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Old 01-18-2013, 05:31 AM   #1  
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Anyone have experience non reving to Colombia? Experiences, safety, sightseeing, etc...? Also looking for a crew rate hotel in Bogota or Cartagena.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:59 AM   #2  
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Bogota Colombia the area to stay in is Parque Noventa Tres (Park 93). Safe, malls nearby, restaurants. Check google and tripadvisor for hotels.

Stay in city limits during your stay, do not take a cab and go adventuring outside city limits.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #3  
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I go there about 2-3 times a month and have been almost all over the country, so if you have specific questions feel free to ask.

As far as flights, United has a midnight flight from IAH and a afternoon flight from there as well as EWR. Delta goes to BOG out of JFK and ATL. Spirit goes to most cities there out of FLL that depart from 1000 to 1030am (I'm usually on them direct to Armenia) and Jet Blue has a MCO and FLL-BOG (8AM departure), I think they cover Medellin as well. Spirit used to charge me $15 to go and $60 to come back, but haven't been charged in several months. Jet blue is $90 each way, not sure about Delta, but UAL charges $50 to come back and usually $0 to go down if you list for a roundtrip.

Flights within the country are inexpensive. Easyfly tickets average $80 each way in & out of BOG, Avianca is about $120 each way, Viva Colombia is about $100, LAN & COPA operate down there also with the same prices as Avianca. The tickets can be purchased either at the counter prior to the flight if you have to, but be prepared to pay more.

Learn a little spanish before you go, they mess with people who don't speak it and you will get a "haha estupido gringo" but if someone knows english they will try to talk to you in English.

Bus transportation within the country is cheap and frequent, going through FARC territory in the middle of the night is interesting to say the least, but I wanted to see the amazon region and I advise against that if you DON'T SPEAK SPANISH.

Medellin is awesome, I walked into the neighborhoods in the hills and I was for the most part ignored. Santa Marta and San Andreas are great beach destinations. Women are beautiful and are a lot better than what's here in the US, that's why I'm getting married to one.

The country is beautiful and the food is great. If you try to meet eye to eye with the people, they're friendly and happy but they will steal things if you give them the chance. My fiance and I were on our motorcycle and I dropped a bottle of pepsi turning a corner, we turned around to pick it up and it was already gone.

It's a great experience and country to see. Coming back some of the Americans that went there, even though they don't speak Spanish, spoke to me about their experience, none have been disappointed. I haven't had any problems with the taxis, but do some research on the areas you want to go to and leave your valuables in the hotel room. When I was going to areas I didn't know, I'd take only my ATM card, small amount of cash and a COPY of my passport and my camera and the rest of the stuff locked up in my hotel room. I try my best to blend in, but the soon to be old lady has pointed out to me that I "look muy gringo." So they know a mile away if you're a foreigner or not.

If you need some hotels in the Bogota area, I know of some inexpensive ones in the area near the US embassy, nice clean rooms with breakfast and a decent rate. I need to find their contact info. One that I stayed in was owned by a former submarine skipper, that's how he told me he learned English, frequently working with the US Navy.

Try some aguardiente, bandeja paisa, and sancocho. All of make one great meal together. The blood sausage is good once you ignore the fact that it is intestines stuffed with a rice and blood mixture. hamburgers and hot dogs are also great, I prefer the ones there to what I can get here in the states. Food is for the most part farm raised and fresh, you can taste the difference. As I said above, the food is awesome, I cant get enough of it, espeically the paisa. good luck and let me know how it goes. If you need something else, feel free to ask but it's an awesome country to go to.

Last edited by jsfBoat; 01-18-2013 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:14 AM   #4  
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Hey JSF....

I'll be heading down to MDE in April to meet a nice young lady myself and was wondering about some hotels down there. Have scoured TRipadvisor and as a first visit, thought I'd just stay in a larger commercial type hotel like these: Medellin Royal, Intercontinental, Art Hotel, Charlie Hotel.

Have you come across any of these larger ones near the Zona Rosa/Parque Lleras area?

How is non reving down there???

Oh and congrats on the marriage!!!

Kap
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:21 AM   #5  
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As far as MDE is, I stayed at a really nice hostel there, they have 1 person rooms up to the typical guest numbers per hostel room. Great price, the owner is from the Bronx and it's in a quiet safe area near down town within walking access (but my definition of within walking distance is a lot more than compared to others') to the metro that can take you all over, with restaurants and a few clubs nearby. I have to do some digging to find the number, but I really recommend this place.

Nonreving down there isn't too bad. Spirit is great to nonrev with, once was I not able to get a seat, the most part never a problem. UAL is a bit stressful sometimes, numerous times have I had to wait to the last minute before I had a seat and there are no flights back to FLL in time for me to catch Spirit. If you go UAL or Delta you will have to buy a ticket as they only go to BOG. Spirit has direct to MDE out of FLL but the flights depart about 10/1030am, and the crews are awesome. I go so much the gate agents in FLL and BOG know me. Jetblue is starting or has started service to MDE, but the fee is $90 each way.

One other thing about Spirit, they charge $15 to leave and $50 to come back, but for the last 6 months or so I haven't been getting charged. Be prepared to pay it anyways.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:11 AM   #6  
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Went to Bogota a few months ago. UAL out of IAH. Bogota is a beautiful city, the parts I saw were very organized and clean and night life was awesome!
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:20 AM   #7  
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I'm just finishing a weekend layover in Bogota. We linked up with a Colombian tour guide named Sebastian Lopez. He's born and raised in Bogota, graduated from college and as a side business, organizes sight seeing for visiting aircrew. You tell him what you want to do and he'll make it happen. He knows Bogota and all its museums, restaurants and bars like the back of his hand. He'll also take you to local attractions like the salt cathedral, and some of the resort areas around Bogota. His rates are about half what I found on sites like Tripadvisor, and because he mostly works with visiting aircrews, he understands our background and interests. Very personable, he'll keep you safe, and will ensure you make the most out of your time in Bogota. His email is [email protected]
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