Frequently Asked Questions
Tour Related (13)
"Fancy and the less fancy questions"
- Do I need to be in shape to go on a Colombia World tour?
- What can I expect for accommodations?
- I am a single traveller. Will I have to pay a single supplement?
- What will the tour consist of?
- How many people can I expect to come on the tour?
- What activities are included in the cost of the tour?
- Are meals included?
- Are airport transfers included?
- Are domestic airfares included?
- Are international airfares included?
- What if I want to cancel my trip?
- Should I buy trip cancelation/interruption insurance?
- Are there age restrictions associated with the tour?
Activity/Sports Related (2)
Other Questions (8)
"Of Mysterious Origin But Equally Important"
Colombia is safer for tourist-travel now.
Colombia has made tremendous strides in improving security within the last decade, making it safe for tourists to visit (Please see popular articles by reputable sources below). Historically, Colombia has suffered from a bad image of being thought of as a “dangerous” country, most widely known for its association with illicit drug trafficking. Fortunately, however, this image is rapidly changing with Colombia’s improved security situation and success in counternarcotics efforts.
Hundreds of thousands of yearly tourists are now returning home bragging about their fantastic Colombian vacations. According to the Colombian customs agency, because of increased security and stability in the country, the number of foreign visitors has increased since 2004 by 71.2 %, totalling 1,353,760 foreign visitors in 2009, with 29.6 % of visitors coming from North America, and 16.9 % from Europe. Now foreigners can safely experience the paradise that Colombians have known for years!
The safety and security of our clients is our top priority. As most Latin American countries, Colombia is still developing, and therefore our staff continuously monitors local news and governmental advisories, in order to keep up-to-date with local security situations to better ensure the safety and comfort of our clients. We will modify itineraries at no extra cost should the need arise due to safety concerns, however this has never happened and is extremely unlikely to occur.
Colombia, as most countries has its share of petty theft. Consequently, regular safety precautions that any tourist would take while travelling should be exercised. For tips on keeping yourself and belongings safe please visit this helpful link.
Members of our staff will do their best in assisting customers in keeping their belongings safe and secure, however, all personal items are ultimately the responsibility of their owner.
Articles on Colombia
- Bogota moves beyond its bad-boy image- USA Today
- The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reports on Colombia’s tremendous progress in counternarcotics efforts Counternarcotics Efforts in Colombia - Center for Strategic and International Studies.
- Colombia the Americas’ Hot New Tourist Destination - Embassy fo Colombia
- 10 great destinations that don’t deserve their bad reputation – USA Today
- Report, 2002-2009: 10 Achievements, Security Based on Democracy - Colombian Presidency
- Report 2002-2010: 10 Achievements, Security and Human Rights - Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Colombia: A success story - Embassy of Colombia
- NY Times lists Colombia in Top 31 places to go in 2010 Top 31 places to go in 2010 - NY Times
- "Colombia’s back...Colombia is now safe to visit...travelers are discovering what they’ve been missing." Colombia Travel Information and Travel Guide - Lonely Planet
- For statistics of growing tourism – click on Turismo Internacional (Content in Spanish)
Travellers should consult their family physician, and most importantly a local travel medicine clinic as early as possible (at least 4-8 weeks before departure) to discuss what vaccines if any they require and which other medical precautions may be beneficial based on their individual medical history, and the locations they will be visiting. Travellers should bring a copy of their planned trip itinerary so that their physician will know exactly what areas they will be travelling to.
Yes. All travellers should purchase a medical health/accident insurance policy in case of an unexpected emergency. It is every traveller’s own responsibility to have proper health/accident coverage as Colombia World cannot be held responsible for personal medical costs, or any costs associated with unforeseen emergencies however they may arise. Such coverage is generally very affordable and is a worthwhile investment. Also, Trip cancellation/interruption insurance is often offered along with health insurance as additional option. Although such insurance is not required, it is highly recommended, as last minute cancellations cannot be refunded.
Travel Insurance providers*:
- World Nomads
If you have special dietary requirements you must inform our staff upon booking so that we may try to accommodate your special needs. Vegetarian options are common, and requests can be handled with relative ease. Vegan dietary options are less common; however with advance notice we are equipped to handle such dietary requests. However, Colombia World cannot accommodate persons suffering from severe dietary allergies. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: Although we do our utmost best to accommodate any special dietary needs, Colombia World cannot guarantee, nor be held responsibility for injuries or loses resulting from the failure to meet any special dietary needs.
The safety of our clients is our utmost priority and for this reason we only work with the most experienced and skilled professionals in order to ensure our guests have the safest experience possible. That being said, adventure activities always come with a certain amount of inherent risk and clients will always be fully briefed on proper safety procedures and any risks involved before undertaking any extreme sports. Please email us at info [at] colombiaworldtours [dot] com if you have any questions.
Altitude sickness is illness caused by the low quantity of oxygen available at higher altitudes. It is characterized initially by vague symptoms of shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, dizziness, that typically resolve upon descending to lower altitudes. Altitude sickness is always treated by descending back to lower altitudes. Most people can travel up to 2500 meters without experiencing any symptoms. It is not uncommon for people travelling above such altitudes to experience mild symptoms that usually resolve as individuals acclimatize. Slow ascent is key for proper acclimatization. It is impossible to predict who will be susceptible to altitude sickness as it can occur independently of age, fitness status, or previous mountaineering experience.
Our Colombian Heart and Hot Springs and Snow tours allow tourists the option to hike to an altitude of 5200 meters, at which they remain for less than an hour. It is likely that many tourists at this altitude will experience mild symptoms, such as shortness of breath and lightheadedness, however this is quite common and such symptoms typically resolve upon descent. Anyone concerned regarding altitude sickness should consult their physician.
Our tours are organized to accommodate guests of various fitness levels, and no one is obligated to participate in activities they do not feel comfortable with. However, it is imperative that all guests are of sound medical health before participating in any of our tours due to the physical nature of our tours (some of which include hiking, horseback riding, scuba/snorkelling and exposure to high altitudes). Therefore, it is important you advise us of any health concerns or medical issues that may impair your ability to participate in the tour before booking. Those with health concerns should consult with their physician and discuss their planned itinerary to see if they are physically fit and healthy enough to participate in their tour.
We at Colombia World care about the comfort and happiness of our guests, so we hand-select every place we stay. Our accommodations are typically very comfortable and greatly surpass tourist expectations. Some accommodations have such spectacular vistas, comfort, and fabulous service that guests don’t ever want to leave!
While not compromising on comfort, our goal at Colombia World is to give our travellers an authentic experience and adventure, and a chance to really connect with the local culture. Therefore, we purposefully choose to stay in smaller, more familial type of accommodations, especially when outside major cities, such as farms, small hotels, or family-run bed and breakfasts. Consequently, this means that our tourists also share accommodations due to capacity limitations. Except for rare occasional nights on certain tours, tourists can expect to share a room with no more than one other tourist (double occupancy), ensuring that everyone can have their share of privacy, and peace and quiet when needed.
When staying in remote locations such as on certain islands or in national parks, we sometimes stay in non-traditional accommodations such as hammocks. Exceptions like these will be clearly stipulated in the itinerary, so if it doesn’t say hammock, you can expect a nice comfy bed...although sleeping outdoors by the open ocean, with the sound of waves lulling you to sleep is a priceless experience...
No! We don’t feel that single travellers should have to pay more just for being adventurous souls, therefore all accommodations are shared (double occupancy), and those who are not travelling with family or friends will be paired with other adventurous travellers of the same sex.
All tour details and the complete itinerary for each of our routes is described in the tour details section of each tour. We do our very best to ensure the itinerary is followed as planned, however, in the event of unforeseen circumstances arising, Colombia World reserves the right to make last minute changes to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and provide equal or superior replacements at Colombia World’s sole discretion.
In order to reduce our impact on the environment and provide individualized attention, we limit our group sizes to 10 tourists, accompanied by 2 or more staff.
All activities mentioned in the tour details are included in the cost of the tour unless specifically mentioned in the tour details that they are optional activities.
Yes! All meals are included.
Yes! All airport transfers are included. We take care of you from the time you arrive until the time you leave.
Yes! All domestic airfares that are listed as part of the tour itinerary are included. Guests need not worry about a thing!
No. Although we would love to be able to accommodate your international travel needs, we simply cannot. Because our guests are coming from cities located all over the world it is just not possible to include international flights in the package price. However, we would be more than happy to assist you with your flight bookings in any way we can, just contact us at info [at] colombiaworldtours [dot] com.
Canceling your trip may result in partial or complete loss of monies paid depending on when you cancel your trip. As much as we would like to be able to refund your money often we cannot, as the money from your reservation is typically redistributed to our local providers (hotels and transport) at the time of reservation in order to guarantee your spot. Since our deposits made to our vendors are non-refundable, we cannot afford to refund late cancellations even though we would like too. For this reason we highly recommend trip cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen emergencies.
Yes. Although not required, we highly recommend purchasing trip cancelation/interruption insurance along with your health insurance as added option. Typically, the added cost is minimal and could save thousands if unforeseen circumstances arise, causing you to cancel or leave your trip early (see What if I want to cancel my trip?).
Yes. To travel independently on our tours you must be at least 18 years of age. Exceptions are youth over 16 years of age travelling with a parent or legal guardian. In such cases please contact our staff upon booking to inform us of underage travellers. Travellers under the age of 16 may not be permitted to travel.
Some of tours include scuba diving, and those who wish to scuba dive must be certified divers (Basic open water level by NAUI, PADI, CMAS, or other international recognized certification bodies. Please info [at] colombiaworldtours [dot] com (contact us) if you have questions). Proof of certification will need to be provided before diving; failure to do so may result in refusal to dive. Non-certified divers or persons that do not wish to scuba dive will be offered the option of snorkeling, or in some cases taking mini-scuba courses or scuba discovery dives (no certification required).
Before participating in in-water activities, all individuals will be required to sign a waiver indicating that they know how to swim and are comfortable in the water.
Many of our tours include excursions on horseback for the enjoyment of our clients. Horses are selected to match the skill level of the riders and first-time riders are welcome. Those not wishing to participate for whatever reason may opt to hike the routes, which is a preferred manner for many travellers. They will be accompanied by one of our experienced professional guides.
Sustainability is the capacity to maintain, support, or endure. We view global sustainability as the earth’s capacity to maintain, support, or endure the continued survival of the human species in absence of any major catastrophic event. This can only be accomplished by generating a balance between a healthy environment with responsible resource management, while stabilizing human population growth. At Colombia World, we believe education and awareness is a key first step in this process and we aim to deliver it in the most exciting, thrilling, and memorable way possible!
Lightly! As we will be moving around the country, it can become tiresome to lug around excess amounts of unnecessary luggage. We recommend packing only the essentials, and leaving room for things you will pick up on your journey. Furthermore, domestic flight luggage allowances are not as accommodating as international flights, with stricter restrictions on baggage weight. Please check with the airlines for details.
For recommendations and guidance for which items are essential and which items are not so essential, check out this helpful site: "What to pack - World Backpackers". You can click on “example packing list” to look at a basic packing list, and modify it to suit your needs. “Useful packing tips” might also help. This link is a backpacker’s reference, and therefore some information may not apply. Nonetheless, this site a good source for adventure travellers of all kinds.
You will be grateful when you glide through the airport with your feather-light suit case!
No. There is absolutely no requirement for our guests to speak Spanish. Each tour is accompanied by bilingual staff to help facilitate every aspect of the trip. Guests are always encouraged to learn as much Spanish as they feel comfortable with in order to benefit from mingling and interacting with locals, a marvelously rewarding experience! Our visitors will notice that, as is Colombian custom, locals will always do their best to be welcoming and friendly to foreigners, even if they don’t speak the same language.
Most tourists will feel the warm Colombian welcome regardless of their knowledge of Spanish.
We cannot guarantee weather conditions but here are some helpful resources on climate and weather:
This depends on personal spending preferences. All of our tours are all-inclusive, therefore any additional personal expenses (ex: souvenir shopping, shopping for personal items, drinks, extra snacks etc.) are up to you.
Note: There will be access to instant teller services at most destinations, therefore, guests need not worry about bringing large sums of money. Rather, we advise that you bring a conservative amount of money, and withdraw money on an as-needed basis. Travellers checks are always a good back up in case your cards give you trouble (a rare occurrence that is not likely to happen).
The Colombian Peso (COP) is the official currency and the only currency accepted at most establishments.
At Colombia World we are here to help you and to offer you nothing but the best quality of service. If you cannot find the answers to any of your questions on the site, please do not hesitate to contact one of our customer service representatives at info [at] colombiaworldtours [dot] com. Thank you!