All you need to know before visiting Colombia

Budget

Colombia is more expensive than most countries in the area, however, it is a lot cheaper than the USA, most European countries, Argentina and Brazil.

• Prices for private rooms for two start at 12 USD (10.4 EUR) in Cartagena, and 10 USD (8.6 EUR) in Medellín and Bogotá.

Food prices are low. A budget dinner costs somewhere between 3 and 9 USD (2.6 – 7.8 EUR). Street food prices start at 1.75 USD (1.5 EUR).

Transportation costs are reasonable. A bus ride from Maicao to Medellín (14h 20min) costs approximately 46 USD (40 EUR) and a bus ride from Medellín to Bogotá (9h 10min) 20 USD (17 EUR).

To save some more money, check out our Budget cutting tips.

Colonial Cartagena Colombia

Where to stay

You can find great accommodation options on Booking. Make sure to search for private rooms popular for romance. 😉 On Airbnb you can rent furnished apartments – those are usually cheaper than most hotels and they offer you the real Colombian experience.

Best time to go

The weather in Colombia varies by region. The temperatures are stable year-round – comfortably high (24°C / 75°F) in lowlands and lower (between 10 and 17 °C / 50.0 and 62.6 °F) in mountainous regions. The dry season is from December to March. Tourist areas may get crowded and prices tend to get higher this time of year. Booking an accommodation in advance may be a good idea. Showers are more frequent from April to June and from October to November.

Guatape Colombia colors

Other information

Planning and preparation: check out our planning routine here.

Packing: check out the honeymoon adventurers’ ultimate packing list here.

♦ For other travel tips check out Travel like a pro, Travel for couples, Honeymoon styles, Honeymoon activities, Responsible tourism, and Travel resources.

Language: The official language in Colombia is Spanish. Both Spanish and English are the official languages in the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Check out the typical travel vocabulary (in English) here. Learn useful travel phrases in Spanish here.

Guatape house art

Currency: Colombian Peso (COP)

♦ Visa or other entry requirements: All visitors to Colombia are required to have a valid travel document. Visa requirements depend on your nationality. For more information check out their official website.

♦ Electricity standards: The power plug types in Colombia are A and B, the standard voltage is 110 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

♦ Time zone: UTC-05:00

Immunization recommendations and requirements: There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Colombia. However, it is recommended to get travel vaccines and medicines for tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, hepatitis A, rabies, yellow fever (since it is a risk in certain parts of Colombia), and malaria. To prevent malaria avoid mosquito bites. Currently, Zika virus is a risk in Colombia.

Health and safety tips:

Colombia has a reputation for being a dangerous country. Problems like street crime and drug trafficking still exist, but the country is now much safer than it used to be. If you follow the usual travel safety precautions, take advice from the locals and do your best to blend in, you should be fine.

Cartagena Colombia street

The usual travel safety precautions:

  • Leave your jewelry and other valuable belongings in the hotel safe.
  • Keep your emergency cash apart from the rest of your money.
  • Dress comfortably and carry only the items you will need for the day.
  • Don’t carry a lot of money.
  • Always make sure to lock your room before leaving the hotel.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Try to maintain a low profile and do your best to fit in.
  • Carry a travel wallet/money belt/money pouch for carrying money and documents safely.
  • Avoid contact with potential scam artists.
  • Avoid showing off valuable belongings (like cameras) in public.
  • Don’t count your money in public.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

For other common safety concerns in Colombia, check out Lonely Planet’s safety tips. For health concerns check out Lonely Planet’s health tips.

To stay healthy while traveling, check out our health travel tips.

Tap water is generally safe to drink in big cities. In remote areas drink bottled or filtered water instead.
* Always make sure to reuse a water bottle to cut down on waste.

• Colombia is an equatorial country – the sun is very strong there. Therefore, always make sure to use sunscreen.

Tropical Colombia Cartagena

Local Customs: Colombians are very warm, friendly, sincere, hardworking, respectful and well-behaved. In Colombia, good manners and courtesy are highly valued. When entering a room, it’s customary to say hello to everyone (buenos días or buenas tardes). When meeting someone personally a friendly handshake is customary; friends kiss on one cheek. Solo female travelers tend to get a lot of male attention. There is no particular dress code required on the streets of Colombia. Avoid wearing a bikini elsewhere than on the beach. Revealing clothes are frowned upon. Colombians pay a lot of attention to appearance, therefore always do your best to be well groomed. Tipping is generally expected. Try to avoid topics like local politics, religion, drugs, and homosexuality.

Check out top things to see and do in Colombia, as well as top romantic experiences and adventures here.

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