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Holidays in Colombia

Colombia holidays

Colombia covers an area of 440,000 square miles, about the size of France, Germany and the United Kingdom put together. It is located in the northwest corner of South America and is bordered by Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. The terrain varies from humid and hot tropical Caribbean shorelines to high, glacier-encrusted mountain peaks at 5,775 metres. To the east the land forms an extension to the Amazon basin and to the west are the Andes mountains.

Colombia is one of the world's 17 mega-diverse countries, boasting 55,000 plant species (second only to Brazil), 1,885 bird species, 524 reptile and 754 amphibian species. For orchid lovers there are 3,500 species to discover. The dozen ecological zones consist of coastal mangrove forests, swampy wetlands, polar deserts and desert-dry deciduous forests, amongst others.

Colombia, South America

Holidays In Colombia

The early 16th century saw a seemingly constant flow of conquistadors searching for the legendary El Dorado and, in their wake, they left 500 years of turmoil and bitter strife. Independence came in 1810, but there followed another 150 years of civil war. However, stability under two enlightened presidents has demonstrated the enormous potential that this country has on the world stage, and tourism has grown in leaps and bounds. Drug barons and guerilla conflict are yesterday's headlines and, today, being a traveller in Colombia is no different to travelling around any other South American nation.

Colombian cities teem with life as this has now become a largely urban population. The people are friendly, open, eager to please and welcoming, especially so in the countryside.

Having an equatorial climate, seasonal variations in temperature are slight; temperatures are generally influenced by elevation, ranging from 32 degrees on the coast to 20 degrees or so in Bogotá, at nearly 3,000 metres. December to March is the country's high season in terms of tourism and this is the dry season in the coastal resorts.

So do not worry about the old stories of drug barons and kidnapping; you will be as safe in Colombia as in any other South American country provided you exercise a measure of common sense – precisely, of course, how you would expect to behave in order to travel safely in any big city in the UK or Europe.

At a glance

  • Colombia has an equatorial climate therefore seasonal variations are minimal - it is more a question of elevation
  • 440,000 square miles and 45 million population
  • December to March is the high season in terms of tourism and the dry season in the coastal resorts
  • Located in the northwest corner of South America
  • Bogotá is the capital
  • The national currency is the Colombian Peso
  • Rich diversity in geography, wildlife and culture
  • Its terrain ranges from Amazon rainforest to Andean peaks
  • Safety in the country in most regions is now as good as any other South American country

There are direct flights from London Heathrow to Bogota with Avianca. European airlines flying from London airports to Bogota include Air Europa (via Madrid) and Air France (via Paris). In addition, Iberia fly via Madrid to Bogota, Cali and Medellin, and KLM fly via Amsterdam to Bogota and Cali. Regional departures include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham.

Colombia combines well with Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil. Cartagena can be easily added as a bolt-on to most neighbouring countries.

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