Colombia Travel Guide
There are some incredible things to do in Colombia: epic mountain treks, gorgeous beaches, coffee plantations massive coconut massive trees (which sounds not exciting but honestly one of the coolest things) plus a whole lot more – except my favorite part about this country has nothing to do with any of those. The culture and the people here will move you. The music in the streets, the vibrant colors everywhere and the glint in their eyes will mesmerize you and draw you into this community of humans so warm and alive with curiosity.
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Best time to travel Colombia
As always, the best time to travel Colombia will depend on what you want to do.
The Caribbean experiences warm temps year round but September through early November comes with heavy rainfall.
Medellín, the city of eternal spring, is also warm year round while Bogotá remains cooler for much of the year.
The country is driest between December and March but Dec / Jan are the busiest and most expensive to travel. February is the iconic Carnival in Barranquilla but there are also many festivals throughout the year around the country.
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Borders are closed to non Colombia’s until August 31, 2020. Colombians and residents arriving are required to fill out paperwork prior to arrival and observe a 14 day quarantine.
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Official currency: $ Colombian peso
Budget: Hostel dorms are around $10-$15 UDS while budget hotels start around $20 and go up from there. Colombian beers can be found for around $1 -$2 USD. Activities can start to add up, though, so expecting to spend anywhere from $25 – $50 / day on a budget is slightly more reasonable.
Credit cards: Accepted in major shops, hotels and restaurants – be prepared to show ID along with it. You’ll definitely want to have cash for smaller transactions and for more local places.
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Where to go
Suggested itineraries for traveling Colombia
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99 passports can enter visa free – usually for a period of 90 days, however, there are some exceptions. This includes much of Europe and the Americas and a handful of Asian and Oceanic nations.
**Always check with your government for the most up to date information on visa requirements.**
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Yellow fever vaccine, documented on the WHO International Certificate of Vaccination, is required for travelers coming from Brazil, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. The vaccine must have been administered at least 10 days before arrival
**Recommendations are given assuming you are up to date on routine vaccinations. Always check with your government for the most accurate and up to date information on required vaccinations for Colombia travel specific to your country**
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Exercise Increased Caution
When you say you’re going to Colombia almost everyone will ask, “Is it safe?” Escobar was killed 27 years ago but unfortunately the dangerous reputation remained. Colombia is a very safe destination to visit. There are still, however, ongoing tensions with the FARC and the various peace agreements. For the most part this does not apply to tourist areas however make sure you are informed.
**Always check with your government for the most accurate and up to date information on safety**
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Know before you go so you can be the most respectful and responsible visitor possible
Things to keep in mind when traveling Colombia:
- Pablo Escobar: Tragedy is inherently fascinating. The Netflix show “Narcos” catapulted Escobar into infamy amongst both those who remember the news headlines in the 90’s and to those who had only heard whispers of the past. The dramatization of both the man and his empire made for nail biting drama and, quite frankly, really enjoyable television. It’s important to learn about Escobar and his relationship with Colombia, however, this is still a very recent history for these people and they are still living with the pain, loss and consequences of everything. Please be mindful when learning and asking questions as well as deciding what to partake in. For more info check out: The Harsh Truth About Pablo Escobar Tours
- The FARC: Basic info from 2016, Colombia’s Long Road to Peace
Official Languages: Spanish
Plugs: US Plugs