HOW TO GET THERE
Colombian national carrier Avianca is currently the only airline offering direct flights to Bogota’s promisingly named El Dorado airport from the UK. Airlines such as Air Canada, American Airlines, BA, Delta and Iberia fly with a stop-off. British nationals do not currently need a visa for Colombia for stays of up to 90 days.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Colombia is a big country, so distances can be vast. With a growing network of budget airlines it’s worth flying between major cities if you’re pushed for time – there are regular, affordable flights between Bogota and Pereira, and Cartagena. Car hire is available in major towns, and can be a good idea if you’re Looking to explore more rural areas at your own pace. Most visitors to Colombia choose to travel via comfortable long- distance coaches, which run between all major destinations (Bogota to Cartagena, 12 hours, from £25).
HOW LONG TO SPEND
The itinerary for our feature can be done in around 12 days, but two and a half weeks will allow you to explore the country at a more Leisurely pace. To extend your trip, consider dropping by the second city of Medellin or the mountainous EL Cocuy National Park.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Recent years have seen Colombia’s internal security situation improve dramatically, helping trigger a boom in tourism. However, problems are far from over. Though a ceasefire was in place at the time of writing, the FARC rebel group remains active in Large swathes of the country, along with some smaller rebel groups. All the d estimations in this feature are far from areas of rebel presence – for advice on where specifically to avoid. Crime remains an issue, particularly in larger cities like Bogota. A number of neighbourhoods in the south of the capital are best avoided, and it’s advisable not to walk alone after dark.
WHAT TO BUDGET
Colombia is a very affordable country to visit – expect to pay between £2-£4 for a hearty meal in rural areas, with dining at top-end restaurants rarely costing more than £15. Mid-range lodgings will come in at around £30, while luxury hotels cost £70-£100, barring a few exceptions in Bogota and Cartagena.
WHEN TO GO
Colombia’s peak season runs from December to March, when most of the country enjoys clear skies and dry weather-though this means prices also peak, especially around Christmas. Shoulder season runs from March until heavier rains fall on the And es and the Caribbean in October.