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FAQ

How large is Columbia?
Columbia is about the size of Spain, Portugal and France put together and about 47 million citizens. It is bordered by Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru as well as both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

What language is spoken in Colombia?
Spanish is the official language of Colombia although English is widely spoken in the business community and at most tourist destinations but learning some key words and phrases goes a long way. Refer to the chart at the bottom of this page for some examples. On a Wildland Adventure, all of your lead guides will be bilingual and fluent English speakers.

How long does it take to get to Columbia?
From the west coast flying time is about 8-10 hours and from the East coast about 4-6 hours for direct flights to Bogota.

What are passport and visa requirements?
U.S. citizens need a U.S. passport that is valid 6 months beyond your dates of travel to enter and leave Colombia. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Colombia for tourist purposes staying less than 90 days.

How do I get to/around Columbia?

When is the best time for adventure travel in Columbia?
Colombia lies close to the equator so temperature remain relatively stable throughout the year. There are just two rainy and dry seasons that Colombians call ‘Summer’ and ‘Winter’.

Colombia has warm to hot average temperatures all year round - average of 75F on the coast and 50-60F inland. Cartagena on the Caribbean coast for example averages around 325 days of sunshine a year, even during ‘Winter’. The severity and length of these seasons also depends on where you are in the country – the coast has slightly more severe and longer dry seasons than the Andean region, for example.

The dry seasons generally last from early December to late March and from July to early September though on the coast the rainfall stays low during the whole of September. The wet season lasts through April to June and from October to early December, though again, it depends on where you are in the country. One of the great attractions of Colombia is the fact that within half an hour of travel, either losing or gaining altitude, you can emerge in a totally different climate, substantially hotter and drier or colder and more humid, depending on where you are.

Note: December to March is peak travel period due to the dry season and festivals across the country. You can expect good weather during this period but also be prepared for higher prices and more people across travel destinations. We could go on for hours telling you about how beautiful and unique Colombia is but we think it’s best that you come and see it for yourself.

Is Colombia safe for travel?
While the reputation of Colombia has, in the past, suffered from internal problems, security in Colombia has improved dramatically over the past 10 years and the vast majority* of the country is safe to visit, resulting in a burgeoning tourism industry which Wildland is proud to be at the forefront of. Much of this progress is thanks to the Colombian government’s effective great and sustained effort to improve the situation. Here are some facts about security in Colombia:
• Colombia is now looked at as a leader regionally and as a template internationally for its fight against the drugs trade and slashing of overall crime figures.
• Colombia will, in the near future, better Peru’s crime rate figures at the current rate of progression. Peru, of course, is the leading trekking destination regionally.
• Colombia’s capital city has a lower crime rate than the USA´s capital city along with another 7 or so US cities to add.
• Increased security around the country means increased foreign investor confidence in turn boosting traveler confidence.
• Robbery rates per 1000 capita stand at 10.5 compared to that of France, Canada, Germany and the United States which all stand at over 30 per 1000 capita (2010).
Things you can do be safe:
• Try to keep a low profile.
• Don't flash your money or valuables.
• Don't use illegal taxis
• Don't drive on rural roads at night at all.
• Don't travel alone.
• Watch out for drink spiking at bars and clubs.
*The far south of Colombia still has a travel warning due to narco activity.

Colombia / FARC Peace Talks
Current Colombia/FARC peace talks have been ongoing since late 2012 and all but one of the 5 main discussion points have been agreed upon in principle with peace talks seemingly now coming to a close. FARC actions of aggression have fallen by over 98% over the past 12 months and the feeling around the country is a very positive one towards the possible signing of the final accord and a future of peace. We’re reaching an exciting moment in Colombian history, where we can move forward on a road to a long-lasting peace between the FARC and the Colombian government.

Our Safety Policy
Wildland and our local guides live, work and travel extensively here and are open to discuss any danger with you before and during your trip with us. We’re always looking for the next best destination that has yet to be seen by the outside eye. That said, we never take unnecessary risks with our own safety, let alone that of our travelers. We always investigate the area that we operate in very thoroughly and we are constantly updating information through our local contacts and with our own knowledge. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Still Unsure?
Check the US State Department website and see their travel advice for Colombia. We follow their guidelines very closely as do our partners in Colombia.

Where should I go and how long to I need to book in advance?

Can I drink the tap water in Columbia?
Drink purified or bottled water whenever possible. Although bottled water is often available, to reduce use of plastics and related pollution, we recommend bringing a personal refillable water bottle. Where purified water is not available or you feel unsure, you can conveniently purify water from any tap with a personal water purifier. (See additional information in this packet on Travelers Against Plastic).

What kind of food will I eat?

Is Colombia a good destination for families?

What sort of immunizations will I need for travel to Columbia?
No vaccinations or immunizations are required although the CDC does recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travelers 9 months of age or older for certain areas of Columbia. It is good to have vaccinations for Hepatitis A & B, typhoid and Malaria and all routine vaccinations. When you put down a deposit for any Wildland Adventure, our destinations expert program director will provide detailed information about health precautions and possible immunizations for travel to your destination. Wildland Adventures' staff are not licensed medical professionals; however, we do know the exact areas, environments and conditions under which you will be traveling, all of which can affect the relative risk of exposure and help you make a decision concerning immunizations and prescription medicines. All travelers should consult their physician or a travel health clinic and refer to the Center for Disease Control website for complete information on health considerations in your destination.

Will I have problems with altitude sickness while traveling in Columbia?
Travelers to Bogota may need time to adjust to the altitude of 8,600 feet.

Are their ATMs and can I use my credit card in Columbia?
You do not need to exchange currency before you arrive. In general, USD is accepted as tips but try to use local currency for purchases at smaller restaurants and markets. We suggest you change only one part of your spending money upon arrival in Colombia at the bureau de change in El Dorado airport in Bogota (just beyond the baggage reclaim and customs area, passing the lifts block). You can also withdraw money from the ATMs located just outside of the doors of the baggage reclaim area, to the immediate right. US credit and debit cards work in ATM machines available in developed areas. Bancolombia and the Banco Unión Colombiano are the two major national banks where you can exchange money without trouble. VISA and Mastercard are accepted, but less widely than elsewhere in Latin America. The monetary unit is the peso ($) Check www.xe.com for the current exchange rate.