For years Caño Cristales was off-limits due to the guerrilla fighters having a stronghold in the area. But now, with peace ultimately starting to stabilize, the locate is open and accepting more tourists than ever before .
Most people hike through the rivers to the waterfalls and bathe in the natural swim holes .
If you time your trip for July or November, you ’ ll be treated to an extraordinary location. The alga blooms and turns the riverbed into a rainbow of colors during these months, which is something to behold.

What To Expect When Visiting Colombia

As you can see from the previous sections, Colombia is a nation full of mysteries and wonders, but what can you expect from your trip ?
here are three things you can expect from your journey :

1. Forget Your Diet

Colombia has fantastic food, but to put it mildly, you will have to adjust your diet .
Most street food is fried, and it ’ s rare if you find some vegetables with your meal. They besides have a very meaty diet with batch of carbohydrates .
If you ’ re a vegan, you won ’ t have any troubles in the major cities, but you will be limited if you want to try street food .
As you go out of the cities, vegan food is closely impossible to find .
The great thing about the food in Colombia is you can pick up a very hearty meal for around 10,000 – 12,000 bull, which is about $ 3 .
chocolate is besides a huge part of the raw material diet, pretty much every meal is served with Coffee ( you can check out an organic coffee bean farm as a day slip ) .

2. Learn Some Spanish Before You Go

Unlike countries such as Costa Rica, English isn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate widely spoken. tied people in the tourism companies don ’ triiodothyronine speak English which can make things challenging to say the least .
Before you go, you should try to learn the basics : like booking tickets, ordering food and drink, and merely casual greetings and farewells .

3. Colombians Are Very Helpful

overall the people in Colombia are identical friendly and want to help. obviously, you do get some rotten eggs, but you can normally spot these people a mile off .
If you ask for assistant, the locals will immediately try their best for you. Although this can be annoying when they give you the wrong directions… but at least they try .
Another thing to note is the average colombian hates thieves. If you ’ rhenium unlucky adequate to get robbed, shouting the phrase “ Ladrón ” will normally get locals to notice and help you get your stuff back .

4. Watch Your Step

While walking round some parts of Colombia, you ’ ll notice many parts of the pavement lacking, and some manholes are missing .
due to the missing parts of pavements, it makes it very easy to trip over, particularly when it starts to get black .
The top is, the roads are pretty well maintained, then if you ’ re drive, you don ’ t have to worry excessively a lot about potholes .

5. Driving Styles Are Crazy

As we just mentioned driving in Colombia, we should credibly talk about what it ’ s like to drive in Colombia .
There aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate many potholes on the road ; that ’ s not the independent risk on the streets. One thing we can say about driving in Colombia is that the main menace is early people .
Driving in the cities is an feel not everyone is prepared for. There are many cars on the road, and no matchless truly cares about what lane you ’ re in. People will pull out on you, overtake you, cut in battlefront of you, and do anything else you can think of .
To make it worse :
You have to contend with motorbikes coming from all directions and buses that randomly pull out on you .
When you get out of the city, things are a bite easier. There ’ south less traffic, and people respect your space a little bite more .
That is until you get to the mountains. If you get stuck behind a truck/lorry, people will overtake you in the brainsick places .
You could be driving up the batch with a 500-meter fell to the side and a subterfuge corner coming up, but that won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate stop them overtaking 2 to 4 cars at a time .
That besides means you have to watch out for people doing the lapp come towards you .
The key to driving in Colombia is to take it firm, stay alert, and be ready for anything .

6. Street Performers And Vendors Are Very Common

And it ’ s not just dodgy driving you ’ ll see while you ’ rhenium traveling about in the cable car. When you ’ re stopped at red lights, it ’ s not rare to see street performers dancing, juggle, or performing charming tricks in front of you .
When they ’ ve finished, you ’ ll see them go over to several cars asking for tips. It ’ s wholly up to you whether you want to tip or not, so preceptor ’ t tactile property pressured. If you have some excess change, please do give it ; these guys are actually hustling for money rather of begging .
Another matter you ’ ll detect is people selling fruit or drinks or washing windshields for a point .
You ’ ll find these people at most dealings lights and even tolls in the center of nowhere .
When I was driving through Colombia, one serviceman asked me if I wanted to buy a drink in. I kindly declined, so he pulled a turtle out of his pocket and tried to sell me that .

7. You Should Great People Differently Depending On Their Gender

many countries in Latin America are the same, so it ’ randomness something that you can use as you ’ rhenium traveling around Central and South America.

When greeting women, they often give one snog right cheek to correct cheek. When you ’ re welcoming a man, this is frequently done with a tremble of the hand .

8. You Can See A Military Presence In The Streets

It ’ sulfur not uncommon to see the military on the streets in their full gear. This is particularly true in Bogotá and Cartagena. But you ’ ll besides see them in the middle of nowhere sometimes .
Some people feel very concerned when they see them walking the streets, but it ’ s very distinctive here, so don ’ t be worried .

9. The Fruit Is Fantastic

The fruit in Colombia is delectable and incredibly clean. While you ’ re walking about, there ’ s no doubt that you ’ ll see people selling fruit .
And it ’ s worth taking some prison term out to try it. Many of the street vendors will cut the fruit up for you to eat as you walk .
But one of the best places to get fruit is at the local markets, it ’ mho incredible .

10. Public Transport Is Slow

Although there are plenty of public transmit options when traveling about Colombia, the buses are fabulously slow .
This makes traveling between cities a farseeing and boring adventure entire of mountains, winding roads, and lots of bumps .
When you ’ re travel by bus, make certain you ’ re cook for a long trip. On average, the buses travel at 40 kilometers per hour .

11. Weekends And Holidays Are Very Busy

Colombians love to travel in groups and take vacations. On the weekends, you can expect the local anesthetic beaches and parks to be packed with people. It ’ south something that you can ’ t get away from .
It ’ randomness great to see thus many families having fun together, but it can make it quite hard to get accommodation during the weekends .
If you ’ ra traveling on Friday or Saturday, make certain you book your accommodation well in advance .
You should besides avoid long journeys on a Sunday ; the roads are packed with people trying to get binding home from their weekend adventures .

12. Technically, Uber Is Illegal

Although Uber is technically illegal, they still operate, and most people use them to get around. To avoid any problems with the patrol, the driver will ask you to sit upfront, so it looks like they are with a acquaintance ,
Make sure you remember your driver ’ south name ; if the police catch you, it will cause a set of problems if you don ’ triiodothyronine know who they are .
You should besides try to avoid paying cash, but if you have to, don ’ triiodothyronine flash the money around or make it obvious you ’ re paying them for a service .

13. Having An “M” On The Toilet Doesn’t Mean It’s For Men

As a homo, this one can get you in huge perturb. The toilets don ’ metric ton work like they do in English. If you see an M on the door, it stands for Mujeres ( women in spanish ) .
If you ’ re a man, you should be looking out for H, which stands for Hombres ( men in spanish ). If this wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate confusing adequate, it gets worse :
sometimes they use D for Damas ( ladies in spanish ) or C for Caballeros ( gentlemen in spanish ) .

14. Talking About Pablo Escobar Can Be Considered Offensive

Okay, we all know Pablo Escobar played his part in colombian history, but talking about NARCOS and Pablo as a hero international relations and security network ’ t a good theme .
You have to remember, the world decimated the area with violence and destroyed many families. You ’ ll find pretty much every colombian will know person that was directly affected by his antics .
Bringing up these irritating memories isn ’ triiodothyronine respected in the country, sol just leave it alone. You weren ’ thyroxine there and can never comprehend the pain he brought local people .
The television glamorized the events army for the liberation of rwanda besides much, and the local anesthetic people weren ’ triiodothyronine felicitous about it .
You can go on plenty of tours, which show you what biography was like during those times. Some tourists/expats will tell you not to take them because they feel it shows disrespect .
But I feel differently ; for many people, it ’ s their source of income, and it helps them lead a better life. so go on the tours if you ’ ra concern in the history, but don ’ t brag about seeing where he partied with the locals .

Is It Safe To Vacation In Colombia?

Colombia has quickly become one of the acme backpacker and tourist destinations in South America. In 2017 alone, the country saw well over three million visitors, around a 3x increase over the survive ten years .
You ’ ve probably heard about the disruptive past with drugs and crime in Colombia, and for many people, it ’ second enough to put them off traveling there .
But hera ’ s the thing :
Over the past ten or two, the colombian government has been working hard to dispel the violent image the media and the drug cartels painted .
That being said, Colombia isn ’ metric ton perfect, but it ’ mho come a retentive way since your parents were born .
crimson crimes have constantly been a trouble. Murders and kidnapping were always a business for people traveling to Colombia.

The good thing is kidnapping has declined by 92 %, and homicides have been down by 50 % over the past two decades .
And we can lone expect this to continue over the following decades .

Safety Tips For Colombia

Although Colombia is relatively dependable now, there are even criminals out there you need to be careful of ; here are our acme 7 tips for staying condom in the area :

  • Take a taxi at night – The prime time for robberies is night; make sure you take taxis home.
  • Use taxi apps – Use apps like Cabify to pick up your taxi so you’re not waiting on the street.
  • Learn basic Spanish – Colombians don’t really speak English; knowing the basics will help you out a lot.
  • No dar Papaya – A Colombian phrase that translates as “don’t give papaya” basically, don’t make yourself an easy target.
  • Keep an eye on your drink – Just like anywhere else in the world, drink spiking happens; make sure you stay aware.
  • Avoid drugs and sex workers – Most crimes on tourist happens because they look for these things; make sure you stay away.
  • If you get robbed, don’t resist – Most thefts don’t result in injury unless you fight back. Just give them your phone and sort it out later.
  • Buy travel insurance – If God forbids anything does happen, it’s nice to know someone has your back. With a good travel insurance company you know you’ll find the medical treatment you need or give you money to replace stolen goods.

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