Apr 28

Colombian Currency

$2,000 peso note with a $500 peso coin

Colombia’s local currency is the Colombian Peso. Initially things can get a bit confusing since the lowest note available is 1,000, but you soon become accustomed to the extra zeros and, frankly, I’ve never felt richer. The exchange rate is officially rated against the US Dollar and varies daily, but for a rough estimate as you wander round you ignore the last two zeros, then for USD divide by 2, for Euros by 2.5 and for pounds by 3. For an official exchange rate, be sure to consult the currency calculator over at X-Rates.com.

Coming from the UK it was almost impossible to exchange local currency for Colombian Pesos, so if you’re due to arrive from a country in Europe fear not – upon arrival exchanging your money is easy. From the US most airports will exchange your money for you. ATMs are also found in abundance here in Colombia, especially in bigger cities such as Bogotá, Cartagena and Medellín, so if you don’t mind the relatively small charge, you can just take money out once you arrive. Most restaurants and shops also accept card, so you should find splashing the cash dangerously easy in Colombia.

It’s possible to exchange money on the street, but we strongly advise against it and recommend only using a bureaux de change, bank or hotel. Receiving false money isn’t common, but it’s certainly not unheard of in more popular tourist areas such as Cartagena. Be vigilant. To tell if a note is real you can touch the images and you should feel a slightly bumpy texture. If your note is completely smooth, I’m afraid it’s likely you’ve been duped.

Colombia’s entire catalogue of notes

Colombia has $1,000 $2,000 $5,000 $10,000 $20,000 and $50,000 denomination notes and $20, $50, $100, $200 and $500, $200, $100 and $50 pesos coins. They’re all pretty distinct except for the $1,000 and the $10,000 which are both brownish… It’s led to some pretty red faces while I’ve been here with my friends and, as yet, I haven’t managed to pay $1,000 for something that’s worth ten times more, so maybe it’s just us gringos that get confused…



11 thoughts on “Colombian Currency

  1. John on

    I found a site that lists prices for something in Colombia. It says $90.000 using a decimal rather than a comma. Everything I see online uses a comma in describing Colombian currency, not a decimal. I’m confused?


      Chris on

      Hi John, no need to be confused – the use of the decimal is common practice in Spanish in place of the comma. If you see the decimal it basically represents the same as the comma: 90,000 is the same as 90.000.

  2. Anthony on

    Is a $1000 alot in cali, colombia for a month vacation?


      Paul on

      It’ll definitely get you everything you need and some. In a month you can expect to spend about $1000 if you want to part a couple of times a week and eat in restaurants the same amount.


  3. Dinar on

    I have searched for Colombian Currency and found your site. I found your site is really good and specially this topic.

  4. adam on

    in usa


      Paul on

      It’s about $5.60, although the actual rate changes daily.

  5. adam on

    how much is 10,000 diez mil pesos

  6. Stephanie Sadler on

    I had one little embarrassing moment with Colombian money, although it meant almost giving too much. I bought 6 long-stem roses and I thought the woman said “trienta mil pesos” because that was more like the price I was expecting. She laughed when I handed it over and repeated herself. It was really only “tres mil pesos”….


      Marcela on

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for writing, we love your blog! Dont worry, I’m Colombian and it has happened to me too…mine was even worse but it involved my mom so it was OK….I was about to pay 30 mil pesos with 300 mil.


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