Colombia’s biggest international airport is Bogatá’s Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado (www.elnuevodorado.com). Direct services from Europe to Bogotá are offered by Iberia (Madrid and Barcelona), Air France/KLM (Paris), Avianca (Barcelona and Paris) and Lufthansa (Frankfurt). Avianca also operates flights from Madrid to Cali and Medellín.

In North America, Air Canada connects Toronto to Bogotá, Lan and American Airlines connect Bogotá with Miami, while Delta links Bogotá with New York, Chicago and Atlanta, and Jet Blue flies to Bogotá from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. It’s also possible to fly from Miami directly to Santa Marta, Cartagena and Medellín.

In South and Central America, Lan links Bogotá with Lima, Santiago and Quito; Copa offers regular flights from the capital to Panama City, and Tam links the capital to São Paulo. Avianca also flies to Buenos Aires, Caracas, Guayaquil, Lima, Mexico City, Panama City, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago (Chile) and São Paulo.

Overland from Ecuador and Venezuela

Frequent bus services cross Colombia’s borders into neighbouring Venezuela and Ecuador, though there can be security issues with both borders, so check in advance. Ormeño buses cover several international routes to and from Bogotá, including Quito, Caracas and Lima.

There are three main overland border crossings with Venezuela, the most popular being Cúcuta–San Antonio/San Cristóbal. The Maicao–Maracaibo crossing at Paraguachón is useful if you are travelling directly to or from Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Expreso Brasilia (expresobrasilia.com) operates a coastal bus service between Cartagena, via Barranquilla and Santa Marta, which passes through Maicao in the remote Guajira Peninsula to Maracaibo (1 daily at 7am; 20hr; COP$220,000).

The Panamerican Highway runs south into Ecuador, with the Ipiales–Tulcán crossing being the most popular and straightforward, though slow.

There is no overland crossing between Colombia and Panama due to the presence of drug traffickers, paramilitaries and smugglers, and the threat of kidnapping in the Darién Gap.

By boat to/from Brazil, Peru and Panama

From the Amazon region it’s possible to cross to or from Colombia into Manaus, Brazil, and Iquitos, Peru, by taking a riverboat.

From Cartagena, adventurous travellers with plenty of time on their hands can take a sailboat to Puerto Lindo or Colón in Panama via the remote tropical islands of the San Blas archipelago. Trips take four to five days and cost around COP$750,000 per person. Rough seas can make travelling between November and February dangerous.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Colombia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Providencia: an introduction to Colombia’s Caribbean island

Providencia: an introduction to Colombia’s Caribbean island

Colombia meets Jamaica? Not quite, but two competing images loom large over the Caribbean island of Providencia: Bob Marley, adopted saint of the local Raizal p…

11 Mar 2016 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
12 tips for backpacking Colombia

12 tips for backpacking Colombia

Colombia is a nation on the rise. The land of Shakira, Gabriel García Márquez and James Rodríguez has it all, from the bougainvillea-festooned streets of Car…

22 Feb 2016 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month