Colombia Holidays – Travel Guide
What to expect
An unforgettable experience!
Expect wander around in La Candelaria that is the historic district of Bogota the capital of Colombia and enjoy the best view from the Monserrate Hill rising to 3.152 meters above the sea level to prove that it deserves to be the iconic symbol of the city of Bogota.
If you want to run away from the cold because you have enough in the UK and you love the spring, Medellin is your city! Known as the city of eternal spring with temperatures averaging 24°C/72°F throughout the year makes any time enjoyable to visit.
Perfect to discover the famous Pueblito Paisa in Cerro Nutibara where you will see a replica of a typical village in Antioquia and impressive panoramic view of Medellin.
If you are planning to travel for Christmas, you will have the opportunity to be fascinated by El Alumbrado (Medellin Christmas lights) perhaps the best in the world? You will be the judge.
Two hours from Medellin your heart will be conquered by the cutest, colourful and unique town of Guatape with its magnificent rock, be ready to stay breathless after taking the 740 stairs to go to the top of this massive stone, the impressive views from there worth the effort!
If you can afford to leave bits of your heart in the many charming places that Colombia has, it’s time to go to the Colombia coffee triangle where you have the opportunity to participate in the authentic process of that delicious drink and taste it at a coffee farm.
Ready for more beauty? So, all you need is the spectacular landscapes with the Quindio wax palm trees on the Cocora Valley and the small colourful town of Salento.
From the interior to the Colombian Caribbean, let’s start with the queen Cartagena de Indias where you will realise the contrast between the Modern architecture of Bocagrande and Manga and the old town’s Unesco World Heritage Site’s colonial architecture.
Is time to relax and sunbathing in one of the many islands near Cartagena, you can choose between the 28 Rosario Islands, or the Baru Island that is known for has some of the best beaches in the country, and do not forget Bocachica with its natural Jacuzzis and white sandy beaches.
If you are a lover of slow life, Santa Marta and its scenic areas that surround it is your place!
Santa Marta and Tayrona National Park is the perfect combination, a beautiful white sand Caribbean beach enjoying the crystal-clear water with the jungle in the background.
Colombia’s pure magical realism it is ever so present when visiting San Andres and Providencia where you can take a bath in the surreal seven colours sea!
Where to eat in Colombia
You can always find a typical restaurant for an excellent price (About 60000 COP approx 15 GBP for a 3-course meal for two people) or an irresistible temptation around every corner of the country with the stands of food that you will inevitably surrender.
The national dish is the “ Bandeja Paisa”. Also very popular are “Arepas” to name a couple, you will probably gain an extra pound or so, as the local cuisine is hard to resist.
When should you travel
Colombian weather is stable during the whole year around 24°C (75°F) along the coast and 7–17°C (45–63°F) as you move to the interior. Visit the country is possible any time of the year. However, there are climatic variations that depend on altitude.
The dry season use to be from December to March and the rainy season is in April, May, October and November.
Regarding the tourist seasons, from December to February and Easter it is considered and high season.
Flights to Colombia from the UK
We have Daily Direct Flights with Avianca Airlines departing from London Heathrow to Bogota.
Other indirect flights are with Air Europa, Air France, Iberia, British Airways, Lufthansa.
Do I need a Visa to enter Colombia?
No, you don’t. However, all UK citizens must present a valid passport with a validity of at least six months from arrival to Colombia and have a return flight. Colombia allows Tourist to stay for a maximum of 90 days to remain in the country.
There is a local departure tax to pay when you leave Colombia, which is for about 40 USD per person.
The Colombian Embassy (0207 637 9893) or Colombian Consulate in London (020 7589 5037) could assist if you need further information.
Where to Stay
Colombia has an excellent variety of accommodation, you can choose from luxury, and medium range hotels, eco cabins in the mountains, or going to a coffee farm converted into local B&B’s which are comfortable and full of character.
Transport in Colombia is well connected; we have local flights and private or shared transfers according to your needs.
Money in Colombia
The Colombian Peso is the national currency (COP).
Once in the country, you can exchange GBP, Euros and US dollars for COP. Locals will only accept COP for any transaction. Check www.xe.com for an accurate, updated rate of exchange.
Avoid exchanging money in hotels; we recommend converting GBP to Colombian Peso on a small amount as soon as you arrive in Bogota. Once you are in town, got to an international bank like CitiBank where usually the exchange is best.
The best way to exchange currency in Colombia is generally at an ATM. You will, however, need to:
Inform your bank that you will be travelling to Colombia.
Check what will be your daily allowance to withdraw once you are there.
Relevant charges. Many traveller credit cards do not charge for taking cash abroad, so best to check with your current bank.
You can use credit and debit cards with care and try to do it inside a bank, supermarket or commercial building, as in any other place, be aware of your surroundings and don’t carry large amounts of cash with you.
If you are travelling to the countryside or small towns, take sufficient cash in advance.
General Safety in Colombia
Security in Colombia has improved a lot in the last few years; most visits are trouble-free. Common sense as in any other holiday destination will be required.
But as you were in other parts of the world you should be cautious and vigilant, don’t wear jewellery and carry small amounts of cash, take care of your belongings, try to travel with local people or in a tour and avoid visiting off the beaten track places on your own at night.
Please be aware that drugs in Colombia are illegal, in any amount and that Colombians will be offended if you ask for such. For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/colombia
Health advises for Colombia
If you plan to visit some of Colombia’s national parks, it is recommended to have a Yellow Fever vaccination, at least 10 days before your trip.
However, no vaccinations are compulsory for your travel to Colombia. Other recommended Vaccinations for British travellers are Hepatitis A, Rabies, Tetanus and Typhoid. If you are not a British Citizen, please check with your consulate what travel documents are required for your departure and return to the UK.
Do people speak English in Colombia?
The official language is Spanish, but do you need to speak Spanish in Colombia? Not, but your experience will be enhanced if you have a basic knowledge!
You will have the opportunity to interact with the local people in another level and discover how kind and helpful can Colombian people be.
But don’t panic if you didn’t have the time to learn the basics because you´ll find English spoken in most hotels of the main cities and especially in Cartagena, San Andres and Providencia.