First time in Colombia

Welcome to Colombia! In this post we describe you at glance what you need to plan your trip to Colombia. So what's life in Colombia like? What are the people like? How's the food? How much does it cost? Basic tips about security, geography and weather, health, travel documentation and have a look all the travel destinations in the country.    

Security

Colombia is now safe to visit and travellers are discovering the diversity of the country that they were missing. Generally speaking, the country has passed a dramatical and positive change in the last ten years, leaving behind a painful past originated by the illegal armed groups.

Although still exit certain areas where risks occur, these areas just represents a small percentage of the territory and basically are located in remote areas and are non-touristic zones. Main cities as well the urban areas can be explore without restrictions, just keep in mind the following recommendations and enjoy your trip in Colombia:

  • As soon you arrive in Bogotá, in case you take a taxi, make sure that you use an official taxi which can be identified easily by the yellow color and white license plate.
  • Keep your eyes on your belongings when you are in crowed areas as transportation terminals or street markets. Try not to use cameras or electronic devices such as tablets or mobile phones in really crowded places.
  • Colombian people are generally friendly and curious with foreigners, it´s normal to ask where are you from and if you like the country and sometimes you could receive spontaneous invitations for any reason; nonetheless follow your intuition if something seems not to be good.

Geography of Colombia

Geographically speaking, Colombia has a privileged location on the planet. First, it´s located in the tropics, the range of biodiversity for excellence in the world, on the other hand, it´s in the northern corner of South America, with two long coastlines at the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Also, the three montain ranges of the Andes that traverse nearly the whole country, makes it possible that in Colombia exist every floor from the super-hot at sea level, to the icy snowy peaks, coral reefs, rainforests, savannas, wetlands, cloud forests, deserts and more. Moreover, hundreds years of miscegenation have created a fascinating fusion of cultures, history and folclore to discover.

  • THE ANDEN The high mountains of Colombia extend from north to south in the central and western part of the andes. Expect snow-capped mountains that watch over majestic plateaus and fertile valleys. Also, the green mountains of the region are an ideal growing area for coffee plants which grow in lands between 1000-1700 meters. A stay at one of the many villas of coffee farmers is a very special experience.
  • THE PACIFIC COAST Each year this coast is visited by the humpback whales. A great interest area is Choco, which is one of the wettest regions in the world, with an amount of about 9.000 mm rain per year and its rain forest is also considerated the most exhuberant. Some experts affirm that this area has the highest diversity per square kilometer on the planet. 
  • COASTAL REGION The Colombian Caribbean coast is a colorful mix of evergreen tropical rain forests in the South West, to the arid desserts in the northeast. The Rosario Islands with their beautiful beaches and a bright colorful underwater world and are particularly popular for divers.
  • FLAT LANDS AND THE AMAZON Impenetrable rain forest in the southeast connects to the Amazon region Brasil and Peru. This continues north into a vast savannah area covered every day by red beautiful sunsets.

 

Weather

Colombias clima may vary from region to region. There are tecnically two seasons, rainy season and dry season and the temperature in each respective region doesn´t fluctuate too much, what allowes you to travel anytime to enjoy the landscapes, which only change if there´s rainfall. Plan and pack according of each climate to the place you will visit.

 

Health

Vaccinations are not mandator at present, but we recommend yellow fever vaccination if you are going to travel to the Amazon region, as well as in rural areas. In case you need Assitance Card during your trip, you can request it following this link

 

Travel Documentation and Embassis

There is no national restriction to travel to Colombia, if you travel only for tourism, you may stay in the country for up to 90 days. A visa is only required for some countries and need to apply for a tourist visa in the Colombian consulate. Migración Colombia is the govermental entity enchargeg of visa issues and legal procedures fory your stay in the country. Also, here you can get a full list of embassies in Bogota D.C. 

 

Transportation and Flight Connections

Colombia offers 894 direct international flight conections weekly with 20 different airlines that sum about 129.380 available seats. The connections from Europe are Lufthansa, Air France and Iberia, from South America Lan, Avianca and Taca. North America has a large offer with low-cost and regular service airlines, Middle East and Asia connects mainly through Europe or North America. Learn here about Airports and Airlines in Colombia.