Colombia

July 30, 2015
13 Days
Overland Adventure
16 Guests
From $8,980

Before You Go

This is a trip for experienced travelers. Although the tour is not overly strenuous, you should be reasonably fit and capable of moderate exercise. Many excursions include walking for one to three miles along uneven paths, cobblestone streets, and unpaved trails that could be rocky or slippery, and you may need to navigate stairs that are uneven and without handrails.

You will be visiting tropical coastal areas where temperatures can range from the mid-70sºF to the high 80sºF, and higher elevations that can range from the mid-50sºF to low 70sºF. Rain is a possibility throughout this itinerary, so you should be prepared for all types of weather.

Trip Preparation: Gear Up!

  • SunPro Long-Sleeve Performance T
SunPro Long-Sleeve Performance T

From damp afternoons on the pristine coral reefs of Gorgona Island to touring Colombia’s famous coffee plantations and pre-Hispanic artifacts in Bogota, this quick-wicking, UPF 50-rated shirt is as wash and wear as they come—perfect for daytime adventures and easy to dress up to take in Cartagena’s vibrant night life. 

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Activity Level

This is a trip for experienced travelers. Although the tour is not overly strenuous, you should be reasonably fit and capable of moderate exercise. Many excursions include walking for one to three miles along uneven paths, cobblestone streets, and unpaved trails that could be rocky or slippery, and you may need to navigate stairs that are uneven and without handrails.

Arrivals & Departures

Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight at least two hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-Ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to the final destination allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-Ticket receipts.

Please contact Zegrahm at 1.800.628.8747 or 206.285.4000 should you encounter significant delays or problems en route. Proceed to your airline’s ticket counter or flight gate for immediate assistance. Advise Zegrahm of all changes to your arrival at your destination city so that we may inform our expedition staff.

Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates only. If you are arriving prior to the group day and Zegrahm Expeditions has booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, an airport transfer will be provided.

If you are handling your own travel arrangements, please forward a copy of your itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program. 

Baggage Allowance

On flights to and from Bahía Solano within our itinerary, baggage is restricted to one checked bag, maximum weight 22 pounds (10 kilograms) plus one small carry-on bag, per person. You will be asked to separate your luggage in Medellín prior to our flight to Bahía Solano and take one small bag weighing no more than the 22 pounds. Excess baggage will be stored by our land agent for these 3 nights and reclaimed on the return to Medellín.

Airline baggage limitations and charges for checking bags vary by airline, destination, and class of service you are traveling.  If you have purchased your tickets from Zegrahm Expeditions and have questions, please contact our Air Department for the specific allowances and limitations. If you have booked your own arrangements you will need to visit the airline website or contact the airline directly.

PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, which can be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.

We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage, as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry with you essential toiletries, prescription medications, and a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.

Climate

You will be visiting tropical coastal areas where temperatures can range from the mid-70s°F to the high 80s°F, and higher elevations that can range from the mid-50s°F to the low 70s°F. Rain is a possibility throughout this itinerary, so you should be prepared for all types of weather.

The following are average high/low temperatures in August for selected locations on our itinerary:

LocationHighLow
Bogotá

64º

46º
Bahía Solano90º61º
Pereira80º62º
Cartagena87º79º

Currency

As of April 2015, the exchange rate for $1 US dollar (USD) is 2,558 Colombian peso (COP).

ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, although access to ATMs will not be available in the more remote areas. Please have some cash available as back-up. Also, ensure you have a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMS.

Documentation

You will receive your Pre-Departure Packet—including a Personal Information Form that will need to be returned to Zegrahm, a complete packing list, reading list, and gift certificates—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior to your departure.

Electricity

The electrical unit in Colombia runs at 110V and outlets take plugs with two prongs. If you are bringing standard, North American appliances with you, you will not need a converter or adapter. 

Extending Your Stay

Interested in extending your stay? Speak with one of our Expedition Advisors to find out how easy it is for you to stay an extra night or two. Or, our Private Travel department is available to design customized extended stays for individuals, families, and groups of friends—the same horizon-broadening adventures and life-changing experiences as our group expedition, but on a flexible, intimate, and personalized scale. Call 800.628.8747 or 206.285.4000 for more information.

Flight Information

Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements.

You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Bogotá and Cartagena/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.

Health Information

Yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Colombia and a vaccination is recommended. Yellow vaccination may also be required to enter another South American country if you are travelling to one after visiting Colombia. If so, please refer to the World Health Organization website for a list of yellow fever endemic countries.

Malaria prophylaxis is also recommended. Malaria exists in some of the municipalities we will be visiting, but it is easily avoidable with a few basic precautions.

Altitude sickness can be an issue. Travelers to the capital city of Bogota may need time to adjust to the altitude of 8,600 feet, which can affect blood pressure, digestion, and energy level, cause mild shortness of breath with exercise, headaches, sleeplessness, and other discomfort particularly to those with circulatory or respiratory problems.

General travel inoculations are highly recommended for this expedition. Your doctor may recommend a flu shot, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, typhoid, measles, and polio. This will vary by guest and can only be advised by a medical professional.

Insect bites can be a problem, and we urge you to bring an adequate supply of both insect bite relief products and insect repellent.

Protect yourself against the strong sun. Drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty. By preventing dehydration, you may prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun. Bring a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.

Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications as pharmacies are not found in the remote areas of this expedition.

In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of your expedition includes $100,000 in emergency evacuation and $25,000 in medical expense. Details of this policy are available online at www.travelguard.com/zegrahm.

The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.

Internet & Phone

Your final documentation will include contact information for our hotels, including phone and fax numbers as well as email addresses.

Local Time

Following is a sample of local times during this expedition when it is 7:00A.M. on the North American west coast:

7:00a.m.

Seattle, WA (PDT)

10:00a.m.New York, NY (EDT)
10:00a.m.Colombia (COT)

Meals

Should you have any dietary needs, please let us know on the Personal Information Form included with the Pre-Departure packet, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately kosher meals cannot be accommodated.

Packing Suggestions

It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight, natural fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and personal tastes and adjust accordingly.

Laundry service is available, and by using it you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an overabundance of clothing.

Expedition Clothing
Bring loose, comfortable clothing appropriate for the warm and occasionally rainy conditions you will encounter on excursions. Wear hats and use sun block as we will be out for extended periods of time. Keep in mind that insects can be a nuisance. You may wish to wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts on occasion to protect against them and the sun. Also, bring insect repellent with a high percentage of DEET.

Excursions will involve a moderate amount of walking over uneven trails. Sturdy walking shoes with thick soles or light hiking boots are recommended for walking on the often-rough terrain. If you have weak ankles, high-top hiking boots will provide better support than shoes. Make sure your shoes or boots are well broken-in before your trip.

There will be one opportunity to snorkel during our itinerary and equipment will be available to borrow.

You will receive a complete Packing List with your Pre-Departure Packet, approximately five months prior to departure.

Passport & Visa Requirements

Passport
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid on arrival into Colombia. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of one blank page available for entry/exit stamps in your passport and secure additional pages if necessary. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information page when you travel.

Visas
Visas are not required of U.S. and Canadian nationals for entry into Colombia.

If you are traveling independently of the group or to any other countries prior to or after the voyage, check the entry and visa requirements with the local consulates of each country you plan on visiting.

PLEASE NOTE: Nationals of countries other than the U.S. and Canada should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.

Payments & Cancellations

Reservations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars and must be paid in U.S. dollars.

Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:

  • 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
  • 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
  • 60 through 119 days prior to departure: 50% of expedition fare
  • 1 through 59 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare

Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.

With Our Compliments

We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. Gift certificates to our Zegrahm Store and Longitude Books will offer you the opportunity to purchase items from our store along with books or maps suggested in the highly recommended titles sent. The certificates will be sent in your Pre-Departure Packet approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificates for more details.