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  1. Apr 04, 2021 · Colombia is the only country in South America with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea as well as the country with the world's second most biodiversity. Lying to the south of Panama, Colombia controls the land access between Central and South America.

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  2. Aug 28, 2021 · Colombia's capital city was founded here in 1538 by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada y Rivera in a spot known today as El Chorro de Quevedo. The next year, authorities re-founded the city a few blocks away at what is now known as the Plaza de Bolívar.

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    The city was the first Spanish colony on the American continent and one of the first sanctuaries of freed African slaves in the Americas. It is currently populated by an ethnic mix representative of Colombia's own variety.

    Cartagena, located on Colombia's northern coast and facing the Caribbean Sea, is the most visited city in the country by tourists. It gets extremely crowded in the December holidays and the holy week, when schools are out and most Colombians take their vacations. The city has basically two main parts where tourists go: the walled colonial city (\\"ciudad amurallada\\"), which is truly amazing and has many fancy restaurants, clubs and hotels; and a long strip of hotel towers and condos fronting onto the beach, known as Bocagrande. It is also nice to visit the exclusive neighborhood of Castillogrande, filled with recently built condos, places to jog, and a quiet beach to soak up some sun. The old town in particular is best explored by foot. Most places within Bocagrande (where many up-market and all-inclusive hotels are located) are also within walking distance. A Chariot is a popular way for tourists to get to know the old town. These can be flagged down in the street or there are usually some waiting at the Plaza Bolivar or close to the Santa Clara hotel. They are reminiscent of public transportation of colonial Cartagena, and essentially complete the atmosphere of the old town. In the ciudad amurallada, the most famous hotels are Sofitel Santa Clara and Charleston Santa Teresa, both old monasteries renovated in the 90s. Either of them have fabulous facilities - expect prices like Monaco. Otherwise, the newest part of the city, Bocagrande, offers the largest number of hotels of all prices. You should always try to stay in the ciudad amurallada, since this is what makes Cartagena unique, rather than its beaches, which are normally too crowded and not really clean. If you cannot afford the five-star hotels, you may try with colonial houses turned into hostels, but they are rather small and sometimes getting a room there may be a matter of luck.

    To take a taxi to your destination, pick up a taxi voucher from the official stand in the baggage area before getting into a cab which will have the price printed on it depending on where you're headed. The price to get to the old city or anywhere in the \\"Centro\\" area Zone 1 including hotels in Getsemani should not cost more than COP$ 18,000 (Dec 2013). Alternatively Uber has started operating in Cartagena as of January 2016 and provides service to and from the airport. Beware the porters at the airport, who will press you to tip them quickly in the local currency; it's easy for newcomers to mistake the banknotes which say \\"50\\" for being the smallest denomination, when they are in fact worth COP$ 50,000 (\\"50 mil\\" vs. \\"10,000\\" and \\"20,000\\" on all the other banknotes), and many porters make a good living on these unintentionally large tips. There are frequent colectivos along the road fronting the airport (the fare into town is COP 2100 (11/2017) as well as buses to Barranquilla. Keep in mind that they need around one hour, because they go very slow! The bus terminal is 11 km east of the old city. Frequent White and Green metrocar buses with air conditioner go to the old city and cost COP$ 2300. The line number is X104. You need to buy TransportCaribe chip card (3000 cop) in Supergiros office in the bus terminal, and then charge it with respective amount. The trip takes around 45-60 minutes. A regular bus trip from Santa Marta to Cartagena through Barranquilla takes 5h and costs 25000cop (bus company La Costeña). Bus service from the bus terminal to the main hotel area in Boca Grande can be through the city center or direct. For the latter, get out of the terminal, cross the street and take one of the two buses that indicate Boca Grande on their front (2000cop, 1.5h). Cartagena is not close to the Andean mountains, the closest city is Medellín with a bus ride of 12 hours. Two main bus companies take you there: Expreso Brasilia [46] and Rapido Ochoa [47], the latter offers online or smartphone sales. There is no discount for advance purchases or round-trips. The official price for buses to Medellin is COP 135,000, but some travelers report to barter the price down to COP 120,000. Sometimes cheaper tickets (COP 90,000) can be found on ticket booking websites - ClickBus, PinBus, AndesTransit [48] and Redbus [49] (I was able to pay for the ticket with credit card issued by British bank). Connections to other cities can be found on this page [50]. If you are coming by sea from Panama (remember there are no roads or rail connecting Panamá and Colombia) your first bus will be from Turbo. Turbo to Monteria is COP$ 25,000, 4 hours, Monteria to Cartagena COP$ 39,000, 6 hours. (These are express services.) You can take a bus to Mercado Bazurto (market) for around (COP)$1,400 from where you can catch the cargo boats to Playa Blanca in the morning for about (COP)$20,000 (typically (COP)$10,000 goes to the captain and (COP)$10,000 to the \\"helper\\" which is almost impossible to avoid) avoiding the (COP)$12,000 park entrance fee typically paid via tourist shuttles. You can also take a taxi for about (COP)$7,000 to the back of the Mercado Bazurto. The boat ride takes about 45-60 min. The boats depart between 09:00-11:00 or so, but there is no set time and the Cartageneros will likely not depart until the boat is full. The boats back depart between 13:00-15:30 or so. Try to locate the captain in order to pay a cheaper rate. Generally, the return trip will cost (COP)$10,000-20,000 depending on whether you can avoid the \\"helper\\". Some boats go back directly to the harbour next to the old city.

    Taxi (or Uber) to the city center should cost you between 12.000 and 18.000 - depending on your bargaining.

    To reach other destinations such as the San Felipe fort, there are many buses running all over the city. Ask the driver or other people who are waiting which bus goes to your destination.

    There are many buses going to various parts of town. The cheapest way to get to Playa Blanca is to take the bus to \\"Pasacaballos\\" (COP $ 1,700). It leaves across from Monumento India Catalina (Avenida Venezuela y Playa Pedregosa #34). In Pasacabellos you get off close to where the Ferry leaves (ask ticket vendor on bus). The \\"ferry\\" that will take you across a small river is actually a small wooden boat and it costs COP $1,000. On the other side you take a Mototaxi directly to Playa Blanca for between COP $ 8,000 - 16,000 (Price depends on how well you can bargain. (Jan 2014). The whole trip takes about 60 -75 minutes and is really easy, even though you have to switch transportation. It is definitely not worth it to take an overpriced boattrip. As of March 31 2014, there is a new highway linking Pasacaballos to Isla Baru. You can take a mototaxi directly from Pasacaballos to Playa Blanca for around COP 30000-60000 each way (Feb 2019). A private car is safer and more comfortable than the mototaxi (motorcycle) and costs about COP 27,000 each way (Oct 2014). The COP 2,000 bus from Pasacaballos to Cartagena has several pick-up spots including the central park. There is also a group bus at 8.30AM and 12PM from Hostel Mamallena for 50,000 COP return (Feb 2019). Bus takes 1 hour and returns at either 12PM or 8.30PM. Advisable to go at 8.30AM and return at 3PM because at night the beach is dark and it is a bit sketchy, as it is an extremely poor area (Feb 2019).

    Taxis are generally easy to find, although in the old town you may have to walk a few blocks away from the center, toward the wider road close to wall. From the old town to Boca Grande or vice versa or any transport inside Bocagrande or inside old town expect to pay COP 10,000; from the airport to the old town or vice versa is COP $9,000 - $18,000. Important: negotiate your fare before getting in the taxi. Unlike major cities, there are no taxi meters inside Cartagena taxis. Taxi drivers may demand ridiculous rates if not negotiated in advance. There are printed fares, but they are more like minimum fares. Even negotiated rates are often higher, especially in high season.

    Some taxis operate as Colectivos, serving more or less fixed routes, for example from the clock tower to Bocagrande and vice versa (expect to pay 1600 to 2000 COP). A special gesture, the pointed index finger, is used by the driver to signal that he is operating as a colectivo, and by passengers that they are looking for one.

    The beaches are far cleaner than those in and around the city. Be aware that there are many vendors trying hassle you on the beach. You will be approached to buy massages, fruit platters, seafood and jewelry among other things. Watch out for vendors selling oysters: they will give you an oyster as a present (regalo) to taste. They will quickly crack the shells and serve you a number of oysters, after which you will be told that they each cost 2,000 pesos. If you are looking for great seafood and Coco Locos, ask around for Nelson Mandela. SCAM ALERT: The vendors will invite you to sit at their umbrella covered daybeds and offer you a drink and lunch without telling you the price and then they will bring a bill for 500,000 COP ($150 USD) at the end. This happened to us (Feb 2019) and is extremely common scam there. After 1 hour of negotiation, we ended up paying them 150,000 COP ($40 USD) to leave us alone. You can also rent a hammock or cabin and stay overnight, which is a very budget-conscious and rustic way to spend a few days. Be advised that if you plan on spending the night, vendors at the port will sell you a one-way ticket for COP $30,000 and \\"assure\\" you that you pay the captain COP $10,000 when you choose to return. However since most people taking boats to Playa Blanca go for the day, your captain may tell you the boat is \\"full\\" and ask for C$15,000 or more. If this is the case, you can always take a nice walk down the beach to where the Alcatraz Ferry departs and pay between C$10-15,000 for your return trip. To get the best rate, try to pay one of the captains and not a middle man. (April 2011)

    Great cultural tours offered by community tour operator EcoTours Boquilla Take a bus for COP$ 2,100 (May 2017), from India Catalina (Avenida Venezuela), if you get off the bus once you get the beach, at the end of the ride, you can rent a canoe (\\"piragua\\") which brings you to some nice nearby beaches (Playa de Oro and Punta y Caco) passing trough lagoons and mangroves pay for the boat once you are back (COP 20,000-30,000 for a canoe for 5-6 pax, as july 2013). You can ask here for \\"el Papa\\", a local free-lance guide that also works for tourist companies. Riding a bike is also a great way to get there and should take around an hour. Once you get past the end of the airport turn on to the beach and you can ride along the sand to La Boquilla. Although this is one of of the most interesting activities around the city, there are not many tour operators offering it. This trip is sometimes called \\"tour to the mangroves (manglares)\\". The tours offered to visit Islas del Rosario and Playa Blanca can be quite a letdown. You'll be offered a price for a tour which \\"includes\\" either snorkeling or entrance to the aquarium and a meal at Playa Blanca for about 50,000 pesos. Once on the trip, you find out that you have to pay extra for the aquarium or the snorkeling - 15,000 pesos. Make sure the tour guides on the boat are told by the person who sold the tour what is included in order to avoid disagreements. The best way to book a tour is going inside the marina and avoiding the \\"sales\\" people outside. They are getting a cut for the sales and have no responsibility to you. Once inside ask for Elizabeth (known lovingly as La negra Liz\\"). She owns several boats, will give you the best price, and most importantly her word. You can rent your own small boat for COP 700.000 or secure a seat for COP 75.000. Ask them before hand about the itinerary. Her company, in particular, has its own \\"resort\\" in the Rosario Islands. The resort is clean, nice and has good food for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, their beach access is limited and less than spectacular. Her boats will insist on taking you there, but you have a choice. Playa blanca is by far the best beach, but it can be overwhelming with the locals trying to sell you their products. More upscale destinations include the Baru Island and private resorts owned by the big hotels (Santa Clara, Santa Teresa). In most, you are allowed to spend the day at the beach. Every tour boat has their own agenda.

    Cartagena features a rich fusion cuisine, combining ingredients and methods of the New and Old worlds, as well as of the original African, Arabian and other legacies of its inhabitants. Eating set menu lunches and dinners in local restaurants called 'corrientes' costs around COP $6,000 pesos ($3). A typical dish consists of fried fish (if you are by the beach), chicken or meat, served with coconut rice (arroz de coco), fried plantains (patacones) and salad. There are many places that sell $1 fruit juices. Colombia boasts a very good range of exotic fruits that can be mixed with water or milk. In the old town, dozens of good restaurants can be found dotted around the streets. They are particularly concentrated close to the Plaza Santo Domingo in El Centro.

    El Laguisto Beach Club, Carrere 1 ra. No. 1A-23 The most interesting restaurant on the beach. Food is decent quality, but the delight is being directly on the beach.

    Budget hotels and hostels can be found in Getsemaní around the Calle de la Media Luna. If you're already in Cartagena just walk along the Calle de la Media Luna and check out the numerous hostals to get an impression of their offering. You'll notice that the 'value for money' differs heavily between the places, even though they're next to each other: For 50,000 pesos you can either stay in a really nice private double room or in a dodgy dorm. Typically, a room for 2 with private bath and no A/C is around COP $45,000-$55,000 and with A/C starting at COP $70,000.

    There is a large Citibank ATM location on calle Venezuela near Barrio San Diego that has a guard out front. Seemingly available 24/7.

    When in the Old City do not walk outside the walls after dark, and remember that it is a large city, so just use common sense. The street vendors can be very annoying, but a simple \\"No quiero nada, gracias\\" in Spanish will keep them away.

  4. Jul 03, 2021 · Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia. It has over 3 million people and is the capital of the department of Antioquia. It's set in a valley running south to north just under one hour by plane from Bogotá.

  5. › en › CaliCali - Wikitravel

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    Cali [29] is a city in southwestern Colombia, capital of the Valle del Cauca department. It has about 2 million inhabitants and is a significant industrial and commercial center of activity in Colombia. Being at around 1,000 meters above sea level it tends to have a warm midday and afternoon with nice Pacific Ocean breezes while nights are cool. Cali is today's world capital of salsa, claiming that competitive distinction even over Colombia's other vibrant big city party scenes, which keep the music going long into the late hours of the morning.

    From the Terminal de transportes you can choose between many different regional, national and domestic destinations. Expreso Bolivariano leaves Terminal de Transportes, Bogotá, regularly throughout the day and night with journeys taking between 10 and 12 hours to reach Cali. Tickets are priced between $55.000 and $70.000 pesos depending on luxury, availability and time of departure (as of August 2015). Foreign cities that can be reached by non-stop flights are Lima, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Madrid, Panama City, Guayaquil and Esmeraldas in Ecuador.

    The trip from the airport to the terminal lasts around 20-30 minutes and you can do it either by taxi (45,000 COP) or mini-van (6,500 COP - May 2017). Walking out the terminal via the tunnel towards the west and along Avenida 3N connects you to the closest MIO Bus Stop (Avenida de Las Américas - GPS: 3.463587,-76.525299) with a Ticket Office, from here you can connect to just about anywhere in the city. The maps in the MIO station list which bus numbers stop at which stations, so simply work your trip backwards connecting bus numbers. Recommendation: Travel only by certified transport companies, like Expreso Palmira, Bolivariano or Expreso Brasilia. These companies bring you safety and comfort for you and your luggage. You may bargain with other companies, but the trip may be very uncomfortable.

    Cali's International Airport Alfonso Bonilla Aragón [30] is located 20 km northeast of the city and can be reached by bus or taxi. It is finishing a major expansion and is again adding new flights. A number of domestic and international destinations can be reached. There are non-stop domestic flights to Medellín, Bogotá, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, San Andrés, Pasto, Ibagué, Neiva, Quibdó, Puerto Asís and Tumaco. There are a few regional flights as well.

    Most Places in Cali do deliveries, from pharmacies, restaurants, corner stores, to even liquor stores. Most Liquor stores do deliveries till 3 am as well as restaurants with very small fees. Delivery takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Taxi services also do food and liquor runs late at night, that way you dont have to leave your location drunk or too late. Tip is not required but when you do give, people are really grateful for it.

    Cali's nightlife is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. There are some good clubs and bars to go out.

    Visit Avenida Sexta Cali's Broadway at day & night. Some bars and dance clubs popular with the working class are located there. Many banks branches are settled here. The avenue is crowded pretty much all day long. Be careful at night, could be unsafe.

    2016: Drive by robberies are frequent. A group of two or three motorcycles will pick a random passer by and surround her, pointing a gun at her and quickly emptying her pockets. The whole thing takes less than a minute. Apart from taking a taxi everywhere, there's no much you can do about it, because they operate on daytime and even on \\"safe\\" neighbourhoods too. Apart from common sense(which will minimize but *NOT* eliminate the risk of being robbed), empty your wallet of any unnecessary debit/credit cards, carry a photocopy of your passport instead of the original(If you have an ID card that can be easily replaced, it's even better), don't carry a lot of money. If you have an expensive phone, you might want to carry a cheap phone while in Cali. You could wear pants with hidden pockets, because the objective of this crime is to make a quick getaway, not to take a lot of stuff. That said, realize most tourists in Cali don't get robbed. In 2011 there have been a number of murders and car bombs related to the ongoing mafia war between drug cartels in the city. Shopping centers all over the city have been scenes of shoot outs between rivaling mafia factions. It is advised to avoid shopping centers with poor security, although some of the biggest and most well guarded malls in Cali have been scenes of murders too.[66] Besides these isolated cases, this year the city started to experience a strengthening in its security compared to previous years; as a result, in 2008 the homicide rate in Cali was 66 per 100,000 inhabitants, in 2010 the rate was 80 per 100,000 inhabitants, and in 2011 this rate was reduced to 77 per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2011 the number of stolen cars dropped 21% with 323 fewer cases, burglaries were also reduced 17%, with 152 fewer cases.

    The city has increased its security by installing around 254 cameras. This system allows coverage of 30% of all the city, and its estimated that for 2013 the number of cameras is going to increase to 500. [67] As of 2011 the guerrilla movement FARC-EP has urban militias in the city and surroundings. Extreme caution is advised due to the risk of explosions, gunfire and kidnappings.[68][69] U.S. citizens have been targets of kidnappings.[70]

    Cali is considered more dangerous than most other major cities in Colombia;[72] therefore, keep your eyes open at day and night. Try to take a taxi at night. Avoid backstreet in the downtown (El Centro) and Sucre neighborhoods. This area is especially dangerous. Walking alone at night at Avenida Sexta can be unsafe. As in most other cities, it is unwise to walk with jewelry or let people around you know you have cash on you. Most places around hotels are safe. Try not to talk on cellphones while walking through streets; that might lure in robbers. Also do not use MP3 players or other valuables in public.

    There is a great high tech hospital in town: Fundación Valle del Lili with many bilingual doctors. [73]

  6. Feb 25, 2020 · Buenavista Only 40 minutes from Armenia (5,000 COP) is the beautiful coffee town of Buenavista! Great if you are looking for an off the beaten track authentic experience. As of now, there is only one hostel in the town, Panorama Cafe Hostel (4 person dorms 35,000 COP with breakfast, privates 80,000 COP with breakfast).

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