Is it a good idea to rent a car if I'll be travelling around Colombia for a month? How much does the rental cost? Whta's the gas priece?
I'm travelling with one friend.
I don't really know the cost of renting a car in Colombia but gas is really expensive despite the diminishing cost of petroleum.. about $4.5 dollars per gallon.
I would recommend you to rent a car. The roads are great and you will be able to stop and enjoy the scenes wherever you want. Colombia has a big variety of climatic zones and a huge diversity of species, having the biggest diversity of bird species in the world. So, the are a lot to see and enjoy.
If there are only two of you travelling, a mini car will be enough for you. For instance, rental prices on mini cars at Rental24H Bogota Airport start from $25 per day. Gasoline prices are about $2.5 per US gallon.
I was in Colombia twice and never bothered. Compared to USA or Canada, Latin America has way better public transportation when it comes to frequency and affordability for foreigners. For a longer distances you have air-con coach buses on a pair with western countries. If you have difficulty to get to a certain point, I have never had a problem to find someone local to drive me there for an agreed sum of money. Except few Latin American countries with terrible public transportation like in Ecuador, I found renting a car to be more of a hassle than advantage. But it as well depends on how "spoiled" you are and what having your own wheels compared to relying on someone else with many times lower comfort means to you. And remember that many roads especially in rural areas might still be gravel roads and I'm not quite sure what is the rental policy when on this kind of roads. Again, depends where you are heading and what are your plans, but I was on a gravel road many times...
I rented a car recently - a little 4x4 in Pereira and drove to Termales San Vicente, Filandia and Valle Del Cocora near Salento. The rentals aren't cheap - it turned out to be 200,000/day, so about $90 USD, but it's so enjoyable to be flexible and drive around a foreign place. I feel that i am able to learn more about the people and place when i drive myself and have to adapt to local road rules and people's way of driving. Usually it's pretty intense so you have to be flexible and comfortable with pressured situations.
The photo below was taking on the road from San Vicente uphill, as we attempted to drive closer towards Lago Otun, though the attempt was failed as the road is really crazy and we were running out of daylight.
All that said, Colombia has great coverage with buses and you will DEFINITELY save money that way and no stress of driving. Just sit back and enjoy the beautiful Colombian countryside.
If you're seeking adventure - why not rent?!
Mentioned in this answer:
I wouldn't. It's not cheap (gas is expensive there) and the driving is very sketchy. I'd look into public transportation.
I was looking at this question before going to Colombia with my family (wife and small kids). We used taxi, flights and I decided to rent a car from Chiva to zona cafetera for 5 days. It was not horribly expensive and it was fun and flexible. There are only two problems I noticed:
- account more time than you think for driving as you will not see even 1 mile of straight road. Its bends, curves, trucks, traffic, up and down. Take time and don't drive at night - it is more tiring and less safe.
- rental agencies (at least Avis and other major players) try to charge you extra at the end of the rental for even a single scratch. Drive slow on the bumps (so you don't damage the under body) and take pictures of existing scratches.
Apart from this is it is good. You need to have experience with driving on crowded roads.
I was just in Colombia and while there went from Bogota to Cartagena to Taganga. I would recommend against renting a car especially if you are going to be traveling in the south at all. You can easily book flights for under a $100 US and bus rides hover any where from 12-20 us dollars for long ranges. Although the roads are quite good in the north, driving through town if you are not used to no rules on the road can be quite challenging and very stressful. If you are traveling in the south then it can be a bit more dangerous as the guerrilla group Farc is still there, the roads are also not as good in rural villages.
Mentioned in this answer:
Eh, maybe not the best idea. Gas is pretty expensive and some areas just aren't the best to drive through, particularly if you're unfamiliar. Public transportation is really quite good, by bus or collective taxi, and if you really want some freedom for a day, you could consider hiring a taxi to be your private ride. We did that for under $50/day and had a great experience.