All of our guides are bilingual and speak English and Spanish. Our guides have a varying level of English speaking abilities and all are training to become fluent in English. Every trip will have a trip leader that is a fluent English and Spanish speaker. If you speak French, please let us know and we can also provide you with a guide fluent in French, English, and Spanish.
We offer access to many unknown destinations, often due to their remote locations, and we have our guide's expertise to thank for being able to take people to these places. Our guides are not only professionally licensed and certified, they are experts and pioneers in their specialized sports. Our kayak and whitewater rafting guides, for example, were the first to go down the Samana or Verde River in kayak or raft. Often, Expedition Colombia guides are the the only guides with the skills and experience able to safely operate in these remote wilderness areas. This makes for truly unique cultural interactions with locals, who rarely meet visitors from around the world.
We suggest booking as soon as possible for best availability but understand traveling can be spontaneous. You will, however, need to book certain trips within enough notice so our guides can make necessary preparations. For 1 day trips, book at least 1 day in advance. For our multi-day adventures, book at least 3 days in advance. For our active holidays, book two weeks in advance. To request a reservation for a tour, please submit a booking request form and you will hear back from the team at Expedition Colombia.
To secure your booking, you will need to submit a 100% non-refundable deposit within enough notice so our guides can make necessary preparations:
- For 1 day trips, submit a 100% non-refundable deposit 1 day in advance of trip start date.
- For multi-day adventures, submit a 100% non-refundable deposit 3 days in advance of trip start date.
- For active holidays, submit a 100% non-refundable deposit two weeks in advance of trip start date.
Our staff is trained to deal with medical emergencies in remote wilderness and to stabilize and monitor a patient before they receive proper care. We have developed emergency response plans for each of our wilderness locations, but you should know there is no rescue helicopter response available in Colombia. These emergency response plans include an internal communication plan of action, as well as how we will communicate with local emergency response services. For injuries that do not require emergency response evacuation services, your guides will most likely get you safely to hospitals in major Colombian cities. You need to bring your passport on your person. Hospitals will ONLY accept you as a patient if you have your passport I.D. (NOT copy) with you.
TRAVELER'S INSURANCE THAT INCLUDES MEDICAL COVERAGE:
We highly suggest you buy additional traveler's insurance to protect yourself in the event of an airline cancellation and trip cancellation. Buying a travel insurance policy to cover medical problems is also recommended. Check with your current medical plan about international travel policies and check with the insurance company to verify which regions of Colombia this medical coverage will be covered.
Expedition Colombia ensures staff and participants via Colasistencia insurance. Please read about this policy here:
You need to bring your passport on your person. In case of any accident, medical hospitals will ONLY accept you as a patient if you have your passport I.D. (NOT copy) with you.
Being up-to-date on routine vaccinations is always important when traveling outside of your home country. Check specific guidelines with your government and/or your physician for recommendations. Helpful links: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/colombia
There are also certain regions of Colombia that require travelers to take preventative measures for mosquito- borne illnesses, such as malaria and typhoid fever.
Before you submit your 100% non-refundable deposit, please notify Expedition Colombia of any medical condition or special diet needs. We have many ways to adapt the trip to meet your needs. 6. What kind of food is included on your tours? Can I make special requests?
Please let us know of any dietary needs or allergies at the time you book our trip. We have wonderful vegetarian and gluten-free options on our tours. Adventure tours and active holidays offer different food options:
ADVENTURE TOUR FOOD OPTIONS:
On wilderness expeditions, enjoy French cuisine prepared by Expedition Colombia’s French chef and en-route visits to local restaurants. Alcoholic beverages are not included our tours except for the champagne on board our sailing ship in Cartagena.
In small, Colombian towns we have connected to the town’s best home-cooks for you to visit with a local family and savor distinct, local specialties in addition to the tasty cuisine offered in restaurants.
On tours to coffee fincas, or farm estates, enjoy delicious Colombian meals prepared by the estate’s private state and chef.
On city tours, you have the chance to dine at a Colombian restaurant to experience Colombia’s authentic flavors.
ACTIVE HOLIDAYS FOOD OPTIONS:
Active holidays, our multi-day all-included travel itineraries, include all accommodations, breakfasts, and lunches. We share
dinner recommendations depending on your taste and budget while allowing you the freedom to discover on your own and at your own expense. Alcoholic beverages are not included our tours except for the champagne on board our sailing ship in Cartagena. If you prefer to have all dinners included, send us a special request and we will be more than happy to make these arrangements.
Active Holidays include special dining attractions. In Medellin, for example, you have the option to dine with a Colombian family and
meet their private ceviche chef. In Cartagena, enjoy a private chef on board your sailing boat. At the coffee finca, delight in home-cooked Colombian meals prepared by the estate’s chef and staff. On wilderness expeditions, enjoy French cuisine prepared by Expedition Colombia’s French chef and en-route visits to local restaurants.
As a solo traveler, you have the option of joining a group on any of our day or multi-day adventure tours. Rafting trips require a minimum of 4 people to a raft, so we connect solo-travelers to like-minded adventurer in order to make a once in a lifetime trip possible. As a solo traveler, you also have the option of joining guides for a private tour on any of our non-rafting adventure tours and active holidays. Private tours are exclusive, so they cost more than the prices listed on Expedition Colombia’s site.
It is obligatory to bring your passport with you on your tour. A copy of your passport will be scanned upon check-in/arrival the morning of your tour. If you need medical assistance, for any reason, you will not be treated at a Colommbian hospital if you do not have your passport with you. You will only be admitted into the hospital for treatment if you show your passport. Moreover, according to Colombian law, all foreigners need to carry an I.D. with them. Police will often check foreigners for I.D. Once on our trip, we will provide you with a safe way to store your passport, but you will always be 100% responsible for your passport. You will not be allowed to leave your valuables or passport with our staff driver or in the driver's car.
We highly reccomend that you leave all other valuables at your hotel or home. For certain outdoor activities, like rafting, you will not be able to wear jewelry or peircings as they can cause complications or get lost.
If you want to be physically active during your travels, you want to learn along the way, you want to be taken to some of Colombia’s most spectacular natural and cultural wonders, and you want the freedom of being able to customize your travel, our tours are designed with you in mind. Please read the detailed itinerary of each tour on the website to gain a thorough understanding of travel itinerary we have curated for the adventurous and curious spirit. If you feel like adding something to the plan or taking something out based on your own research or interest, please speak with us directly by email ([email protected]) or phone (310 559 8229) and we will give you the local tools needed to make your trip smooth sailing.
We offer access to many unknown destinations, often due to their remote locations, and we have our team’s expertise to thank for being able to take people to these places. Often, this makes us the only guides able to operate in these areas, which makes for truly unique cultural interactions with locals who rarely have the chance to meet with visitors from around the world.
Each of our tours includes active travel and a cultural perspective, however, certain tours highlight certain aspects more than others. For example, certain tours feature more culture than active travel. Others center around a multi-day expedition or day adventure. These aspects are indicated under each tour title along with a fitness level, ranking from 1 to 5. This fitness level is to help guests prepare for each trip’s physical activities. A fitness level of 1 indicates that you are on a relaxing break. You don't have to worry about doing anything physically demanding unless you want to. A fitness level of 5 indicates the highest physical fitness rating. Gear up for an adrenaline-pumping expedition with plenty of adventure, challenges, and some extreme conditions. You'll be required to be seriously fit and prepared to commit to working in a team to overcome obstacles in a wilderness setting.
Our expedition tours are physically and mentally challenging as many require you to undergo physical tasks and work as a team in a remote wilderness location. On any tour, the guides top priority is that you are safe and cared for. For this reason, we do not accept children under the age of 16 for our Samana River Trip, or children under the age of 18 for our Verde River Trip. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to speak directly with Expedition Colombia prior to booking your tour. We are always happy to make sure your expectations are met.
The fitness level rating gives you an idea of how much physical exertion is required on a particular trip. The majority of our itineraries are designed for people with an average level of fitness, but there are a few specialist tours (like trekking the Himalayas or cycling through Vietnam) that require a bit of training beforehand.
1 out of 5 = This trip is a relaxing break. You don't have to worry about doing anything physically demanding unless you want to.
2 out of 5 = No physical fitness preparation is necessary to make the most of the journey, but enjoy some easy physical activities throughout the trip.
3 out of 5 = Several moderate physical activities raise your heartbeat on this trip. A good level of physical fitness is required.
4 out of 5 = Get ready for serious, heart-raising physical activity! The more physically fit you are, the more you'll enjoy these challenging, committing activities.
5 out of 5 = The highest physical fitness rating. Gear up for an adrenaline-pumping expedition with plenty of adventure, challenges, and some extreme conditions. You'll be required to be seriously fit and prepared to commit to working as part of a team to overcome obstacles in wilderness settings
You can visit Colombia any time of the year as it’s equatorial tropical climate generally remains consistent. The rainy season (March to May & October to November) doesn’t drastically alter the country’s temperature, but it does raise river levels for whitewater kayaking and rafting & can limit paragliding opportunities. We operate rafting year-round, but if you prefer to visit when it’s drier, come from December to March or June to September.
You’ll be ready to be outside all day long with Colombia’s average temperature at 45-66°F (7-19°C) inland and 75°F (24°C) along the coast. For a refreshing, consistent spring-like climate, visit Medellin any time of the year or visit the rest of Colombia from April to June or from October and November. In reality, travelers rarely notice a change in climate unless they are traveling in the wetter Amazon rainforest region, or in the Andean highlands around Bogota, where nights become chillier.
It really depends on the trip you are doing with Expedition Colombia. If it is an active holiday (over 1 week long), see a detailed packing list when you click on each day within your detailed itinerary. For example, visit https://v2.expeditioncolombia.com/active-holiday/colombia-trekking and open Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc. of the detail itinerary.
Within the description of Day 1, you will see the following packing list:
What to Bring for Today:
If you are going on an adventure tour (1-5 days long), see a detailed packing list when you scroll down your tour description to the CHECKLIST & click on the "What To Bring" tab. For example, visit https://v2.expeditioncolombia.com/tours/rafting/rio-samana-rafting/VaKHsSAAAB4A1GU7/ and open the tab:
WHAT TO BRING:
In general, as you pack for Colombia consider the following general list: