 10:19 AM Last Post By: kathrynfree
Oct 3, 2012 6:04 PM
Bus travelA couple of guide books have mentioned that bus fares in Colombia are negotiable. is this true and if so can anyone tell me how this works? Are there posted prices at the bus station that you just ignore? Thanks.
Oct 4, 2012 4:29 AM
1Yes, bus fares in Colombia may be negotiable at times, but that assumes you have a fairly good command of the Spanish language. It also needs two parties. One to ask for the ticket price, and another one to haggle just before the bus leaves. You will get a 10-20% discount at best. Colombians are master negotiators. It is not worth haggling with them. Try to enjoy Colombia instead.
Oct 4, 2012 1:55 PM
2Yes, like #1 said.
You may come to bus station last minute and try to bargain, especially when there're at least two bus companies doing the same route.
Once, my newly made Colombian friends took me to the bus station to get ticket for me. They could negotiate, knowing the tricks, even if there was only one bus to where I was going. The discount was 4 or 5 US$. Not really much for me, but nice gesture anyway.
Oct 4, 2012 3:24 PM
3Some really nice information from a hostel in Popayan - ParkLife Hostel:
Prices in Colombia can be bargained. The more companies doing the route and the bus station you are departing from will be the variables that will make bargaining easier or more difficult.
Different examples of how to get better price:
When answer about the price, ask for a discount: “¿Y con el descuento por favor?”. And if you want an extra discount: “¿Y el precio último?”.
Go around and ask all the companies doing the route about their prices. When finished, go to the company you most like and let them know about the cheaper price that you got and ask them to do a better price for you: “¿Me hace un mejor precio?”.
If you are a group, let them know about how many of you there are and ask them about a group price. “Somos 5 personas, ¿Que precio nos haces para todos?”.
Sometimes if you split the route, prices can be cheaper. Ask about prices to a city in your route and the prices from that city to your destination. Abracadabra!
Oct 4, 2012 10:53 PM
4I just left Colombia after a 5 month visit. As far as bus price negotiation, it is not what it used to be.
Most trips, I was not able to get a discount. And when I did get a discount, it was small.
The bright side is that the first offered prices were often pretty low. Before, they started you out at 40.000 for a 20.000 ride.
After a few getting only small discounts a few times, I just made sure I was getting a low price and took it. Every discount comes out of some Colombian's family budget.
Oct 5, 2012 4:06 PM
5i do not gree with any of the above info.
i can speak a little bit of spanish and we get discounts on busses every time. its always negotiable whether its last minute or a future date. always, it might only be a couple of pessos. a smile and a joke can go a long way. we haggle on anything from food to accommodation and they mostly will drop a little, try it you might surprise yourself.
Oct 5, 2012 6:34 PM
6That depends of where are you travelling. The usual routes have net fares. Because you are taking them at Transportation Terminals, for example you planing to go from Bogota to Santa Marta. It is a long route, about 950 km. and you will take the bus at Terminal de Transportes de Bogota. Forget to bargain the price, you are buying it at their offices. Offices of the major transportation companies. Maybe you can do that from town to town.. because it is a rural trip...
Take note, that nowadays there is a war between the major airlines (Avianca, Lan, Copa) with Viva Colombia, low cost airline, so... you can get very good prices for a round trip from Bogota to Cartagena - about USD 80 for 1:20 hour flight against 12 hours bus travel...
You can check this at my page www.pasajes.co
Oct 7, 2012 9:53 PM
7Keep in mind the word discount is relative.
if Kathynfree is being quoted a 40,000COP ride and gets it discounted to 25,000 and Gjbailey gets a straight price of 25,000 then they both paid the same price, only 1 person is perceived to have "saved" money and gotten a "deal".
Maybe I could've saved a little bit of money here and there on busses but honestly, I'll walk up to all the wickets, ask when and how much and just decide based on the answers. I don't always take the cheapest, I'll take what works for me.
Keep in mind too that many major cities are being served now by VivaColombia and if you check them out it's pretty crazy cheap. I've always hated how long it takes to get to Medellin just from Bogota on the bus.
Oct 14, 2012 10:19 AM
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