Colombia is fast becoming a popular destination for the experienced and now the non experienced traveler with tourism increasing by approximately 25% each year. So we would like to offer some advice that has come from various open sources and we have attached links to them so you can dispel any worries and be more informed on what to expect from traveling here to what you may expect once you are here and to you leaving for your next destinations.
It is important to be aware of potential risks when travelling. The most common illnesses in Colombia are acute altitude sickness, stomach problems, and in jungle areas malaria and yellow fever. For those wishing to visit Colombia it is recommended to buy travel insurance giving you medical and emergency hospital care coverage even though medical treatment can be cheap you never want to be caught out with an unexpected bill. As regards to medication and prescription drugs, these can be obtained without restriction in the majority of drugstores and pharmacies.
This information corresponds to current information from the ministry of health of the Republic of Colombia www.minsalud.gov.co
We also suggest that you visit your countries travel website for up to date information and guidance.
A Colombia Paddlers adventure opens up experiences and excitement, With that, there are obvious risks and incredible rewards. So we would like to offer some pointers to make your travels safer and enjoyable.
Colombia having different laws and regulations in regards to your home country make some people forget that a valid form of ID must be carried at all times.
The tours we operate often will include strenuous activities and physical demands beyond which you may be usually accustomed to. In addition, these activities are on many occasions undertaken in remote and isolated areas.
The political stability of Colombia in some departments which we operate can be at times volatile.
Natural events such as earthquakes, flooding, torrential rain etc can happen at any time and sometimes they will strike in locations in which we will be operating.
The remoteness of some of our tours mean that support and assistance is not always close to hand.
The local infrastructure of hospitals, transport, emergency services etc of some of the departments that we visit may be lacking compared to what you are used to at home.
We suggest that you take copies and if possible a notarized copy of your passport and other important documents with you. This way, if you lose your documents, you can at least present a copy to your embassy or consulate while abroad and have replacement or temporary travel documents issued. An idea would also be to scan and send to yourself a copy of all the important documents so that you can retrieve a copy at any time.
You can register your travel plans with your embassy or consulate before leaving home. Some have schemes in place should a serious event occur, your government will be able to make contact and account for you.
Take out the correct insurance for your activities. No one ever expects an injury or accident to happen.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with friends or family along with any contact details of your journey (hotels, tour operator, etc).
High Altitude Sickness can affect anyone so learn the symptoms! It can start at even 1500 meters but is more common over 2500 meters. http://www.altitude.org/ has a guide to the symtoms and what to do if you become ill and suspect you may be suffering.
Certificate of vaccinated against yellow fever
Due to an international warning on yellow fever issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Colombia has determined that the International Yellow Fever Certificate will be requested from persons coming from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Brazil upon entrance to the country.
Also that persons (national and international) must be vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to travelling if their destination is a municipality in one of the following departments.
To enter the region it is necessary to be vaccinated for yellow fever. In addition it is advisable to put the recommended vaccines for any other natural region (tetanus, hepatitis, typhus.).
1) Wooded areas of the rivers Orinoco, Meta, Vichada, Guaviare, Inírida, Vaupés, Putumayo, Caqueta and Amazonas.
2) Foothill of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta.
3) North of Santander Area of the Catatumbo.
4) Urabá Chocoano and Antioqueño.
5) Area of the Middle Magdalena.
The vaccine is not suitable for people with HIV, pregnant women and children under 6 months of age, among others. To visit nature parks or wilderness areas other vaccines, such as tetanus and hepatitis A and B are also recommended.
Visitors from countries offering a dengue vaccine should have it applied before traveling if visiting sites below 1,800 m. For more information go to the following link with recommendations for the traveler given by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Colombia
Suggested Equipment list to bring along
We suggest that you travel with a backpack or fold-able type bags as suitcases can be difficult to store and move around with.
Clothing that you may use we suggest it it light and drys quickly and for the tours to colder climates it will be adequate for your needs.
Waterproof Bag for personal gear whilst on water
Daysack for personal gear (Rest of your belongings will remain at hotel or with the driver in the vehicle)
Hat (ideally long brim)
Long sleeve shirt (mosquito’s, exposed to sun most of the day)
Long leg quick dry trousers or zip off
Footwear (for use in water)
Bin Liners (for your rubbish or to Place wet equipment inside till after the trip finishes that day)
Personal Gear you might want to bring along
Camera ( additional memory cards)
Spare batteries for your electrical items
Waterproof case for camera
Gloves (for paddling or fishing)
Long sleeve T-Shirt
Imodium tablets (Can be brought locally. Always good to have in emergencies!)
Your own fishing tackle
Remember your kit needs to be able to fit in a bag and on the boat with you so try to keep the amount to a minimum.
We aim to provide a truly great experience so our transport we use will depend on the type of package that you have chosen from private transport to public airline. Our drivers will always be courteous and polite. Our vehicles will be in roadworthy conditions and regularly inspected for worthiness.
For some of our trips we would recommend that you arrive into the city a day before the tour commences to allow yourself time to acclimatize and recover from jet lag.
Hotel accommodation outside of your tour can be arranged at an additional fee. The hotels and lodges we stay at will be provided to you once confirmation of your booking has taken place.
We cannot help you with your visas but we do suggest you visit your countries webpage and see if you require a visa. Most visitors to Colombia can enter on a tourist visa which will vary from 30 to 90 days.
Most of our tours do not include airport transfers unless stipulated but we are willing to assist and give advise. Normally a taxi can be booked and taken from the hotel or airport to your location.
Our tours do not give single rooms unless requested for and an additional fee is paid. All accommodation is shared (same sex) normally being twin rooms.
We aim to keep our tours small so to maximize on enjoyment and comfort so we normally vary between 6 to 10 guests on each tour.
Families can book our tours as an exclusive trip and we can be flexible with all your requirements from age to medical. Please speak to one of our agents to help you plan that special adventure.
Tipping is not included in any of our packages and we leave that up to you on how much and if you wish to.