My name is Frank and I run a travel agency based in Bogota, Colombia. If you have any comments or suggestions, please write them in our comments section below. Thank you, and have a fantastic trip to Colombia!
1. Climate and weather
Colombia trips are generally recommended from December to March, which is not fundamentally wrong. Nevertheless, one should be aware that the rainy and dry seasons in Colombia are not the same everywhere.
There are also regions, such as the Amazon or the Llanos, where the rainy season cannot generally be classified as a bad travel season. For example, if you want kite surfing in La Guajira, June is the best month. That’s why I recommend taking a close look at the topic depending on the destinations.
When thinking about Colombia, many people picture hot salsa rhythms and a tropical country in South America. However, Colombia has high mountains and most cities are located higher in the Andes and are therefore cooler. It can get very cold in Bogota and rain again and again. That’s why I recommend packing something warm to wear and also taking a pair of good solid shoes with you.
Colombia is not only biodiverse in animals and plants, but also in pests, respectively in tropical diseases. You should vaccinate accordingly in advance, especially if you are traveling to risk areas.
4. Cash or credit card
Many travelers take a lot of cash or traveler’s checks with them for their stay in Colombia. However, there are enough banks throughout the country to withdraw cash and you can also pay by credit card in many places.
Colombia has an area of approximately 1.25 million square kilometers and is the fourth largest country in South America. Therefore, you should allow enough time for a trip when planning. In addition, the infrastructure is not the best and terrestrial transports are very slow. With many planned trips throughout the country, it is advisable to plan enough reserve time. My experience has shown that I have to reckon an average of 40km/h (25 mp/h) in the car for longer distances.
6. Trust in local operators
It often happens that local operators or hotels “forget” a reservation. You should, therefore, reconfirm all services before departure. As a local travel company in Bogota, we quickly got used to notifying every transport and every service before the arrival of the customers in the corresponding destinations.
You can pack a lot of useful but also useless things on a trip. Colombia is not a third world country and you get mosquito sprays, medication, and actually everything you need for a trip. And this is usually even cheaper than in many other countries. So you shouldn’t pack too much.
8. Knowledge of Spanish
Spanish is generally spoken in Colombia, and the Colombians hardly have any knowledge of English. However, it is mostly spoken in large hotels and international airports. It is therefore an advantage if you can at least order a beer in Spanish.
In addition, the Colombians love foreigners and if you try to communicate with the local language, you will immediately have an even better holiday and success experience. The locals will try to understand and fulfill your wishes and will be happy to talk to you.
9. Package tourism
In the course of my market research, I analyzed some package tours and was anything but enthusiastic. For example, Cartagena was promised 4 days. On closer inspection, however, only one day was planned for Cartagena and the remaining 3 days in a resort around an hour’s drive outside the city. Remember that you get what you pay for.
Colombia is probably the world holiday champion and there are 19 nationally celebrated. The holidays are generally celebrated on Mondays and so the Colombians use the extended weekends for trips and excursions. Also during the Easter week, people travel very often within the country. Before planning a trip, you should make sure that you do not visit the tourist attractions on an official holiday or weekend.
11. Believing online sources
I write travel guides and everything about traveling in Colombia. In my online research I have already found so many untruths. The most popular blogs about Colombia are written by people who have no idea about the country. You can also see that the photos are mostly all from third-party sources.
Colombia Travel Guides
If you feel like going to Colombia, you should definitely have a look at my travel guides in the different regions.
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