travelling to colombia

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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i dare to put this thread into living as i need some solid info asap.
i need to go to bogota, few days only. i am open to dates but it has to be fairly soon, this or next month.
obviously i am looking for as cheap deal as possible. as i understand one can fly from SD, i am fine with that. any day of the week, any time of the day.
also, some decent hotel that is cheap enough not to break my pocket (i plan to do some shopping there :) ) but located in the area where i will not be killed and dismembered.
i asume i can get by with my dominican spanish, right?
 

Bronxboy

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Jul 11, 2007
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i dare to put this thread into living as i need some solid info asap.
i need to go to bogota, few days only. i am open to dates but it has to be fairly soon, this or next month.
obviously i am looking for as cheap deal as possible. as i understand one can fly from SD, i am fine with that. any day of the week, any time of the day.
also, some decent hotel that is cheap enough not to break my pocket (i plan to do some shopping there :) ) but located in the area where i will not be killed and dismembered.
i asume i can get by with my dominican spanish, right?
AZB, Robert, Berzin to the rescue!!!!!

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uUpDG680uew" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

tmnyc

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Oct 19, 2006
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Lodging

some decent hotel that is cheap enough not to break my pocket (i plan to do some shopping there :) ) but located in the area where i will not be killed and dismembered.
i asume i can get by with my dominican spanish, right?
Casona del Patio Hotel Casona del Patio - Hotel in Bogota, Colombia, South America

Google Map: 4.652525,-74.058315 - Google Maps

Neighborhood: Chapinero Norte (Alto)- Relatively safe (North Bogota)

Your Spanish will be alright, just leave the slang on the Island.
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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For the prices listed for the rooms in the hotel's webpage, you might as well rent an apartment on daily basis, fully furnished in the north section of bogota. Chapinero maybe fun in the day time and popular among the backpackers but it may not be too safe at night.
Do google search on "apartment for rent, daily basis, furnished, bogota". I never stay in hotels in colombia, I usually rent an apartment. Most colombians who travel, do rent apartments for a few days. I stayed in santa Barbara area.
See craigslist for colombia in vacation rental section. You will find deals.

AZB
 

dv8

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what about flights? i checked copa but the cheapest i could find was 860 dollars! does it get any better or is it as good as it gets?
 

edluv1

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might be cheaper if you fly to puerto rico, miami or fort lauderdale on on to bogota
 

dv8

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i do not have american visa, so PR or miami are a no no. i fly via panama maybe it it's cheaper...
 

Robert

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You are not going to find a cheap flight flying with either Avianca or COPA to Colombia.
The cheapest route is to go to Ft. Lauderdale (Spirit) then down to Bogota via Miami (various options).
As far as I'm aware this will require an overnight in Miami, so you will need to factor that into your costings, along with taxis, food etc.
 

Robert

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i do not have american visa, so PR or miami are a no no. i fly via panama maybe it it's cheaper...
No visa, then you have to use COPA via Panama or direct with Avianca to Bogota.
Look at their sites, you will see the pricing and can book online with them.
 

dv8

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boggles my brain that bogota is a short jump from DR but the flight is as costly as the one to europe...
 

windeguy

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boggles my brain that bogota is a short jump from DR but the flight is as costly as the one to europe...
It is all about supply and demand, or should I say the reverse in this case. I suspect not many people flying between the DR and Columbia so the routes are expensive because there are so few flights those providing the service can charge unreasonable "monopoly" level prices. Same problem trying to get to Chile from here.
 

John Boyter

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It is all about supply and demand, or should I say the reverse in this case. I suspect not many people flying between the DR and Columbia so the routes are expensive because there are so few flights those providing the service can charge unreasonable "monopoly" level prices. Same problem trying to get to Chile from here.
Where is it good to go from DR where flight is not to expensive and Dominicans dont need a visa.
 

tmnyc

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what about flights? i checked copa but the cheapest i could find was 860 dollars! does it get any better or is it as good as it gets?
good as it gets from Santo Domingo.. Avianca $855+. Mondays & Fridays are usually heavy travel dates.

Don't discount Chapinero Norte Alto, Los Rosales, and Chico- some up-and-coming trendy neighborhoods. These areas are the the southern boundries of North Bogota and still considered centrally located within easy reach of the colonial/museum/historical areas to the south and northern area like Santa Barbara.

Most of the "backpackers" are about four miles to the south, around Candelaria i.e. Hostels Platypus Carrera 3 No. 16; Hostel Sue Candelaria Carrera 3 No. 14; Hostal Fatima Calle 14 No. 2; Cranky Croc Hostel: Calle 15 No. 3; Hostel DN: Calle 11 No. 00; Hostel DN (Destino Nomad); Alegria's Hostel: Carrera 2 No. 9; Villa Candelaria Hostal Carrera 3 No. 15. These areas require care at night, but you can't beat the prices.

Don't think you find, currently, short term lodging (apartment) (and breakfast) for under $67 USD- as offered by the hotel in the previous post. COP @ 1914 to 1 USD. Look anyway, you might get lucky.
 
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AZB

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First of all, you will only get around 1780 pesos to a dollar. No one gives you the official rate. You can easily get an apartment for 50 dollars / day in bogota. I have done it and I can do it even cheaper in north section. Chapinero norte is a good place to hangout in the day time. Lots of restaurants and shopping. I would not live there though. I like quiet areas.
AZB
 

windeguy

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Where is it good to go from DR where flight is not to expensive and Dominicans dont need a visa.
John, I don't believe there is such a place, although there are threads about where Dominicans can go without visas, most are far away and/or rather uninteresting and we are trying to help DV8 complete a special mission. I think she has to pay the going rate for her trip to Colombia since there are no great deals from here.

I found this list by a quick search, not much to chose from and be careful to check it for accuracy:
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Countries You Can Travel Visa-Free With Dominican Citizenship
1-Argentina
2-Armenia
3-Bermuda
4-Cape Verde Islands
5-Chile
6-Colombia
7-Comores Islands
8-Cook Islands
9-Cuba
10-Dominica
11-Ecuador
12-Georgia (Visa on Arrival)
13-Hong Kong
14-Israel
15-Japan
16-South Korea
17-Macao (Visa on Arrival)
18-Madagascar (Visa on Arrival)
19-Malaysia
20-Maldives
21-Marshall Islands (Visa on Arrival)
22-Micronesia
23-Montserrat
24-Mozambique
25-Nicaragua
26-Niue
27-Palau Islands (Visa on Arrival)
28-Peru
29-Philippines
30-Samoa (Not American Samoa)
31-Seychelles
32-Singapore
33-Solomon Islands
34-St. Lucia
35-St. Vincent @ Grenadines
36-Tanzania (Visa on Arrival)
37-Timor Leste (Visa on Arrival)
38-Tunisia
39-Uganda (Visa on Arrival)
40-Uruguay
41-Venezuela
 

AZB

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$660 dollars RT copa leaving 21 oct , return 27th oct. santiago to panama to bogota.
check it out
 

tmnyc

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First of all, you will only get around 1780 pesos to a dollar. No one gives you the official rate.
AZB
Your'e right if you are changing cash (cambio). You will almost always get the best interbank exchange rate when buying foreign currency with ATM cards, which will usually be 2 to 7 percent better than the rates you'll get when exchanging cash or traveler's checks. My financial institution only charges 1% forex and rebates all ATM charges. I have used my cards (one has a 0% forex rate and the other 1%) at Citibank in Colombia and have got extremely close to the that day's interbank exchange rate. Of course one's mileage might vary depending on tourist exchange rates actually charged by some financial institutions, foreign exchange rate of 1-3%, and ATM fees (both banks- like in DR).
 
Feb 7, 2007
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US$725 with taxes

SDQ to BOG
LACSA (Grupo TACA)

Sept 23 - Sep 27

stops in SJO (San Juan Costa Rica)
retur stops in Medellin and SJO
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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thank you for all the tips, guys. all this colombia trip sucks, i tell you. not that i do not want to go there - i do, it would be a great holiday but we had so many unforseen costs lately and it will hurt to scrap 1500 dollars (rough estimate) for ticket, accomodation, food and so on...

the reason for colombia trip is only one: i need to renew my passport. but in reality i have two options. one is to pay through my nose for a spanking new 10 year passport. that requires a trip to bogota or at least, and i actually thought of it just today, to canada (cheaper, right?). second option is to get a temporary one year passport as i am assured the fingerprint machine will be coming to POP sometime next year and i will be able to apply for a passport here.

i am torn: spend now and just forget about all that or save now in hope for uncertain future while quietly spending travel money on clothes and shoes :)
in any case i had no vacations planned until summer next year so i do not need the passport all that much. but then, you can never know...

what would you do?
 

windeguy

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If it doesn't feel right don't do it. If you can get by with a temporary passport until you can get a permanent one locally in a year, then I would go that way. Why force the issue and feel uncomfortable about it?