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The travel guide of Colombia Fácil contains general - grey pages - and region oriented information, all to be recognized by pages with a specific colour. You can read the free travel guide to Colombia here.
When you've had a look and also read more of Colombia on this site, it's time to discover it. Once you're there, buy your own guide in Colombia at one of our partners (accommodations, schools, tour operators) for only the price of one beer: 5.000 COP (3rd edition). Integrate notes, make it personal and at the end... take Colombia Fácil home as a souvenir of your trip or give it to another traveller!
The prices we mention are normally in Colombian pesos (COP) and inside the guide in thousand pesos! Prices in $ = U.S. Dollars!
* = breakfast is included
pp = price per person
pn = price per night
pr = price room
pp/n = price per person per night
pr/n = price room per night
pc/n = price per cabaña per night
p/tr = price per transport
pt/n = price per tour per night
pp/t = price per person per tour
pp/3d = price per person per 3 days, 2 nights
pp/4d = price per person 4 days, 3 nights
L = left
R = right
Hr = hour
Min = minutes
Pers = persons
N = night
D = day
CF = Colombia Fácil
PNN = National Natural Park
COP = Colombian Pesos
dorm = A shared room (most of the time bunk beds) and shared bathroom
twin = double room, 2 separate beds
doble = double room, 1 bed (couple)
triple = 3 beds room
quad = 4 beds room
MotoT = mototaxi (= motorcycle)
B = bus
T = taxi
- Is this your first time on a toilet in Colombia? Be aware that toilet paper doesn’t belong in the toilet but in the trashcan. Otherwise the toilet can occasionally become blocked and overflow … shit happens!
In bus terminals they often charge you 1000 COP to use the toilet.
- Do you feel like drinking a real good Colombian coffee? Visit coffee shops Juan Valdez and Oma or travel to the coffee region (coffee-tour). When you order a café con leche, be aware that it means with a LOT of milk. Read more in food-in-Colombia.
- When paying with credit card at the supermarket they’ll sometimes ask in how many instalments (cuotas) you like to pay. Just answer with 1 because you want to pay immediately all at once, right? You also may need to show the "recibo" (receipt) when you leave the supermarket, so don’t throw it away.
- In tropical parts of Colombia you won't find hot showers that easy. Because of the "Endless summer" a cold shower can be very welcoming...
- In general, Colombians aren't long sleepers. From about 5:30am, life is in the place. Especially in the weekends it may not stop. They can play loud music all night long...
All Colombian streets are numbered and divided into calles (cll, streets running east-west) and carreras (cra, north-south). Yeah, we’re NOT talking about ‘transversal, diagonal, avenidas, ... ‘ yet, but to keep it simple, follow these instructions: e.g. ‘cra 98 # 18-49' means: 1) the place that you are looking for is on the cra 98. 2) the distance of the place you’re looking for is 49m (161ft) from the corner of cra 98 with cll 18 towards cll 19. 3) the last n° ‘49’ also shows you which side of the cra you can find the place you are looking for. So the uneven n° 1,3,5,… are on 1 side and the even n° 2,4,6,... on the other side.
- ‘Que awita?’ In Colombia English is not widely spoken. Knowing Spanish makes a huge difference in being able to communicate so in enjoying your trip. Nevertheless, even if you did learn Spanish you sometimes may have the feeling you didn’t. On the Caribbean coast locals talk that fast that their Spanish can sound like Chinese. Use the phrase: ‘Por favor, es posible hablar más despacio?’ (Can you please talk a little slower?). Then you’ll discover that you’ve been offered a water: ‘quieres un aguita?’ Yes Colombians like to use diminutives, agua becomes aguITA. Don’t get discouraged, it’s absolutely worthwhile to learn Spanish. For those who’re still at the bottom of the Spanish ladder: language schools are spread widely in Colombia. Read more here: language-in-Colombia.
- Colombians can be very polite. In public transport for example men quickly give their seats to women. But in the very crowded Metropolitan of Bogotá you may have problems leaving this express bus as people can enter without any affection to people who need to get off.
- Women are gorgeous in Colombia.
- It is always a good idea to carry an assortment of 1.000, 2.000 and 5.000 bills in your pocket. Otherwise, it is likely that no change will be available and you´ll need to wait a long time for it.
- Because of the daily outdoor flip-flop life your hands and feet need a little extra care. Manicures cost (from) 9 and pedicures (from) 11 COP. They make lovely paintings on your polished nails with flowers and so on. Boys can go too and don’t need to be ashamed because in Colombia it is a normal thing.
- Avoid drinking water from the tap or check in advance at your hostel to know whether the water is drinkable or not.
- There are no bigger party animals than Colombians ... Parties all over the place!
- Family and kids are very important to Colombian people. They show lots of respect which makes traveling with kids therefore very pleasant. Read more here: travel-with-children-in-Colombia.
- Colombian hand signals: don’t ask for the bill by snipping your fingers in the air because it will be considered insulting. Instead act as if you are writing the bill on your hand. You want to order an Aguila beer? Just spread your arms and fly like a bird. Aguila´s logo is an eagle, that´s why. Perhaps they might call the men in white coats?….Life's an adventure, live it to the fullest! Learn here more about Colombian signals. Video & tips by Mantaraya Travel!
- When you are traveling by bus, take always an extra sweater with you in the bus. Because of the air conditioning it can be very cold! The funny dubbed movies they show in the bus will cheer you up and you can practise your Spanish (sometimes with subtitles though). Some buses will have tv-screens (you can get ear phones) for every seat & you can use free WIFI! Check out Getting Around.
- SAFETY comes first so don’t walk around at night by yourself; don’t travel to unknown destinations without discussing it first with your accommodation; be aware that in drinks or food burundanga can be added... a drug that suppresses your free will. Really, Colombian criminality against tourist isn’t that bad but don’t increase the opportunity. Leave expensive stuff you don’t need at home; keep in contact with your handbag while travelling; don’t put your small backpack at your back in crowd of people; always have some loose change in your pocket; try to hide your values in various places (be creative). Read more about here: safety-in-Colombia.
Prices are higher between half December and Februar, especially between Christmas and Januar 15; Semana Santa (Eastern holiday), and public holidays.
- To enjoy the full Tayrona adventure: Go into the park through the main entrance at El Zaíno (= 1 hour from Santa Marta); sleep in different spots in the park like at Cañaveral, Arrecifes or Cabo de San Juan. Visit the El Pueblito. Hike from Cabo de San Juan to Playa Brava Teyumakke and at the end of your trip arrive at the road in Calabazo where you can take the bus on the highway (45 minutes to Santa Marta). In this way you only pay one time the entrance to the park. Other beautiful beaches like Playa Cristal, Chengue, Playa Blanca, ... you can reach by boat from Taganga or you go in at the entrance New Mexico (= 15 minutes from Santa Marta). Bahia Concha is accessible via road from Santa Marta. Read more here: Tayrona.
- Unusual for a desert but it is NOT cold at night in the Tatacoa Desert. Read more here Tatacoa Desert.
Why visiting Caño Cristales only between June and beginning of December?
Caño Cristales, is just a normal river for most of the year but from June to early December, mosses and algae bloom. And because of this beautiful colors occur! It has been called "the river of five colors", "the river that ran away from paradise" and "the most beautiful river in the world." Read more here Villavicencio.
- When you urgently need a haircut (5 COP at a local shop), it might be useful to know that the cut itself only takes 2 minutes.
- And don't forget: COLLECT MOMENTS NOT THINGS!