When I arrived in Colombia I was pretty nervous that I wouldn’t be able to live quite as frugally as I had in Southeast Asia. My goal was to travel on $40 a day. But I had major doubts that I would be able to float myself on a backpacker’s budget. After spending a couple weeks in Bogotá and Medellín, I was elated that I had actually managed to come in under budget. However, as I prepared for my month-long stint in Cartagena, I knew this Caribbean city was going to be a much different beast. But as someone who gets way too much satisfaction out of of finding deals, saving money, and sticking to a budget I was most definitely up for the challenge!
Any budget traveler who is familiar with Colombia knows that Cartagena is expensive compared to the rest of the country. It’s the Ko Phi Phi of Thailand, the Boracay of the Philippines, the Bali of Indonesia. It’s the place you have to go – it might possibly be the highlight of your trip – but it’s also the place that can easily blow your budget out of the water.
I spent just shy of one month in Cartagena. And during my time in this Caribbean wonderland I was able to live on $30 a day. After spending so much time in the city I compiled a list of tips to help other budget travelers save big during their trip to Cartagena.