Going to Colombia? You have questions, everyone does. OUT in Colombia has Answers!
Have a look at our answers to the Questions we get most often. Have more questions we haven’t addressed? Please reach out and we’ll be happy to answer them.
What is included in your tour packages?
A full list of inclusions is on each package page. Most of OUT in Colombia’s package are custom, so inclusions can vary, but will always be listed. Our standard packages include hotels that we have vetted for our guests, domestic flights if you are traveling within Colombia, private airport transfers, daily breakfast when staying at a hotel we book for you, meals with activities & tours (if meals are listed), all activities and excursions as listed. In most cases, the activities we plan for you are with private, bi-lingual guides who will pick you up at your hotel. When you book with us, all our packages include 24/7 emergency local support and Colombian travel insurance.
Can I rearrange an itinerary?
Of course you can! We can move activities around, cut them out, add more activities, replace them, even add or combine destinations. We love Colombia, we live here! We want you to enjoy as much as you can of this beautiful country while you’re here. Ask us and we can prepare a custom proposal that will meet all your wishes. You can even make changes during your trip. Of course, we’ll let you know if changes will incur additional costs before confirming.
Do you sell experiences and tours separately, or do I have to buy a complete package?
Currently all of OUT in Colombia’s custom experiences are available only as part of a complete tour package. We have personally vetted all the suppliers and all the activities and excursions in our portfolio to ensure our guests have the best experience that Colombia has to offer. Have you heard about an activity you don’t see here? Let us know and we can put together a custom itinerary and quote, just for you.
Do you offer other destinations in Colombia, like the Amazon rainforest or whale-watching experience on the Pacific Coast?
Although we have not made experiences like these part of our regular portfolio of standard packages, we work with trusted partners who do operate in some of the more “off the grid” places in Colombia as part of their regular services. We are happy to collaborate with these partners to create a custom package for you to include these destinations and handle all the logistics for you before you arrive and while you are here.
Can you organize trips to multiple countries in South America?
Of course we can. We work with trusted travel partner associates in Peru, Chile, Argentina, and other South America countries. We’ll gladly with some or all of them to create a fabulous itinerary through South America that will touch on all your “must-see’s” and “must-do’s.”
What exactly does your concierge service include?
We’ll be all over your trip, 24/7. Seriously, we want you to enjoy your trip without having to worry about the details, so we’ll make sure your driver picks you up at the right time and gets you to the right hotel. We make sure the guides meet you at your hotel. We’ll gladly book dinner reservations for you at a restaurant you request. Don’t have any idea of a restaurant? We’ll provide a list. We help book new activities and make changes to any excursions while you are en route. We’ll even get you the help and attention you need if you fall ill or have an emergency. We live here and we try to think of everything.
Payment & Confirmation
Do I need to pay a deposit on a booking?
Yes, we require a deposit of about 30% of the total cost of your trip to start booking the reservations you have requested. Your exact total will be listed on the info page or on the proposal we have prepared for you or on the package page. A deposit is necessary to cover the up-front costs required to secure the arrangements on your itinerary. If your booking is within 60 days of the start of your trip, we require payment-in-full to book and confirm your journey.
Can I pay in installments?
Sure thing. As long as we have payment-in-full 60 days before you arrive. You’ll be receiving updates and confirmations from us once your deposit has been paid, whether the amount is received in full or is paid in regular, smaller installments.
I just booked my requested tour. What happens now?
Once we’ve received your deposit payment and passport information for all travelers in your group, we'll start booking right away. After we have confirmed all the reservations, you will receive a voucher with confirmation information for each booking. Our voucher will list domestic flight times as well as suggested start dates/times for each activity. Have a look. Once you confirm that the flight arrangements, we have made for you are okay, we’ll book, and the airline will ticket them. If you want to make any adjustments, just let us know so we can work our magic. Want to add experiences! Bring it on! Some reservations, particularly those for excursions and transportation, will be pre-reserved. We will send you a final confirmation closer to your trip departure with the final details. We also provide you a list of recommended restaurants in each destination and will reach out as your arrival date nears to see if you would like us to make any dinner reservations for you. Last, but certainly not least, your confirmation voucher will list the name and contact information for your own OUT in Colombia Experience Manager. Consider them your personal concierge should you need anything before, during or even after your visit here.
Why do I need to share my passport information ahead of time?
We just want to see how hot you might be before you get here. Seriously though, we will be booking flights within Colombia for you, along with hotel reservations, and purchasing your insurance policy. We’ll also need your citizenship information to avoid charging you the standard 19% value-added tax (VAT).
Health & Safety
Is a COVID test required for Colombia? What if I got the vaccine?
Yes, at this time, you do need proof of a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours before you get on the plane, even if it’s been two weeks since your last vaccine dose. You need a proper PCR test, too, not those Antigen, Antibody, or any at-home tests we know of. This is just to board your flight, let alone go through Colombian immigration.
If you got a test but didn’t get the results before you boarded your flight, you may still be allowed on the plane. Once you land, without proof of a negative test, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days or until you achieve a negative test result. We’d love to have you in Colombia for two weeks, but we’d think you’d want to get out a see things, meet people, so we can arrange for you to get a PCR test if you need. You can get your results back in 1-2 days. Don’t waste time, even if you get to stay in a beautiful hotel room, get a test.
How easy is it to get a COVID test before my return flight?
Easy as pie. At this time, US travelers can get the rapid antigen test required to return to the US with a quick turnaround time.. Other nations re-entry requirements may vary.
We can send a proper lab tech to your hotel; you'll get your results by e-mail shortly thereafter, depending on the date of the swab.
I see you include travel insurance in your packages. Do I still need to purchase my own insurance?
Heck yes. We always recommend purchasing travel insurance. Check to see if you are covered by your credit card’s insurance policy, otherwise we can recommend a few good insurance providers. The insurance we include as part of an OUT in Colombia experience is great for getting you the emergency medical attention you need without having to go through any red tape. We have excellent medical care here in Colombia…all that glorious colonial architecture comes with cobblestoned streets which are slightly dangerous. What you do need to have covered is your trip before and during, so trip interruption and cancellation insurance coverage refunds you if you are required to cancel or delay your trip, especially for circumstances beyond your control, like flight cancellations, denied boarding, etc.
Is Colombia safe?
It is. We live here. Should you be careless? Of course not. Be sensible, don’t pack expensive clothing or accessories. In fact, leave them home, you’ll be more comfortable. Watch your belongings, keep an eye on where you last placed your phone, and always keep your wallet in your front pocket. Read more on our blog post here.
What's the best way to exchange cash?
That’s easy. We’ll always recommend using bank ATMs. Here you’ll get the best exchange rate, so more bang for your buck. Those cambios (money exchanges) you see at the airport after baggage claim are tempting but they won’t give you the best rates. Colombia might have a Caribbean coast, but no one accepts US dollars here. You do have to use Colombian Pesos, especially when making smaller purchases (bottled waters, etc.). Many places will accept credit cards, although not all, particularly the “moms and pops”-type of vendors. If you still need, we can arrange for a guide to accompany you to a local money exchange.
How far in advance should I book my vacation?
We welcome everyone to travel to beautiful Colombia just as they are. Many of our clients will plan a year in advance. Some plan a few months ahead. For others, their plans are entirely last-minute. We do our best to accommodate everyone according to their nature. Of course, the more time we have, the more ability to confirm everything, exactly in the way and in the order you wish once we receive your deposit.
What should I expect when I go through immigration at the airport?
It’s a relatively smooth process, rather typical especially if you’ve traveled internationally before. Follow the EXTRANJEROS (or “Foreigners” line) and follow it through to the counters.
You’ll have completed an immigration form before your flight. When you get to the counter, you’ll be asked the reason for your visit. “VACATION” is the correct answer usually. They will ask you for your hotel and its address. We’ve included that for you on your confirmation voucher. Show the official a printed out copy with the information on it. This will cover you if you haven’t spoken Spanish since high school. They might have you place your bags on a conveyer belt to be x-rayed, but that’s it. Go meet your driver or guide outside of Baggage Claim/Customs just like the instructions on your itinerary. They’ll be holding a sign with your name on it.
What's the weather like in Colombia?
Because of its proximity to the equator, Colombia doesn’t really have seasons, besides wet or dry. Climate here is dependent primarily on elevation. Bogota has a higher elevation, so it is colder there. Medellin is known as the City of Eternal Spring because daily weather is consistently like springtime every day of the year. Yep, you read that right. Along the coast, the temperatures are hotter with more humidity, although chances are you won’t care because you’ll be immersed in those warm and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean or sipping a piña colada by the pool to cool off.
What should I pack?
We invite you to come as you are. Consider the activities you have booked and how you plan to spend any free time you have most comfortably. Take into consideration all the destinations on your itinerary. You’ll need warmer clothing for Bogota, lighter clothes for Medellin. Going to the coast? Well then don’t forget to pack swimwear and very light, breathe-able fabrics for this part of your trip.
Is Colombia gay-friendly?
It is and certainly one of the reasons our founder has made both a home and a business here. Read more on our blog post here. Colombians themselves are a very diverse people, and are friendly & welcoming to foreign visitors in their beautiful homeland.
Do I need to speak Spanish to get around?
Not when you book an itinerary with OUT in Colombia. Our guides are bi-lingual. Although most of our drivers speak Spanish only. If you'd prefer an English-speaker to meet you at the airport, let us know and we'll book a guide to go along for the ride. Colombia is sophisticated but not very commercial. English fluency is not as prominent here as in, say, Argentina’s capital. This is what makes this country so magical. Feel free to brush upon on some key words and phrases before you arrive. If you like, we can book you an express, crash-course in Spanish to familiarize you with all the local lingo. Colombian Spanish has its own stylings and phrases. There are Colombian Spanish books on Amazon you can also read before you get here.
What electrical adapter do I need in Colombia?
If you’re from the U.S., you won’t need a special adaptor for Colombia. Electricity here runs at 110 volts, the same as the states; the outlets here also accommodate the same plugs you use at home.