It’s important to know the local currency and the exchange rates of the country you are visiting; as well as the payment methods, ATMs, the custom of tips and, exchange houses.
The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP / $), the bills in Colombia have the following denominations, $ 1,000, $ 2,000, $ 5,000, $ 10,000, $ 20,000, $ 50,000 and $ 100,000. The coins are denominated in $ 50, $ 100, $ 200, $ 500 and $ 1,000. You may see different versions of bills and coins of the same denomination because they were renewed in 2017 and some old versions have not completely gone out of circulation.
In Colombia, different means of payment are used (cash, debit cards, and credit) you can pay with your credit card in most restaurants and shopping centers, but only local currency is accepted for paying taxis, street food, among other establishments informal. It’s advisable to use an exchange house at the airport to exchange your local currency for Colombian pesos, especially if you need to take a taxi to your place of accommodation. You can also find a large number of exchange houses in the different neighborhoods of Bogotá, especially in Chapinero and Usaquén.
If you need cash, you can find an ATM almost in every corner of the city, before making any transaction it’s important that you find out the withdrawal fees as they can be relatively high. You can generally withdraw up to $ 3,000,000 Colombian pesos per day (approximately 780USD).
In Bogotá, it’s not tradition to tip taxi drivers, security guards, or maids, but if you consider that they provided excellent service, they will be well received! Restaurants usually include the tip in the bill (10%), however, before paying it, they ask diners if they want to include it or not. Tipping is not expected in bars and coffee shops, however tip jars are located next to the cashier if you wish voluntarily give them.
One thousand Colombian pesos (1.000 COP)
1000 COP = 0.26 USD approximately
Colors: Orange and brown
In 2006 the new $1000 Colombian pesos bill went out into circulation in a commemorative edition of Jorge Eliecer Gaitán, one of the most influential Colombian politicians of the 20th century. His political life was characterized by his effort to transform the country, reducing social imbalances and improving the living conditions of the less favored social classes; he served as Mayor of Bogotá. On April 9, 1948, he was assassinated causing a popular violent reaction known as “el bogotazo”, his death symbolizes the frustration of popular desires.
In the front of the bill shows the face of Jorge Eliecer Gaitán and in the background a multitude of people; meanwhile, the reverse shows Jorge Eliecer raising his right hand with his signature.
Two thousand Colombian pesos (2.000 COP)
2000 COP = 0.52 USD approximately
Currently, there are two versions in circulation. The oldest version pays homage to the former president of the Republic, General Francisco de Paula Santander. The front side shows the face of Francisco de Paula Santander and on the other side, the Casa de la Moneda de Colombia based in Bogotá. The bill colors are light green and beige.
The latest edition pays tribute to the artist Debora Arango, on the front side it shows the artist’s face and on the other side, the Caño Cristales river and the Sierra de la Macarena; The image promotes the protection of the environment and the preservation of natural resources. The color of the bill is blue light.
Five thousand Colombian pesos (5.000 COP)
5000 COP = 1.30 USD approximately
Currently, there are two versions in circulation. The oldest version pays homage to the poet José Asunción Silva, the front shows the face of the poet and on the reverse a landscape with the poet’s sister and a fragment of the poem Nocturno III, this bill’s color is green.
In the new edition, on the front the image of José Asunción Silva’s face is kept, together with a full-body image of the back in which he holds an umbrella; On the reverse side it shows the image of the Colombian páramos, this image seeks to promote the protection of the páramos that are threatened by the variation of the climate system, the poem Melancolía is also printed. This bill’s color is beige and brown.
Ten thousand Colombian pesos (10.000 COP)
10.000 COP = 2.60 USD approximately
Currently, this bill has two versions. The old version pays homage to the heroine Policarpa Salavarrieta, who was the protagonist during the Spanish reconquest. On the front, it shows the face of Policarpa and in reserve, it shows the Villa de Guadas in Bajo Magdalena where her house was located. This bill’s colors are white and burgundy.
On the other hand, the newest version shows on the front the image of the anthropologist Virginia Gutiérrez, and another full-length with a book in her hands, the royal victory flower, and the tree frog. The reverse shows the landscape of the Colombian Amazon with a man traveling in a canoe on the Amazon River. This bill’s colors are burgundy and beige.
Twenty-thousand Colombian pesos (20.000 COP)
20.000 COP = 5.20 USD approximately
This bill has two versions; both are currently in circulation. The first version as the main character has one of the most important scientists in the country, Julio Garavito. The International Astronomical Union recognized him by naming a set of selenite craters on the far side of the moon with his name. On the front is the image of Julio Garavito and on the reverse the earth seen from the Garavito crater on the Moon. This bill’s color is blue.
The second edition has on the front the image of the face of the President of Colombia Alfonso López Michelsen (1974-1978) and another full-length in which he holds a “sombrero vueltiado”. On the reverse, it has the image of the channels of the Mojana. This bill’s color is orange.
Fifty-thousand Colombian pesos (50.000 COP)
50.000 COP = 13.01 USD approximately
There are currently two versions in circulation, one edition pays tribute to the writer and poet Jorge Isaacs, unlike the other bills this one has a vertical design; On the obverse, you can see the face of the writer against the background of a landscape of Valle del Cauca crossing the Cauca River and the figure of the heroine of his novel María is also represented. The front shows the Hacienda El Paraíso where the writer spent his adolescence, a tamarind tree, and two palm trees in the background also stand out. The colors of this bill are violet and pale gold.
On the other hand, in the second version, the front shows the face of the Nobel Prize winner in literature, Gabriel García Márquez, and another full-body image in which he releases the yellow butterflies from his work “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, a snail and a hummingbird picking a flower. On the reverse, the image of the lost city and two indigenous people from the Tairona community that live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. This bill’s color is purple.
One hundred thousand Colombian pesos (100.000 COP)
100.000 COP = 26.02 USD approximately
This bill is the highest denomination and has been in circulation since 2016. The front shows President Carlos Lleras Restrepo along with the barranquero bird and the seven-leather flower. On the back, you can see the Cocora Valley in Quindio and the wax palm, the national tree of Colombia. This bill’s color is green.
Fifty Colombian pesos (50 COP)
50 COP = 0.013 USD approximately
On the opposite side (face), it has a circle parallel to the frame formed by a succession of points of high relief. In the center is the image of the bear with glasses, made with volume and high definition, at the top the texts “OSO DE ANTEOJOS” and “TREMARCTOS. ORNATUS”.
The reverse (stamp) has a circle parallel to the frame formed by a succession of high relief points and lines with wave shapes. In the upper part the text “REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA” is displayed and in the lower part the year of issue; In the center the texts “50” and “PESOS”.
One hundred Colombian pesos (100 COP)
100 COP = 0.026 USD approximately
On the opposite side (face), it has a circle parallel to the frame formed by a succession of points of high relief. In the center is the image of the frailejón, made with volume and high definition, in the upper left part the text “FRAILEJON” and the micro text “Espeletia grandiflora” are displayed.
The reverse (stamp) has a circle parallel to the frame formed by a succession of high relief points and lines with wave shapes. In the upper part the text “REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA” is displayed and in the lower part the year of issue; In the center the texts “100” and “PESOS”.
Two hundred Colombian pesos (200 COP)
200 COP = 0.053 USD approximately
On the opposite side (face), it has a circle parallel to the frame formed by a succession of points of high relief. In the center is the image of the flag macaw, made with volume and high definition, in the central right part the text “GUACAMAYA BANDERA” and the micro text “Ara Macao” are displayed.
The reverse (stamp) has a circle parallel to the frame formed by a succession of high relief points and lines with wave shapes. In the upper part the text “REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA” is displayed and in the lower part the year of issue; In the center the texts “200” and “PESOS”.
Five hundred Colombian pesos (500 COP)
500 COP = 0.13 USD approximately
Colors: silver and gold
On the opposite side (face), the frame is circular and staggered. As a second frame, a heptagonal figure in high relief. In the center on the left side is the image of the glass frog, in the upper right the text “Rana de Cristal” and the micro-text “ANURA CENTROLENIDAE” are displayed in high relief.
The reverse (stamp) has a circle parallel to the frame formed by a succession of high relief points and lines with wave shapes. In the upper part the text “REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA” is displayed and in the lower part the year of issue; In the center the texts “500” and “PESOS”.
One thousand Colombian pesos (1.000 COP)
1000 COP = 0.26 USD approximately
Colors: Golden and silver
On the opposite side (face), the frame is of high relief formed by a succession of points and lines, in the center-left part is the multilevel image of the loggerhead turtle pretending to be swimming towards the right side where the word “AGUA” repeated six times consecutively and reversed. At the bottom the text “TORTUGA CAGUAMA” and the micro text “caretta caretta”.
On the reverse (stamp) it has a nonagonal stepped frame defined in high relief with flat and smooth surfaces. In the upper part the text “REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA” and in the lower part the year of issue; in the center the texts “1000”, “PESOS”, the micro text “CUIDAR EL AGUA” repeated four times consecutively and inverted and lines in high relief with wave shapes.
- If you need to exchange your local currency for Colombian pesos, look for an exchange office and avoid using the services of people in the street, since they are not guaranteed to be safe changes.
- Try to carry small denomination bills and pay in full, this minimizes the risk of receiving a counterfeit bill.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash for your safety.
- Use ATMs in shopping centers and avoid going late at night.
- If you don’t want to fill up on coins, we recommend knowing the bills and coins! And try to pay the exact amount.
- If you go to a street market or a fair it is important to ask the price of what you want to buy in advance to avoid being overcharged.
- Try to do a quick conversion by having a reference exchange rate so you will have a reference of prices.
- On the page of the Banco de la Republica de Colombia https://www.banrep.gov.co/es/billetes-y-monedas you will find more information about Colombian currency and tips to identify counterfeit bills.