As the second-most biodiverse country in the world, Colombia offers an incredible amount of opportunities for exploration. Taking one or more Colombia tours is a great way to see the country that boasts not only biodiversity but a wealth of cultural diversity too.
Whether you’re looking to explore the modern cities, explore their extensive coastlines, or sip on their delicious coffee, taking tours of Colombia is the best way to learn about the country.
What are you waiting for? We have plenty of Colombia adventure tours ready to be taken!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TOURS IN COLOMBIA
Shedding its once-negative image, Colombia has become one of the world’s top travel destinations. From the Andes to the Caribbean beaches, the country showcases its natural beauty along with mysterious archaeological sites, colonial treasures, and thriving cities.
Those who indulge themselves with Colombia tour packages will discover a country filled with all of Latin America’s charm, allure, and much more.
Best times to travel, regions, weather, rainfall, and other useful information
WHERE & WHEN TO TAKE TOURS TO COLOMBIA
As Colombia is situated on the Equator, rather than the temperature varying by season, its climate is related to altitude. The country can, therefore, be split up into three different climates.
The Tierra Caliente is a warm, tropical zone covering approximately 82.5% of the country with the land rising up from sea level to roughly 3,500ft (1,067m). The area between 3,500ft. (1,067m) and 6,500ft. (1,981m) is known as Colombia’s temperate zone and has an average temperature of about 64°F (17°C).
Between 6,500ft. (1,981m) and 10,000ft. (3,048m) is the Tierra Fria with annual temperatures reaching just slightly over 55°F (12°C). With an altitude of 8,525ft (2,598m) above sea level, Bogota is situated within the Tierra Fria and has a yearly average temperature of 57°F (13°C).
The highest levels of precipitation fall on the west coast of Bogota and in the Andes. These areas feature a dry and wet season which alternate every three months. The wettest months to visit Bogota are between April-June and October-December. In the north of Colombia, there is only one wet season which is from May to October.
REGIONAL WEATHER IN COLOMBIA
Ready for a Colombia adventure? These are the best times of the year to travel to different regions in the country.
Trips to Colombia are an absolute treat. But there’s a wealth of information you’ll need to know before you get going. Here’s everything you need to know before heading on one of our tours to Colombia, South America.
Be sure to make a note of all the things you’ll need to do before heading to this exciting country.
USEFUL COLOMBIA VACATIONS INFORMATION
Vacations to Colombia don’t need to be complicated, this section will help you plan your trip to the country. It will give you a general idea of the region, what areas may be of interest, visas, and other great information worth considering when preparing for your journey to the region.
PASSPORT & VISA
All travelers will need a passport valid for at least 90 days following your departure date from Colombia. However, we strongly recommend traveling with 6 months validity on your passport at all times. VisaHQ can assist U.S. citizens with a full range of expedited passport services, including new passport applications, passport renewal, and any required visas.
Colombia also requires that you have adequate unused pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure.
Check with your airline in case you have connecting flights overseas as part of your journey to Colombia. It may be the case that countries you pass through en route to your destination may require a separate transit visa.
Colombia is one of our favorite family travel destinations in South America. While you may be tempted to only take your family to the stunning Caribbean beaches, the country has much more to offer the family.
The sprawling and lively major cities of Colombia have activities the whole family can enjoy such as Bogota’s Gold Museum, which takes you on a journey to discover the mysteries surrounding the legend of El Dorado.
On the other hand, the villages and Colombian countryside give you and your family the chance to enjoy the great outdoors, from a horseback ride in the Coffee Triangle to wildlife spotting in the paradisiacal Tayrona National Park. The natural diversity of Colombia and its vibrant culture guarantee the whole family has a memorable experience.
Taking one of our many Colombia group tours will ensure the whole family sees the best sides to this incredible country. Our travel experts have led Colombian tours for many years. With this much experience behind our names, we guarantee a unique experience that showcases the country in an authentic way.
CULTURE & LANGUAGE
Colombians are happy and warm people, and you will often receive warm smiles and greetings anywhere you go. The locals are proud of their country, and they will show and tell you they appreciate your visit.
The official language, Spanish, is the most widely spoken in Colombia. However, there are also between 60 and 80 indigenous languages spoken by natives throughout the country. Generally speaking, you can get by with just English, but life is made much easier if you arrive in Colombia knowing a few basic words and phrases.
You will quickly discover the warmth of Colombian people when you make an effort to speak even just a few words in Spanish.
FOOD SCENE & DINING
Colombia’s gastronomic scene may not be as well-known as the scenes of its South American neighbors. But those who travel to Colombia will encounter a mouth-watering array of new and exciting flavors.
Featuring one of the widest ranges of exotic ingredients in the continent and a huge range of traditional and local recipes, it’s time to get your tastebuds fine-tuned to the numerous Colombian delicacies.
Your first step into Colombia will most likely be in Bogotá. If it is you’re in for a culinary treat, as the capital city is currently going through a foodie destination boom. Most of the top chefs in Colombia have started to use the country’s various cultures and regions as inspiration to experiment with their wide range of local ingredients and recipes.
Colombia shares a lot in common with the ingredients found in Peruvian cooking, however, it has the added influences of its world-renowned coffee and vibrant Caribbean culture. Today, the country has an interesting food scene with a number of excellent restaurants in Bogotá, Cartagena, Medellin, and beyond.
VACCINATIONS & HEALTH
While it is not mandatory to have any specific vaccinations in order to enter Colombia, there are a number of vaccinations recommended for those traveling to the country. You should always check with your physician as to your specific health requirements before travel. It is sensible to do so approximately 4-6 weeks before departure as not all vaccines are immediately effective.
Travel to exotic destinations is a good time to ensure that all your routine immunizations are up to date. This includes shots for measles, mumps, rubella, and polio, as well as tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
Please note that all travelers should visit the Health Information for Travelers to Colombia section of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, prior to traveling to the country. We recommend taking out travel insurance with World Nomads, they have Standard & Explorer Plans available.
This is one of the first questions we receive from prospective travelers interested in traveling to Colombia. Fortunately, over the last decade, Colombia has cleaned up its reputation and is now a safe place to travel to in South America.
In fact, Colombia is now safer on average than all the countries immediately neighboring it. In the poorer neighborhoods of Colombia’s big cities there is still some street crime, but this is no different than anywhere else in the world. If you’re vigilant and use your common sense while exploring the main cities, you should have no issues.
As a foreigner you will stick out, so keep an eye out for your belongings and don’t wear lots of expensive jewelry or show off your newest iPhone or expensive camera and laptop. There are police everywhere in Colombia, especially at major attractions, parks and stations. Please don’t jump to conclusions that it isn’t safe. They are present to avoid issues, not because there are issues.
Our expert travel guides also know the country very well. They will never take you to a place that is unsafe.
MONEY & CURRENCY
Colombia’s official currency is the Colombian Peso and the exchange rate as of 2020 is approximately ~ COP$ 3,733 to US$1.00. Unlike most other countries in Latin America, apart from high-end restaurants and hotels the US Dollar is not widely accepted.
If you bring US Dollars with you, then you’ll be able to convert them at your hotel, bureau de changes, and high-street banks. The great thing about Colombia is that you’re never too far from an ATM, even in relatively small towns. Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express, and Visa are all widely accepted in Colombia.
Traveler’s checks aren’t recommended, although they can be exchanged at some banks, few businesses accept them. Tipping in Colombian restaurants is voluntary but they will ask you at the end of your meal if you want it included (10%) or excluded in the bill (which is called propina voluntaria or servicio).
As the fourth-largest country in South America, the distances you will need to travel to reach the various highlights are huge. The intercity buses are reliable and run frequently, however, with the introduction of a number of low-cost domestic airlines, airfare is now only slightly more expensive than the bus.
Flying will also save you time and it’s much more comfortable than a long bus journey. There are 13 international airports in Colombia with the largest, El Dorado International Airport, located in Bogota.
The El Dorado Airport serves approximately 20 million passengers per year, making it one of the region’s busiest and more important transport hubs. Within Colombia’s Coffee Triangle you can get around easily in the colorful Willy Jeeps. This is a cheap but bumpy travel experience, but don’t let that take away from you enjoying the stunning views and aromas of the world-famous coffee.
Colombia’s electricity runs at 110V so if you’re coming from the US you won’t need to bring your transformer with you. You will need an adapter if any of your electrical appliances and devices do not have a vertical two-prong plug. Even though the country runs with a similar voltage, it’s not exact, but your electrical devices will usually be able to tolerate this slight difference.
It’s mostly safe to plug your electrical apparatus without a voltage adapter. Phone coverage is good throughout most of the country. Check with your phone company if there are roaming agreements before your departure. As for the internet, internet cafés and wireless access are available in most urban areas, airports, and hotels with good connections and speed.
RELATED COLOMBIA TRAVEL BLOG ARTICLES
Find out more about the culture, lifestyle, and places to travel in Colombia. We’ll be looking at a range of destinations, traditions and travel tips for this incredible country in our Travel Blog.
What’s better is you’ll be hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth – people living and working right here in Colombia. Learn about our favorite restaurants in Bogota and beyond, research the best beaches and hiking trails or stay informed about upcoming festivals taking place across the country.
Visit our Travel Blog for travel tips, inspiration, and all the latest! Some of our favorite articles on Colombia:
Hola Pablo and thank you Class Adventure Travel! We had such a great time in Argentina! The service you provided was excellent. You guys seem to have infinite local knowledge and our personal itinerary was organized quickly and easily. And even though we tweaked it numerous times before we finally booked, I always felt you were more than happy to accommodate us. All our guides were really friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Solange, who met us at Buenos Aires airport, was lovely and gave us a great rundown of the city in the time it took for us to get to our first hotel. Fabian, who met us at Mendoza airport and who took us on tours of local wineries and the High Andes was also amazingly knowledgeable, not to mention great fun. Our honeymoon was the trip of a lifetime not just because of this, but also because CAT Travel looked after us from start to finish. You made organizing our trip so easy, took all the hassle out of our domestic travel, gave us great options on hotels and excursions, and you sent us fantastic guides. We had the most amazing time and couldn't have done it without you! Eve and Patrick Foster, United Kingdom
Francois & Annatjie
from South Africa to Brazil
Dear Adam, We would like to thank you for arranging a wonderful trip for us to Brazil with excellent logistics - if you only knew how I panicked about being picked up, and the vouchers for hotels, only to be shown that everything had been taken care of. The cherry on top was the girl meeting us in Sao Paolo to assist us with our transfer flight – we did not expect someone to meet us there. If it was not for her, we might still have been there looking for the SAA counter. I feel very confident in recommending you to anybody visiting South America! Francois and Annatjie, South Africa
Francois Robert & Family
from Canada to Brazil
Hi Adam, Now that we're back home, I thought I would give you some feedback on the trip - It was fantastic and everyone enjoyed it very much. In fact, all the kids put this trip on par with a safari trip we did 2.5 years ago in Tanzania (Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara). Our timing also turned out to be excellent, with record water levels, so we could canoe through the forest, but with hardly any rain. It turned out that the change in schedule to include 4-5 days at Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge was excellent. Because it is small, Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge is very enjoyable, a bit like a family, with everyone mixing, very friendly and enthusiastic. The guides and activities were truly excellent, as was the food (typical Brazilian/Amazonian food - wife and kids loved it). Rooms were very nice and comfortable. We recommend this lodge without any hesitation. Finally, we enjoyed the trip tremendously. CAT did a great job in organizing it and providing us with information and with answers to our questions. I will have no hesitation to recommend CAT to anyone interested in setting up a trip in Brazil. Francois Robert and family, Quebec, Canada