Colombia/Colombia advice


Hi Juan
I have read some of your advice and i appreciate the time you take to help people. We are 2 American males, 55 and 41yrs old. Frequent travelers but never been to Colombia. We like nightlife, culture, beaches and adventure. We have targeted Medellin and Catragena but are very open. We enjoy local places, love to do things during the day and have fun at night. We would be in Colombia for about 10 days

Hey Paul,

we are seeing more and more foreign tourists like you two here. Do you speak some Spanish? It would make a big difference.

Prices are high at the moment because of the exchange rate and the influx of foreigners. Cartagena is especially pricey but itīs full of nightlife, art, beaches and sports.

Medellin is a nice place with good transport, very active nightlife and good weather but at the moment, crime is going up. Do you have a particular reason to go there?

I would suggest you to consider staying in the Caribbean coast and exploring cities like Santa Marta and Riohacha instead. Thereīs a marvelous natural park (Tayrona) in between those two cities and they are not far from Cartagena.

Santa Marta is more relaxed and perhaps a bit cheaper than Cartagena. You could go scuba-diving to the suburb of Taganga. You could also do the 5 day-trek to Lost City, a precolumbian city in the middle of a jungle area near the coast that was only discovered in the 1970s and is being described as Colombiaīs Machu Pichu.

Riohacha is smaller but itīs got everything. Itīs a bit outside the foreign-tourist beaten path, but itīs very nice.

You could travel by bus from Cartagena to Santa Marta and then to Riohacha. And then perhaps take a plane back to Cartagena.

I hope that this helps!




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Juan Carlos Valencia


First of all: I do NOT answer questions about Passports, Legal issues, Government procedures nor person searches. I know very little about these topics. Please don't insist ! I'm a middle-age Colombian with a thirst for travel. I've managed to travel through good portions of this complex but fascinating country and could provide advice on destinations, special care, hazards, prices and highlights. I've also traveled throughout a part of Central and South America, Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, so I think I could provide some balanced advice, avoiding nationalistic hype but also pointing out some particular, unique charms of this unusual land.


Constant traveler, scuba-diver, Media Communication academic, amateur photographer.

PhD in Media Communication. I speak Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and a bit of German.

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