Colombia Frequently Asked Questions
What language is spoken in Colombia?
The official language of Colombia is Spanish, with 68 ethnic languages and dialects. English is not widely spoken, though it is a bit more prevalent in popular tourist areas.
What currency is used in Colombia?
The currency used throughout the country is the Colombian peso (COL). US dollars are not accepted in Colombia so it is recommended to have pesos on hand for any cash purchases. ATMs are the best and easiest way to get cash. They are readily available everywhere except in small towns and more remote areas. Credit and Debit cards are accepted in most major shops, hotels and restaurants in larger cities but it is recommended to have cash on hand when visiting smaller towns and remote areas.
Do I need a visa to travel to Colombia?
A visa is not required when travelling as a tourist from Canada or the United States for up to 90 days. Passports must be valid for 6 months from date of entry.
When is the best time to travel to Colombia?
The best time to visit Colombia is usually during the dry season as it allows for more regions and activities to be enjoyed. Colombia has two main seasons: summer (December to March and July to August), which is the dry season, and winter (April to May and October to November), which is the rainy season.
Is there transportation within Colombia?
Transportation within Colombia consists of taxis, local buses, and colectivos which can be compared to small buses or a similar vehicle. There are flights between major centres.
Is Colombia a family friendly destination?
Colombia is a family friendly destination as family is extremely important to Colombians. It is a great family vacation for adventurous types, with idyllic beaches and islands, colonial cities and tropical jungles. There are also many family friendly activities within the city.
How welcoming is Colombia to LGBTQ travellers and families?
Colombia is one of the more progressive countries for LGTBQ rights in South America. Overall, Colombians are friendly and welcoming and the country has a thriving LGTBQ scene in larger cities like Bogota, Cartagena, and Medellin, with Bogota having hundreds of bars in the so-called tolerance zones and Latin America’s largest gay club, Teatron. Although Colombia is generally progressive, not all Colombians are accepting, so It is recommended to take extra care and be aware of your surroundings. Take care late at night or in rural areas and don’t head off on your own. Discretion in public is recommended.
In Colombia the common voltage is 110 V. The frequency is 60 Hz. The plugs and sockets are A / B type.
Tipping is not customary in Colombia but it is welcome.
For restaurants, the standard is 10% of the total bill, and in most cases, they will add 10% tip to their bills automatically. If you wish to leave extra tips, cash is appreciated.
For regular excursions, US$ 7-10 per person is expected for the guide and US $3-5 per person for the driver (depending on whether it’s a half-day excursion or a full day excursion)
An average of US $1-2 is given to concierges as tip.
In Colombia there are many festivals and events. One of the most important is the Barranquilla Carnival, which is celebrated every year in February with millions who attend from all over the world. Also in the month of December is the Cali Fair; one of the most famous salsa festivals in the world. There is also the Manizales fair in January, and the Black and White festival in Pasto in January.
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