2,600 meters above sea level, Bogota, the capital of Colombia, has become a modern and democratic city with large open spaces, an efficient mass transport system, the largest network of bicycle lanes in Latin America, and an architecture full of contrasts that is the product of more than four centuries of history.
Canadian citizens do not require a visa to enter Colombia for tourism. Those who wish to visit the country for work or study must apply for a visa or permit at the Colombian consulates in Canada. For all other nationalities, consult your consulate or tourist board for details. You can also visit http://www.voyage.gc.ca/ for up-to-date information.
In the different commercial areas in Bogota, there are high-quality goods made by local designers, artisans, artists, tailors and carpenters, all at reasonable prices.
Shopping malls are popular as they offer clothing and furniture stores, music and artisans, as well as bars, restaurants, cinemas, casinos and banks.
The official currency of Colombia is the peso ($). Entering or taking out money in this denomination or in any other, is restricted and should be declared when entering or leaving the country.
The exchange of foreign currency should be made exclusively in hotels, banks and bureaux de change, never on the street. The exchange rate fluctuates from day to day and has the U.S. dollar as the official reference rate, which is also the currency most used in the market. Payment is made on the basis of the official daily rate, after discounting commissions and services, which vary between 2 and 3%.
The traveler’s checks most used are those of American Express and Citicorp. In the more exclusive hotels you can make payments with them but they are not commonly used in commercial establishments.
Although major cities have excellent running water services, it is recommended to drink bottled water.
Electricity: 110V / 60Hz with American-style outlets.
Although Spanish is the official language, English is taught in school and most Colombians speak an acceptable level of English.