Money, banks, exchange of columbia - The Traveller


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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Money, banks, exchange of columbia

- The currency is the Colombian peso (COP). In June 2012, € 1 = 2340 pesos and 10,000 pesos = € 4.50.

- The flow in pesos tickets 20000, 10000, 5000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100 as well as parts 50, 20 and 10.


- Once is not custom, the exchange rate may be more interesting at the airport in Bogotá than in the rest of the country, especially in Cartagena. It will anyway be necessary to change the minimum arrival.

- In banks, it is better to change its traveler’s checks, and general way to its foreign exchange operations in the morning. All banks do not accept to change traveler’s checks, particularly because of quotas.

- Currency exchange offices (casa de cambio) are open later and on weekends. The commission varies between 2 and 3%. Better be careful and do not change on the street with beaters.


The credit card is accepted in larger establishments (hotels, restaurants, car rental ...), and general gradually elsewhere. ATMs (cajeros automaticos) accept Visa, MasterCard, but American Express and Diners Club are accepted less often.

For cash withdrawals, there are distributors in major cities. The use of traveler’s checks is far from common, even in hotels.


Generally, the cost of living is low in Colombia. You can travel for roughly 12 to 15 € per day, or take a trip by attending the most luxurious hotel for 80 € per day.


- Cheap: minimum € 5 (dormitories).
- Average price: between 10 and 30 €.
- More stylish, more than 50 €.


- Cheap: 5 to 10 €.
- Average price: € 11 to 15.
- More chic: € 15 and older.


Local tax is called IVA. For everyday purchases, it is almost always included in the price, but in tourist restaurants, add 10-15% to the invoice.



The patterns of weaving, basketry, pottery and jewelry are usually inherited from pre-Columbian art.

There are some very nice baskets in the region of Boyaca, and ceramics. Barranquilla and Cali are specialized in carnival masks in papier mache, while Santa Marta is famous for bags made by the Indians Arhuaco.

Found throughout the beautiful jewelry, gold side Mompox, coral and pearl on the coast. For musical instruments, guitars are produced in the region of Boyaca and Cundimarca, drums in the Pacific region. Bogota offers quality leather and fine embroidered garments, and a sample of the crafts of the country. For ruanas (ponchos), Villa de Leyva is particularly recommended.


Backpackers will love the wealthiest might want to offer them a beautiful emerald green, symbol of love and rebirth. Colombia's soil extract 50% of world production and experts agree that Colombian emeralds are the most beautiful, especially those known as the "oil drops" and the "eyes of water. " Most mines are located in the department of Boyaca, the most important being those of Muzo, and Chivor Coscuez.

The Muisca who lived in the area exploited the mines long before the Spaniards arrived. They were used for offerings and barter. Then the natives became slaves and emeralds were sent to the Spanish crown before serving to finance the campaign to liberate Bolivar. After Independence, the "green fever" has gripped the country adventurers stoking everyone's desire. Between 1984 and 1990, 3,500 people were in the Muzo entretues.

Bogota and Cartagena are the cities with the largest number of jewelery shops. There are even Bogota street markets of the emerald.

How to choose an emerald?

The primary criterion for selection of an emerald is the intensity of its green color, due to the small percentage of chromium in the stone. Unlike other gemstones, inclusions are not a problem, but they should not be too deep because the stone may break.

If found in Colombia beautiful jewelry, prices are often higher than the actual value of the stone, moreover very difficult to estimate for the novice. Negotiate or do you support by an expert!

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