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Pack your bag for Colombia

IMMIGRATION/ FINANCE

  • Do you have a stopover in the United States? You need a visa! (www.esta.us)
  • Arriving in Colombia, is your passport still valid for at least another 6 months?
  • Can you show a travel ticket leaving the country? If not, immigrations and airlines make more and more problems...
  • In advance, make a scan of all your important documents and mail it to your own email box. Just in case when they get lost or stolen
  • Write essential phone numbers down in case you might need them to block your credit card
  • Make a copy of your passport and, if possible, take this in Colombia e.g. to the beach or disco instead of your passport
  • Bring your student identification card with you to Colombia. You may get reduction like at the entrances of all national parks  

LUGGAGE

  • Colombia is tropical but has many different climate zones. The temperature ranges from above 30 °C at the Caribbean coast to 10 °C in higher regions like Bogotá. Therefore it is useful to bring 'layers of clothing': what you can put over each other and pull out quickly in hot weather
  • Fleece. For mountainous regions and night buses (air conditioning!). Or take along a small blanket
  • Long sleeves/pants to protect against mosquitoes or other things during jungle hikes
  • Raincoat
  • Light umbrella (can keep you dryer in a tropical shower than a raincoat!)
  • A smaller backpack for walks and activities
  • Waterproof bag, especially for electronic devices at the Pacific coast or Amazon rainforest as humidity can be very high. Also by boat trips your luggage may get wet
  • Headlamp
  • Universal plug
  • Hiking shoes. During rainy season you might need rain boots, especially in the Amazon region. In most places you can hire them
  • A small towel in case...
  • Sunglasses
  • Water shoes. Protects against rocks and sticky animals
  • Padlock. Not too big/thick because that doesn't fit in the holes of the lockers in most hostels
  • When you wear contact lenses also bring your glasses
  • Leave expensive jewelry and other unnecessary luxury at home

HEALTHCARE

  • Attention: right now vaccination of yellow fever is mandatory for difirent regions of Colombia. For the best preparation of your health you better consult a specialized health center at least 2 months before your flight
  •  Suncap/head 
  • Sunscreen (high factor)

  • Diarrhea inhibitors
  • Insect repellent with at least 50% Deet
  • Water purification tablets or other solutions. Most Colombian travel organizations who offer trekkings take care of it
  • If you need specific medication, take the prescription with you because medication in other countries may have a different name. Combined with a medical passport, the prescription can also prove that you are using this medication legally. If necessary, you can register online at IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers) iamat.org

GOOD TO KNOW

Don't worry, most stuff you can also buy in Colombia. But it will be very hard to get men's shoes size 44 and women sizes from 41!

Colombia may have a different voltage (110 V, 60 Hz). Therefore, it is possible that your razor will not work but what the hell, it’s a holiday after all and that unshaven look can be sexy. Bring your universal plug or buy an adapter for very little money (± 5/adapter) in a tienda (small local shop). The adapter has a flat plug.

Once on the road: Take occasional a backup of all your photos. It would be a major disaster when you loose all those pretty pictures and memories! Use Dropbox for example to safe all your pictures online for free: dropbox.com.

Plug your iPod full of Colombian tunes. Check here: Music in Colombia.

Car Rental is still very expensive in Colombia compared to other countries in South America. When you are planning to drive in Colombia, don’t forget your international driver license.

FLIGHT DISTANCES IN HOURS:

Amsterdam – Bogotá = ±11 hrs
Barcelona – Bogotá = ±11,5 hrs
Brasilia – Bogotá = ±9,5 hrs
Buenos Aires – Bogotá = ±6,5 hrs
Caracas – Bogotá = 1,5 hr
Lima – Bogotá = ±3 hrs
London – Bogotá =  ±11,5 hrs
Los Angeles – Bogotá = ± 7,5 hrs.
Mexico City – Bogotá = 4,5 hrs
Miami – Bogotá = ±3-4 hrs
New York – Bogotá = ± 5 hrs
Panama City – Bogotá = ±1,5 hrs
Quito – Bogotá = ±1,5hrs
Santiago – Bogotá = ±8,5 hrs
Sydney – Bogotá = ±20,5 hrs