Colombia is a country located in South America with name that begins with letter C. Colombia is around three times the size of Germany. The state is divided into five geographical areas: 1.) the Andes, whose three Colombian cordillera are interspersed with volcanoes and reach heights of up to 5,775 m; 2.) the sparsely populated, swamp-dominated Caribbean coastal lowlands in northern Colombia; 3.) The hot, humid Pacific coastal lowlands in the east, covered by tropical rainforest, and finally the densely forested lowlands (Los Llanos) east of the Andes, which can be divided into two large areas.) Orinoco or 5.) Amazonas, depending on the direction of flow of the rivers.
Tourists from Austria, Germany and Switzerland do not need a visa for a purely tourist stay in Colombia.
Colombia is located in the tropical climate zone and has two rainy seasons: from April to June and from August to November; there are two summer times in between. Due to the proximity to the equator, the days and nights are the same all year round.
The climate of Colombia is divided into four parts: While there is an average of 10,000 mm of precipitation west of the Andes on the Pacific, an average of 400 mm of rain falls in the Caribbean lowlands due to the trade winds. The Orinoco and Amazon regions have a tropical climate; Finally, in the mountain regions, depending on the altitude, there is a temperate or cold tropical climate up to a high alpine climate.
Food and drink
The Colombian cuisine is considered varied, diverse and, above all, fresh. At the top of the list of typical Colombian dishes is the Ajiaco chicken stew. Everywhere you can also find arepa, a corn cake that is served as a substitute for bread. In addition to dishes dominated by meat and cornmeal, such as tamales and empanadas, plantains can also be found in a number of recipes. Fish and seafood are often offered in coastal regions. You can also get a wide variety of freshly squeezed fruit juices there, from pineapple to passion fruit to the lesser-known tree tomato juice.
The national drink is coffee, which is grown in the Cordilleras at altitudes between 1,000 and 1,600 meters and is the country’s most important export. In Colombia it is traditionally drunk black and with sugar (tinto). But of course it can also be served with milk on request.
Colombia is proud of its culture: on the one hand, thousands of years of indigenous history, whose treasures can be admired in Bogotá’s museums; Literature of the rank of Gabriel Garcia Marcez, on the other hand, whose fantastic, real worlds are inspired by his native Colombia. In Colombian dances like salsa, exuberant joie de vivre is expressed.
Medical care in the cities is good to satisfactory. Depending on where you travel in the country, vaccinations against yellow fever and precautionary measures against mosquito bites, which can transmit malaria, dengue fever, and chikungunya fever, are recommended. It is recommended that you consult a family doctor or seek advice from a tropical institute in good time before starting your journey.
It is also advisable to take a personal first-aid kit with you. To prevent diarrhea, it is advisable to take normal hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing, only drink bottled mineral water and to refrain from consuming salads and raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables. In Colombia, attention must also be paid to the intense sun and adaptation to higher altitudes.
The security situation in Colombia has generally improved significantly in recent years. This is not only stated in newspaper and internet reports or the Foreign Office, but also steadily increasing numbers of tourists and enthusiastic returning travelers. This development is mainly due to the last government under President Uribe. It is true that there are specific travel warnings for some areas; Urgent recommendations for individual cities and districts that urge caution. Individual travelers should therefore know where to take their steps. However, one should perceive the risk more realistically and recognize that Colombia is on the right track so that tourists can enjoy the numerous beauties of the country unhindered.
Climate and travel time
Depending on the altitude, the climate is tropical and humid to moderately cool, there are no seasons marked by temperature fluctuations. The coastal areas, the large river valleys, the Amazon region and the lowlands of the east belong to the tropical-humid climatic zone (approximately from 800 to 1000m above sea level), above which the climate is temperate to cool. In the highlands, the temperature can drop to zero at night. Colombia can be visited all year round.
- Rainy season: April to November
- Dry season: December to May as well as July and August at higher altitudes
All about money
The legal tender is the Colombian Peso (COP). 1 peso is equal to 100 centavos.
The most convenient way to get money is to withdraw it from an ATM. With the usual credit cards (don’t forget your PIN!) It is possible to get cash in larger cities. In most cases, it is also possible to use a debit card (EC card), but a credit card offers more security. Fees are to be expected for each correction, which is why it is advisable to choose a larger amount. In remote regions and on hikes lasting several days, it is not possible to get money, so make sure you have enough cash.
Other essential information
Time difference to CET: -6h
110 volt, 50 hertz, flat-pin plug (adapter plug required)