International Cycling Holidays Travel Tips

AIR TRAVEL

Flights are not included in our tour packages. Avianca is the Colombian national airline that operates internationally. Airlines that frequently fly to Colombia include Air France, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, Mexicana de Aviación, United Airlines and Varig, among others.

PASSPORT

The most up-to-date information on passport, visa, and vaccination requirements can be accessed through your local government. For US citizens, visit http://travel.state.gov/. Canadians can view this information at http://www.voyage.gc.ca.

Many countries require that a passport be valid for at least six (6) months after the conclusion of your trip. Passports should contain at least one blank page for entry/departure endorsements for each country. Minors traveling alone must also carry a letter of permission signed by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

VISAS

Most countries do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days for any US or Canada residents. It is best to check with your local government for regulations.

VACCINATIONS

Being up-to-date on routine vaccinations is always important when traveling outside the U.S. Check specific guidelines with your government and/or your physician for recommendations. Helpful links: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/colombia

DRINKING WATER

We recommend drinking bottled water, though in major cities in Colombia, the water is considered safe.

MEDICAL INSURANCE

Buying a travel insurance policy to cover medical problems is recommended. Check with your current medical plan about international travel policies.

CLIMATE

Colombia’s diverse terrain produces temperature and seasonal variations. The locations we have
selected for cycling tours (Quindio, Valle del Cauca and Antioquia) are all generally temperate, with the temperatures in the 70 and 80s during the day. Antioquia and Quindio are considered to be the “Eternal Spring” and enjoy the best weather for riding. The most pleasant times to visit Colombia are in the dry season, between December to March or in July and August.

Colombia's proximity to the equator means its temperature varies little throughout the year. Within each microclimate, the weather is fairly similar all year round. The temperature does change with altitude, so you can experience completely different climates within a couple of hours of travel.

As a general rule, the temperature falls about 6°C with every 1000m increase in altitude. If the average temperature at sea level is 30°C, it will be around 24°C at 1000m, 18°C at 2000m and 12°C at 3000m. Being prepared to climb by having arm/leg warmers and cycling jacket is the best way to be prepared for the temperature shift.

The altitude also affects the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures. The higher the altitude, the greater the difference. Consequently, in the highlands there can be warm days but cold nights, while in the lowlands days and nights are almost equally hot.

TIME ZONE

The time zone in Colombia is UTC/GMT-5.

Time in Colombia is based on Greenwich Mean Time with a difference of five or six hours, depending on the season. When it is noon in Colombia, it is also the same time in New York. In the summer, the difference increases by one hour, but generally travelers from the U.S. have no big changes of jet lag to contend with.

ELECTRICITY

Voltage: 110 V/ 60 Hz
Type A Electrical Outlet
Type B Electrical Outlet

CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES

Contact your bank in advance of your travel and notify them of your travel plans. Find out helpful information on transaction fee charges and to avoid any fraud alerts are triggered.

You can buy foreign currency from your local bank prior to departure, depending on your home city, or often times at the airport. Equipo will contact the hotels we are staying at in Colombia to have small currency to exchange for Euros and US dollars into Pesos. While abroad, ATMs ar easily accessible and have more favorable exchange rates than banks and currency exchange outlets.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS & INTERNET

All the hotels we stay at in Colombia have internet access.
Dial 00+ 57: Country Code for Colombia: +57
011 - US exit code; dial first for international calls made from the USA or Canada
Emergency number in Colombia: 123

ENTRY & DEPARTURE TAXES

It’s not uncommon for a country to charge either entry or departure taxes to its visitors. These taxes generally cost $25-200 per person and must be paid either prior to your arrival in the country or in cash at the airport.

In the case of shorter stays to Colombia, less than 2 months, the exit tax for foreigners is US$ 33. An exit tax of US$ 66 must be paid by all Colombian citizens and foreigners whose stay in Colombia was longer than two months. In the case of shorter stays to Colombia, less than 2 months, the exit tax for foreigners is US$ 33.

Please note: depending on your itinerary, some airlines, such as Air France, American Airlines and Avianca, include the cost of the tax in the cost of the ticket. The exit tax must be paid at the airport, at the time of departure, in cash and in only one currency (Colombian pesos or US dollars, excluding US$ 100 bills).

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Please remember these basic safety precautions to avoid being a target of crime while traveling:

• Make copies of your itinerary, passport and visas. Leave one copy at home with a friend or relative and bring one copy with you, keeping it separate from the original documents.

• Never leave your luggage unattended.

• Do not accept packages from strangers.

• Store valuables and important documentation in the hotel’s safety deposit box.

• Avoid unnecessary displays of expensive jewelry and secure all cameras and other valuables.

• If in doubt about the safety of an area, ask hotel staff or a police officer for advice.

• Limit the amount of money you carry on your person.

• Plan your route ahead of time.

• At night, steer clear of dark, isolated areas.

• Ask your hotel or the nearest tourism information center to recommend a reliable taxi service.

Always feel free to contact Equipo if you have any additional travel questions. Contact us at
(888) 843-9602 or in the US +1 303-682-9941 or schedule a call and we will chat when it works best for you.