Colombia Travel Overview

Colombia Travel Overview

Important facts

Capital: Bogotá (See more on SIMPLYYELLOWPAGES.COM)

Official language: Spanish

Currency: peso

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.

Useful information

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.

Colombian literature

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.

Important facts

Capital: Bogotá

Official language: Spanish


Currency (sub-unit)

Peso (100 centavos)

ISO 4217 code

COP / 170

Currency (sub-unit)

Unidad de Valor Real

ISO 4217 code

COU / 970


Continent: South America

Region: south

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


Colombia GDP - gross domestic product

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%

Unemployment: 11.2%

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

Demographic data

Residents: 43.593.100

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


Source: Abbreviationfinder


Telephone connections: 9,083,000

Cell Phones: 9,509,000

Radios: 30,104,000

TV: 18,910,000

Computer: 4,120,000

Internet users: 4,780,000


Railway lines: 3,304 km

Paved roads: 35,880 km

Cars: 1,550,000

Merchant fleet (ships over 1,000 GRT): 17

Pipelines: 13,876


Number of doctors: 60,600

Daily food intake: 2,630 kcal / resident

HIV- infected people: 262,000


Illiteracy: 6%


Foundation: 1810

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

Battleships: 3

Submarines: 4

Warplanes: 60

Defense Spending: $ 4,273,000,000


Arriving by plane

Colombia’s national airline is called Avianca (AV) (Internet:

Connections to Bogotá with Lufthansa (LH) directly from Frankfurt, with Iberia via Madrid , with the national airlines and Air France (AF) via Paris.

Air passes

The Oneworld Visit South America Pass (Internet: 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.

Departure fee

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: 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.


Traveling by plane

The intra-Colombian air traffic is operated by LAN Colombia (4C) (Internet:, Avianca (AV) (Internet: and Satena (9N) (Internet: and smaller companies disputed. Copa Airlines Colombia (P5) (Internet: 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.

Flight times

from Bogotá to the following major cities (approximate hours and minutes):

Cartagena 1.15
Barranquilla 1.15
Medellin 1.15
Manizales 1.00
Cali 1.00
Bucaramanga 0.45
Cúcuta 1.00
Pereira 1.00
Leticia 2.00

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:, Expresso Boliviano (Internet: andExpresso Palmita (Internet: 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.

International driver’s license is recommended.

Traveling in the city

The urban transport network in Bogotá includes trolleybuses, buses (TransMilenio; Internet: 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:

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).