Frequently Asked Questions

Hotel El Dorado Bogota, Colombia.

Location: The hotel is located in the heart of Bogota. Parque 93 is about a five minute walk away, and the Andino Shopping Mall is about a twenty-five minute walk away. 2 restaurants, 2 bars/lounges, and a 24-hour fitness center are available at this smoke-free hotel. Additionally, a bar/lounge, a snack bar/deli, and a rooftop terrace are onsite. All 76 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi and minibars. For entertainment, flat-screen TVs come with cable channels, and guests can also appreciate comforts like premium bedding and pillow menus. Restaurants: Origen Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The rooftop Mai Tai Restaurant serves fusion cuisine and sushi. Snacks and drinks are available at the hotel's lobby bar. Guest Rooms: The beautifully appointed guest rooms feature modern style furnishings and a sophisticated color palette. All rooms have a variety of amenities for an enjoyable stay.

Credit card, debit card, or cash deposit required for incidental charges

Pre nights are available for $195 per night single or double occupancy
Designed by the Cuban architect Manuel José Carrerá Machado and located on the Caribbean beach, this luxurious hotel offers a semi-Olympic outdoor swimming pool, elegant colonial architecture, a gym and spa. WiFi is free. Caribe Hotel is surrounded by extensive tropical gardens, and has 5 star facilities and a lavish lobby with polished marble floors and impressive chandeliers. Hotel Caribe has air-conditioned rooms with garden views. There are work desks and cable TV. Rooms have wood furnishings and white polished floors. A breakfast buffet with tropical fruits and Colombian coffee is served daily. The hotel has 3 restaurants, one of which offers gourmet specialties of regional cuisine. After dinner drinks can be enjoyed by the pool.

Credit card, debit card, or cash deposit required for incidental charges

Post nights are available for $289 per night single or double occupancy
Vaccines and Health Safety Update:
Yes. Although this may change between now and September 2022, the tour company currently requires all travelers to complete a health declaration form and attest they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This requirement will remain in place until guidance changes from health organizations and governments. Additional requirements may exist based on your itinerary and enforced by other entities such as airlines, government agencies, etc. Travelers will also need to follow federal and local mask mandates, social distancing, and other guidelines while traveling. The tour managers and bus drivers will adhere to a stringent sanitation protocol throughout the tour.

You may also be required to provide a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure. This will depend on what the Colombian government requires at the time of our trip.
Yes. It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel and a visa if required. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date from the trip & you need a blank page available in your passport book. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. Citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave, and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has unstamped visa pages.
Missing a vacation is bad enough. Losing the money you paid for your vacation is even worse. Trip insurance is therefore highly recommended. There is a basic plan which starts for as little as $45 pp and then a more comprehensive select plan starting at $70 pp. Prices depend on package rate, your age and the state you reside in. Please email [email protected] for a free quote and online brochure.
This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Due to the high elevation, travel in the Colombian highlands may cause some passengers to experience the temporary effects of altitude sickness. If you have any concerns about traveling to higher than your accustomed elevation, please consult your healthcare provider.
Yes. While in Bogota there is an optional Monserrate Funicular Train Ride for $35 pp

Board the Funicular Train that takes you up to Monserrate Mountain. After a short hike, reach the top of Monserrate. At more than 10,000 feet above sea level, see outstanding views of downtown Bogota. Visit the 17th-century church and the "El Señor Caído" shrine that welcomes pilgrims all year long. *This Optional Tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking, fear of confined space or heights, or who have heart conditions. Approximate tour duration is 2 hours.
We have all adapted to the "new normal," where it's imperative to take additional measures to stay healthy. We only use hotels that meet the best in hygiene standards and protocols. Tour buses are inspected and cleaned daily. The air filtration system is designed to create an efficient vertical and safe airflow that helps ensure impurities like COVID are not spread. All frequently touched surfaces will be disinfected multiple times each day. Guests are asked to bring their own face masks if required. Hotels, itinerary, and events may be modified or replaced based on protocols, local guidelines, weather conditions and local events.
No. The flight to Colombia from the U.S. is not included. This trip requires you to fly into Bogota (BOG) and out of Cartagena (CTG.) The intra-country flight from Bogota to Cartagena is included. We can request a quote for airfare as of November 1, 2022.
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver’s license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport & COVID vaccine proof to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over-the-counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. Sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent are also recommended.
Bogota and Cartagena are considered gernally safe, however you need to use common sense. You will have a tour guide with you who knows the area well. Use them for advice on where to go and things to do. Don't wear flashy jewelry or have expensive electronics out, as there are pickpockets just like in most cities around the world. Men should keep wallets in their front pockets. Stay in groups when walking around. Don't wander too far from the hotel without knowing where you are going. Ask your tour guide or hotel concierge for recommendations on where to go. In Bogota, the Zona Rosa is a dedicated nightlife area with tons of bars, restaurants, and clubs. Don't get drunk and wander public streets. Don't accept drinks from strangers & don't put your drink down and leave unattended. Don't accept or purchase illegal drugs. Be careful with taxi scams. Ask for a rate up front or get a taxi by your hotel. Don't leave valuables unattended.
Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, is a giant metropolis sitting atop a mountain range. At 8,612 feet (2,625 meters), it is one of South America’s highest cities. This elevated location is responsible for cool temperatures, despite proximity to the equator. Modern high-rises are juxtaposed with cobblestone streets and colonial Spanish churches. Visit the shrine-topped peaks of Monserrate and Guadalupe. If you fly in from a much lower elevation, take it easy for a day or two to adjust to the altitude.

If you are looking for good nightlife, try La Zona Rosa (The Pink Zone), a wealthy neighborhood on Calle 82 between carreras 11 and 15 that has many restaurants and bars. It is quite safe, but you should take a taxi.
Shopping Shop for soapstone carvings (high-quality reproductions of San Agustin statues are sold at the archaeological park), coffee, straw items, hats (the famous sombrero vueltiao—the wide-brimmed, patterned straw hat of Colombia—comes from the northwest, principally Antioquia), mochilas (a type of backpack) woven by the Kogi and Arhuaco Indians, ruanas (a woollen poncho) and emeralds, which are principally sold in quality jewelry stores in Bogota.
Use only official taxis from legitimate taxi stands or by calling for a radio-dispatched taxi, or in the front of your hotel. Never hail a taxi on the street—many tourists have been robbed by taxi drivers working in cahoots with thieves.
Don't dress too wildly, wear expensive jewelry, or carry a camera or cell phone. It will lessen your chances of attracting unwanted attention of pickpocketers.
Don't ever accept gifts of food, drink or cigarettes from strangers. Often these "gifts" are laced with burundanga (drugs), and you'll wake up penniless with no memory of what happened.
Jeans, slacks or skirts are preferred when going into public buildings and restaurants. Men should wear shirts at all times.
This Caribbean port city boasts some of the finest Spanish colonial buildings in the world and has morphed into a cosmopolitan it destination, with the requisite top-notch restaurants, hip hotels and sometimes sky-high prices to match. The Old City's narrow cobblestoned streets are enchanting. Emerald and leather shops fill restored and brightly painted colonial buildings, whose overhanging wooden balconies are festooned with flowering plants. Ornate churches with golden altars open onto grand public squares reminiscent of ancient Spanish cities. And if you climb las murallas, you'll be treated to wonderful views of the city's famous harbor, protected by numerous fortresses. You can also glimpse the high-rise hotels and condominiums of Bocagrande.

Do be prepared to cross a gauntlet of souvenir vendors wherever you go in Cartagena, especially in the parking lots of La Popa Convent and San Felipe Fort. Don't feel that you need to be unduly civil—a firm "no, gracias" should suffice. If the vendor persists, it is best to simply ignore them.
Don't hail a taxi on the street. There are many cases of taxi drivers stopping to let accomplices in to rob passengers. Always call for a taxi using your hotel concierge or authorized dispatch service.
Don't ever change currency on the street. It's illegal, the chance of being robbed is great and the possibility of being scammed is a virtual certainty. Exchange money at the airport or at a local bank.
The women in colorful dresses who offer to pose for a picture expect to be paid. They usually want COL $2,500 (around $1 USD) or if you buy a plate of fruit from them they will be happy to pose.

Food is a Cartagena calling card. The town's proximity to the ocean makes it a seafood haven, with innovative mango- and coconut-infused variations on ceviche populating almost every menu.

Although Cartagena is best-known for its elegant seafood restaurants, it also offers odd and outstanding little eateries: outdoor stands selling strings of cooked iguana eggs; empanada stands; fresh-air diners specializing in smoked meats; and hip fusion restaurants.

Just walk around the city—you'll find something wonderful to eat. Plaza Santo Domingo and Plaza Santa Clara both have a number of good restaurants to choose from. Wherever you dine, look for Tres Esquinas, a local white rum, and aguardiente, a licorice-flavored rum drink that literally means "firewater." (Be careful: It lives up to its name.)

For breakfast, eggs and bacon typically accompany the beans, rice and arepa. Lunch and dinner entrees will be some form of meat: broiled chicken, beef or fish. Throw several meals together with the typical accompaniments and you'll get bandeja paisa, the best-known regional dish.


A wide variety of foods from Colombian to Continental and Asian is available in the major cities, but it is invariably more basic—yet usually extremely tasty—local fare (for example, corn, potatoes and rice) in the smaller towns. Most restaurants will serve a prix-fixe lunch, called comida corriente. Soups (caldos) are often served alongside chicken, pork, beef and fish dishes. Typical Colombian fare revolves around red beans, white rice, fried plantains (a kind of banana) and a leavened bread called arepa (similar to a tortilla). Try sancocho, a fish, chicken or meat casserole, with potato, yucca, coconut milk and plantain. Ajiaco, found in Bogota, is a thick soup made of chicken, capers, fresh cream, avocado and three types of potato. You may also try a fried lebranche, an excellent boneless fish found on Colombia's Caribbean coast. Other dishes include savory cornmeal empanadas, delicious pandebonos (small buns, soft and heavy with cheese) and puchero (a stew made from meat and plantains).

Colombia is noted for its aguardiente, a clear anise-flavored liquor, and for its rum. The macedonia de frutas is a sort of sangria made of orange, pineapple, papaya, banana and mango juice with red wine. Finally, before you leave the country, make sure to try agua de panela. This delicious nonalcoholic drink can be served cold or hot but always with a large amount of lime juice. And of course, don't forget the world-famous Colombian coffee.
Time Zone Colombia is on the same time as U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Currency The currency is the Colombian Peso

Tipping Guide Tipping of course is optional. Here is the suggested average. Drivers & tour guides $2 pp. Hotel Bellhop $1 per bag. Maid $1-3 per night. In midrange and expensive restaurants, there is usually a 10% tip included in the bill

Electricity in Colombia runs at 110 volts, so transformers are not necessary for tourists from the U.S. If you are planning to use anything with a three-prong plug, bring an adapter, as some establishments only have two-prong outlets.

Alcohol The legal drinking age in Colombia is 18, though laws are lenient. In urban areas such as Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and Cali, you may be asked to show ID to get into upscale bars and clubs.

Public restrooms Bathroom quality varies. Expensive hotels, restaurants, and shops generally have clean facilities and toilet paper. As long as you're polite, restaurant, hotel, and store owners won't mind if you use their facilities. It's a good idea to bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer wherever you go, as budget establishments rarely have these items. Usually, you'll have to pay a small fee (generally under CO$600- approximately .25 U.S.) to use a public or restaurant restroom.

Total price is due.