Colombia travel Faqs


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1. When is the best time to travel to Colombia?

The best time to travel to Colombia depends on your preferences and the regions you plan to visit, as Colombia's climate varies greatly due to its diverse geography. Generally, Colombia experiences two main seasons: dry season and rainy season.

Dry Season (December to March and July to August): This period is typically considered the best time to visit most regions of Colombia, as the weather is generally drier and more predictable.

The dry season is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, sightseeing, and exploring Colombia's natural attractions.

Popular destinations such as Cartagena, Medellín, Bogotá, and the Coffee Region experience pleasant temperatures and minimal rainfall during this time, making it perfect for travel.

Rainy Season (April to June and September to November): The rainy season in Colombia can bring heavy rainfall and occasional thunderstorms, particularly in the Andean region and along the Pacific coast.

Despite the rain, traveling during the rainy season has its advantages, including fewer crowds and lower prices for accommodations and tours.

Some regions, such as the Amazon Rainforest and the Pacific coast, are best visited during the rainy season when wildlife is more active, and rivers are higher for activities like wildlife spotting and rafting.

Keep in mind that Colombia's diverse geography means that weather patterns can vary significantly between regions. For example, coastal areas tend to be hot and humid year-round, while high-altitude cities like Bogotá and Medellín have cooler temperatures.

Ultimately, the best time to travel to Colombia depends on your interests and the specific experiences you're seeking. Whether you prefer dry weather for outdoor adventures or don't mind a bit of rain to experience Colombia's lush landscapes, there's something to enjoy year-round in this vibrant and diverse country.

2. What currency is used in Colombia?

In Colombia, the official currency is the Colombian peso (COP). Coins and bills feature images of notable personalities, indigenous flora and fauna, and prominent attractions, showcasing the country's rich cultural and natural heritage.

Denominations of coins include 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 pesos, while bills come in values of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 pesos. These various denominations cater to different transactional needs, from small purchases to larger expenses.

When exchanging foreign currency, it's advisable to do so at reputable establishments such as hotels, banks, and authorized exchange bureaus. Exchanging money on the street can be risky due to the potential for receiving counterfeit bills. Exchange rates are determined based on the official daily rate, with commissions and service fees typically ranging from 2% to 3%.

3. 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. Also many restaurants ask if you want to add a tip which is already a percentage from the total.
  • 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. Usually the fare is discussed in advance and agreed upon with the taxi driver.
  • 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 25.000 Colombian pesos per day per person to your guide ($5-$6 USD) while a tip for a driver can be around 10.000 to 15.000 Colombian pesos per person per day ($2-$3 USD)
  • 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.

4. Which vaccinations should I have in Colombia?

CDC recommends that all travelers to Colombia get vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid before visiting. Depending on where you’re traveling in Colombia, talk to your doctor about vaccinations against hepatitis B, rabies, malaria, and yellow fever.

This information should be verified with your doctor, for your specific travel destinations and dates.

5. 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.

6. Which ones are Colombia’s most touristic destinations?

Colombia offers a diverse array of tourist destinations, from vibrant cities to stunning natural landscapes. Some of the most popular tourist places in Colombia include:

  • Cartagena: Known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, vibrant street life, and beautiful Caribbean beaches, Cartagena is one of Colombia's most iconic destinations. Visitors can explore the historic walled city, visit the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas fortress, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the city's plazas and markets.
  • Bogotá: Colombia's capital city, Bogotá, is a bustling metropolis with a rich cultural scene, including world-class museums, art galleries, and theaters. Highlights include the historic La Candelaria neighborhood, the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), and the panoramic views from Monserrate hill.
  • Medellín: Once known as the stronghold of Pablo Escobar's drug cartel, Medellín has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years and is now a vibrant and innovative city. Visitors can explore attractions such as Plaza Botero, Parque Arví, and the innovative Metrocable system.
  • Coffee Cultural Landscape: Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Colombia's Coffee Cultural Landscape is renowned for its scenic beauty, lush coffee plantations, and charming towns. Visitors can tour coffee farms, hike in the stunning Cocora Valley, and learn about the coffee production process.
  • Tayrona National Park: Located on Colombia's Caribbean coast, Tayrona National Park is famous for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforest. Visitors can hike through the park's trails, relax on secluded beaches, and snorkel in the coral reefs.
  • San Andrés and Providencia: These idyllic islands in the Caribbean Sea offer white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving. San Andrés is known for its lively nightlife and duty-free shopping, while Providencia offers a more laid-back and tranquil atmosphere.

These are just a few examples of Colombia's most touristic places, but the country offers countless other attractions and destinations waiting to be explored. Whether you're interested in history, culture, nature, or adventure, Colombia has something to offer for every traveler.

7. How do I get around Colombia? Are there reliable transportation options?

In Colombia, there are several transportation options available for getting around, including:

Domestic Flights: Colombia has a well-developed network of domestic flights, making it easy to travel between major cities and regions. Airlines such as Avianca, LATAM Airlines, Viva Air, and EasyFly operate flights to destinations across the country. Domestic flights are a convenient option for covering long distances quickly, especially when traveling between regions with limited road infrastructure.

Intercity Buses: Intercity buses are a popular and affordable way to travel between cities and towns in Colombia. Several bus companies operate routes throughout the country, offering a range of services from basic to luxury. Buses are available for both short and long-distance travel, with routes connecting major cities and remote regions.

Public Transportation: Major cities in Colombia, such as Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali, have extensive public transportation systems, including buses, metro systems, and cable cars. Public transportation is generally affordable and convenient for getting around within urban areas. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Didi are also available in many cities.

Shared Taxis and Colectivos: In some rural areas and smaller towns, shared taxis and colectivos (shared vans or minibusses) are a common mode of transportation. These vehicles follow set routes and pick up passengers along the way, making them a convenient option for traveling short distances in remote regions.

8. What are the typical food and drinks of Colombia that I should try?

Colombian cuisine is diverse and reflects the country's rich cultural heritage and varied geography. Here are some typical foods and drinks of Colombia that visitors should definitely try:

  • Arepas: These cornmeal patties are a staple food in Colombia and can be enjoyed in various ways, such as stuffed with cheese, meat, eggs, or avocado. Arepas are typically eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
  • Bandeja Paisa: Considered Colombia's national dish, Bandeja Paisa is a hearty meal that typically includes rice, beans, chicharrón (fried pork belly), carne asada (grilled steak), chorizo sausage, fried egg, avocado, and plantains.
  • Empanadas: These savory pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients such as beef, chicken, potatoes, and cheese, then deep-fried to perfection. Empanadas are a popular snack or street food in Colombia
  • Ajiaco: A hearty soup made with chicken, potatoes, corn, capers, and herbs, Ajiaco is a traditional Colombian dish that is especially popular in Bogotá and the surrounding region. It's often served with avocado and rice.
  • Lechona: This traditional dish consists of a whole roasted pig stuffed with rice, peas, and spices. Lechona is typically served at special occasions and festivals and is a favorite dish in Colombia's Tolima and Cundinamarca regions.
  • Chicha: A fermented corn-based drink that has been enjoyed in Colombia for centuries, chicha comes in various flavors and is often served at celebrations and fiestas.
  • Colombian Coffee: Colombia is famous for its high-quality coffee beans, and visitors should definitely try a cup of freshly brewed Colombian coffee while in the country. Coffee plantations offer tours where visitors can learn about the coffee-making process and sample different varieties of coffee.
  • Lulada: A refreshing drink made with lulo fruit, sugar, water, and lime juice, lulada is a popular beverage in Colombia's Valle del Cauca region. It's tart, sweet, and perfect for hot days.

These are just a few examples of the delicious foods and drinks that Colombia has to offer. Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of experiencing Colombian culture and traditions during your visit.