Booking flights to Colombia means enjoying a country which is five times bigger than France and contains virtually every kind of environment you could think of. Whether you want to relax on the beach, explore a jungle, climb a mountain or experience the heat of a desert, you’ll find what you’re looking for somewhere in Colombia. From the big city excitement of Bogotá to the eco-tourism of the Los Katios National Park, Colombia offers something for everyone.
In simple terms, you can travel to Colombia at virtually any time of the year and find the type of climate you prefer somewhere, such is the variety of the landscape. The coast is warm and tropical, the higher ground much cooler, and the rainy season occurs at different times in different parts of the country. Generally the peak tourist season tends to fall between December and March, but if you’re looking for fewer crowds and lower prices, August to September might be a better bet.
The year-round appeal of the country makes it easier to track down cheap flights to Colombia, and the Orbitz search tool puts even more power in your hands. By clicking on the ‘Show flexible dates’ link when looking for flights, you can pull up a range of travel dates if you’re flexible about when you travel. Similarly, the ‘Nearby airports’ option shows the other cities you can fly from and land at, opening up your options and making finding a genuine bargain much more likely.
Located in the Fontibón district of Bogotá, El Dorado International is the busiest in Colombia, handling 49% of all the flights that come into the country. This translates as 31 million passengers in a year, many of them international, some using the airport as a domestic hub for flights around Colombia. The international terminal offers free Wi-Fi and contains more than 100 retail outlets. The airport is located eight miles from the center of Bogotá, and passengers can make the journey by bus, using the official authorized airport taxi service, or in one of the shuttles which hotels often provide.
José María Córdova International Airport, located 12 miles outside the city of Medellin, is the second busiest airport in Colombia. It handles in excess of 7 million passengers per year, and is a hub for some of the busiest domestic routes. The terminal offers three restaurants and a range of shops, and most onward journeys are taken by taxis picked up outside the airport, which are much more comfortable than the local buses, known as ‘collectivos’.
Airlines which fly to Colombia directly from the US include the following:
Most of the major towns and cities in Colombia are served by domestic flights, and the size of the country can make flying the easiest means of exploring. Domestic airlines include Avianca, COPA Colombia, LAN Colombia, and EasyFly. If you choose to hire a car and drive, the conditions vary. Within and between the cities the roads are generally well looked after, but further afield you may find yourself dealing with fairly primitive dirt tracks. Bus trips between cities are affordable, but the standard of vehicles varies and many companies don’t accept advanced bookings.
Bogotá is the capital of Colombia, the place where most travellers arrive and the focus of most tourist activity. It sits in an elevated position, 8,500 feet above sea level, and many of the surrounding mountains can be explored from paths which start just a few minutes’ walk from the main roads. Beauty spots such as Chapinero Waterfalls offer a welcome respite from the noise and bustle of the big city. The historical center of the city is called La Candelaria and is a must-see for lovers of art and culture.
Located on the north coast of Colombia, Cartagena is a magnet for tourists thanks mainly to its colonial walled city and fortress, which are extremely well preserved and have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another big draw is provided by the city’s beaches, a short drive out of town, such as Playa Blanca and Sportbaru.
Barranquilla sits on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and is famed more than anything else for the ‘Carnaval de Barranquilla’, the second largest carnival in the world. It takes place over the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday every year, and is a non-stop celebration of dancing, music and 24 hour partying.
Travellers from the US require only a valid passport for stays of up to 90 days. It should be noted that Colombia has been affected by the Zika virus, which can cause birth defects. Anyone who may be impacted by this should exercise caution before travelling.