The Ultimate Travel Guide to Colombia for 2021
Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Colombia? If so, you aren’t alone. This South American country is a top destination for travelers and its popular cities include the capital, Bogotá, Cartagena on the Caribbean coast, and Medellín. With incredible nature, food, culture and friendly people — it’s no wonder why! To help you plan your trip, we have put together this ultimate travel guide to Colombia.
1. The best time to visit Colombia is between November and March
The best time to visit Colombia is between November and March. This is the dry season, which means there’s less rain and it’s not as hot. You’ll also notice fewer tourists at this time of year.
Best time to visit Colombia : November to March
How to go to Colombia with a certified travel agent: Have a good friend who knows travel agents. You may want to visit a few before you make a decision. A travel agent can help you find tours and budget options.
How to visit Colombia with no clue about the country or tours: I suggest that you go to the official website of your country. Otherwise, you might end up wandering around seven different websites and end up not making any choices. You can also use Google to find tours and prices and find other people who are in Colombia.
There are currently four official languages in Colombia, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Spanish is the most widely spoken, followed by English, almost equally distributed between the Portuguese and the Spanish-speaking population. Bilingual guides are readily available as most towns have one in almost every neighborhood. Adjust your language intelligence and stick to what is commonly used in Colombia.
Avoid tourist traps and sight-seeing experiences in Colombia to save your time and money.
Time: This country has four seasons, from the dry season to the rainy season. From June to September, you should only have to travel 2,000 to 3,000 meters above sea level. Mountains are at 12,000 meters and the highest point is 12,000 meters, both in Colombia. Discover our Colombia travel guide to find out which city to visit in Colombia during different seasons.
Climate: Colombia experiences dry and rainy seasons. The country gets more rain during the dry season, so it is best to wear waterproof clothing (besides boots), another tip is to put on dried leaves if you plan on swimming in the ocean.
2. What should you pack?
When packing for your trip, it’s important to be practical and thoughtful. Packing light is important because you don’t want to be dragging a huge bag around with you. Your bag should be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you so you can take advantage of overhead space for your actual luggage.You don’t want to stash all your favorite clothes in here, either — bring what you need, or borders don’t apply to international travel, right?
Before packing for Colombia, check out our overview of this fascinating South American country. Then, decide on the item(s) you’ll bring. If you’re traveling with a group, you can treat this article as a “travel buddy” guide to check out the best places for dining, sightseeing, etc.
If you’re thinking about going on vacation without your family, it’s a difficult decision to make. Sometimes humans make cruel decisions; we think that traveling alone is the easiest option, but it’s not. Living with only one other person for the rest of your life is not an alternative that will allow you to truly connect with others.
On the other hand, if it would mean the world to you to travel with family or friends, it is absolutely worth it.
It’s not easy to get to know certain people, and of course, there are certain topics that aren’t discussed in the kitchen while everyone is eating pizza, but these are things you should at least try to understand.
You only need to spend a few days in one city before you start to understand how Colombia truly is. And, if you find yourself alone in the middle of the jungle, don’t be afraid to ask directions. Most locals can point you in the right direction.
Similarly, when you visit Bogotá, don’t be afraid to speak to locals. Some people speak English (the national language), but the culture and cuisine are completely different. Also, many businesses were built before English became the country’s common language. Don’t be offended, and just try asking one of them a question or two.
3. What is the weather like in Colombia?
The weather in Colombia is very warm and tropical. It rains a lot in the summer and it’s usually sunny in the winter. The big cities like Bogota and Medellin are cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
As long as you are prepared for the cold weather, Colombia is gorgeous. If it’s a sunny day, you can go swimming in the famous Canoas River or snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea. Hot springs and other natural hot spots are known to give visitors a boost and are a good cure for the common cold.
There’s no better way to stay in shape during your trip to Colombia than to exercise. Exercise burns calories which help you stay awake and more alert which keeps you from staying up late at night.
Soldier-children were known to work out more since they were confined at home. Most soldiers are accustomed to using fitness equipment such as ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary bikes which helps them stay active and fit.
The one-hour daily walks in the city parks may seem like an easy way to stay focused, but where did the idea come from to walk in the city? Well, in Lancaster, France, they call it boulevard des jeunes.
If the population of your destination city is young, you can use walking to get around quicker and reach your destination more quickly. It conserves your energy and it’s healthy as well.
Well-planned trips are the easiest way to save money and time on your journey. There are many ways to book accommodations in Colombia, which include airbnb, tourist visas, and local tours. Check out our list of the best trip insurance companies to find the best insurance policies for your trip to Colombia.
Local travel agents are friendly and helpful when you planning your trip. As you research online for the best tour operators, they can help you secure the best deals and discounts.
4. How to get around in Medellín
Medellín is one of the most modern cities in South America and, while there are still some safety concerns, the city is very easy to get around in. The public transportation system is good and the city is very walkable. In addition, Uber is available in Medellín and is a good way to get around.
Things to Do in Colombia
Taxi Apps to Use/Download;
- InDriver (cash only)
Colombia’s capital was officially recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2016 and is home to the Bogotá Art and Culture Festival, one of the largest in Latin America. On the other hand, fellow UNESCO site, Montevideo, is known for its wide range of recreation, including sailing and surfing.
Not only has Colombia earned a place on our list of best destinations for travelers, many travelers may also consider it. Montevideo’s strip culture is evident in several famous tourist attractions, from the elegant Miquela Art gallery to the trendy Santa Fe square. Definitely, visitors to Colombia will not be disappointed with their choices in this city, whether they’re a cultural lover or a explorer.
If you’re interested in sailing, the Atlantic Ocean has beautiful beaches and provides excellent viewing of the southern Caribbean.
Things to Do in Bogotá
Bogotá has been a sustainable city due to the efforts of its visionary mayor, Alicia Alfonso. The city has made strides to improve its water quality, tree cover and became the European Capital of Culture in 2019. If you have the time and are looking for adventures, the Latin American city offers plenty for the likes of exploring the waterfront or trekking the mountains.
Medellín is Colombia’s second-largest city and the cultural capital of the country. Prior to independence, Medellín was known as Buenavista, the settlement of the white gold miners who worked the region. Before the Spanish arrived in Colombia, the city was called Los Almiritos, the city of the Almirantes, or the town with snow.
5. How to get around in Bogotá
One of the reasons I love living in Bogotá is because of the great transportation options. You can get almost anywhere in the city using public transportation. Buses are regular and reliable and cost between $1-$2.50 depending on the number of zones you travel in.Rail service is a little more expensive but it’s faster and can get you from one part of the city to another within fifteen minutes. If time is a premium, then consider taking the bus.
Taking a local taxi to a location in town might not be the most convenient way to get from point A to B. In that case, some other means are typically available. You can also consider booking a Caracol taxi, which is one of the most convenient forms of transportation for visitors. With the Caracol taxi station and services located near the airport, it’s only a couple of minutes away from getting to your destination.
A marketing professional in Colombia could not have a better incentive to improve the city’s cultural offerings. Restaurants, bars, and coffee houses all open their doors when it’s business when the locals are out. And while many come and go, the locals remain, welcoming and willing to answer questions. A good tip for travelers is to make a favorable impression with locals. For example, when you arrive in the neighborhood to find parking closed due to events, you can ask colectivos where you can participate in a scavenger hunt. Be careful though that you are not mistaken for a tourist. As a result, proceed with caution! Of course, if you are able to attend local culture events, it’s truly an experience!
While people of both genders and all ages frequent Bogotá’s many bars and clubs, the majority of people are from Latin America. Travelers who visit the city have the opportunity to meet other Latin American tourists and locals. These meetups are free and can be quite interesting.