How to Travel in Colombia

How to Travel in Colombia
Despite its former reputation, Colombia is once again becoming a prime destination for outdoor travelers. Colombia is a country of diversity, with terrain ranging from the magnificent Andes Mountains to the tropical rainforests of the east and beautiful Pacific coastline in the west. Finding outdoor adventures in Colombia is easy, but knowing a few basics will make your trip more pleasant.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Traveling in Colombia

Things You’ll Need:
  • Valid passport Return flight ticket Visa for more than 60-day stay
  • Valid passport
  • Return flight ticket
  • Visa for more than 60-day stay
Step 1
To enter Colombia, you will need a valid passport. Visas aren't required unless you plan to stay more than 60 days and can be obtained at a Colombian embassy before you leave on your trip. You may be asked to show proof that you plan to leave Colombia, such as a round-trip airline ticket, when you go through customs.
Step 2
Because of the rough and varied terrain of Colombia, air travel is the most popular way to travel. Small commercial airlines keep regular schedules to many parts of Colombia and even land on small airstrips, making air travel practical for some of the out-of-the-way areas. Daily flights from major cities to the coast are common, and helicopters and small planes can be rented for special trips. Be aware that there is a departure tax of roughly $19 U.S. for each flight.
Step 3
Rail travel is possible in Colombia but few passenger trains still exist. However, there is a restored train that runs between Bogotá and Zipaquirá. Tickets range from $19 to $35 and the train runs daily.
Step 4
The main form of transportation in the rainforests of Colombia is by river. Water taxis, often motorized canoes, run at regular intervals on the smaller rivers, and the large Magdalena River accommodates cargo boats that sometimes takes passengers. Because of the close proximity to the Amazon, large passenger riverboats can be found near the Peruvian border.
Step 5
Because of the harsh terrain of the Andes Mountains and the rainforests, roads are some of the most impractical travel routes. However, bus travel is common from the cities to smaller towns along roadways and is the most economical way to travel. Conditions can be cramped, though, and it isn't uncommon for small livestock to travel along with their owners on buses. Car rentals are available, and renting taxis and drivers for a period of time is possible as well.

Tips & Warnings

 
Check the weather of the areas that your are traveling to before you leave. Roads may be closed in the rainy season and flights may be delayed. Always keep your identification with you when you travel in Colombia, and make sure that your itinerary is known to friends and family.
 
Check the weather of the areas that your are traveling to before you leave. Roads may be closed in the rainy season and flights may be delayed.
 
Always keep your identification with you when you travel in Colombia, and make sure that your itinerary is known to friends and family.
 
Although violence in Colombia has decreased significantly in recent years, the U.S. State Department advises using caution when traveling in rural areas and especially on hiking paths.

Article Written By Catherine Rayburn-Trobaug

Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh has been a writer and college writing professor since 1992. She has written for international companies, published numerous feature articles in the "Wilmington News-Journal," and won writing contests for her poetry and fiction. Rayburn-Trobaugh earned a Master of Arts in English from Wright State University.

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