Despite the prevailing notion in Colombia that surviving on less than one and a half million pesos is nearly impossible, Sogamoso emerges as the cheapest city in the country, offering a lifestyle with costs below this financial threshold.
Navigating an economical lifestyle in Colombia becomes increasingly challenging as inflation and rising prices demand higher incomes for a decent living. However, there are still hidden gems in the country where a surprising budget can sustain life. One such location is in the picturesque department of Boyaca. A recent study by Living Cost identifies Sogamoso as the cheapest city in Colombia, prompting the question: What makes this claim valid?
Sogamoso, the cheapest city in Colombia
Sogamoso might not top the list of preferred destinations for many, but it has much to offer both current residents and potential newcomers. Living Cost’s recent study positions Sogamoso uniquely in Colombia, asserting that it is the most affordable city for several reasons. In a country where sustaining oneself on less than one and a half million pesos monthly is deemed challenging, this study suggests that Sogamoso defies the norm.
Reportedly, affordable rentals are abundant in Sogamoso, with houses available for as low as 240,000 Colombian pesos. However, considerations about the size of the area corresponding to these values are essential. Another factor contributing to Sogamoso’s status as the cheapest city in Colombia is its local market. Sogamoso offers products directly sourced from local farms, bypassing the extra costs typically incurred in urban centers for transporting these goods. Monthly food expenses are estimated to hover around 655,000 Colombian pesos.
The projected monthly living expenses in Sogamoso are around 130,000 Colombian pesos. While these figures are intriguing, their veracity warrants validation from those currently living in this unique city.
Analyzing living costs in Sogamoso
Living Cost’s analysis is rooted in essential expenses for an adult, including rent, utilities, food, and transportation. According to the consultancy, a person needs US$325 (approximately 1,484,018 pesos) to cover these basic monthly expenses in Sogamoso.
Comparatively, Cartagena stands out as the most expensive city in terms of individual living costs, making Sogamoso a pocket-friendly alternative. The study sheds light on various prices prevalent in Sogamoso, such as lunches starting from 10,000 pesos and taxi fares ranging from 6,000 to 20,000 pesos. Additionally, public transportation via buses comes at a flat rate of 2,000 pesos, applicable during daytime, nighttime, Sundays, and holidays.
Fuel prices in Sogamoso range from 11,390 to 11,700 pesos per gallon. Utility costs for water and sewage vary depending on the stratum, with the lowest stratum incurring fixed charges of 5,074.75 pesos for water and 2,026.61 pesos for sewage.
Alfredo Díaz Gomez, the manager of the Central Regional de Abastos del Oriente Colombiano (Coomproriente), attributes Sogamoso’s economic appeal to its proximity to municipalities producing essential items. Products like scallions from Aquitania, potatoes from Mongua and Tota, and other locally harvested vegetables contribute to Sogamoso’s affordability. The Central de Abastos de Coomproriente also helps regulate prices by offering products in large quantities, for the most part cutting out middlemen.
In comparing prices published by the Sipsa (Sistema de Información de Precios y Abastecimiento del Sector Agropecuario) with those at Corabastos, a noticeable difference emerges, with Coomproriente presenting lower prices than the central market in Tibasosa.