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Note — This article was published in so some of the info is very likely to be out-of-date. For a more up-to-date overview of the region, get our South America budget travel guidebook. Population: 45 million Size: 1. You can be on a hot Caribbean beach with snow capped peaks in the background. An hour or two on bus can transport you to vastly different weather conditions so pack for hot, cold and wet weather, possibly all on the same day.
Law: For those inclined, you will be offered marijuana and yes cocaine at various points on your trip, especially in the big cities. You are legally allowed to carry small quantities of almost any drug including cocaine and marijuana under 20g is considered personal use and okay.
Travellers have died in recent years due to underestimating the strength of cocaine. Always check the current legal status as laws can and do change. The legal high Ayahuasca is used by many indigenous folk in the Amazon and is gaining in popularity with travellers looking for spiritual enlightenment. The most likely illness you will suffer is altitude sickness. Antimalarials are important if you intend to visit the Amazon region of the country South.
No vaccination certificate is required. Tetanus, hep A and yellow fever are the recommended vaccinations. The improved safety of Colombia is leading to increasing numbers of flights into the country as tourists wake up to what Colombia has to offer. Budget airline Spirit offer flights from Fort Lauderdale Florida to several cities in Colombia and there are also flights from the capitals in Central America with Panama City the closest and cheapest.
There are also international airports in Cali, Medellin and Cartagena. By land heading from Brazil or Peru you must get to the Colombian jungle outpost of Leticia where three countries meet. From Ecuador and Venezuela there are land crossings.