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Columbia.........not today!

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Columbia.........not today!

1. Posted by alextravel (Full Member 75 posts) 11y

I require some information if anyone can help me out.

I am travelling overland from Central to South America and am not too keen on the prospect of going through Columbia due to the huge amount of negetive stories I have heard about the place.....

I basically need to get from Panama to Ecuador and realise that I will probably have to step foot in Columbia, but want it to be for a short a space of time as possible.

Does anyone know of any ways this can be achieved??

I have actually read about touristy yacts that you can join in Panama City, to sail through the canal and then down that pacific coast of Columbia to Cali, then just a busride from Cali to the border with Ecuador.

Has anyone else ever done or heard about this sort of thing? Or does anyone have any other suggestions??

Cheers.

Ps. I know people have said that Columbia is an amazing place to visit, language barriers, time and the risk of it have convinced me that I dont really want to do it.

2. Posted by Maktub (Budding Member 49 posts) 11y

Alex, Firstly any language barrier you face in colombia is no different to the language barrier in the rest of south america.

Having travelled through south america, anybody i met who has been to colombia says it the most beautiful place in america!! The scare stories you hear are just that...scare stories! If anything....i would be more worried about the panama canal!
Basically....dont write a place off just because of what you hear.
If i had listened to the negative things people told me while travelling i would have missed out on most of my favourite places!
Just go with it....and make your own stories!!

3. Posted by jackboy (Inactive 350 posts) 11y

Hi
Cartagena/Bogota Columbia where two of the most friendlist places I had been to on my last trip.
Its your trip but the worst thing you can say when you arrive home is "I wish".
Do a google;yachtcrew for Panama
al de bes

4. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 11y

All the best...the best policy is to buy a ticket on the Central American Airline TACA or the Panamanian Airline COPA in the USA or Europe online in advance from Panama city to Quito, a short hop, overland is impossible, doubt if there are any "yachts" plying over to baranquilla..if you wish stopover in Bogota or Medellin to see Colombia

5. Posted by ErwinNL (Full Member 51 posts) 11y

Colombia is the most amazing place ive ever traveled in. Sure there are dangers but not more than in other central and south american countries. Just quickly passing trough means missing out on a lot of special places. Mass tourism is nonexcistant here wich means its has not been spoiled by it. I planned to be here a month but by now that will be probably more than 2 months.

6. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 11y

Erwin NL is right. However use common sense and be aware especially if travelling alone and doubly so if your Spanish is poor. Not just in Colombia but everywhere in Latin America you go and remember low budget travellers are far more vulnerable since they must navigate through crowded and dangerous bus stations, take public transport where pickpockets operate and often seek budget lodging in marginal areas of cities and towns. Colombia has no mass tourism yet but someday will, I have been there and the country is incredible. I live in El Salvador another "dangerous" place with no mass tourism, me and my group had the bi lingual guide (provided free by a non profit org, the guide is tipped at end of tour)at San Andres Mayan Ruins on Sunday..the best time to visit a country or region is when it is "unpopular" there are many many bargains, you meet the natives and not other travellers in "destinations" and expereince Latin America real time.