Resources

  • This is Colombia (www.colombia.co/en) A superb website aimed at promoting Colombia to the world.
  • Proexport Colombia (www.colombia.travel/en) The official government tourism portal.
  • Colombia Reports (www.colombiareports.co) Top English-language news source.
  • BBC News (www.bbc.com/news/world/latin_america) The Beeb has excellent South American coverage.
  • Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia (www.parquesnacionales.gov.co) Detailed parks information.
  • Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/colombia) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveler forum and more.

Top Tips

  • Don’t book tight connections in Colombia – planes frequently get cancelled from smaller airports.
  • Always check flight prices as well before booking a long-distance bus – sometimes there’s not much difference.
  • Don't be afraid to eat on the street – some of Colombia's freshest fruit, most tasty arepas (corn cakes) and sweetest desserts can be found curbside.
  • Get a Colombian SIM card for cheap and fast data almost anywhere in Colombia.
  • Plan your time: Colombia is a big country and it's better to focus on places that really interest you rather than spread yourself too thin.
  • It's best to book the Ciudad Perdida trek in advance.
  • Hire a car with a driver rather than your own vehicle; prices are reasonable and Colombian drivers will take you to places most travelers don’t go.

What to Take

  • Umbrella/poncho – Colombia is green for a reason!
  • Mosquito net and/or hardcore repellent
  • Universal electricity adapter
  • Good hiking/all-terrain footwear
  • A headlamp – power goes out in remote regions
  • A small day pack
  • Medical kit with familiar meds

What to Wear

Colombia is casual and you'll encounter few dress-code restrictions. Of course, Colombians are also respectful, so mini-skirts in cathedrals or flip-flops at a top-end dining destination would be a no-go (common sense rules here!). A few local tips: in the interior, don't wear shorts unless you want the gringo spotlight shined on you; cover up as much skin as possible in the Chocó and Amazon or be prepared to lose a war with mosquitoes; and pack a pair of nice shoes if you plan on dancing the night away at any higher-end salsa or dance clubs.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date
  • Check if your insurance covers all regions of Colombia
  • Take out extreme-sports insurance, if warranted
  • Check that your yellow fever certificate is valid
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company you’re heading away