General Questions About Su Casa Colombia
Noah and Marcela are the heart and soul of Su Casa Colombia and they’re devoted and determined to making your Colombian holiday the best it possibly can be. They have seen many great parts of the country, have taken copious notes, and made friendly contacts in order to pass along the wonderful friendliness shown to them in a hope that visitors to Colombia can have a similar wonderful encounter. Best of all, they know their home city of Medellín backwards and forwards and invite you to stay with them in their warm and welcoming bed & breakfast. Their 1960’s-era traditional Antioqueño house has been thoughtfully restored to accommodate their guests comfortably and has been designed with the intention of making you feel completely at home.
They also offer friendly, informed tour guide services throughout the city and the surrounding area. For the rest of the country they’re eager to share their past experiences, current contacts, and even provide location-specific guides for most regions. In fact, if you’d like advice as you plan a potential Colombian vacation on which places to go and which festivals/sights to see, Noah and Marcela are always wanting to help and make your experience easy and stress-free! Their love for this country and passion to share its culture make every Su Casa Colombia experience an amazing one.
Su Casa Colombia gives unique, bi-lingual, and detailed tours of Medellin and the surrounding area including cultural and history tours, exhilarating adventure tours, and tours showing pure Paisa Culture like going to the large city fruit and vegetable market or sharing a friendly shot of Guaro with one of our many local Colombian friends and family.
They offer their tours at a below market price because they really enjoy sharing their knowledge about the city they’ve come to love. Most of the city tours start at their Medellin bed & breakfast and depending on the route, you’ll be riding on the city’s spotless and 15-year old elevated light-rail train, one of the many public buses, or going by taxi. Noah and Marcela really encourage their guests to experience the real Colombia by using what the locals use.
While Medellin’s public transportation is certainly world-class, Su Casa Colombia does use private cars for day-trips out of the city, rides to and from the airport, and for trips to the Finca. They do this to increase their guests’ comfort and the efficiency of the longer-distance travel.
No. A small detail like where you rest your head for the night is not going to stop Noah and Marcela from wanting to show you the special side of Colombia. As long as you contact Su Casa Colombia with at least 48 hours notice, we’ll be able to accommodate almost any tour and group size.
The word finca in Spanish literally translates to “farm” but in Colombia, a finca is so much more than that. There are many different types of fincas and their individual amenities vary greatly depending on the region of the country. Some are used entirely for farming and agriculture while others are primarily about relaxing and being on vacation.
Su Casa Colombia has a variety of fincas to take their guests to depending on their individual interests but the primary destination is a gorgeous ranch set atop a hill overlooking a river-filled valley. This finca’s sole purpose is to give our guests a completely relaxing experience from the moment you step onto its grounds. The full-time staff attends to your every need including cooking, cleaning, and preparing the horses for riding. The finca also has plenty of hammocks to enjoy, a private lake to fish or swim in, various nature trails to hike, and at night, a star-studded sky that will keep you entertained until sunrise.
A Colombian holiday wouldn’t be complete without a trip it to a traditional finca so we encourage you to come enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
While this is not their primary focus, if you’re interested in having Su Casa Colombia organize and program your entire Colombian vacation, Noah and Marcela are certainly up to the task. Simply email them with your travel dates, the destinations you desire to see, and activities you wish to enjoy, and they’ll put together a complete itinerary for you. They work with groups of all sizes and will create your ideal Colombian vacation.
Absolutely. We want your vacation to be everything you want and nothing you don’t. We customize your time in Medellin based on the priorities you give us and help you budget your time for the rest of the country depending on what you want to do and see. We’re here to help along the way but ultimately the places you go, the number of days you want to be in each city, and what you do while you’re there is completely up to you.
We speak English and Spanish fluently. If needed, we can be your translator for you throughout your time in Medellin or if you prefer to “dive in” yourself, we teach all of our guests some common Spanish phrases so they can get out there and talk to the locals themselves!
That’s completely up to you. We are available to be with you as much or as little as you want us to be, with a few exceptions*. After we make sure you have your bearings in Medellin, you are free to explore on your own or if you prefer, have us show you our favorite spots and serve as translators and local experts.
For the rest of the country, we’ll set you up with experienced guides or if you prefer to trek along solo, we’ll give you all the relevant information you need and send you off!
*We always accompany guests on horseback rides and waterfall rappelling when visiting the Finca for both safety and photo taking purposes.
In most instances you will travel with the group you came to Colombia with. Some activities such as waterfall rappelling, Medellin city tours, day-trips to Guatape and Santa Fe de Antioquia will likely include additional travelers.
Besides those larger group activities, for the most part you will be traveling only with a Su Casa Colombia tour guide and your own group.
We cannot book international flights for our guests but we are more than willing to help you find the absolute best fare available. See “How do I get to Colombia” for our recommended airlines.
We feel that staying in hotels detracts from the authenticity of your experience while traveling, especially in Colombia when there is so much to experience while staying with the locals. That’s why we decided to renovate and remodel a 1960’s-era traditional Colombian home in order to give our guests a genuine experience during their time in Medellin. The bedrooms and common areas have all been remodeled to the expectations of Western guests in mind but the architecture and general ambiance of the home has remained intact.
Our other main accommodation is the family finca, or ranch. Located 2.5 hours outside of Medellin, this rustic vacation home cannot be described in words. Perched atop a hill, overlooking a river-lined valley, the finca house is the definition of relaxation. It’s a traditional Colombia ranch home with multiple bedrooms, open common areas, hammocks galore, and a full-time staff to accommodate every need.
If you need help location accommodations for the rest of your trip, please contact us for our suggestions. We strive to find authentic, unique, and extremely comfortable lodging accommodations for all of our guests because as seasoned travelers ourselves, we know how important it is to feel “at home away from home”.
Within the city of Medellin, we will travel on foot, the city’s Metro, in taxis, and by private car. And if you’re up for an adventure, we’ll take you on one of the city’s public buses! Medellin has an amazing network of public transportation services and many things are within walking distance making a car almost unnecessary. We also strongly believe that you will have a more authentic experience by using public transportation that you would in a private car
For day trips or trips out to the Finca, transportation will be by private car or private van depending on the group size.
For the rest of Colombia, the various transportation options are completely safe, reliable, and very comfortable. If you’d like help or suggestions for travel within the country, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help!
Questions About Colombia
Bottom line: Yes, Colombia is a very safe travel destination.
Due to Colombia’s well publicized violent past, this is a question almost every traveler will ask before taking any steps towards visiting this country. We are proud to say that Colombia has emerged from its darker days and is a country emerging into a premier vacation hotspot.
That being said, there are indeed areas of the country that are still considered dangerous because guerilla forces and paramilitaries have settled there as they take refuge from the Colombian military. Obviously Su Casa Colombia does not and will never take any guests to an area not deemed safe by the Colombian government. The majority of the country is incredibly safe to travel through and you’ll find that all Colombians are eager to show you that the rumors you’ve heard and the reputation you’ve thought to be true are all completely false.
In fact, many travelers who have visited other parts of South America have repeatedly commented on how genuinely friendly Colombians are and how amazingly clean and inviting they’ve found the Colombian cities to be. You will be amazed by the difference between what you think you know about Colombia and what you’ll find when you get here.
At Su Casa Colombia, we closely monitor the ongoing safety and security situation in order to provide our guests with the best possible vacation. We would never offer any tours in an unsafe location and will give you all pertinent information before traveling here.
It is not necessary to obtain a visa prior to entering Colombia for most of the world. For example, citizens of the USA, Canada, Most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa can simply obtain their visa as they pass through customs when they enter the country. If you wish to check your eligibility, you can search here.
Helpful Hint: Before you start your vacation, remember to verify the validity of your passport at least 8 weeks before your trip.
Colombia is a large country with a wide range of terrains and climates so it is possible to experience a variety of temperatures and weather during your vacation. However because of the country’s close proximity to the equator, those climates are pretty much consistent throughout the year. You’ll almost always experience heat and humidity on the Caribbean coast, almost always get a little chilly in Bogota, and Medellín and the Andean region have temperatures that are “just right”.
The temperatures and climates remain steady throughout the year with a few exceptions during what are considered to be the rainy seasons (April-June and September-October). The rest of the year is fairly dry with occasional rain showers interrupting otherwise beautiful days. If you do experience some rain, most of the time the rain showers are brief and the pleasant weather will return quickly. To be sure, just Contact Us with your potential dates and we can give you a more detailed description of what to expect during your vacation.
Want to know what the weather is like right now where we live in Medellin? Click here.
One of the best things about Colombia is that there is no bad time to visit! The country is located close to the equator and thus, the climates are consistent throughout the year. While the changing weather shouldn’t affect your travel planning, you should consider the various holidays and large events happening throughout the year that can affect availability, pricing, and crowds in certain locations. When you have an idea of when you’d like to visit, just consult with us and we’ll make sure you’re visiting at the right time.
Because of Colombia’s rich heritage and festive cultural identity, finding a festival or citywide event is as easy as saying “hola”. Each area of the country has their own festivals, each with unique traditions and enthusiastic crowds. There are so many events that it’s impossible to put them all in one list but here are a few of the big ones that you might consider as you plan your trip:
Los Alumbrados: A Christmas lights celebration unlike any other
Bullfighting Festival: The largest bullfighting event in Colombia)
Carnavál: A Mardi Gras celebration that parallels New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro
April, Entire Country
Semana Santa: Holy Week where all Colombians relax from work and most vacation with their families in the coastal parts of the country
Feria de las Flores: 10-day celebration with parades, free concerts, cultural displays, and lots and lots of flowers
Miss Cartagena Pageant: Week-long cavalcade of events surrounding the most prestigious beauty pageant in Colombia
Los Alumbrados: The Christmas celebration starts Dec 1st as the entire city lights up in honor of their favorite holiday)
Colombia is quickly becoming one of the world’s top travel destinations and for that reason, there are more and more international flights every year. Currently, the majority of flights enter the country by flying into Bogota but Medellin and Cartagena also have large international airports that receive direct flights from many international destinations.
We recommend using American Airlines, Avianca, Copa or an airline of your preference for international flights. For internal flights, we recommend Avianca, Copa, and LAN/Aires.
If you’d like information or help locating the best way to get to Colombia, we’re always happy to help. Just contact us at email@example.com.
Questions about Money
The Colombian peso is the only currency accepted throughout the country, with the exception of the large international airports where US dollars and Euros are accepted as tips. Therefore, however you care to do it, you will need to obtain Colombian pesos for your vacation. Su Casa Colombia recommends against bringing large amounts of cash or travelers checks with you into the country. You are not only taking more risk by carrying that cash with you, but there is also a vast array of international ATMs and accredited Colombian banks throughout the country from which you can withdraw safely and at the most up-to-date exchange rate.
Of course if you do decide to bring cash or travelers checks with you, there are many currency exchange businesses able to convert your cash into Pesos but we recommend you only bring enough of your local currency to help with expenses on your departure and return travel days. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining local currency with us on your first day in Medellin.
This will depend entirely on which parts of the country you will visit and the type of vacation you are planning to have. Generally speaking, most travelers can manage very easily on $30/day, often times spending well below that number. Simple meals at most Colombian restaurants will cost between US$3-8 while more elegant restaurants can cost up to US$40 per person. Snacks and drinks also vary in price but everything will seem relatively affordable if you are coming from North America, Europe, or Australia/New Zealand.
We will be happy to help you calculate an estimated daily budget once we have a proposed itinerary set up for you. Just Contact Us with your ideas and we’ll tell you what you should expect to spend.
Yes. Almost all major restaurants, souvenir shops, supermarkets, and museums accept Visa, Mastercard, and other major credit cards. Most smaller businesses like neighborhood restaurants, taxis, and corner markets will not accept credit cards. When we’re out exploring the city or countryside during the day, we always recommend you have some cash on you but if you plan to eat at a nicer restaurant, you can assume your credit card will suffice.
Helpful Hint: Before you travel, it is a good idea to notify your bank or credit card company that you will be abroad so that they do not freeze your card during your trip. Also, it is common for most major credit cards to add a 3% currency conversion fee onto each transaction although some specialty cards waive those fees for their customers.
Yes. This is our recommended method for obtaining money while in Colombia as ATMs offer the best and most up-to-date currency conversion rates available. This also reduces the amount of cash you will be carrying with you during your trip. So far we haven’t experienced an ATM card that wasn’t accepted at any of the major banks and more and more ATMs are appearing across the country every month.
Helpful Hint: Before you travel, make sure to speak with your bank regarding international withdraws using your ATM card to check if they charge fees for this service. Also make sure to alert them of your trip so they don’t freeze your card upon seeing multiple transactions in a foreign country.
The national currency is the Colombian Peso and it is accepted all over the country. US Dollars, the European Euro, and other major forms of currency are accepted only in international airports as a means of tipping but you will not be able to use them anywhere else in the country. If you do decide to bring other forms of currency into the country, you can exchange them at banks and other reputable currency houses but we recommend bringing a minimal amount of cash into the country and instead using ATMs to withdraw cash.
Questions About Booking & Paying
To make a reservation for our bed & breakfast or schedule a tour with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll inform you of availability, confirm pricing, and send you a secure, online payment request to complete the booking.
If you’re already in-country and are unable to access a computer for payment, we also accept cash in Colombian Pesos on the first day of your stay. You can contact us by telephone at 57 (316) 834-0280 or (57-4) 234-2615.
We recommend that you book at least 30 days before you arrive to ensure availability and give us ample time to help you with the planning of your trip. We do take reservations for our bed & breakfast within 30 days but we cannot guarantee availability.
For tour bookings, please contact us with at least 48 hours notice to ensure availability.
Yes, we accept online payments. Once your Medellin itinerary is set and you’re ready to complete the booking, we’ll send you a secure, online payment request that you can pay using any major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, etc).
Questions About Yourself and Your Trip
While knowing a few basic Spanish phrases and words would be helpful, it is by no means necessary to travel in Colombia. While you’re in Medellin, we’ll be with you to serve as translators if needed and while you’re enjoying the rest of the country, you’ll find that many Colombians are happy to practice their English or patiently help you with your broken Spanish.
We also teach basic Colombian Spanish upon arrival to our bed & breakfast in Medellin to anyone who wants to learn.
While not required, we recommend obtaining basic travel insurance to cover expenses resulting in unexpected loss of luggage, minor accidents or injuries.
In most of Colombia, you do not need prior vaccinations to travel safely however, it is always a good idea to consult with a medical professional before you travel to get the most up-to-date clinical recommendations.
If you plan to travel to Tayrona National Park (near Santa Marta), La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City), or the Amazon region, a yellow fever vaccine is absolutely necessary. You will most likely be required to show proof of your vaccination so be sure to carry your vaccination card with you at all times.
The Amazon region and state of Choco (Northwestern Colombia) have had reports of malaria so a vaccine for that disease is also recommended, however it isn’t required.
Depending on which areas of the country you plan to visit, the items required will vary. As part of your confirmation packet, we’ll send a detailed list of items that is tailored specifically to your itinerary. However, the following items are essential all over Colombia:
Quality walking shoes
Sandals (with heal strap if you plan to walk in them a lot)
As seasoned travelers, we also recommend:
Camera (with its charger, an extra battery, and an extra memory card if digital)
Comfortable daypack (recommended with water bottle holder)
Quick dry clothing
Light, long sleeve clothing for sun and insect protection
Zip lock bags for electronics or documents
Journal or Notebook
Keep in mind that almost anything you forget or choose not to bring can be found here in Colombia so if you want to omit some of the basic toiletry items (toothpaste, shampoo, tissues, etc) to save space or reduce weight, you can easily obtain these items once you arrive.
The Medellin Bed & Breakfast is equipped with high-speed, wireless Internet and a brand new desktop computer for guests to use to email family and friends back home or even speak with them live on video chat. If you need to make an international phone call, we can also arrange for that from the Bed & Breakfast.
The finca was unbelievable. The house was open-aired with hammocks hanging everywhere, sitting right atop a high bluff looking down at a valley and river, with steep rock cliffs and a waterfall behind you. The horses were young and eager to run (much different than the old sway backs you get at a dude ranch!), and the food there was wonderful. -Ashley E.