Colombia Travel Guide

Continent: South America

Colombia Travel Essentials

Ideal Duration: 10-14 days for exploring main cities and attractions; 3 weeks for a more immersive experience.

Currency: Colombian Peso (COP)

Best Time: December - March Read More

Accommodation Cost (per night in USD): Dorm bed: $7-15
Budget: $20-40
Mid-range: $50-100
Luxury: $150 and above

Budget for Food & Drinks (per day in USD): Budget: $10-20
Mid-range: $30-50

Visa Policy for Indians: Visa-Free for tourism (short stays)

Visa Policy for Other Nationals: Visa-Free or Visa on Arrival for many countries

Getting In Colombia: El Dorado International Airport (BOG) in Bogota, Jose Maria Cordova International Airport (MDE) in Medellin Read More

Getting Around Colombia: Buses, taxis, Uber, domestic flights for longer distances Read More

"The Land Of Many Lives"

Colombia Tourism

Known as the Gateway to South America, Colombia is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse countries in the world. Blessed with rich cultural heritage and a variegated mixture of flora and fauna, Colombia caters to all kinds of visitors. Relax on the turquoise water beaches of Carribean and Pacific or experience the colonial charm of Cartagena. Visit the historical Bogota or treat yourself to the eternal spring of Medellin, immerse yourself in the exuberance of Cali or simply head for a trek in the Andes and the Amazon.

Best time to visit Colombia

Colombia is a wonderful country present near the Equator. This position provides it with two main seasons of dry and rainy. However, due to topological differences, the climate variation is characterised more by regions than by seasons. December to March is the dry season with sunny days and warm weather which is the best time to visit Colombia for exploring the cities and beaches. Another small dry season lasts in Colombia from July to September and it can be a good time to visit Colombia as well. Humpback whale watching in the Colombian Pacific during the months of June and October is a spectacular sight. The rainy months are when the tourist population is the thinnest in this country and it is the Offseason for Colombia. The offseason is the cheapest time to go around in the country and the best time to do indoor activities in Colombia.

Holidify's opinion on Travel to Colombia

What's Great about Travelling to Colombia?

Great diversity of landscapes and culture. An ideal destination for Ecotourism. Impressive architecture and heritage. Energetic and fun loving people.

What's Not So Great about Travelling to Colombia?

Forged currency bills. High crime rate due to narcotics trafficking and social conflicts in some areas.

Who should Travel to Colombia?

Adventure seekers. Heritage and Culture enthusiasts. Nature & Biodiversity lovers. Art and music lovers.

Read More on Colombia Travel

Exchanging Money in Colombia

ATMs are widely available in almost all tourist destinations and major cities operating for 24 hours in English. However, avoid transactions at night. The maximum withdrawal limit is COP 1200000 per day. Currency exchange centres can be found at airports, banks and hotels, it is strongly advised to never exchange currency on streets as counterfeited bills pose a major problem in Colombia.

Nightlife in Colombia

Colombia boasts of a vibrant nightlife and almost all the major cities have a zone with a plethora of bars, discos and clubs available. The nightlife scenes are dormant on the weekdays from Sunday to Wednesday and increase dramatically on weekends with Saturday being the busiest. Most people reach by 11:00 PM and the bars are generally open up to 2:00 AM whereas discos are open up till 4:00 AM. Cali is the nightlife capital of the country and is renowned for its Salsa clubs. Other cities promising sprightly nightlife scenes include Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena and Barranquilla.

Shopping in Colombia

With a blooming market scene offering a wide range of options from its world famous handicrafts to fashion outlets, Colombia is no less than a paradise for shopaholics. All the major cities have Mercado Central, where you can get great deals on fresh produce and other local items at insanely cheap prices. Medellin is known for its clothing industry and retail chains whereas Bogota is famous for its artisan markets and traditional items. Visit Cartagena, the world's centre for Emeralds as well as other gemstones or stroll through the euphoric markets of Cali. Tourists are often quoted a higher price, so a little bit of bargaining is a must.

Festivals of Colombia

A country enriched with enormous cultural heritage, there are numerous carnivals, parades, dance and music festivals and local festivities happening throughout the year. Each festival is unique in its way and is associated with a particular city, reflecting its local traditions. These frolic celebrations have fancied tourists all over the world, the most famous of them all is Carnaval de Barranquilla, which is the second largest carnival celebration in the world. Feria de las Flores or the flower festival of Medellin is an enjoyable experience for everyone and lasts for ten days. Another celebration worth attending is Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro of Bogota celebrating performing arts and theaters.

Hygiene in Colombia

The people of Colombia are hygiene loving. However, the location of the country makes it prone to numerous tropical diseases due to mosquitoes and bugs. Colombia has been identified as the source of Zika outbreak, and protection against other mosquito-borne diseases is strongly recommended in the form of vaccines, antimalarial meds and sprays. Yellow fever, Typhoid and Hepatitis vaccines are recommended for some travellers. Rabies vaccination is not necessarily needed but is advised for travel to remote areas and other outdoor activities.

Customs of Colombia

Colombians are courteous people; men shake hands whereas women grasp forearms while greeting. Usually, people use Spanish greetings for the time of the day such as "Buenos Dias" for good day or "Buenos Noches" for good evening/night. There are no specific dress codes to be followed as such, dress in comfortable clothing and avoid fancy jewellery. The tipping practice is not as strict as compared to other American countries. People generally tip around 1000 - 2000 pesos in small restaurants, some of the restaurants have tip included as service charge up to 15 percent of the total order value. Most people usually tip for room service.

Tips for visiting Colombia

Drink bottled water outside the main cities. Avoid wearing fancy jewelry or clothing. Never exchange currency on the streets. Try negotiating prices with street vendors and taxi drivers for unmetered rides. Carry cash in small denomination as vendors don't easily change large bills.

Food of Colombia

Colombian food gets as varied as its geography and is influenced by Indian, European and African cultures. Colombian cuisine is characterised mostly by meat based dishes, usage of rice and maize and also by an incredible variety of tropical fruits. A typical meal will contain soup, a main dish, a drink and a dessert. The Pacific and Carribean regions are famous for its mouth-watering seafood dishes whereas the traditional dishes such as Bandeja Paisa, Ajiaco, and Sanocho de Gallina are best in Bogota, Medellin, and Cali. Arepas or Corn cakes are a typical breakfast option in the country, coffee and fresh fruit juices are the representative beverages of the country.

Photos of Colombia


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FAQs on Colombia

How to reach Colombia from India?

Like all other South American countries, no direct flights are available from India to Colombia. All flights have at least one stop either at Abu Dhabhi or Istanbul and then connect to a Colombian city. Flights can be taken from all major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, the major carriers operating on this route are Avianca, Turkish Airlines, Jet Airways and Emirates.


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