First time in Colombia

Welcome to Colombia! In this post, we describe you at a 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 travelers 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 specific areas where risks occur, these areas just represent a small percentage of the territory and are located in remote areas and are non-touristic zones. Main cities as well the urban areas can be explored without restrictions, just keep in mind the following recommendations and enjoy your trip to Colombia:

  • Keep your eyes on your belongings when you are in crowded 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 friendly and curious with foreigners; it´s normal to ask where are you from and if you like the country.

Geography of Colombia

Geographically speaking, Colombia has a privileged location on the planet. First, it is 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 mountain 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 of years of miscegenation have created a fascinating fusion of cultures, history, and folklore 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 an extraordinary experience.
  • THE PACIFIC COAST Each year this coast is visited by the humpback whales. A high-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 rainforest is also considered the most exuberant. 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 rainforests in the South West, to the arid deserts in the northeast. The Rosario Islands with their beautiful beaches and a bright, colorful underwater world and are particularly favorite for divers.
  • FLATLANDS AND THE AMAZON Impenetrable rain forest in the southeast connects to the Amazon region Brasil and Peru. The jungle continues north into a vast savannah area covered every day by beautiful red sunsets.

 

Weather

Colombia's climate may vary from region to region. There are technically two seasons, rainy season and dry season and the temperature in each respective area doesn´t fluctuate too much, what allows you to travel anytime to enjoy the landscapes, which only change if there´s rainfall. Plan and pack according to of each climate to the place you will visit.

 

Health

Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory, especially if you are going to travel to the Amazon region, as well as in rural areas. Not other particular vaccination is needed. 

 

Travel Documentation and Embassies

There is no national restriction to travel to Colombia, if you visit only for tourism, you may stay in the country for up to 90 days. A visa is only required for some countries and needs to apply for a tourist visa in the Colombian consulate. Migración Colombia is the official entity responsible for visa issues and legal procedures for 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 connections weekly with 20 different airlines that sum about 129.380 available seats. The flights from Europe are Avianca, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, Turkish Airlines and Iberia, from South America Latam and Avianca. North America has a significant 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.