Area : 1139000.0 km2
Population : 44000000 inhabitants
The El Dorado international airport of Bogota is about 6 miles from the centre. Allow for a journey of around 20 minutes. Several bus companies do the trip (between USD 0.25 and USD 1). A taxi will cost you USD 8. Airport departure tax for international flights is USD 24 and 34 for stays exceeding 60 days.
Sporadic guerrilla forces involved in drug trafficking makes Colombia more dangerous than neighbouring countries, however, tourists are not involved. It is better never to agree to carry luggage that does not belong to you and to always be pleasant to the police (who can be unpleasant). Adopt the same behaviour as elsewhere: no exterior sign of wealth (photographic apparatus, jewellery...), never walk around carrying the original of your passport (only a photocopy) or your credit card.
The official language is Spanish.
The great majority of the population is Catholic.
Avianca airline offers a pass allowing you to take any domestic flights for a month. This pass costs between USD 260 and 300.
Bus connections are very cheap, and all the cities are well serviced. However, it is better to take the Pullmann buses, which are more expensive and safer. People choosing to travel by car; international permit compulsory, should hire a 4x4 (all the hirers are well represented) to manage the roads, which are 88% dirt tracks.
The sanitary authorities recommend that visitors travelling to the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are vaccinated for yellow fever ten days before their arrival in Colombia.
You have to get vaccinated against yellow fever because it is a deadly disease, even though it is not required to enter the territory. It is recommended to follow an antimalarial treatment. Vaccines against typhoid and hepatitises A and B are recommended. Only drink bottled water, even if you are only brushing your teeth, and avoid eating unpealed, raw vegetables. Plan to bring a mosquito net.
Voltage is 120 V. An adaptor is needed.
To call Colombia from the UK, dial 00 + 57 (country code) + town code (01 for Bogota, 94 for Medellin, and 95 for Cartagena) + the number of the other party.
To call the UK from Colombia, dial 00 + 44 + the number of the other party.
Flat 3A, 3 Hans Crescent, London SW1X OLN.
Tel: 020 7589 9177.
Colombia Tourist Office:
C 28, n° 13A-15, in Bogota. Tel: 41 38 202.
Carrera 7, #79-75, Of.501, Santafe de Bogota D.C. Tel: 23 54 713.