By traveling with DE UNA Colombia Tours you can be sure of a wonderful and unforgettable experience in Colombia. We offer a multitude of guided tours and are also the only travel company to give you the possibility to arrange your personal custom-made tour suited for every traveler. From the Caribbean Coast to the high peaks of the Andes, from the archaeological sites to the cultural highlights in the cities, from Carnival in Barranquilla to tropical rain forest or a combination of all these, DE UNA gives you the opportunity to get to know the Colombia the way it should be traveled. In fact, this country is an exciting travel destination with an incredibly varied nature and warm-hearted and special people. We constantly revise our tours based on feedback from our customers. Even though we offer fixed guided tours, we are always open to suggestions and requests from the tour group. This is possible because we only travel with small groups. All of our tours are accompanied by experienced and multilingual (English, German, Dutch, Spanish) tour guides that will be able to provide lots of information about Colombia during the trip. As your guides we do not just want to travel with you, but also respond to the wishes of the group and give you all kinds of advice. Above all we ensure that we only travel in regions where there is no danger. By traveling with DE UNA Colombia Tours you also automatically support a local project.
In matters of security Colombia has a bad reputation. Indeed, the headlines in the newspapers often enough provide bad news. However, the security situation has improved considerably in the last few years. Even though violence still occurs, it is only a problem in certain regions and parts of the cities. If you avoid these areas, then a trip to Colombia is not more dangerous than to other Latin American countries. After their first visit to Colombia, most travelers are surprised at the normality of everyday life in this country. In addition, the people, their customs and their respect before travelers will give you a sense of security. The places visited on our tours are safe and we constantly observe any changes to the security situation in the entire country. You will need to take precautions against pickpockets in the big cities, like in any country in the developing world. For more information please also read our page about “Security”.
Citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, most other Western European countries (except Ireland), Japan, and most countries in Central and South America do not need a visa to enter Colombia. If you enter the country as a tourist by plane without a visa, a round trip ticket is required. These requirements are subject to change at short notice, so we recommend verifying the entry requirement again before your trip. At passport control at the airport and at Colombia’s land border you will be asked about the purpose and intended duration of stay in the country. Accordingly, you normally receive a tourist entry permit in the form of a passport stamp for 30, 60 or 90 days. Should it become necessary, this permit can be extended for up to 180 days total stay per calendar year (6 months). Please ensure that you receive a permit for 60 days immediately upon entry, should you have booked a trip that lasts longer than 30 days. You can thus avoid the cost, time and inconvenience of having to extend the permit later.
Legal tender in Colombia is the Colombian Peso (abbreviated COP or $). Foreign currency, including US-Dollar, is not accepted, especially outside of the big cities. The simplest way to obtain cash is by using an international banking card in the Maestro/Cirrus or Visa Plus networks. In most cities you will not have problems using the ATM machines with these cards. Usually you can withdraw up to 1.500.000 Peso (around 600 Euro or 850 US-Dollar) per day (please also inquire at your home bank about possible lower limits). Most costs are already included in the prices of our tours, so these amounts are sufficient to cover personal expenses. In case of necessity, you can also withdraw larger amounts with a credit card by showing your passport in bank offices (e.g. in Banco de Occidente or Bancolombia), where Visa and MasterCard are most widely accepted. Please note, however, that this method is time-consuming and only possible in large cities. You can pay hassle-free by credit card in the bigger shopping centers, hotels and restaurants of higher categories. Other possibilities are traveler’s cheques or the exchange of cash in banks and currency exchange offices (US-Dollar or Euro).
Colombia is close to the equator, so the temperature changes little throughout the year. Instead, the climate varies by altitude from the hot lowlands to the snow-covered peaks of the Andes. Despite this general pattern, Colombia knows a rainy season (called invierno or “winter”) and a dry season (called verano or “summer”). The timing of these seasons varies from region to region throughout the country. In general, the months of October and April see the most precipitation, while December, January and February are the driest periods. We have taken this into account in our yearly calendar of guided tours.
We recommend obtaining this information directly at your family physician. It is possible that you already have some of the vaccinations recommended for Colombia, and sometimes these immunizations provide long-term protection. A vaccination against Yellow Fever is indispensable if your travel plans include one of the following destinations: Tayrona National Park, Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City) or Leticia/Amazon Basin. According to government regulations you will have to provide evidence of vaccination 10 days before traveling to these areas. Malaria is only a concern in the department of Chocó in the northwest of the country and in the Amazon Basin. Still, for the destinations on the Pacific Coast in Chocó that we offer, you normally won’t need a prophylaxis against Malaria. For trips to Leticia and other destinations in the Amazon Basis, taking medications for prophylaxis against Malaria is a personal decision that you should only take after consulting your physician or a clinic specialized in tropical medicine.
The content of your luggage is a personal decision, but also depend on the type of tour or package that you have booked. Under General Information you also find a section about the climate. There, we explain how the temperature depends on the altitude. Please read this page first for more information about this topic. You should always carry the following equipment with you if you have booked a tour with a DE UNA tour guide:
- Sturdy shoes
- Extra pair of shoes to change
- Rain jacket
- Hat or cap against the sun
- Suncream (At least 30 spf)
- Insect repellent
- Small backpack for day trips
- Flash light (always useful)
It is important to keep in mind that you can obtain practically all goods in Colombia. We therefore advise against taking too much luggage. Should you forget something at home, you will most likely be able to by it here in Colombia. In addition, we always recommend to travel with a backpack instead of a suitcase, especially for tours with a DE UNA guide. Sometimes we visit places on these tours where traveling with a big suitcase is very uncomfortable. Some of our tours also have a special equipment list. Please consult the pages of these tours for more detailed information.
In this regard, the situation in Colombia is much more advanced than many people believe. There are stores throughout the country where you can make international telephone calls, and the calls are not overly expensive, either (30 to 50 Euro-Cent per minute on average). Internet access is also available almost everywhere, even in small villages. Except during the trekking tour to Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City) and our mountain tours, you will always have the opportunity to stay in touch with family and friends. Air mail letters and postcards that are sent with the state-run Colombian postal service (previously called Adpostal/Correos de Colombia, now known as 4-72), cost 4.800 Pesos (around 1,90 Euro) within the Americas and 6.400 Pesos (around 2,50 Euro) to the rest of the world. International mail usually takes between 4 to 8 weeks to reach its destination.
This is not strictly necessary, but basic knowledge of Spanish helps to ensure a smoother and better experience in the country, since it enhances your possibilities. A few words are already enough to start a simple conversation in a bus or to order your meal in a restaurant. Please keep in mind that knowledge of foreign languages – including English – is not widespread in Colombia, and that existing language abilities are often rudimentary at best. It is possible even in luxury hotels and restaurants that no one speaks English or any other language besides Spanish. Our guided tours are always accompanied by multilingual tour guides, but it is still worth the effort to speak and understand at least a little Spanish. The schedule of each tour always includes free time without a guide, and in addition, some knowledge of Spanish will enable you to get in contact with the local population.
If you have decided on a roundtrip or a package, simply fill in the contact form on our website. You can find the contact link on each page at the top or at the bottom. You can also directly send us an e-mail with your wishes and questions. As soon as possible we will reply with all necessary information.
Once we have confirmed your reservation we kindly ask you to pay a deposit so that we can start the preparations for your trip. The amount of the deposit varies with the trip, the number of persons and your advance booking period, and is between 25% and the full cost of the tour. We offer you various methods to make these payments. Payments from outside the Euro-Zone are made with international wire transfers directly to our bank account at Bancolombia in Colombia. In addition, we have an account in the Netherlands for free bank transfers from this country. From other countries in the Euro-Zone, you can also make bank transfers for the same conditions as domestic payments. It is also possible to pay by credit card over the internet but we charge an additional 6% due to high cost to receive credit card payments.
This depends largely on the trip you booked. For tours with a tour guide from DE UNA most costs are already included in the tour price and you only have to pay for meals and personal expenses in Colombia (some tours also include meals; please read the detailed tour description for more information). In addition, all tours, packages, flights and hotel accommodation sold through DE UNA include all taxes and fees. Please note that high season for tourists in Colombia is in July/August and December/January, while the remainder of the year is considered low season. During high season the prices for flights and hotels rise considerably, which we take into account in our price quotes.
Yes, this is possible subject to certain conditions. If a tour or package is already booked, confirmed and paid, we can accept cancellations only under exceptional circumstances. In this case we charge a cancellation fee of 15%-25% of the total price. The cancellation penalty for flights and/or hotels that have been booked through us is subject to the conditions of the flight ticket/hotel. If these conditions foresee a cancellation fee, it will be charged in addition to the 15%-25% mentioned above. If canceled within 2 weeks prior to your trip there is no refund possible. See also our Terms & Conditions.
DE UNA Colombia Tours can also organize your international flights from most countries. It is always good to check also your local travel agency as they might have special prices but our international flight fares are very low especially when you don't want to arrive/leave in/from Bogotá. If you have booked a tour or package through us, please remember to inform us of the dates and times of your international flight, so that we can arrange the relevant airport transfers.
No, this is not a product that we offer. It is vital that you arrange your own international travel (health) insurance in your home country before departure.
During tours with a DE UNA guide we usually do not include meals in the total price, since our experience tells us that the question of meals is difficult to resolve to the satisfaction of everyone in a tour group. In some cases, however, meals are included (please read the detailed tour description for more information), for example during the trekking to the Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City).
Colombian food is good, inexpensive and generally quite varied. In the morning, people eat a breakfast that ranges from simple scrambled eggs with bread/arepa (flat corn bread) to a complete meal with soup and a main course. For lunch (almuerzo), Colombians eat a complete meal with soup, main course, drink and sometimes dessert. In addition, snacks are quite popular in Colombia. You will find small restaurants, cafes and many street vendors that sell snacks ranging from the well-known hamburgers and hot dogs to local specialties. As mentioned previously, it is possible to east quite inexpensively in Colombia. You will not need more than 5 or 10 Euros per day if you order the menu of the day (comida corriente). Of course, in restaurants of higher categories, the prices can rival those in Europe or North America.
During tours with a guide from DE UNA, we use mostly public transport. According to our experience and our company’s philosophy, public transport is the ideal way to experience the real Colombia and to get in touch with its people. Private chartered transport is sometimes indispensable, however, to reach some remote destinations. The longest or most complicated routes are generally covered by plane. During the course of a tour it is further possible that we use a multitude of transport modes, including buses, chivas (typical Colombian buses on a truck basis), boats, etc. Of course, we can also accommodate your wishes concerning the choice of mode of transport.
Normally we stay in hotels of an intermediate category without special features. All hotels have comfortable beds, rooms with private bathrooms, are clean and strategically located. The price quotes contained on our website apply for accommodation in double or triple rooms. Should you wish single rooms, please let us know as soon as possible. Furthermore, the accommodation depends on the destination. For example, during the trekking to the Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City) and in the Tayrona National Park, we sleep in hammocks, while staying in tents during the mountain tours in the Cocuy and Los Nevados National Parks, and during the tour through the coffee zone (Zona Cafetera), we stay on a typical coffee finca for two nights. The tour to the Caribbean Coast (Costa Caribe) is a tour with a touch more luxury, so it includes hotels of a higher category. All in all, however, the same principle applies here as with the modes of transport: everything can be adjusted to your wishes.