Colombia Travel FAQs

Is it safe to travel to Colombia?

Colombia has experienced a remarkable transformation in recent years, and it has emerged as an exciting and safe destination for travelers. The country’s commitment to improving security measures, coupled with its diverse attractions, has contributed to its growing popularity among tourists.

Our tours are carefully crafted to ensure that you experience the best of Colombia while prioritizing your safety.

Here are some key points:
Customized Itineraries: We design personalized itineraries that take you to well-established and tourist-friendly destinations, ensuring you have a delightful and secure travel experience.
Knowledgeable Guides: Our experienced guides are not only well-versed in the local history, culture, and attractions but also prioritize your safety. They provide valuable insights and are available to assist you throughout your journey.
Accommodation Choices: We select accommodations in reputable and safe areas, providing you with comfort and security during your stay. Our partnerships with trusted hotels ensure a pleasant experience for our clients.
Transportation Safety: We prioritize the safety of our clients by partnering with reliable transportation services. Whether it’s transfers, city tours, or inter-city travel, we ensure that you are in safe hands.
Continuous Monitoring: We stay abreast of the latest travel advisories and local developments to adjust our itineraries and plans accordingly. Your safety is our top priority, and we make real-time decisions to ensure a secure experience.
24/7 Support: Our support team is available around the clock to address any concerns or emergencies you may encounter during your journey. We believe in proactive communication and quick response to ensure your peace of mind.
Cultural Immersion: While prioritizing safety, we also encourage our clients to engage in local customs and traditions, fostering a deeper connection with the destination and its people.

We are confident in Colombia’s safety for travelers and take comprehensive measures to provide you with an unforgettable and secure travel experience.
Our number one priority is to make your journey to Colombia enjoyable, enriching, and worry-free!

What are the best Ecotourism places in Colombia?

Exploring off-the-beaten-path locations allows ecotourists to discover hidden gems and experience the natural beauty of Colombia in a more secluded and authentic manner. Here are some lesser-known ecotourism destinations:

La Macarena National Park: Located in the eastern plains of Colombia, La Macarena National Park is home to the famous Caño Cristales, but the entire park offers unique landscapes, diverse wildlife, and opportunities for birdwatching and hiking. The park remains relatively undiscovered by mainstream tourism.
El Cocuy National Natural Park: Situated in the Andes, El Cocuy is known for its rugged mountain landscapes, glaciers, and high-altitude ecosystems. It’s an excellent destination for trekking and mountaineering, providing a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Amacayacu National Natural Park: Tucked away in the Amazon rainforest, Amacayacu offers a less-visited alternative to some of the more popular Amazon destinations. Explore the dense jungle, spot wildlife, and experience the rich biodiversity of the region.
Guaviare: This region in southeastern Colombia is emerging as an off-the-beaten-path destination. It features unique landscapes, including red rivers, waterfalls, and ancient rock formations. Guaviare is an ideal destination for adventure seekers looking for a less-explored part of the country.
Bahía Solano and Ensenada de Utría: Located on the Pacific coast, these coastal areas offer pristine beaches, dense rainforests, and opportunities for whale watching. It’s a less crowded alternative to some of the more popular coastal destinations.
Serranía del Perijá: This mountain range on the border with Venezuela is known for its cloud forests and diverse ecosystems. It’s an excellent destination for birdwatching, hiking, and exploring remote and less-visited natural environments.
Gorgona Island: Once a prison, Gorgona Island is now a national natural park in the Pacific Ocean. It’s an excellent spot for diving, snorkeling, and observing marine life. The island is rich in biodiversity and has a unique history.
Puerto Narino: Located on the shores of the Amazon River, Puerto Narino is a peaceful and sustainable community in the Amazon rainforest. It’s an excellent base for exploring the surrounding nature reserves and the Yahuarcaca Lakes.
Cabo de la Vela: Situated on the La Guajira Peninsula, Cabo de la Vela is a remote and windswept destination known for its desert landscapes and pristine beaches. It’s an ideal location for those seeking solitude and a unique desert experience.

These off-the-beaten-path destinations offer a chance to connect with nature in a more intimate and less crowded setting, allowing ecotourists to experience the true essence of Colombia’s diverse ecosystems and landscapes.

How is the weather in Colombia throughout the year?

Colombia’s weather varies due to its diverse geography and topography. The country experiences different climate zones, including coastal areas, highlands, and rainforests. Generally, Colombia has two main seasons: a dry season (summer) and a wet season (winter). However, these seasons can vary depending on the specific region. Here’s a general overview:
Highlands (Bogotá, Medellín, Coffee Region):
Dry Season (December to February, June to August): These months are characterized by lower rainfall and cooler temperatures. Days are generally mild, and evenings can be cool.
Wet Season (April to May, September to November): These months experience more rainfall, and temperatures remain relatively mild. Rain showers are common, especially in the afternoons.
Caribbean Coast (Cartagena, Santa Marta):
Dry Season (December to March, July to August): This region has a more defined dry season, with less rainfall and higher temperatures. It’s an excellent time for beach activities and exploring coastal areas.
Wet Season (April to June, September to November): Rainfall increases during these months, and humidity levels rise. There can be short, heavy showers, but the sun often comes out afterward.
Pacific Coast (Chocó):
Wet Season (year-round): This region experiences heavy rainfall throughout the year due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. It’s a lush and green area but can be challenging to visit during the wet season.
Amazon Rainforest:
Wet Season (December to June): The Amazon experiences high rainfall during these months. Rivers can rise, and some areas may become inaccessible. However, it’s a great time for wildlife watching as animals are more active.
Dry Season (July to November): Rainfall decreases during these months, making it easier to explore the rainforest. However, some areas may still be muddy, and mosquitoes can be prevalent.
Andean Region (Cali):
Varied Climate: Cali and other cities in the Andean region have a more consistent climate throughout the year, with warm temperatures. There isn’t a distinct dry or wet season.
It’s important to note that microclimates exist within these regions, and temperatures can vary depending on the altitude. When planning a trip to Colombia, it’s advisable to check the specific weather conditions for the regions you plan to visit, as they can have a significant impact on your travel experience.

What are the visa requirements for visiting Colombia?

here are the general tourist visa requirements for Colombia:
Tourist Visa:
Duration:
Citizens of many countries are allowed to enter Colombia for tourism purposes without a visa for stays of up to 90 days.
The initial 90-day stay can be extended for an additional 90 days, making the total allowed stay up to 180 days in a calendar year.
Passport Requirements:
A valid passport with at least six months of validity beyond the intended departure date from Colombia.
Proof of Onward Travel:
Visitors may be required to show proof of return or onward travel. This can be in the form of a return ticket or a ticket to another destination.
Sufficient Funds:
Travelers may need to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover their stay in Colombia. This can include bank statements, credit card statements, or proof of financial means.
Yellow Fever Vaccination (if applicable):
Travelers coming from or transiting through countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission may be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination. The list of countries requiring this vaccination can change, so it’s essential to check the current requirements.
Address of Stay:
Providing the address where you intend to stay in Colombia may be required upon entry.
Other Considerations:
While not always a strict requirement, having travel insurance is advisable to cover any unexpected medical expenses or other emergencies during your stay.

What is the currency used in Colombia, and can I use credit cards?

The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP). Banknotes and coins are used for transactions, and the currency code is COP.
Regarding credit cards, major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and to a lesser extent, American Express, are widely accepted in urban areas, larger towns, and popular tourist destinations.

However, it’s essential to note a few things:
Acceptance in Rural Areas: In more remote or rural areas, credit card acceptance may be limited, and it’s advisable to carry sufficient cash.
ATM Availability: ATMs are commonly available in cities and towns, and many accept international credit and debit cards. However, it’s recommended to inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with card transactions.
Cash for Small Purchases: While credit cards are accepted in many places, it’s a good idea to have some Colombian Pesos in cash, especially for smaller transactions, markets, or establishments that may not accept cards.
Currency Exchange: Currency exchange services are available at airports, banks, and currency exchange offices in urban areas. It’s advisable to compare rates to get the best value.
Chip and PIN: Many establishments in Colombia use chip-and-PIN technology for credit card transactions. Ensure that your credit card has a chip and that you know your PIN.
Currency Notes: When withdrawing cash, it’s recommended to obtain smaller denominations for convenience, as some places may have difficulty providing change for larger bills.

Overall, using credit cards is a common and convenient way to make payments in Colombia, but having a combination of cash and cards is practical, especially when exploring various regions with different levels of infrastructure and services.

Are there any specific vaccinations required before traveling to Colombia?

specific vaccination requirements for travelers to Colombia may vary depending on your country of origin and the regions you plan to visit within Colombia. However, certain vaccinations are generally recommended to ensure your health and well-being during your trip. It’s essential to check with your healthcare provider or a travel health clinic for the most up-to-date advice based on your individual health status and travel plans.
Commonly recommended vaccinations for travel to Colombia include:
Routine Vaccinations:
Ensure that routine vaccinations, such as measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP), are up to date.
Hepatitis A and B:
Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended for travelers to Colombia, especially if you might be in close contact with local populations or engaging in activities that may expose you to contaminated food or water.
Typhoid:
Typhoid vaccination is advisable, particularly if you plan to visit smaller towns or rural areas where sanitation and hygiene conditions may vary.
Yellow Fever:
Yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers arriving from or transiting through countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. Some areas of Colombia, especially in the Amazon region, are considered at risk.
Rabies:
Rabies vaccination may be recommended, depending on your activities and the regions you plan to explore. If you anticipate close contact with animals, especially in rural or remote areas, consider discussing rabies vaccination with your healthcare provider.
Malaria:
Malaria is present in some regions of Colombia, including parts of the Amazon basin. Depending on your travel itinerary, your healthcare provider may recommend antimalarial medications.
It’s crucial to schedule a consultation with a healthcare professional or a travel medicine specialist well in advance of your trip to discuss your specific health needs and receive personalized recommendations based on your medical history and travel plans.
Additionally, keep in mind that vaccination requirements and recommendations can change, so consulting with healthcare professionals is essential for a safe and healthy travel experience.

Is it necessary to speak Spanish to travel in Colombia?

As an ecotourism operator focused on providing enriching and immersive experiences in Colombia, we would emphasize that while speaking Spanish is not a strict requirement, having a basic understanding of the language can significantly enhance your ecotourism journey in our beautiful country.

Here are some considerations:
Local Engagement:
Ecotourism is all about connecting with nature and local communities. Speaking Spanish allows you to engage more meaningfully with locals, fostering a deeper connection and understanding of their customs, traditions, and environmental practices.
Authentic Experiences:
Many of our ecotourism experiences take you off the beaten path into rural and less touristy areas. In these locations, English may not be as commonly spoken. Knowing some Spanish will enable you to communicate with local guides, artisans, and community members, enhancing the authenticity of your experience.
Environmental Education:
Our ecotourism programs often include educational components about the local environment, flora, and fauna. While guides may provide information in English, having a grasp of Spanish can allow you to ask more in-depth questions and actively participate in discussions.
Safety and Navigation:
In remote natural areas, especially during hikes or nature walks, knowing basic Spanish can be helpful for safety reasons. It enables you to communicate effectively with guides and fellow travelers, especially in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
Cultural Sensitivity:
Being able to communicate in Spanish demonstrates cultural sensitivity and respect for the local community. Even attempting to speak the language, even if it’s just a few phrases, is often appreciated by the locals.

However, if you’re not comfortable with Spanish, fear not! Our experienced guides are bilingual, and we are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all our guests. We tailor our ecotourism programs to ensure that language is not a barrier to your exploration of Colombia’s incredible biodiversity and cultural richness.

In conclusion, while not mandatory, having a basic understanding of Spanish can enhance the quality of your ecotourism adventure by fostering deeper connections with nature and local communities. Our team is here to ensure you have an unforgettable experience, whether you’re a fluent Spanish speaker or just starting to explore the language.

What are the popular Colombian dishes and drinks I should try?

Colombian cuisine is diverse and flavorful, reflecting the country’s rich cultural and regional influences. Here are some popular Colombian dishes and drinks you should try:
Dishes:
Ajiaco: A hearty soup made with chicken, three types of potatoes, corn, capers, and herbs. It’s often served with a side of rice and avocado.
Bandeja Paisa: A hearty and substantial dish originating from the Paisa region, it typically includes beans, rice, ground meat, chorizo, black pudding, fried egg, avocado, and plantains.
Arepa: A staple in Colombian cuisine, arepas are flatbreads made from cornmeal. They can be enjoyed on their own or filled with cheese, eggs, or various meats.
Empanadas: These are fried or baked pastries filled with a variety of ingredients, such as beef, chicken, cheese, or potatoes. They are often served as snacks or appetizers.
Sancocho: A traditional soup featuring a mix of meats (such as chicken, beef, or fish), vegetables, and herbs. It’s a comforting and nourishing dish.
Lechona: A festive dish often served during celebrations, lechona is a whole roasted pig stuffed with rice, peas, and spices.
Bandeja de Pescado: This dish showcases Colombia’s coastal flavors, featuring fried fish, coconut rice, plantains, and a variety of seafood accompaniments.
Patacones: Twice-fried green plantains, typically served as a side dish or snack. They are often topped with hogao, a Colombian tomato and onion sauce.
Drinks:
Aguardiente: Colombia’s national spirit, aguardiente is an anise-flavored liquor. It’s commonly consumed during celebrations and social gatherings.
Coffee: Colombia is renowned for its high-quality coffee. Try traditional tinto (black coffee) or explore specialty coffee options in coffee-producing regions.
Colombiana: A popular Colombian soda with a unique flavor that combines various fruity and herbal notes.
Lulada: A refreshing drink made from lulo fruit, sugar, and water. It’s particularly popular in the Valle del Cauca region.
Chicha: A fermented drink made from maize (corn), chicha can be found in various Latin American countries. In Colombia, it may be prepared in different ways, and flavors can vary by region.
Guarapo: Freshly squeezed sugarcane juice, often served as a refreshing beverage in warm weather.
Refajo: A popular Colombian beer cocktail made by mixing beer with Colombiana soda. It’s a sweet and effervescent beverage enjoyed in social settings.
Hervido de Frutas: A warm fruit punch made by boiling fruits like pineapple, guava, and cinnamon together. It’s a comforting drink during the holiday season.
When exploring Colombian cuisine, keep in mind that regional variations and local specialties abound, so don’t hesitate to try regional dishes unique to the areas you visit.

How much should I budget for a trip to Colombia?

The cost of a trip to Colombia can vary depending on factors such as type of accommodation, transportation, activities, and duration of stay. As a general guideline, a traveler on one of our itineraries can expect to spend around $250 to $350+ USD per person, per day. Our itineraries include 4 and 5 star accommodations, private transportation, guided and self-guided activities.

How much should I tip in Colombia?

In Colombia, tipping is generally appreciated but not always mandatory. Tipping practices can vary depending on the situation and the region. Here are some general guidelines:
Restaurants: It’s common to leave a tip of around 10% of the bill if a service charge is not included. In more upscale restaurants, a service charge might already be included, but an additional tip for exceptional service is appreciated.
Taxis: Tipping taxi drivers is not a common practice in Colombia. However, you can round up the fare or leave a small amount as a gesture of appreciation.
Hotels: It’s customary to leave a tip for hotel staff, especially for housekeeping. A suggested amount is around 5,000 to 10,000 Colombian pesos per day.
Tour guides and Drivers: If you take guided tours or use the services of a driver, it’s customary to tip them. A guideline is around 10% of the total cost of the tour or service.
Bars and Cafes: Tipping in bars and cafes is not always expected, but leaving small change or rounding up the bill is appreciated.
Porters and Bellhops: If someone helps you with your luggage at hotels or transportation hubs, a small tip of around 2,000 to 5,000 Colombian pesos is customary.
It’s important to note that tipping customs can vary, and in more touristy areas, people might be accustomed to receiving tips. However, in less touristy or rural areas, tipping may be less common. Always consider the level of service and the local customs when deciding whether or not to tip.

When is the best time to visit Colombia?

The best time to visit Colombia depends on the specific region you plan to visit and your preferences for weather and activities.

Generally, Colombia has a diverse climate due to its varied geography, including coastal areas, mountains, and rainforests. Here’s a breakdown of the climate in different regions:
Andean Region (Bogotá, Medellín, and other cities at higher altitudes):
Dry Season: December to March, and July to August. This is considered the best time to visit as the weather is mild and relatively dry.
Rainy Season: April to June, and September to November. There can be more rain during these months, but it’s not constant.
Caribbean Coast (Cartagena, Santa Marta, and others):
Dry Season: December to March. This is a popular time to visit the Caribbean coast as the weather is sunny and dry.
Rainy Season: April to November. There can be heavy rainfall during these months, but it’s still possible to enjoy your visit.
Pacific Coast and Amazon Rainforest:
Rainy Season: These regions experience high rainfall throughout the year, with the wettest months typically from April to July and September to November. The rainforest is lush and vibrant during this time.
Southern Colombia (Cali, Pasto):
The climate here is influenced by altitude. Cali, for example, has a warm climate throughout the year. There is no distinct dry or rainy season.

The best time to visit Colombia depends on the specific regions you plan to explore and your tolerance for rain. If you prefer drier weather, you might consider visiting during the dry seasons in the respective regions. However, keep in mind that Colombia’s climate can vary, and unexpected rain showers can occur even during the dry season.

What should I pack for a two week trip to Colombia?

Light and breathable clothing, swimsuits, sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses, a rain jacket, a power adapter, a camera, toiletries, any necessary medications, and a valid passport.