Visiting to Colombia is not the same as travelling to Paris. Consider immunizations, local currency, language hurdles, and safety – all of which are factors to consider while visiting European cities.
That is why we have put together this article on Colombia travel recommendations you should know before your trip.
Colombia, not Columbia.
First and foremost, before you visit this beautiful South American nation, you need know how to spell it correctly. It is also Colombia, not Columbia.
Don’t feel terrible if you assumed the latter; it’s a frequent error.
Colombians are hospitable.
If you put in the effort to learn just enough Spanish to connect with the locals, you may meet some very amazing individuals.
This is particularly true for guides for free walking tours, which are highly popular in Colombia’s bigger cities.
Is it safe to go to Colombia?
Even if the days of drug cartels and deadly violence are a distant memory in Colombian history, the country is still far from being one of the safest in the world for visitors.
However, keeping safe in Colombia is similar to staying safe in major European cities; just apply common sense and you should be OK.
That includes avoiding disadvantaged neighborhoods and not straying too far outside of tourist areas.
There aren’t many people who speak English.
Colombia’s native language is Spanish, and only approximately 4% of the population professes to be fluent in English.
This implies that if you don’t speak any Spanish, you can have a difficult time in the nation.
Vaccines and Immunizations Recommended
When planning a vacation to Colombia, keep in mind that the country has a tropical environment, which is excellent for mosquito-borne illnesses to thrive.
That is why you should do all possible to protect yourself and remain healthy during your vacation.
You don’t have to worry about mosquito-borne illnesses if you only visit major towns at high elevations (over 2,200 metres).
Mosquitoes may be found anywhere (almost)
We mentioned it briefly in the last section, but you should be prepared for the number of mosquitos you may face while visiting Colombia.
Because the country’s environment is excellent for them, the vexing insects may be difficult to avoid in certain areas.
That is not to suggest they are not present. For example, they are not an issue in towns or higher-lying places like as Salento (the coffee region).
Credit Cards Aren’t Commonly Accepted
I’m sorry to disappoint you if you were expecting to just swipe your credit card across Colombia.
Cash is still king in the nation, and you’ll need it for restaurants, pubs, cafés, and even stores.
Major hotels, boutiques, and fine dining establishments accept credit cards, particularly in bigger cities like as Bogota, Cartagena, and Medellin. But you’ll need cash for everything else, including bus tickets, taxi charges, and souvenirs.
Do Not Bring Up Pablo Escobar.
Most of us were intrigued by the world of drug lords in Colombia in the 1980s after being addicted to Netflix’s Narcos episode.
However, although the TV programme piqued the Western world’s curiosity, Colombians were less enthusiastic. Our Medellin tour guide made a point of emphasising it.
Most residents believe it is an inaccurate picture of the tumultuous times, hence avoid referencing it at all costs.
Tipping is not usual.
Tipping your waiter or taxi driver is not required in Colombia, but we urge you do it if you were pleased with the service.
Even a tiny gratuity would be appreciated, particularly because it is not an usual social norm.
Buses and taxis can take you almost everywhere, but planes are far faster.
With buses and taxis, getting around Colombia is simple. They can travel almost anyplace and are quite affordable.
Travelling around larger cities, getting to and from airports, and reaching smaller destinations outside of metropolitan centres are all examples.
However, Colombian buses are notoriously sluggish, so we don’t suggest them if you need to go hundreds of kilometres in a single day.
Colombians have a distinct idea of time than those in the rest of the globe. So, although it may be unthinkable in Switzerland for a train to be 30 minutes late, it is perfectly usual in Colombia.
That will most likely be the most difficult adjustment.