Tips before you go to Colombia

Before you go to Colombia make sure you will be well prepared. See here my tips and inspirations that will help you to plan your holiday.

Visa

As a Dutch citizen we don’t need to request a Visa, we get one in our passport for 3 months when we arrive in the country. Although there was a long waiting line before entering the border at the airport in Bogotá; I waited more than 1 hour to get my stamp. Please check your visa status when traveling to Colombia.

Vaccinations

Several websites show different recommendations for vaccinations. No essential vaccinations are required when entering Colombia. The recommended vaccinations are Yellow Fever, Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Optional vaccinations are Hepatitis B and Rabies. Please check if you go to a Malaria area, if you follow my route, you don’t need to take malaria pills.

Money

In Colombia it is easy to get money out of the Cash Machine/ATM.

Tip: I always bring some cash USD with me; just in case and emergency situations. For example in Palomino there is no ATM, so bring your Pesos or USD.

The hotels where I stayed accepted my Credit Card even American Express, so didn’t need to bring a lot of cash with me. But please check in advance. Palomino was the only place where I traveled in Colombia where there was no ATM, but if you go more off the beaten track you can run into more places without ATM. Ask the locals beforehand that could help preventing that you will not be able to pay. The Colombian Peso (COP) is worth around the 2900-2800 per USD. Compared to Europe Colombia is cheap, but not very cheap. For every budget you have accommodation, food and transport.

Transport

Local buses are cheap, 1/1,5 USD per hour in the bus. Buses will take a lot of time but are comfortable and have a good air-condition on board, so bring a warm sweater in your hand luggage. Colombia’s Andes is right in the middle so you pass it at least ones, be prepared when you pass it you could get carsick if you are not used to it. Colombia’s traffic is growing and they are building more roads to meet the demand of cars, but I was stuck in a couple of traffic jams and road blocks.

Download the Uber app. I used an Uber for the first time in Bogotá. It is safe, cheap and fast. You don’t need cash is all goes via your account attached to your Uber account (Paypal) Finding the location was a bit more difficult but I was very enthusiastic about this experience!

Internal flights are cheap too, but book in advance for the best prices and timeframes. I even booked a Business class by coincidence…. bought a flexible ticket no idea it was a royal chair up front!

Go local and rent a horse as one of the transportations or tours in your travels.

Other Tips

At my first day in Colombia I bought a phone and internet sim card from the telephone provider Claro. This is a famous provider in South America. People in the streets of Bogotá were selling these and they even helped me installing the card. I pay around 45,000 COP for 1 month durance and 200 GB of data, which was sufficient for me to use it in the bus and streets (Uber), where there was no or slow Wi-Fi available. Big recommendation!

Before I left to Colombia I already downloaded the app; Maps.me. This is an off-line map provider. You download parts of a country in advance where you intent to go. This was very helpful by walking in the city streets or the hike in Salento where there was no reception and you still can find your way!

 

Salsa steps Cali

Salsa in Cali

The main reason for me to visit Cali was the salsa! I love to dance and I wanted to take salsa classes to get into the Colombian vibe. Cali is...
Read more
View balcony San Agustin

Archeological San Agustín

For my holiday I always like to do a combination of beach, shopping, food, activities, nature and culture. In San Agustín you can at least do tree at the same...
Read more
Cable Car view Medellín

Mesmerizing Medellín

Indeed Medellín, the city of eternal spring, really surprised me in a positive way! What a diversity and flexible city. Every traveler I run into was enthusiastic about this city...
Read more
Palms sunset Costeño Palomino

From Tayrona to Palomino

The only big disappointment in my whole trip to Colombia was that the Parque National Natural Tayrona was closed from 28 January till 28 February 2018. I only found out...
Read more
Safe Botero Colombia

Is it safe to travel to Colombia?

Yes it is safe to travel to Colombia; in fact I haven’t experienced any unsafe moment in the whole 4 weeks that I traveled through Colombia. I am a women...
Read more
View from the boat Peñol

Piedra del Peñol & Guatapé

Instead of going by myself with the local transport, I booked a tour to the Piedra de Peñol & Guatapé with Top10toursinMedellin. It was a big bus full of local...
Read more
Carnival 1 Barranquilla

“Carnaval de Barranquilla”

The “Carnaval de Barranquilla”is the second largest carnival celebration in the world, next to Rio de Janeiro. I planned my trip around these four days of festivities; the most important...
Read more
Vlag Colombia

Route for 3 to 4 weeks Colombia

I usually go for a long holiday of four weeks during our winter time January and/or February. These 4 weeks gives me the time to get a good impression of the...
Read more
Las Murallas Cartagena

Charming Cartagena & Rosario Islands

I have heard very positive stories about “Cartagena de Indias” and as an experienced traveler I wanted to judge for myself; with the conclusion Cartagena is a MUST SEE!! The historical...
Read more
Parque Caldas Popyan

White Colonial Popayán

It took me half a day to get from San Agustín to Popayán. You can book the transport at several small travel agencies in San Agustín and you can choose several timeslots....
Read more
Overview Bogota Colombia

Five must do’s in Big High Bogotá

Bogotá really surprised me! It’s actually a big high altitude city, but on the other hand if you look for the nice areas in town it gets cozy and friendly....
Read more
Wax palms sun behind Salento

Wax Palms, Coffee and Souvenirs in Salento

I was looking forward to this part of the trip! Salento is known for the Wax Palms in Valle de Cocora and I love palm trees in general. See below the...
Read more