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Panoramic view of city of Cartagena de Indias and San Pedro

The 6 reasons to go to in Colombia

Colombia is unscathed by mass tourism and still has all the visitor needs. So head off to a country for a complete change of scenery, where coffee and fun await.
  1. 1
    Follow in explorers' footsteps.
  2. 2
    Meet a welcoming people
  3. 3
    Drink excellent coffee in a stunning region
  4. 4
    Explore towns with a rich cultural heritage
  5. 5
    Hike along the Cordillera and explore the Amazon
  6. 6
    Don't believe everything you hear
1. Follow in explorers' footsteps.

Colombia's history has left its mark; don't forget that it was named after Christopher Columbus, by the freedom fighting Simon Bolivar. Before that it was called New Granada by the Spanish conquistadors. But Colombia's history in fact goes back more than 20,000 years. You'll be blown away by the pre-Hispanic treasures that litter the country, as well as the cultural differences between its Amerindian communities.

2. Meet a welcoming people

One of the Colombians' defining features is their hospitality. Fun and friendship is the order of the day during a holiday in Colombia. Tourism is not fully developed and locals are happy and proud when visitors who come here feel right at home. In brief, it's an authentic and enjoyable place to visit!

3. Drink excellent coffee in a stunning region

Who hasn't wanted to sit down to a cup of coffee in Colombia's legendary 'eje cafetero' or Coffee Triangle? Apart from it being top quality, this region is magnificent, with green mountains and towering volcanoes. Take a tour of the coffee co-operatives or farms to learn about the production process from the moment the beans are harvested through to the roasting, pulping and drying stages. You'll also fall in love with the Corcora Valley and its giant wax palms, a national symbol of Colombia.

4. Explore towns with a rich cultural heritage

There's the legendary Cartagena, the incredible Bogota with its mural paintings and Gold Museum, Medellin's sky scrapers or even Salento, a small, colourful town famous for its crafts...Colombia's towns, whether big or small, have a lot of secrets to uncover. Be it perched on mountain tops or nestled at their feet, Colombia's towns won't leave you indifferent. Take the time to explore their nooks and crannies during your tour of Colombia.

5. Hike along the Cordillera and explore the Amazon

If you're a hiking fan or nature lover, then Colombia's the place to be. There's something for all tastes and levels. The Amazon Rainforest covers half the country and is home to exotic animals including the famous pink dolphin and several species of tropical birds. Most excursions leave from the town of Leticia, which is close to the Amazon River. As for the Cordillera, it comprises of three mountain ranges - eastern, central and western - that are a hiker's heaven.

6. Don't believe everything you hear

Colombia still has a reputation for guerilla warfare and drug trafficking. Let it be known that the country has moved forward and security in towns has greatly improved. There's also been a vast improvement in tourist-related infrastructures as well as the road network. That said, certain zones, such as areas in the south, should, nonetheless, be avoided at all costs. The trick is to steer clear of these areas and, wherever you are, not show off any signs of wealth.

Discover the destination

Why go to in Colombia?

Visiting Colombia: an unforgettable, multi-faceted travel experience far removed from conventional mass tourism.
We recommend if...
  • You appreciate warm, friendly hospitality
  • You're a fan of coffee
  • You dream of hiking in the Andes
  • You enjoy history and archaeology
  • You like street art
  • You want to get beyond preconceived notions
  • You feel drawn to the Amazonian forest
You shouldn't go if
  • You avoid long bus journeys like the plague
  • You're not comfortable away from the things you're used to
  • Your vaccines are not up to date
  • You like showing off signs of your wealth
  • You want to be able to go wherever you like at night

Customize your perfect trip to Colombia

Discover all our travel ideas for a trip in Colombia.

All our tours in Colombia

When to go in Colombia?

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Being close to the Equator, the climate of Colombia is rather uniform. The dry season lasts from December to March and should be preferred to avoid visiting Colombia in the rain. The wet season lasts from April to November, with very heavy rainfall. You should adapt your trip to these variations, as well as to the differences between the different regions: a tropical, and therefore very wet, climate in Amazonia, a harsher climate in the mountains and semi-desert in the Guajira. You should also avoid the weeks between mid-December and mid-January throughout country: they are very crowded with Colombian holidaymakers.
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What to see in Colombia?

Top places to discover.

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Prepare for your departure to in Colombia
Essential information to help you properly plan your trip to Colombia.

What documents to travel to in Colombia?

You can visit Colombia without a visa for up to 90 days. You also have the possibility of extending your stay by up to 120 days, though you cannot remain in Colombia for longer than 180 days in any given 12-month period as a visitor. You will of course need a passport valid for the duration of your stay. Its expiry date must also be no earlier than six months from the date you enter the country.

Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for the duration of their stay. A Colombian immigration officer will decide how long you will be allowed to stay (normally between 30 and 90 days) when you arrive. You will also be provided with an entry permit. For more information, visit the website of the Canadian Government.

Health advice

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for travel to Colombia. However, getting vaccinated against certain conditions, such as yellow fever for example, is recommended if you are planning to visit the Amazonian forest or the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. You will also need to check that your DTP (diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus) vaccination is up to date. Additionally, vaccination against hepatitis A is recommended for most travellers to the country.

A number of illnesses, e.g. malaria, are transmitted via insect bites, so keep yourself protected by wearing long clothing and using anti-mosquito sprays.

And finally, do not drink the tap water; only eat things that have been properly cooked, and wash your hands as often as you can to avoid contaminating food.

Language

The official language of Colombia is Spanish.

Time difference

The UK is five hours ahead of Colombia in winter and six in summer. For example, when it's 8:00 pm in London it will be 3:00 pm or 2:00 pm in Bogotá.

Phone and internet connection

The International dialling code for Colombia is +57.

High speed internet connections are available in all large towns and cities, so you will easily be able to connect to the internet.

Electricity

Colombian plugs and sockets are different from those in the UK. They are like the ones used in North America. You'll therefore need a suitable adaptor if you want to plug in your own electrical devices.

British Embassy in Colombia

Carrera 9, N° 76-49, Piso 8, Edificio ING Barings, Bogotá

(57) (1) 326 8300

Colombian Embassy in the United Kingdom

3 Hans Crescent, London, SW1X 0LN

020 7589 9177

Hospitals

In Bogotá

La Clinica del Country: (57) (1) 530 0470 and (57) (1) 530 1270

La Clinica Marly: (57) (1) 343 6600

La Fundation Santa Fe: (57) (1) 215 2300