As a tropical country located on the earth’s equator zone, Colombia doesn’t experience the four seasons like other countries, and each region maintains an average temperature throughout the year. However, it recognises two main seasons: the rainy (April-May and October-November) and the dry season (December-February and July-August). Apart from the tropical rainforests that cover large part of the country, including the Amazon region in the south and the Pacific coast in the west, Colombia has deserts, savannahs, high mountains as well as glaciers. This explains the different climate conditions that are found in the country. Colombians tend to make a distinction about how cold or warm a region is depending on its elevation. So, there’s “tierra caliente” (hot land below 1,000 m, such as Cartagena, Santa Marta and Cali), “tierra templada” (temperate land between 1,000 and 2,000 m, such as Medellín, Pereira and Popayán) and “tierra fría” (cold land above 2,000 m, such as Bogotá and Villa de Leyva).
Currently, no vaccinations are required to enter Colombia. However, if you’re planning to visit destinations such as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Tayrona National Park and the Amazon region, it is recommended to get vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to travelling to these areas. You can find more information on the website of the Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection: https://www.minsalud.gov.co/English/Paginas/health-recomendations-for-travelers.aspx.
PASSPORT & VISA
Citizens from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and many more countries are not required a tourist visa to enter Colombia for a maximum stay of 90 days. Make sure that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months at the time you enter Colombia. You can check whether you need a visa on the following link: https://www.cancilleria.gov.co/en/procedures_services/visa/requirements.
MONEY & Transactions
The local currency is the Colombian Peso (COP). As a measure of comparison, 10,000 COP are worth approximately 2.80 USD, 2.50 EUR or 2.20 GBP. Make sure to check the latest exchange rate as it tends to fluctuate. Most of the stores, hotels, restaurants and bars in the main tourist destinations and big cities accept credit or debit cards. However, keep in mind that in more remote areas or small shops cash is the only acceptable method of payment. Therefore, it’s necessary that you have enough cash available during your trip. It’s preferable to keep small amounts and withdraw cash when necessary. In Colombia there is an extensive network of ATMs and the majority of them are in service 24 hours.
The official language of Colombia is Spanish. Although many Colombians do not speak English or any other language, we are here to assist you before and during your trip by providing English speaking services to make things easy for you and enjoy your holiday.
In Colombia the standard electricity is 110V. The power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. These types are mainly used in North, Central and some countries in South America. Sockets of type A work with plugs of the same type only, while sockets of type B also work with plugs of type A. Keep in mind that in some remote areas of the country there is limited or no electricity coverage.
“Is Colombia safe?” This is probably one of the most common questions people ask. In fact, things have changed a lot over the last 10 years in the country. Crime and violence rates have seen the biggest drop in the history of Colombia following the peace process negotiations between the government and the FARC guerrilla group. You can rest assured that in big cities and tourist destinations there is no danger. As it’s the case with thousands of destinations around the world, there are some districts though that would rather be avoided, especially at night when there is not much movement around. You should also be cautious about pickpocketing. Always be aware of where you walk and who is around you. Use your common sense and, as Colombians say, “no des papaya” (don’t give papaya), which means don’t show off or don’t put yourself in a position that someone can easily take advantage of you.