Travelling in this country is an amazing experience. When people used to think of Colombia, they often thought only of cocaine, cartels and civil wars, but these days you hear very different stories. Almost everyone asked us the same question: “Are you going to Colombia? Is it safe?”. Well, I can assure you it is perfectly safe and now is the best moment to go as it’s not overcrowded with tourists yet. Today the stories are about beautiful nature, trendy cities with a lot of creativity and friendly locals who are very willing to show you their beautiful country. Colombia is on its way to become the most popular travel destination in South America. You should discover it now as this hidden gem will be discovered by mass tourism soon.
You can find our full itinerary here: (for more information about our full itinerary please check Travogram)
#1: Amazing nature and wildlife to discover
We were surprised how green this beautiful country is. Nature is well preserved and the Colombians know this is one of the main attractions of the country. Hiking in Colombia is a great experience and you will see many different types of nature and wildlife. Our favorite hikes were Valle de Cocora (near Salento) where you can find the tallest palm trees in the world, Tayrona NP in the North of Colombia, where it’s hot and humid & Jardin, which isn’t known by many travelers yet. We didn’t go to the ‘lost city’ but if you like hiking this must be on your list when visiting Colombia.
#2: Very friendly local people
Colombians are very friendly and helpful people. They are proud on their country and want to show you the best parts to visit. If you speak a little Spanish, the contact with the local people will absolutely add extra value to your experience. We were lucky to stay with a local family in Acacias, Meta and had a wonderful time there.
#3: Vibrant and trendy cities
We visited three of the biggest cities in Colombia: Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. They all three had different vibes but had one thing in common: good atmosphere, trendy bars & restaurants, a lot of creativity (make sure you book at least one street art tour). The smaller cities like Salento and Guatape are amazing too because of their colorful streets.
#4: Special places to stay and accommodation
In Colombia, although it’s not very crowed yet, you have a lot of different places to stay to choose from depending on your budget. As we are more into luxury hotels or extraordinary places to stay, we found some true paradises there, like Bosko in Guatape and Senda Koguiwa near Tayrona NP. But staying in Casas Viejas by Masaya (which has more hostel vibes) was an unforgettable experience as well.
#5: It’s one of the cheapest countries in South America to visit
Although the flights can be quite expensive and prices have gone up a bit, it’s still quite cheap to visit. The local currency is the Colombian Peso (COP): 1000 COP is 0,20 EUR. In the cities you will find ATM’s and you can pay almost everywhere with your credit card. Only in smaller places you will need some cash. Don’t take too much money with you while walking in the streets. Food and drinks are cheap, you can enjoy a local beer for 1€. Domestic flights are still cheap too, we did three domestic flights with Avianca and Viva Air. Bus services are good as well, but sometimes the distance is so large that spending 9 hours in a bus for around 25 €, a one-hour flight for 50 € might be the better choice.
Is Colombia a safe country to travel to?
Yes, it is. The places described in our itinerary are all safe. In the big cities like Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena you need to be careful (but that is the same all over the world). Don’t walk alone in the dark, book your accommodation in a safe part of the city and leave valuable jewelry and watches at home.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
There are only a few Colombians that can speak English. In the hotels in the big cities this will not be a problem, but the menu in restaurants will be mostly only available in Spanish. It’s a good idea to download Google translate so you can use it offline. If you don’t mind learning a bit of Spanish yourself, the app Duolingo is a great idea!
Which local transportation should I use?
I wouldn’t recommend hiring a car as driving in Colombia can be dangerous. It’s very busy and driving rules aren’t always respected by the locals. In the big cities Uber is a great way to go around. Although it has been officially forbidden since 2020 in Colombia a lot of people are still using it. It’s a good idea to buy a local SIM card and install Uber. If you take a taxi, make sure you ask for the price before you get in and see if the driver uses a meter. If you take domestic flights, try to book in advance as prices go up and last-minute tickets can be quite expensive. Flying in the weekend is more expensive than on a weekday.
Do I need a world plug?
Yes, you do. It’s best to take a few of these with you.
What’s the best time to travel to Colombia?
Travelling to Colombia is possible throughout the year. There are only two seasons in Colombia:
- the dry season: December until March and July until September.
- Rainy Season: April until June and October-November
Besides the weather it can get busier at the end of December until half of January as the local people will have their holidays and Colombians are traveling more in their own country these days. Also, public Holidays can best be avoided especially when visiting Tayrona NP or Cocora Valley.
Most important public holidays are:
- 22-25 February: Carnival in Baranquilla
- April: Semana Santa, in the week before Eastern
- 20 July: Independence Day
As temperatures can vary a lot in Colombia, in Bogota it's usually between 15-20 °C and in Cartagena it can be 31°C or higher, you need to pack for different weather conditions.
More questions? Please ask them in the comments below.