Colombia Travel Overview
Official language: Spanish
Continent: South-South America
Land of music and coffee
Coffee and cocoa that are valued worldwide come from Colombia. The country also has a rich cultural heritage, particularly in terms of Latin American music. The singer Shakira comes from this Andean republic.
According to Countryaah, Colombia is located in the Andes and borders Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, the Pacific to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the north. If you ever thought of learning Spanish, Colombia might be one of the best destinations to combine it with a vacation. According to the Bogota Academy, the purest Spanish is spoken there. The level of the university is among the highest in Latin America.
Colombia has long been known for its high exports of cocaine. Production has plummeted today as the government took on the fight against drug trafficking. As travelers, you should avoid joking around on the subject, as it is uncomfortable for Colombians. When traveling in Colombia (generally in South America), it is imperative not to openly display valuables. At night they shouldn’t move around alone.
Combat operations with guerrillas and paramilitaries have occurred less frequently in recent years, but you should avoid certain areas and, especially in unknown forests, not go exploring alone.
In general, Colombians are friendly and welcome tourists. The country is probably the most heavily influenced by US America on the continent. This means that all the consumer pleasures of the West are available to them in the centers. The nightlife in particular is very active in Colombia. Along with Cuba and the Dominican Republic, it is one of the big salsa countries. In addition, a number of carnivals are celebrated in the country whose namesake is Christopher Columbus.
As already mentioned, language is very valued in Colombia. This applies not only to the spoken word, but also to the written one. The fact that literature from South America is respected worldwide confuses some Europeans. The writer Gabriel Garcia Marques achieved international fame in 1982 when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature ; the city of Bogota was named the World Book Capital by UNESCO in 2006.
Half of the area of Colombia consists of rainforest. This biodiversity is reflected in the cuisine of Colombia. There is no connecting national dish. The common denominator is mostly cornmeal and meat in all variations. The cuisine of each region is shaped by the local offer. In some supermarkets you can find 5 different kinds of mangoes, as many kinds of bananas and a myriad of tropical fruits that are unknown to the majority of Europeans.
Official language: Spanish
Peso (100 centavos)
ISO 4217 code
COP / 170
Unidad de Valor Real
ISO 4217 code
COU / 970
Continent: South America
Geo coordinates: N 4 ° 34 ‘15.1 ” W -74 ° -17’ -50.4″
Highest mountain: Pico Cristobal (5,775 m)
Total area: 1,138,910 km²
Mainland: 1,038,700 km²
National border: 7,408 km
Coastline: 3,208 km
Dependency: Spain until 1810
Formerly dependent states: Panama until 1903
UN member since: 1945
Other political affiliation: Organization of American States
Form of government: Presidential Republic
Houses of Parliament: bikameral
Party system: Multi-party system
State building: decentralized
Political culture: parochial
Particularities: no right to vote for members of state security forces; Constitutionally required representation of ethnic and political minorities in Congress
Export goods: Coffee, petroleum, bananas
BSP: $ 127,656,000,000
GDP: $ 119,742,100,000
GDP purchasing power parity: $ 362.7 billion
Economic growth: 5.4%
GDP share of agriculture: 12.1%
GDP share of industry: 34.8%
GDP share of services: 53.1%
Inflation rate: 4.4%
State budget revenue: $ 4294967295
State budget expenditure: $ 4294967295
National debt: 48.1%
Export: $ 23.4 billion
Import: $ 21,090,000,000
Foreign debt: $ 34,490,000,000
Gold and currency reserves: $ 16,130,000,000
Electricity consumption: 53,370 million KWh
Gas reserves: 127,600 million m³
Gas production: 6,270 million m³
Gas consumption: 6,270 million m³
Oil reserves: 1,492 million m³
Oil production: 489,000 million m³
Oil consumption: 288,000 million m³
Cultivation area: 3.32%
Bovine: 28,170,000 pieces
Pigs: 1,762,000 pieces
Sheep: 2,440,000 pieces
Fishing: 214,000 t
Residents in cities: 32,598,000
Minorities: indigenous minority (4%)
Average age: 26.3 years
0-14 years: 30.3%
15-64 years: 65.5%
> 65 years: 4.2%
Population growth: 1.46%
Birth rate: 20.48 / 1,000 residents
Death rate: 5.58 / 1,000 residents
Migration: -0.3 / 1,000 residents
Ratio men / women: 0.96
Fertility: 2.54 children / woman
Infant mortality: 20.35 ‰
Life expectancy men: 68.15 years
Life expectancy women: 75.96 years
Country codes and abbreviations
ISO 3166 Alpha 2: CO
ISO 3166 Alpha 3: COL
ISO 3166 numeric: 170
Top Level Domain: co
IOC country code: COL
UN / LOCODE: CO
Telephone connections: 9,083,000
Cell Phones: 9,509,000
Internet users: 4,780,000
Railway lines: 3,304 km
Paved roads: 35,880 km
Merchant fleet (ships over 1,000 GRT): 17
Number of doctors: 60,600
Daily food intake: 2,630 kcal / resident
HIV- infected people: 262,000
Last sovereign since: 1810
Main religious group: Christians
Distribution of religions: catholic (90%)
Prison inmates: 70,000
Armed forces (troop strength): 210,000
Main battle tank: 20th
Defense Spending: $ 4,273,000,000
Arriving by plane
Colombia’s national airline is called Avianca (AV) (Internet: www.avianca.com).
Connections to Bogotá with Lufthansa (LH) directly from Frankfurt, with Iberia via Madrid , with the national airlines and Air France (AF) via Paris.
The Oneworld Visit South America Pass (Internet: www.oneworld.com) is valid on routes operated by the participating airlines American Airlines, British Airways, LAN, Qatar Airwaysand the associated airlines within South America in the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Applicable only to passengers residing outside of South America. Valid for a maximum of 6 months from arrival in South America. The Airpass includes at least 3 coupons. The number of coupons is not limited. A coupon is required for each section of the route. The stopovers are limited to the number of coupons purchased. Children from 2 years of age: no discount. Infants under 2 years of age are free (no seat occupancy). The reservation of the entire route must be made before departure or the ticket is issued. A fee will be charged for each route change or change in the flight date. Cancellation fees: Refunds before departure, No reimbursement after departure. Purchase of tickets / issue before departure in Germany.
Are included in the airfare. For all travelers who stay longer than 2 months, the exit tax is US $ 19, which must be paid in cash.
Arrival by car
Vehicles can be shipped from Panama to Colombia. There are roads to Ecuador and Venezuela. You shouldn’t drive from Panama to Colombia, because the journey is long, exhausting and dangerous. It is highly recommended that you only travel during the day in Colombia and not overland. However, travelers should check with their embassy for road safety information.
Long-distance bus: Ormeño (Internet: www.grupo-ormeno.com.pe) travels to Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.
Arriving by train
No international rail connections.
Arrival by ship
Colombia’s main ports are Cartagena, Baranquilla, Santa Marta and Turnaco. Buenaventura is the main port on the Pacific coast. Colombia is served by many cruise lines from the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Leticia is the port on the upper Amazon from where you can reach Brazil or Peru.
ON THE GO
Traveling by plane
The intra-Colombian air traffic is operated by LAN Colombia (4C) (Internet: www.lan.com), Avianca (AV) (Internet: www.avianca.com) and Satena (9N) (Internet: www.satena.com) and smaller companies disputed. Copa Airlines Colombia (P5) (Internet: www.aerorepublica.com.co) flies from Bogota to many cities in code sharing. Air connections between cities are excellent, including to the Caribbean coast. There are also helicopters for hire. The San André and Providencia Islands are served by major Colombian cities. San Andrés is owned by theAvianca and Lacsa (LR) regularly flown to.
Airport charges are included in the airfare.
from Bogotá to the following major cities (approximate hours and minutes):
On the way by car / bus
A good expressway connects Santa Marta in the east via Barranquilla with Cartagena. Since the completion of the Trans-Caribbean Expressway, it only takes 5 hours to get from Barranquilla to Venezuela. North-east of Santa Marta on the Guajira peninsula, except during the rainy season i General passable. The coastal cities and other inland cities are connected to the capital by highways, but these are often in poor condition. Travelers are advised not to travel to rural areas because of guerrilla and paramilitary groups.
Bus: The best bus routes are said to be Flota Magdalena (Internet: www.flotamagdalena.com), Expresso Boliviano (Internet: www.bolivariano.com.co) andExpresso Palmita (Internet: www.expresopalmira.com.co). However, due to the great distances involved, the plane is the best mode of transport.
Rental cars: International companies have branches. Driving in cities is not recommended.
Documentation: International driver’s license is recommended.
Traveling in the city
The urban transport network in Bogotá includes trolleybuses, buses (TransMilenio; Internet: www.transmilenio.gov.co) and minibuses as well as a rack railway. There is a single fare. Shared taxis (Buseta or Colectivo) are inexpensive connections to surrounding cities and the airport. Green / beige colored tourist taxis are waiting in front of hotels, which are a bit more expensive than normal taxis. One should use the telephone service to order a taxi and insist that the meter be turned on. For taxis without a meter, the fare should be agreed in advance.
On the go by train
There are hardly any passenger trains. The main route is between Bogotá and Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast, east of Barranquilla. Because of the great distances, it is recommended to use the plane.
The Turistren is a historic train with a steam locomotive that transports tourists from Bogotá to Zipaquirá and Cajicá (Internet: www.turistren.com.co).
On the way by ship
Ferry connections from Mulle de Pegasos to the San André and Providencia Islands. The journey is cheap but takes 72 hours. More information about ferry connections to San Andrés Island from Maritima San Andrés. Boats go from the island to Johnny Cay and the aquarium.
The Río Magdalena is Colombia’s main artery, and some cargo ships also carry passengers. However, this type of travel is very time consuming. Boats can be rented for certain routes. Paddle steamers can also be rented, but they can be very expensive. From Leticia on the Peruvian border you can book sightseeing tours and excursions into the jungle on the Amazon. It is best to get information on site. (More information under Vacation Places & Excursions).