If you are thinking about visiting Colombia this year, here are some tips to make the most of your trip. Colombia is a safe place, and long go are the days of the cartels, although there is violence like anywhere in the world. We enjoy taking vacations to visit my family that still lives there. After several trips we realized that there a few things that make our trip easier, so we are sharing those tips with you.
This is a must. A lot of business and reservations to attractions are done by WhatsApp. You can call the the person for free, as long as you have internet. You can also send photos, videos and even voice messages.
I use it on an ongoing basis to communicate with family and friends in Colombia and pretty much everyone ask you to call them with WhatsApp because the phone plans sometimes are not unlimited like in the US.
This app will help you save money on phone calls. The download is free!
Travel with a Latin-American Airlines
If you are going to Central or South America, and you travel with Latin-American airlines you will get not only great costumer service but will save money on baggage and meals. Most Latin-American airlines offer 2 suit cases when traveling internationally from the US to South America and they give you meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner) depending on the time of your flight. You can also enjoy refreshments including soda, coffee and water for free and even some alcoholic beverages.
The Colombian airline Avianca flights from different cities in the US to the main cities in Colombia at good prices and they have great costumer service. The flight crew is bilingual and they offer free meals and movies during the flights.
Take advantage of the free WiFi almost everywhere
Most restaurants, stores and malls offer free WiFi. In some places you might need to ask for the password but they are really good about sharing it with you. At the malls you might need to sign up with your email, but you get free internet, so it is totally worth it.
In case that you are in a small town where WiFi is still not very popular, look for Internet Cafes, they are affordable and easy to find.
Some hotels have free WiFi, but some of them are very expensive. If you would like to have Internet service you can also check into services such as Sky Roam that offers unlimited data for up to 5 devices for a low price. It worked wonders when we were in Colombiia
Use local transporation
Rental cars can be very expensive. Local buses and taxis are a great way to get around. Taxis are inexpensive and safe. There are also lots of Uber cars. Save money by walking around and if you are in Medellin use the metro and metro cable to get to your destination.
Ask the locals how to get places. Sometimes you can even negotiate prices for transportation in advance or rent a taxi for a day for a very affordable price.
Pack clothing for different weather conditions
Colombia doesn’t have seasons; the weather depends on the altitude of the city you are visiting. Bogota is a little colder (think Chicago during spring time), Cartagena is by the beach and it is hot and humid and Medellin is warmer during the day and colder at night but usually really comfortable temperature. Colombia is located in the tropic so it tends to rain a lot. When packing, be prepared to pack a little bit of everything. Closed toe shoes are better for adventures and flip flops are ok by the beach but maybe not at the big cities.
Hats are great way to protect yourself form the sun and they are ok for every city. Sunglasses are also a must. Here are some products that made our vacation in Colombia a very pleasant one. You can buy the products using my affiliated links.
Now, it is time to pack your bags and head to Colombia!