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Luggage and bags: - You will probably want to see a lot so you will need to travel around, walk, hike, etc. Hence you need two bags:
1. one good old backpack.
2. one strong but thin small backpack (25L for instance) that folds easily (& very small) if needed. Bonus point if it has a few handy pockets here and there...
In some occasions, you will be able to live your big backpack in a hostel or camp site to go for several day or a week around a region before coming back. In this case, a good small backpack will be a lifesafer!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Depending where you go in Colombia you may need warm clothes (Bogota, mountains..). I took a hoodie, a light jacket & a light scarf and that was enough.
You might go hiking at some point during a trek (in a national park, to the lost city, to the amazon, in the mountain, etc) so you might want some good hiking shoes.
You may want to take a gore-tex top if you have one.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: travelling towel (that packs super small)
sanitary disinfectant (for your hands as you may not have access to bathrooms)
small but strong insect repellent if you think about going to the amazon (ask your pharmacy advice on how much you should or shouldn't use)
Photo Equipment: mini tripod for camera (these always come handy)
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: knife (swiss-like type with fork, spoon & bottle opener on it)
torche (small!), frontal torch
sleeping bag liner (protects from moskitos & let you sleep in something clean as some hostel can be quite dirty..)
small candles (they always r welcome! ie. when cooking in a camp site that has very little electricity if any)
a quality moskito net! (that attachs itself with bed or hammac (with scratches maybe??) & that folds small! )
ear plugs + blindfold (both won't take space in ur bag but may change your nights in a amp site or hostel dorm!)
Miscellaneous: Make sure u take 2 bank cards (warn your bank you are going to colombia) in case one gets blocked/stolen/etc
money-belt (that actually looks like a regular belt! may save you from big trouble...)
mini notebook to write tips & contacts
Updated Jul 13, 2012
Luggage and bags: When traveling around a big country like Colombia by bus, you will appreciate having a backpack. It greatly facilitates getting from point A to point B. Forget the wheeled suitcases especially in rural areas and even in cities, don't expect the nice flat surfaces like "back home."
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: With its varied terrains, Colombia necessitates many different types of clothes and dressing in layers truly applies here. Though on the coast, it can be hot, you are more likely to be cold if traveling elsewhere in the country if not prepared.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: One thing we wished we brought more of was sun screen as our stay in this amazing country was very, very sunny! :)
Photo Equipment: I used a Canon Rebel. It is a good mid-priced camera and even if I could afford more, I am not sure I could carry it on long treks like I did in Colombia. The Rebel is relatively light but with my three lenses still weighs over 10 lbs, a lot to carry when climbing at 4000m. I have a 10-22mm Canon lens which is great for capturing buildings/landscapes and allows me to bring the foreground into my photos. I have a 70-300 Canon zoom with Image Stabilization which worked well for wildlife and sneaky people photos.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: We lugged a tent, lightweight camping stove, sleeping bags, mats, and all our our trekking clothes not only to but also around Colombia. It was a lot of work but well worth the effort. Look into hiring if only doing smaller treks but for us this made the most sense as we did a few things where having the stuff made our trip cheaper and more enjoyable as we love backpacking.
Miscellaneous: As with all things, having the right people with you can make all the difference and I am very lucky to be married to a very understanding and loving woman. I know how hard it was to do El Cocuy for me and know very well how much she sacrificed in doing it. Let me put it this way, we started the trek (unwittingly, really!) on our 5th wedding anniversary. Thank you D. You really are the very best.
Updated Feb 13, 2011
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack light, you’ll find everything you need in Colombia and even cheaper than in your country; All international brands like P&G, Head & Shoulders, Colgate, whatever you name it. Family-own stores to supermarkets are also available all over the place. T-shirts and jeans are all you need + a sweater for late evenings since temperature drops really quickly after the sunset. What best describes Colombia’s weather is very sunny but breezy, it can be really hot during the day that will turn to be a cold, freezy night.
Written Jul 22, 2006
Luggage and bags: BIG BAGS WITH WHEELS AND AN STRONG HANDLE
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: AT CHRISTMAS TIME, JUST SHORTS,T-SHIRTS, AND SOMETHING FORMAL IF YOU WANT TO GO OUT IN THE NIGHT TIME.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: ALL THAT YOU CAN TAKE LIKE SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, DEODORANTS ETC, LESS TOILET ROLL, ALL THE TOILETRIES IN COLOMBIA ARE A LITTLE BIT EXPENSIVE.
NO PROBLEMS WITH MEDICAL SUPPLIES YOU WILL FINE VERY GOOD MEDICLE SUPPLIES AND VERY GOOD DOCTORS WILL ADVISE YOU IN WHAT TO TAKE.
Photo Equipment: WITH PRECAUTION, YOUR VIDEO CAMERA AND PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT, COLOMBIA IS BEAUTIFUL AND YU DON'T WANT TO MISS IT.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: SHORTS, T-SHIRTS, SANDLES,SUN HATS AND A GOOD SUN FACTOR
Miscellaneous: USEFUL TELEPHONES NUMBERS, LIKE EMBASSY NUMBERS, CREDIT CARDS, NO CASH, NO JEWELLERY AND NOT TO TYPICAL TOURIST GUIA.
Written Aug 26, 2002
Luggage and bags: It´s good for you to know that you´ll need different types of clothing when coming to Colombia because of the different climates that you find around the country:
Bogota - cold climate: 8-15 celsius
Cali - warm weather : 23-30 celsius degrees
Medellin: 17-23 celsius deg
Barranquilla: 28-32 celsius
Cartagena : 28-32
Amazon region: high humidity & warm
Llanos orientales: hot climate
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you come to work, it´s always good to bring a jacket or suite (linen type for warm cities (Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga) and wool for cold cities like Bogota, Pasto, Popayan).
For leisure travel always bring your bathing suit, sunscreen, tennis shoes and a light sweater (it can get 'fresh' when you´re out in the woods or near the coast at night).
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: As a good traveler I usually carry my own set of 'on the way medicines' just in case. I´d encourage you to do same when visiting Colombia.
Photo Equipment: In some places like the amazon region, los llanos orientales or small town you may not be able to find the right equipment to re-charge your digital camera so it´d be wise to bring an extra set.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Outdoors are great in Colombia.
Camping is not very popular here so it´s always better to know where you´ll be camping and try to do it in the special designed areas.
Miscellaneous: Robberies happen all over the world... and Colombia is not the exception so please avoid to count your money in front of strangers or leave any luggage without direct supervision.
Written Aug 25, 2002
Luggage and bags: Carryall-bags are not that recommended as long as you can use suitcases (hard ones) instead. Carryall-bag are easy to open (even with padlock!) by airport personell... and they might steal something.
This happens often if you have long transit times at an airport. It happened to me....but i more think it was in Miami than in Bogotá, because i had 6 hours in Miami...but i don't know...
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You may think that the Colombian climate is hot due to it's location at the equator. That may be true on the Caribbean and Amazonas, but watch out if you're travelling to the Anden region. Due to the height the temperature is quite cool, especially after sunset!
Pack lots of long trousers and Pullovers....don't forget a warm jacket! You'll hardly be able to wear shorts in Bogotá at any time of the year...
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Everything is availiable in Colombia!!!
Miscellaneous: You may bring a bag for you money and ID which is even ...to wear around your waist...under the normal clothes.
Written Aug 24, 2002
Luggage and bags: Your luggage and bags are welcome, but depends on how long you are going to stay or do.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Colombia despite is located on the tropical region, above the ecuator line, has all the climates. from hot to cold. from dry to wet. from desert to snow.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Dont think that if you get sick in colombia you will die. We have great hospitals and clinics. But medicine care is very expensive.
Written Aug 24, 2002
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