When is the best time to travel to Colombia?

Colombia lies close to the equator so temperatures remain relatively stable throughout the year. There are just two rainy and dry seasons that Colombians call 'summer' and 'winter'. 

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. Back to Top

What is the weather like in Colombia?

Colombia has warm to hot average temperatures all year round - average of 75ºF on the coast and 50-60ºF 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. For more information, visit our Colombia Seasons and Climate page or ask our Program Director for a synopsis during your particular time of travel. Back to Top

What are the visa and passport requirements for travel to Colombia?

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. Call the airline or a Colombian embassy/consulate for the latest Colombia travel requirements. Back to Top

Will I need any vaccinations, immunizations or special medications for travel to Colombia?

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 Colombia. 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 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. Back to Top

Will I have problems with altitude sickness in Colombia?

Travelers  to Bogota may need time to adjust to the altitude at 8,600 feet. Most travelers typically do not have issues with the lower elevations of Medellin (4,900 ft) and Cali (3,300 ft). It's best to take it easy the first day upon arrival at high altitude and drink plenty of fluids (but avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages upon arrival as they contribute to dehydration). Coca tea (mate de coca) is a mild stimulant that helps and is widely served. Common headache remedies like Tylenol, Advil, etc. are helpful. But the best remedy is time and rest. Avoid excessive activity, overeating or drinking alcohol until you feel your body has begun to acclimatize. Local guides are prepared to adjust the pace or alter your itinerary if necessary.

Trekkers hiking over high passes will feel the continuing effects of altitude as they make their ascent. Be aware of the effects of altitude but don't be worried. Our itineraries are planned to allow the average person in good physical condition time to acclimatize before you start trekking and we proceed slowly as you ascend.

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Can I drink the water in Colombia?

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. Back to Top

Is it safe to eat Colombian food?

Yes, it is typically safe to eat Colombian food. You may want to be cautious with street carts as your stomach may not be accustomed to it, but overall you will find a lot of enjoy in Colombia when it comes to food. Back to Top

What is the electrical current in Peru? Will I need a plug adaptor?

Peru uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, same as the United States. Plugs are the US-style two-pin variety. Back to Top

How large is Colombia?

Colombia 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.  Back to Top

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. On a Wildland Adventure, all of your lead guides will be bilingual and fluent English speakers.

How long does it take to get to Colombia?

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.  Back to Top

How do I get around Colombia?

Transportation in Colombia is usually done by a sprinter van for day trips. Travel between the cities of Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and Cartagena is usually done by plane because the distances are vast enough that it is much more time efficient. Back to Top

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. Back to Top

I like a certain Colombia itinerary but the scheduled departure dates don’t work for me. Or, I like most of this Colombia adventure but want to change the order/visit other locations. Do you design custom Colombia adventures?

Of course! We love planning customized trips and are happy to do so! Many of our trips operate in a certain order because time has taught us that this ‘works best’ though we are happy to work with you to design a trip that meets your expectations and preferences.

Trips must be a minimum of a week in length and for the same kinds of comprehensive services we offer in our regular programs including local air, accommodations, and guided excursions. We cannot, however, do piecemeal arrangements. After we have reviewed itinerary options and made some recommendations, we then charge a $100 custom trip planning in order to check availability and quote a custom itinerary. Back to Top

Are there ATMs and can I use my credit card in Colombia?

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 for the current exchange rate. Back to Top