Frequently asked questions about Colombia

  1. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?
  2. Do I need a visa?
  3. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?
  4. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?
  5. Is Colombia a safe destination?
  6. What is the time difference?
  7. What kind of transportation is used?
  8. When is the best time to visit?
  9. Are there guidelines for interactions with tribes?

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12. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?
Yes you can book transfers (on arrival) and extra nights with Shoestring. If this option is not visible when making your booking please make a remark and we will contact you with the costs.
13. Do I need a visa?
You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. UK/many other European passport holders do not need a visa for Colombia at present but please check here if you are unsure. Please check the embassy if you need a visa for Colombia. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure if you need a visa so you do not run into time problems.
14. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?
Please click here for questions regarding vaccinations or malaria tablets for this country and contact after your local practitioner or a specialized health centre and make an appointment to get your shots and pills. Please make sure that you allow at least six weeks for a full program. People who already have had a few shots might do with two weeks. You are responsible for having the right protection when going on tour.
15. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?
If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveler ( from the same sex when possible ) unless you have booked a single room.
16. Is Colombia a safe destination?

In recent years safety has improved in Colombia. As a tourist you can easily walk through the streets of Colombia without any danger. However, just like anywhere in the world you have to be careful with pickpockets. If you happen to be a victim of robbery do not resist and comply with what is asked.

Please don’t tempt fate by taking any expensive or precious jewellery or other valuables on your trip.

17. What is the time difference?
Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference.
18. What kind of transportation is used?
The vast majority of our travels in Colombia are completed using our own minibus/bus.
19. When is the best time to visit?
The dry season in Colombia runs from December to March and July and August, so these are good periods. Colombia is generally speaking a 'year-round' destination, particularly along the Caribbean coastline where fine weather is guaranteed almost every day of the year.
20. Are there guidelines for interactions with tribes?

Many tribes live in remote areas and have little contact with Western travellers. If you are going to visit such an "exotic" region, prepare yourself well. This will be beneficial both for yourself and for the people you will meet. Here are some do's & don'ts that you can use as a guideline.

• Read up beforehand about the traditions and customs of the tribe(s) you will visit. Then you know what to expect when you are there. Your tour leader can often provide you with information as well.
• First make contact with the chief of the tribe and do not instantly begin photographing. You are dealing with people, not with objects.
• Always ask permission first if you want to take a picture of someone. Put yourself in the position of the person you want to photograph. How would you feel if a person unknown to you suddenly started taking photos of you? In some cases, the tour leader or local guide will ask for permission for you.
• Involve the local people in what you are doing. Make time for a conversation (with hands and feet) and show the photo that you have taken. You may like to bring a few photos from home, and then you can show how things are where you come from.
• Do not hand out things like candy (there are often few/no accessible dentists), balloons (plastic contaminates the area), money or Western trinkets. These types of donations can lead to disagreement, jealousy or quarrels between the various tribes people.
• Do not purchase authentic, irreplaceable items (and do not accept them when given as a gift). Some examples include jewellery that belonged to ancestors, tools for work such as a sickle or hammer or weapons like a bow and arrow. The tribesmen often only realise afterwards, once the tourists are gone, that they have lost their irreplaceable object(s).