11 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Colombia, South America

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Thinking about checking out Colombia? It’s a sensational nation, with a lot to use– from fantastic treking tracks to extremely beautiful white sand beaches

But, just like any brand-new location you check out, it is necessary to effectively prepare yourself for the upcoming journey.


Travel to Colombia is really various from taking a trip toParis You need to think about things like vaccines, regional currency, language barriers and security– something you do not actually consider when checking out European cities

Which is precisely why we bring you this guide on Colombia travel pointers you need to understand prior to your journey.

Things to Know Before Visiting Colombia

It’s Colombia, Not Columbia

First thing’s very first– prior to you visit this spectacular nation in South America, you require to understand how it’s effectively spelled. And it is Colombia, not Columbia.

Don’ t feel bad if you believed it was the latter– it’s a really typical error.

Colombians are Friendly

Colombia travel tips
Walking trip

Colombian individuals are incredibly friendly, and they will assist you with anything you require, as long as you have the ability to get the message throughout to them.

If you in fact make the effort to discover simply enough Spanish to be able to interact with the residents, you can fulfill some actually amazing individuals.

This is specifically real for individuals who are guides for the totally free walking trips, which are preferred in bigger Colombian cities.

They are generally friendly residents, who aspire to present you to their cities, and inform you whatever about it, consisting of some individual stories.

IsColombia Safe to Visit?

Even though the days of drug cartels and harsh violence are simply a dark area in Colombia’s history, it’s still far from being among the most safe nations worldwide for travelers.

But remaining safe in Colombia is very little various than remaining safe in huge European cities— simply utilize your sound judgment, and you need to be great.

That suggests keeping away from bad communities and not venturing far outdoors resort.

Keep your belongings safe– do not bring your smart device and wallet in the back pocket of your denims. Put them in your coat or a cash belt rather, specifically when utilizing public transportation.

Don’ t wear fancy precious jewelry, and attempt not to draw in excessive attention to yourself. Consider switching your large DSLR for a smaller sized point and shoot electronic camera or your phone in congested locations, and bring your knapsack kangaroo design (front of body).

Colombia is in fact much safer than many people believe, specifically given that there is still a great deal of authorities on the city streets. But it is still crucial to understand what to anticipate, and to take all the essential preventative measures to guarantee you remain safe while you’re checking out the beautiful nation.

Not a Lot of People Speak English

Is Colombia Safe?

The native language in Colombia is Spanish, and just about 4% of the population declares they can speak English well.

Which suggests that you might have a difficult time in the nation if you do not speak any Spanish at all.

So, attempt to discover a minimum of some helpful expressions prior to your journey. It’s not a hard language, and the point isn’t to end up being skilled over night– simply to discover sufficient that you can interact with individuals at dining establishments, bars and stores.

This is as basic as taking the DuoLingo Spanish course or seeing some TELEVISION displays in Spanish to get the essential expressions.

RecommendedVaccines and Immunization

Keep in mind when preparing a journey to Colombia that it has a tropical environment, which is a perfect setting for mosquito-borne illness to grow.

Which is why you need to do all you can to safeguard yourself, and guarantee you remain healthy throughout your journey.

If you’re just taking a trip to bigger cities that are on a high elevation (above 2,200 meters), you do not need to stress over mosquito-borne illness.

But if you wish to check out Colombia’s spectacular countryside, beachfront and the beautiful nationwide and nature parks, you need to a minimum of be immunized versus yellow fever.

Other vaccines that are advised for those taking a trip to Colombia are:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid

None of these are compulsory for tourists from Europe and North America, however they are extremely advised.

But, if you’re taking a trip from among the list below nations, or perhaps simply had a stopover there, you will be needed to present yellow fever vaccination certificate:

  • Brazil
  • Uganda
  • Angola
  • DemocraticRepublic of Congo

Mosquito’s are Everywhere (practically)

Providencia, Colombia

We have actually discussed this in the previous area, however you require to be effectively gotten ready for the quantity of mosquito’s you will experience when you see Colombia.

The environment in the nation is perfect for them, so the pesky bugs actually are difficult to prevent in some areas.

That is not to state they are all over. For example, in the cities and greater lying locations like Salento (the coffee area) they are not an issue at all.

However, if you head to the jungles up north you will likely experience them.

The finest thing you can do to prepare yourself is get non-harmful mosquito repellent. Plus bracelets, candle lights, creams, sprays and as numerous electrical repellents as you can suit your travel suitcase.

You must likewise ask your physician about anti malaria tablets; it’s not something you can be immunized versus, and it’s a severe problem in western and eastern parts of the nation

Additionally, it is best to use long sleeve tops and long pants, specifically throughout and after sunset. If essential, sleep under a mosquito web to prevent any bites throughout the night.

CreditCards are Not Widely Accepted


If you were wanting to simply swipe your charge card throughout Colombia, I’m going to dissatisfy you.

Cash is still king in the nation, and you will require to have plenty on hand for dining establishments, bars, coffee shops and even stores.

The significant hotels, stores and elegant dining establishments do accept cards, specifically in bigger cities like Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin But you will require money for whatever else– bus tickets, taxi fares, keepsakes and so on

The currency in Colombian isColombianPeso, and $1 equals to about 3,28151 pesos.

And if you’re intending on withdrawing cash, there is something you need to understand ahead of time, like the variations in the withdrawal limitations.

The withdrawal limitation on ATM’s in Colombia depends greatly on the bank. It can be as low as 400,000 POLICE OFFICER (Corpabanca), and it does not get greater than 1,200,000 POLICE OFFICER (Citibank).

In addition to that, some ATM’s will likewise charge you a charge, which varies from $3.2 to $4.5.

Perhaps it’s finest to search for a Colpatria bank ATM They do not charge a charge, and the withdrawal limitation is 900,000 POLICE OFFICER, which has to do with $270

Of course, you need to likewise think about the optimum everyday withdrawal limitation from your bank– if it’s $1,000, you can withdraw the optimum quantity from an ATM about 3 times in overall

DoNot Talk about Pablo Escobar

Most people got hooked on Netflix’s Narcos reveal at some time, and were mesmerized by the world of drug lords in the 80 s in Colombia.

However, while the TELEVISION program was extremely fascinating for the Western world, Colombians did not like it a lot. Our tourist guide in Medellin made a point of discussing it.

Most residents feel that it is not a precise representation of the distressed times, so certainly prevent discussing anything about it.

Leave your Narcos tee shirts in the house when checking out Colombia, and avoid discussing the Medellin or Cali cartels at all– specifically if you’re checking out either among those cities.

One of the primary concerns with the popular program was that it provided Colombia as a drug nation, an image that it is striving to move far from.

So, be helpful of that, and do not reference the dark past unless a friendly regional starts speaking about it initially.

Tipping is Not Expected

InColombia, it’s not anticipated to tip your waiter or cabby, however we suggest you do it anyhow if you mored than happy with the service.

Even a little idea will be consulted with appreciation, specifically due to the fact that it’s not a typical social customized.

In fancier dining establishments in huge cities, you will see a service charge on your expense It’s typically 10% of your order, which idea is later split similarly amongst all the dining establishment personnel.

Buses and Taxis Will Get You Anywhere, But Planes Are Much Faster

Transport in Colombia

Getting around Colombia is simple with buses and taxis. They go practically anywhere, and they are really economical.

Especially with navigating larger cities, getting to and from the airports and reaching those smaller sized locations that are outdoors city centers.

However,Colombian buses tend to be actually sluggish, so we do not suggest them if you need to cross numerous kilometers in one day.

If you’re attempting to obtain from, let’s state Medellin to Santa Marta, it’s finest to take a regional flight. One- method tickets are incredibly low-cost (around $30 for this precise flight), and airplanes are a lot faster than the bus.

In this specific case, you can conserve about 13 hours if you choose to fly.


The idea of time in Colombia is various from that of the Western world. So, while it may be inconceivable that a train in Switzerland is 30- minutes late, in Colombia that would be rather regular.

That’s most likely going to be the hardest thing to get utilized to.

Buses run late, so it’s regular to wait a while for your meal in a dining establishment, and no one is amazed if a flight gets postponed for a number of hours. At least among our 10 flights in Colombia was late.

If you get captured in such a scenario, attempt to not imitate aWesterner Don’ t panic, and keep your cool– adjust to the circumstance and fraternize the residents.

Maybe get a cerveza while you wait, if it assists you remain cool.

MoreColombia and South America Tips

Check out these posts for more pointers for Colombia and South America:

Plan a Trip to Colombia

Accommodation in Colombia

Choose from a range of Colombia lodging types onBooking com– hotels, homes, and hostels, even vacation houses. With Booking com you secure free cancellation on the majority of spaces and a finest rate warranty.

Tours in Colombia

Our partner, the Get Your Guide trip business provides numerous Colombia trips and tourist attractions They have most affordable costs, ensured– no reservation charges or concealed charges. Pre- book tickets and avoid the line at leading tourist attractions and cancel approximately 24 hours previously.

Flights to Colombia

Skyscanner is a contrast site that browses countless flights. Once you discover your finest offer, book straight through the airline company (no additional charges).

Don’ t Forget Travel Insurance

Not having travel insurance coverage on a journey is unworthy the danger. Travel insurance coverage is created to cover unforeseen medical emergency situations and occasions such as journey cancellation, your individual results, lost, taken or harmed baggage by an airline company, and other associated losses sustained while taking a trip.

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