Traveling in Colombia occurs year-round. Due to its some of the world’s best weather. During the dry season, December to March, and summer months of the U.S., July to August, Colombia receives the largest amount of tourists.
Where To Travel In Colombia
Cities such as Barranquilla, Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, Medellin, and Santa Marta are the most popular travel destinations in Colombia. Many travelers choose the northern coastal cities (Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta) when looking for a beach getaway. The cool Caribbean breeze, white sand beaches, and ocean sunsets are major attractions. If you are looking for a more laid back travel experience, Medellin may be just what you are looking for. This city of eternal spring offers a calm, pleasing atmosphere. The tree-lined streets, sidewalk cafes, parks, museums, and plazas will have you in relaxing state of mind in no time. Travelers in Bogota will find it is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world, complete with theatres, art galleries, historical monuments, and festivals year-round. Cali, in Colombia’s southwest, has a strong culture all it’s own. The city is known by many as the “salsa capital of the world” and travelers here should plan for a night of dancing.
If you are traveling to Colombia in anticipation for a future move, there are two schools of thought you can follow. Some will recommend that you travel to as many places as possible in order to get a feel for which is the right one for you. Seeing each city, if only for a short time, allows you to make a more informed decision, as even in Colombia no place is perfect for everyone. The second school of thought is to narrow down your choices to a couple of locations before traveling. This will allow you to spend a more extended period of time in each location and gain a feel for how day-to-day life will be after the honeymoon phase is over.
What To Bring On Your Colombia Travels
When packing for Colombia you should consider when and where your trip will take place. Although much of Colombia has a tropical climate, you will want to double-check the forecast just to be sure you have the right clothes. That said, many of the major tourist locations in Colombia have near perfect climate all year. If visiting Bogota or Cali you will want to consider packing a light jacket. For the northern coastal cities, be sure to have your swimsuit, sunglasses, sandals, and a hat. You will also want to pack a higher-grade sunscreen, as the UV rays in Colombia can be stronger than you might be accustomed to. Although mugging isn’t as prominent as other places in the world, you will want to avoid packing expensive jewelry that can be lost or stolen. It is ideal to bring an ATM/debit card, credit card, and newer U.S. cash bills for exchange.
Getting Around When You Travel in Colombia
Traveling In Colombia By Air
Air travel in Colombia is pretty easy and most destinations will have domestic and international airports. Bogota is Colombia’s main international hub and most flights from Europe and the U.S. arrive here before connecting to your final destination. Domestic flights within Colombia are fairly cheap and take less than an hour or two between all major destinations. The major carriers in Colombia are Avianca, Copa, and Satena, along with budget carriers EasyFly and VivaColombia. There are over 20 airlines with flights into Colombia.
Traveling In Colombia By Land
Driving in Colombia can be a trying experience. The infrastructure in most major cities is developed, but still in need of improvements to account for population growth and urbanization. This can lead to heavy traffic and sometimes gridlock. There are highways that connect all major cities, however the aren’t the high speed freeways you might be used to in the U.S. or Europe. The coastal areas of Colombia have a lot of straight, flat roads, however much of Colombia’s populous lives in mountain terrain where winding roads make it difficult to keep them in top condition. In cities such as Bogota and Medellin, there are metro rails and other public transit options that help to decongest the roads and allow for easier commutes. You can grab a taxi or bus to get across the city with relative ease. Traveling between the major cities, there are many options for long-distance bus companies. Many of these buses will have air conditioning and reclining seats.
Recently the government of Colombia has put together a Fourth Generation (4G) road infrastructure plan that aims to fund the expansion of highways, railways, and other transportation infrastructure. This US$70 billion plan is expected to take place through 2035.