The Spanish conquerors, who first entered Colombia, said that this was a “country of fabulous wealth”, but before independence, a significant part of this wealth was plundered, and many Indian settlements were destroyed. Conquistadors during the period of conquests took tons of precious metals out of the country. However, in subsequent years, a unique culture began to emerge in Colombia, a mixture of Indian traditions and European views. Despite the difficult history, numerous traces of past civilizations remain in the country. Huge beaches, colorful places of the Amazon have made Colombia one of the best countries for tourism in South America.
Geography of Colombia
According to simplyyellowpages, Colombia lies in the most northwestern part of South America. It is bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean on both sides. The state neighbors with Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela and Peru. The territory of the country is also the Providencia archipelago lying in the Caribbean Sea and a large number of small Pacific islands.
The area of Columbia is 1,141,748 km. sq., occupies the 26th place in the world by area.
The national currency is the Colombian peso (COP).
The official language is Spanish.
Visa to Colombia
Since 2009, it is not required to obtain a visa to enter Colombia, however, if the period of stay in the country is more than 90 days, then it is necessary to apply for a visa in advance at the consular section of the embassy. Upon arrival at the airport in Colombia, you must present a valid passport, return tickets and evidence that you have the amount of money necessary for life, and in some cases, a hotel reservation is checked.
Weather in Colombia
The climate of Colombia is extremely diverse. Most of the country’s territory lies in the equatorial and subequatorial climate zone, and the temperature stays at the same level for almost the entire year, only small seasonal differences are possible. The mountainous climate is typical for the highlands, and on the slopes it is more in line with the tropical and equatorial. On the coast and plains, the temperature stays around +29 C, in the mountains, at an altitude of 2000-3000 meters from +13 C to +16 C. Precipitation in Colombia also depends on the region, and not only the amount of precipitation is different, but also their nature. In the northeast, about 150 mm falls, and in the Amazon, the annual rainfall can be up to 10,000 mm. In the west of Cardillera, it rains almost every day, most often it is short-term, but high-water, and 70 mm of precipitation can fall here in a day.
A large area of the country is occupied by forests, swamps and mountains, so the development of land transport is difficult here, because of this, air transport is preferred when moving around the country. Several highways of international importance pass through Colombia. For trips around the city, taxis are the most popular, the fare for which is not too high. Travel from the airport to the city will cost only 4-5 dollars. Many taxis do not have meters, so it is advisable to agree on a price in advance.
Currency exchange in Colombia
As of October 2011, the national currency rate is 1 USD = 1960 COP. The national currency is the Colombian peso. In most cities, banks are open only from Monday to Thursday, and in the capital until Friday. In the country there are a huge number of ways to exchange. Most often, the commission for the exchange is up to 4% of the exchanged amount. It is most advantageous to change currency on the Caribbean coast. Credit cards can be used in large stores, many hotels, but it takes a lot of time to check a credit card. In small towns, credit cards are practically not accepted anywhere. Traveler’s checks can be cashed at a bank in the capital, but you will need a copy of your passport for this. Traveler’s checks cannot be used outside the capital.
110V/60Hz (American style sockets).
The country has representatives of most of the world’s confessions, but the bulk of the population (95%) consider themselves Catholic Christians.
The current security situation in Colombia is uncertain. On the one hand, a large number of abductions occur in the country, but tourists should not be afraid of this, since the bulk of abductions occur for political purposes. In order to protect yourself as much as possible, it is best to adhere to the following rules: do not travel by night buses, use only official taxi services in the evening, and do not leave the city in the evening and at night.
The level of medical services outside large cities is quite low, there is a lack of medicines and qualified personnel. Good medical care can only be obtained in major cities of the country. In difficult cases, patients are redirected to the capital.