Frequently Asked Questions
Please read our general FAQs
, where you can find essential information that applies to all of our programs.
Resources to Learn & Teach about Colombia
Visit our recommended reading page
to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans
and Pinterest boards
that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
Terms and Conditions
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions
page before signing up for this program.
GEEO Program Confirmation Process
We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org
. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
- If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
- ELEVATORS: Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.
- HOT WATER: Please note hot water is uncommon in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Showers are likely to only have cold water while visiting this area.
Group Leader Description
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page
. If you want to room alone, please email email@example.com
to request a single room.
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all night except Nights 3 and 4 in Armenia.
Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details. If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
El Dorado International Airport is approximately 30 minutes away from the starting hotel. We recommended organizing a taxi at the airport's registered taxi counter. The cost of a taxi to the hotel is approximately 65,000 COP ($15 USD).
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so that they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m/ local time): +593 2250 6610
After-hours Emergency number: +51 997 582 712 (WhatsApp available)
If for any reason you are unable to reach the G Adventures local office, please call the numbers listed below to connect with their Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article
on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Health & Safety
- N95/KN95 face masks (at least a few just in case there is an outbreak within your group)
- Hand sanitizer
- Rapid Covid tests/Antigen tests (at least 3)
- Personal clothing for cool to hot weather – we recommend packing 7-8 days of outfits, so you don’t have to laundry
- Fleece jacket (Bogotá can get down to the 40s F at night)
- Small travel towel
- Light hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes
- Sun hat
- Flip flops or sandals
- Watch or alarm clock
- First-aid kit, including lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
- Bathing suit and small, quick-dry towel
- Travel pillow
- Water bottle
- Money belt
- Phone/tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
- Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
- AirTags or Tile trackers
- Packing cubes
- Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there, so don’t go crazy here
- Ziplock bags
- Reading/writing material
- Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Travel insurance ID card
- Flight itinerary/boarding pass(es)
- USD/EUR cash
- Credit/debit card
- G Adventures vouchers
- GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent a few days before departure
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge, or you can ask your tour leader where the nearest laundromat is located. There will be times when you may want to do your own laundry, so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Passports and Visas
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ
for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Colombia for less than 90 days. Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need any visas.
The local currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso (COP). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
We recommend that you obtain cash from ATMs while traveling; they will dispense the local currency. We do, however, recommend that you bring at least $200 USD in cash for emergency use or in case you have trouble with the ATMs. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but you may be charged an international transaction fee; ask your financial institution about their international fees. Please note that if you are carrying U.S. dollars, the bills should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and dated recently.
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of this program and an expression of satisfaction with the people who assist you on your trip. Tipping is also one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the local community. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
There will be opportunities during the trip to tip your local guides or drivers. You may do this individually, or your tour leader may offer to collect the money and give a tip on behalf of the group. Recommendations for tipping local guides and drivers range from $5-10 USD per person per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and expectations. Also, at the end of your program, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, a tip would be appreciated. The amount is entirely your personal preference, but as a guideline, $30-40 USD per person per week would be appropriate.
GEEO cannot provide any medical advice, so it is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. We recommend contacting Passport Health (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/), which has travel clinics located throughout the United States. You can also check the CDC's recommended vaccinations
for your destination. Please take this seriously!
We find the best prices for flights are often available around 90 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights.
GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed.
This program begins in Bogotá and ends in Santa Marta. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Bogotá. You may want to arrive in Bogotá one or more days early in case you have flight disruptions. You can arrive at any time you choose, but try to make it in time for our 6:00 p.m. Welcome Meeting on Day 1. You can depart from Santa Marta any time on the final day of the program.
Plugs and Converters
Colombia uses the same plug design and nearly the same voltage found in the United States—a type-A plug and 110 Volts—so there is no need for Americans to travel with electrical adapters or converters.
Before you decide to travel with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
- The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury as we are trying to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible.
- We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
- You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
- Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometime include day hikes with your daypacks.
- We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
- Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip, as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Colombia straddles the equator, so there is little seasonal fluctuation in weather. Medellín famously enjoys a spring-like climate year-round. Bogotá is chillier because it is located high above sea level, with high temperatures in the 60s and lows in the 40s Fahrenheit. July is one of the driest months for Bogotá. The Caribbean coast of Colombia; the climate can be summarized as hot and humid with occasional rain. There, daytime high temperatures reach the low 90s F and cool down to mid-70s F at night. With humidity hovering around 80 percent, the “real feel” temperature in these cities can be even hotter. Santa Marta tends to be a little bit more comfortable and less humid due to the cooling breezes that come in off the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountain, only 26 miles from the downtown.