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Colombia Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 31, 2009
TWO QUESTIONS: What to pack and night bus from Bogota Airport to Santa Marta?  (6 Answers)

What should I pack for 10 days in Colombia? I'm heading straight north to Santa Marta, Tayrona Park, Cartagena, Medellin, and then down to Bogota.
I currently have two pairs of shorts, tank tops, and a pair of flip flops. I was going to bring a light jacket for Bogota, but other than that, what's the weather like down there?

And I'm planning on going straight from the airport to Santa Marta. My flight lands at 10pm. Are there any night buses leaving the airport at this time to go to Santa Marta? Is it safe, or should I just wait until the morning?
I'm planning on going so early because I have a limited time in the country and want to see as much as possible. Help!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 04, 2009
Bus or fly from Colombia to Peru  (1 Answer)


I am travelling down central then southern america. I will need to zip through from Colombia to Lima, Peru (sadly I don´t have the time to really see Equador, or northern Peru). From what I´ve read so far, it seems that I would be best off taking a flight, as the buses will take several days and involve potentially dodgy boarder crossings, but I am on a tight budget, so am not quite sure. I am mid 20´s English girl travelling by myself, some basic Spanish.

What do you think? Has anyone bussed it, and how did you find it? Just how long did it take, and cost? Should I rule out the bus option all together?

Thank you for your help on this,
Lena x

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 28, 2009
Cartagena to Tayrona  (5 Answers)

Hi -

Can anyone recommend the best way to go from Cartagena to Tayrona (El Zaino gate). We were quoted over 400.000 for a private car (each way) so we are looking for better options. Ideally we would leave Cartagena first thing in the AM and same coming back.



Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 13, 2009
10 Day Trip to Caribbean Coast - Help Needed  (4 Answers)

Hi all -

My wife and I are planning to visit Colombia for 10 days next month and need some advice. We like relaxing, beaches, good food and activities (hiking, etc).

We plan to fly to Cartagena and then would like to see Tayrona as well.

Can anyone recommend a) good cities/hotels outside of Cartagena that we should visit? How many days would you recommend at each stop?

We were thinking something like:
- 3 Days Cartagena
- 2 Days Barraquilla
- 2 Days Santa Marta
- 2 Days Tayrona
- 1 Day Cartagena

Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

Safe Travels,


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 20, 2009
Orinoco River Trip  (1 Answer)

Hi, I'm looking for two additional members for a ten-day trip along the Orinoco Rivier and some of its tributaries. This area is safe (but well off the beaten path) and incredibly beautiful with river rapids, crystal clear-pools and lots of wildlife (on a previous trip we saw river dolphins, giant river otters, spectacled caimans, capibaras, plains deer and innumerable birds. Trip will start the first week of February from the city of Puerto Carreno.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 31, 2008
Diving on the caribean coast of Colombia  (2 Answers)

I will visit Colombia in januari and februari. I want to do some diving on the caribean coast as well. Which spots are the best?? I know Taganga has the cheapest diving but is it also good? Any good diveshops who do good trips with good equipment let me know.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 17, 2008
Feria de

Hello: I will be in cali the last weekend of their feria de cali....jan2 to jan 5. Do I need to reserve a hotel ahead of time, or will I be ok finding a hotel once i get there? Thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 02, 2008
Hotel Dann Cartagena  (8 Answers)

Does anyone know anything about the hotel Dann Cartagena? Is the location good....and how are the prices. Thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 30, 2008
Money  (7 Answers)

what is the best way to deal with the money issue in colombia. Should I pay in US dollars....or should I go to the ATM and take out pesos....and pay everything in pesos. The american dollar is much stronger these days, and I feel that paying in pesos will get me more....since when trying to reserve hotels...the hotels have been using older conversion rates.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 19, 2008
i want to travel down the putumayo river into the amazon  (2 Answers)

hey how you doing

2 of my friends from australia and myself are traveling to south america in 2 weeks and we want to travel from colombia down the putumayo river into the amazon and to the top of brazil, fristly how long will this take cause we have about 10 days or so days or would it be better to travel down the japura river into the amazon
aslo how much would you think it will cost for this thank you very much for or time hopfully i hear back soon

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 08, 2008
Cano Cristales  (1 Answer)

I am planning to go to Cano Cristales - the river of 7 colours. Has anyone been there recently and could tell me if the water lever there is just fine to enjoy all the colours the river has.
I have been hearing all the time that all over Colombia it is raining heavily so I am a little bit worried that it might not be the best time to visit the might be overflooded.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 04, 2008
valle de cocora  (2 Answers)

i'll be travelling from bogota to medellin in early feb. I'd really like to see the corcora vally but don't have too much time. Can anybody recommend the best/quickest way of seeing the valley. I assume I need to take a detour from the bogota-medellin route but what would be the best route to take, that would take least time. Thanks for any help.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 03, 2008
Colombia Itinerary over Semana Santa  (7 Answers)

Hi there,

I have been doing my research and am trying to get an itinerary down pat that allows me to see and experience as much of Colombia as possible in a limited amount of time (I will be studying in Quito for 5 months so I can't miss TOO much school!). How much time would you recommend to do this itinerary and how would you recommend going about it (e.g. is my itinerary backtracking or awkward?). Overnight buses are cool with me:

Quito to Popayan
Popayan to Salento
Salento to Medellin
Medellin to Mompos (via Magangue)
Mompos to Tangaga (via Santa Marta)
Tanganga to Tayrona National Park
Cartagena (fly out of Cartagena back to Quito)

I really wanted to do the Lost City trek but it takes 6 days out of my itinerary- is it a mistake to forgo this trip to enjoy other parts of Colombia like Salento and Popayan?
Part of this trip will be during Semana Santa (unfortunately that is when I get time off) and I know that it means higher prices and crowded public transportation (though I understand Popayan and Mompos are great places to visit during this time) - how far in advance do you recommend making accommodation reservations, if at all possible? Can you reserve bus tickets in advance or do you have to just show up at the bus station and try to get on?

Help with bus schedules/names/prices between these locales would be helpful also. Thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 25, 2008
Colombia Hotels?  (7 Answers)


Will be going to Colombia Jan 1 through Jan 10.

Should I reserve all my hotels ahead of time, or once I get there?

I have looked at some of the classic expedia for hotels....and all seem pretty expensive. I cant find a hotel for under a 100 bucks a night. Although I would like to spend from 100-150 a night for a hotel...I am not sure If I am getting the best value for my money by using these sites. Thus...I have 2 questions:

1) should I reserve all my hotels ahead of time
2) What websites, services would you reccomend I use to find, and reserve hotels for my colombia vacation.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 18, 2008
Colombia itinerary  (8 Answers)

Hello: Going to Colombia from jan 1 to jan 11. Basically have 10 days....wanted some itineary reccomenadations. Im thinking mabye will spend 3 days to botata, fly to caratagena for 3 days, then fly to medahin for 3 days, and then fly back to bogota on the last day to fly home. How does this itinerary sound? Any reccomendations? Also can anyone reccomend wether it is better to reserve all hotels and air flight within colombia now....or when we get there. I would much prefer to do it all there so we can have more flexibility about how long we stay in each place.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 02, 2008
Distances ?  (2 Answers)

Thinking about going to Colombia. Can anyone tell me how many hours/kilometers from Bogota to Quito. I would also know if its a safe thing to hire a car in this area. I also need to know if it is ok to cross the border to Ecuador with a hired car.
Alternatively,how many hours by bus and how expensive??

What are the main attractions on this route??

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 14, 2008
smoking in the airport?  (1 Answer)

hi- i am checking out airlines and the best price for my dates has a 3 hr layover in the bogota airport ( i am traveling from ny to quito). does anybody know if there is a smoking area at the bogota airport? thanks, judy

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 09, 2008
Entering the country  (2 Answers)

I have bought a one way ticket to Colombia and after exploring Colombia I am planning to visit some other countries in South America (Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina). I do not really know when and from where I would fly back home, therefore I haven't booked return ticket.
Just now I heard smth like there could be a problem entering Colombia and crossing borders in South America if I have no return ticket home.
Can anyone tell me if it really could be a big problem or ther shouldn't be any worries!


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 08, 2008

Two Colombian festivals coincide with my visit of the country, Feria de Cali and Feria de Manizales. I'm thinking about visiting one of them or perhaps even both. Have anybody here attended any of the mentioned festivals yet? Would love to hear about your experience.



Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 03, 2008
La Guajira  (1 Answer)

I'd like to visit La Guajira peninsula but there is unfortunately not much info available about this little visited part of Colombia. I wonder if anybody lately visited this area and what was your experience. Would be also interested to hear about the safety as I've got various info about it.

Can I do the trip on my own? If not, would you recommend any local operators who does it? In this case, where the trip starts, how many days does it take, which places do you normally visit and what about the price?

I would be more than thankful for any info, preferably first-hand.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 26, 2008
Colombia - Travellers cheques, credit card ???  (3 Answers)

Could u tell me what is the best way to take money (US Dollars) to Colombia ? I've heard that there is difficult to exchange travellers cheques outside of Bogota ? Do u know something about it ?
What kind of credit card is the most popular there - mastercard, visa, any other ??


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 06, 2008
Going to Leticia  (3 Answers)

I will be in Colombia starting from September 15. I would also love to go to Leticia (jungle) and from there take a boat to go to Iquitos (Peru). Has anyone done it, is it a good idea? :)
My main concern is that Brazil for me is the only South American country for which I need visa and if go to Leticia (as far as I know it is a bordertown of Peru, Brazil and Colombia)could it be that I am asked to present Brazilian visa although I have no intention to go into Brazil (just stay in Leticia and then go to Peru).


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 22, 2008
Connecting Flight in Medellin, Colombia  (3 Answers)

I’ll be traveling to several South American countries this summer and one of my flights connects through Medellin, Colombia.

Has anyone out there connected through this airport? If so, do you have to clear customs before going to your connecting flight and how much time do you need?

Thanks in advance for your advise!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 06, 2008
Bus terminal in Cali  (4 Answers)

I want to travel from Cali, Colombia to Guayaquil, Ecuador soon. WhAt is the address of the bus terminal in Cali that has international buses.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 13, 2008
Adopted into tribe  (2 Answers)

Over the years I have invested alot of research on the western portion of Colombia. I understand the "Hidden dangers"and am willing to take precautionary chances going and getting there. I would like to note that I am not going there blindfolded, I've been doing my homework. I am wondering how feasible (legality wise), it would for me to become a permanent citizen. My longterm goal and ambition is to live with the Choco Embera tribe...if things meet my satisfaction.
living a rugged lifestyle is nothing new to me. Being a previous survivalist for years, I would like to live in a community to allow surviving a little more practicle and enjoyable, or a the very least, tolerable. And the bonus of a place I find sooo beautiful (flora, fauna, culture) is a dream come true. I study herpetology and am currently researching Dendrobatidaes, and find that this would not only benifit me, but also herpers, and the scientific community. Possibly I can discover what exactly it is that brings out the alkaloid properties producing the Batrachotoxin in the Phyllobates terribilis.
My goal, of course, is to stay out of mainstream. I am not for modern industrialzation. I am primitive by heart. I do not wish to built up or promote businesses, but ultimatly inhance insight, opening up those gates of a splenderous world revealing a world and how they benifit within a closed tribal community whos lifestyle is nestled in a remote and inaccessible rainforest away from industrial influences, and how they have learned to share and coinciding with nature, reaping a lifestyle that build up the very fabric woven withing these tightly knit communities.
Thanks for reading and any responce.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 02, 2008

Is there a bus company in Colombia that goes from Barranquilla, Atlántico to Cali, Valle de Cauca. I see that Expreso Brasilia goes only as far as Bogotá.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 26, 2008
Pereira Colombia  (1 Answer)

I am going to stay in Pereira Colombia for two weeks (dental work)
What are some interesting places to visit and things to do in the area?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 05, 2008
Visa Extension in Barranquilla  (2 Answers)

Where does one go in Barranquilla to renew a 30-day tourist visa? I'm from the US, if that matters.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 30, 2008
Highlights and itinerary in a limited time  (2 Answers)

Hello everyone,

I will be heading down to South America later this year to study my last semester of law school in Quito, Ecuador. While I have wanted to visit the Andean countries for nearly a decade (and plan to visit Peru and Bolivia as well) I have recently been turned on to traveling in Colombia as well. I won't have a ton of time so am looking for those who have traveled there and know the places I am interested in to give me an estimate on how much time to dedicate to seeing the following places in Colombia:

- Cartagena, Santa Marta/Taganga, Tayrona National Park, Lost City 6-day hike
- the Zona Cafetera and the wax palms
- colonial cities such as Villa de Leiva near Bogota and Popayan
- San Agustin

I imagine Bogota would be a natural place to pass through and visit as well. Although not sooo interested in the cities people say that Cali has great salsa dancing (which I love) and would also love to see all the Botero works in Medellin.
I would be traveling to and from Quito on this trip and would be willing to do overnight buses (where not completely sketchy) and internal flights to make things go faster.
Is there anything I am missing? Also, if I only had a maximum of 2-3 weeks, what can I reasonably see in that amount of time and what SHOULD I make sure I don't miss?

Thanks so much!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 28, 2008
A night at the Airport in Bogota  (9 Answers)

Has anyone spent the night in El Dorado airport? I arrive late and leave early. Would it be sketchy to just crash out in a seat there?

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