Colombia Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Bogota tourist information, Colombia food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Bogota. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Colombia Travel Guide

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Full country name: Republic of Colombia
Area: 1,14 milion sq km
Population: 44,2 milion (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Bogota
Language: Spanish
Religion: Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%
Government: Unitary presidential republic
Time Zone: UTC/GMT -5
Dialling Code: 57
Electricity: 110V 60Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Colombian peso (COP)

Money & Costs:
Average yearly salary: USD 9,200

Budget: $3-10
Mid-range: $10-20
High: $22+
Budget: $7-20
Mid-range: $20-40
High: $40+

Geography: The Republic of Columbia is located in northwestern South America. By land the country borders Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Panama. The Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean are border Columbia by water. The country's terrain is dominated by the Andes mountains, but the savanna of the Llans and the jungle of the Amazon rainforest is of no less importance.

Climate: Columbia has a warm tropical climate with higher temperatures on the coast, and lower - in the highlands. There is a rainy season, which last from May to November. The tropical rainforest are characterized by hot and high humidity climate with heavy rainfall. The semi-humid tropical savanna is said to have seasons: a rainy season and a dry season. The average yearly temperature in Columbia ranges from 24 C (75 F) to 27 C (80 F).

Recommended clothing: Your clothes when traveling to Columbia have to correspond to the various weather conditions. Pack lightweight clothes for summer period, and pullovers, sweaters or cardigans for winter season. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Social conventions: It is customary to offer guests black Colombian coffee, well sugared, called tinto, accept it, or you can offend the host. Smoking is allowed almost everywhere, except where indicated otherwise.

Health: Mosquito borne illnesses like dengue fever and malaria are prevalent in Colombia, therefore you should take preventative measures to avoid it. Mosquito repellent and concealing clothes should help you. A yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Tap water, ice and any other unbottled water should be avoided and fruit and vegetables peeled and cooked. Medical care facilities are of a good quality in major cities, but medical insurance is still recommended.

Food & Drink: Colombian cuisine varies depending on the different regions. Some areas are famous for such delicacies as roasted ants and guinea pigs, whereas locals of other areas could not even touch such dishes. Since the diet of Columbian includes a lot of meat dishes, the country is not a paradise for vegetarians. However, coastal areas offer a variety of seafood dishes, often prepared with a coconut milk sauce. Fruit are plentiful, as well as many of the varieties you have probably never heard of before. Colombia's national alcoholic beverage is Aguardiente. It tastes strongly of anise, and is usually bought by a half or a quarter bottle. There are various fresh fruit juice offered as soft drinks. Note, that black filter coffee is refferred to as tinto – don't confuse it with red wine.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Apr 1 Maundy Thursday
Varies between Mar 22 & Apr 25 Good Friday
Varies between Mar 26 & Apr 8 Ascension
May 1 Labour Day
Jul 3 St Peter and St Paul
Jul 20 Independence Day
Aug 7 Battle of Boyacá
Oct 12 Columbus Day
Dec 8 Immaculate Conception
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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