I will officially name myself as a Packing Expert. Just kidding but finally, I have accomplished fitting all the right things in my carry-on and managed to travel with 8 kg for one month in Colombia. I also stopped by Copenhagen and Lisbon. So there were 4 different climates, only 8kg worth things in my bag. How I did that, I have no idea! All I know that it has taken me a while. With practice I suppose.
Packing to Colombia can be rather hard. You'd think that it's always warm there, just bring your bikini and you are good to go! Well, yes if you are only planning to visit the Caribbean coast, then certainly just pack some light summer outfits and rock your colourful dresses and blend into the streets of colourful Cartagena.
However, if you are doing the usual ''round the country'' trip, whether you decide to go to Bogota, Medellín or Amazonas.. this is where it get complicated.
Colombia is a huge country with totally different climates ranging from humid jungles to freezing mountains and dry deserts to semi dry coast. That's one of the reasons why Colombia is such an amazing place to travel! You can experience everything in a single country!
Cities like Bogota which are located in high elevations in the Andean mountain range can get quite freezing! Don't forget that it is very likely that it will rain in Bogota. Therefore make sure to bring your jacket and something to keep you warm at night as the temperatures can drop near zero.
If you want to blend in and you prefer not to having a neon billboard pointing at you and saying ''tourist!'' on the streets in cities like Cali, Bogota and Medellin - wear jeans. That's the most basic outfit that the locals also use. You might not get as much attention that way.
If you are planning on visiting Amazonas, make sure you have all the vaccinations needed and that you have long pants and a shirt with sleeves as the mosquitos are hungry! There are mosquitos also on the coast and there's nothing more annoying than waking up in the middle of the night in your hostel room and finding out that the little b*****ds have made your legs look like a battlefield.
As Colombia is located very near the equator it means that the sun is shining straight upfront, therefore the sun is very tough and ruthless whether it feels hot or not. So don't forget to protect your skin. Most bigger supermarkets have sunscreen if you run out!
If you are planning a trip to Colombia you will most likely explore the beautiful nature. Therefore make sure to pack your sports clothes with you so you can fully enjoy the view! If you are entering one of the national parks, make sure to find out if you need to show your passport (or copy) upon entrance, as sometimes you won't be able to enter without it. ( For example, Tayrona)
If you are exploring the Caribbean coast of Colombia; this is your excuse to use all of your cutest summer dresses and rompers! It's hot and humid so bring clothes that are comfortable! I'd advise leaving your jewellery home as they are uncomfortable in the heat, also you will be more safe if you don't have anything too shiny and expensive with you! :)
Bring your photography gear! Just be careful and keep your gear out of sight when not in use.
If you don't master the Spanish language, it's okay, but I highly recommend bringing a small pocket dictionary as not many Colombians know English. If you learn some of the basic phrases you'll be less likely to be scammed as well. Plus isn't Spanish just like the most beautiful language in the world?
If you are planning to eat in restaurants or taste the amazing street food, a good way to take care of your hygiene is to carry a mini hand sanitizer with you so when you don't have a chance to wash your hands you can kill the germs with it! Luckily Colombia is a rather clean country and it's not very likely that you'd get sick!
If you are also planning to continue your adventures to Peru, make sure to check my packing list to Peru as well!