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Location:Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
Currency:Colombian pesos (COP)
Area:1,138,910 sq km
Population:50,355,650 (July 2021 est.)
Religion:Roman Catholic 79%, Protestant 14% (includes Pentecostal 6%, mainline Protestant 2%, other 6%), other 2%, unspecified 5% (2014 est.)
Things to Do
1. Visit the historic walled city of Cartagena
Explore the charming cobbled streets and colorful colonial buildings of Cartagena's old town.
2. Hike to the Lost City
Embark on a challenging trek through the lush jungles of the Sierra Nevada mountains to reach the ancient ruins of the Lost City.
3. Climb the Rock of Guatape
Scale the 740 steps to the top of the towering granite rock formation for panoramic views of the surrounding lakes and countryside.
4. Explore Tayrona National Park
Discover the pristine beaches, dense rainforests, and diverse marine life of Tayrona National Park.
5. Take a coffee plantation tour in the Coffee Triangle
Learn about the coffee production process and enjoy tasting the finest Colombian coffee in the scenic Coffee Triangle region.
6. Visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
Marvel at the impressive underground salt cathedral, featuring intricate sculptures and stunning architecture.
7. Go whale watching in Pacifico Colombiano
Observe majestic humpback whales during their annual migration off the Pacific coast of Colombia.
8. Experience the vibrant nightlife of Medellin
Enjoy the lively atmosphere, trendy bars, and world-class nightlife scene in the city of Medellin.
9. Visit the Gold Museum in Bogota
Explore the fascinating collection of pre-Columbian gold artifacts at the Gold Museum in Colombia's capital city, Bogota.
10. Go paragliding in San Gil
Experience the thrill of paragliding and enjoy breathtaking views of the Chicamocha Canyon in the adventure capital of San Gil.
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Colombia has a diverse climate due to its varied topography, with temperatures averaging around 25-30 degrees Celsius (77-86 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. Coastal regions are typically hot and humid, while the highlands are cooler and more temperate. Colombia has two main seasons, the rainy season, known as the "green season," typically runs from April to November, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in October and November.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Colombia depends on your travel plans and preferences. If you're looking to avoid the rain and enjoy warm weather, the dry season from December to March is the best time to visit. This is also the peak tourist season, so expect crowds and higher prices. If you don't mind some rain and are looking for fewer crowds and lower prices, the green season from April to November can also be a good time to visit. Additionally, Colombia is home to many unique and diverse landscapes, some of which may be inaccessible during the rainy season, so it's important to plan your trip accordingly. You can also visit the Caribbean coast during the rainy season, as it offers a relief from the heat and humidity of the Pacific coast.
Colombia offers a variety of hotels to choose from, including budget-friendly options and luxury resorts. In major cities such as Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena, you'll find a variety of international hotel chains as well as locally-owned properties. In more rural areas and beach destinations, you may find smaller, more basic hotels or guesthouses.
Colombia also has a growing number of hostels, which are a budget-friendly accommodation option. They often have shared dorm rooms as well as private rooms and offer a more social atmosphere than traditional hotels. Hostels are popular among backpackers and other budget-conscious travelers.
Another option for accommodation in Colombia is vacation rentals, such as apartments or villas. This can be a good option for groups or families traveling together, as it allows for more space and privacy than a hotel room. Vacation rentals can also be a more budget-friendly option, as the cost can be split among multiple people.
Eco-Lodges and Camping
For those who want to be closer to nature, eco-lodges and camping are also options. These can be found in national parks and other protected areas and offer a unique way to experience Colombia's natural beauty. Some of them offer sustainable tourism initiatives and opportunities to engage with local communities
Colombia has a variety of public transportation options, including buses, minibuses, and taxis. These are the most affordable option for getting around, but can be crowded and uncomfortable. The public transportation system is well-organized in some areas, but less developed in others.
Rental cars are also an option in Colombia, but it is important to keep in mind that driving conditions can be challenging. The road infrastructure is well-developed in some areas, but less in others, and driving can be dangerous in rural areas. Additionally, it is a good idea to check with the rental agency and make sure that you have a valid driver's license and that your insurance covers you while driving in Colombia.
Another option is to hire a private driver or tour company, which can be a convenient and safe way to get around the country, particularly if you plan to visit multiple destinations. This option can be relatively expensive but can also be more comfortable and reliable.
For traveling between different regions of the country, air travel is also an option, but the options are limited and prices can be relatively high. However, it can save a lot of time, especially if you plan to travel to remote places that are not easily accessible by land.
- The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP).
Cash And Cards
- It is recommended to carry a mix of cash and cards in Colombia.
- Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas.
- It is advisable to inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your cards.
- ATMs are widely available in Colombia. They can be found in major cities, towns, and tourist areas.
- ATMs usually dispense cash in the local currency, Colombian Pesos (COP).
- It is recommended to use ATMs located in secure and well-lit areas.
- Tipping is not mandatory in Colombia, but it is appreciated for good service.
- In restaurants, a 10% tip is common if a service charge is not already included in the bill.
- Tipping for other services like taxis and hotel staff is discretionary.
Cost Of Living
- Colombia has a relatively low cost of living compared to many other countries.
- Accommodation, transportation, and food are generally affordable.
- Prices may vary depending on the location, with major cities being more expensive than rural areas.
- Be cautious of street scams and pickpocketing in crowded tourist areas.
- Avoid displaying valuable items like expensive jewelry or large amounts of cash.
- Be wary of strangers offering unsolicited help or trying to distract you.