Recently I traveled to Colombia with a group of professionals in the hospitality business. We visited two cities: Cartagena, and Medellin.
I'll tell you about our experiences, and would love to know if any of you had similar experiences, and if you have not traveled there, please take the story and our experiences in consideration.
Let me begin by saying that the country is beautiful, the people are friendly, but even in international hotels the staff hardly speaks English. At the Intercontinental in Medellin the check-in and check-out required a "translator" to solve simple issues. Always be aware that the entry to, and exit of Colombia requires a lot of patience at the airports. I stood in line for 45 minutes waiting for passport control on my way in, and that was just one plane load...on the way out it took two hours to crawl through five security checks, fax-free stamps, immigration authorities, and a deep search in my luggage by soldiers who...don't speak English.
Be prepared for some other third world inconveniences, such as luggage on top of your bus, or inside the bus with you, many street vendors who do not leave you alone, and very very long time waiting for meals at restaurants especially in groups. For some reason, we never got our food orders at the same time. A group of 15 people always had food come in intervals, and by the time the first guests finished their meal, the last ones just started.
There were many other little things that bugged various people among our group members, but why should I bore you...
I must say, that we never let all the little things bother us too much, and overall we enjoyed our visit. But since we were a group of business people, we were all in agreement that we will not take our own clients to Colombia, why should they suffer?
Please let me know of your experiences, it will be interesting to compare, and thank you!