ARE YOU THINKING OF TRAVELING TO COLOMBIA? LET US TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT!
Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America, privileged for its location between the Amazon rainforest and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, while bordering another interesting country to visit, Panama. Its privileged position, its biodiversity and the great climatic variety make it a natural paradise for volunteers. Finally, we cannot fail to mention its various regions that make it even more impressive and beautiful.
REGIONS OF COLOMBIA
The Andean Region, one of the centers of the coffee triangle, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011. It’s the most populated region of Colombia, located between the Central, Eastern and Western mountain ranges. Another attraction is the Amazon Region, which is the home to an extensive diversity of vegetation and fauna, and is well known worldwide. Its main tourist attractions go hand in hand with the majesty of its nature.
With cities like Cartagena, Santa Marta and Barranquilla, the Caribbean Region doesn’t stay far behind. It offers beautiful beaches and valleys of the rivers Magdalena and Cesar, where you will find spectacular and unique landscapes. Travelling to Colombia and especially to the Colombian Caribbean offers an overwhelming experience of getting to know the culture of the country and its people.
Colombia is an adventure and experience that you should live for yourself. Each of the country’s regions is so different from the other and wherever you go, you will find very different cultures and customs. And all this makes Colombia a truly authentic place.
With so much beauty, there are also many difficulties and much poverty in Colombia. In its towns and coastal cities, high rates of poverty and low quality of life are apparent. There is also lack of basic services such as healthcare, drinking water and electricity. Not to mention the violence that has affected many Colombian communities, causing the majority of their populations to leave, with family members never returning, and creating painful memories that are difficult to forget.
We invite you to be part of this experience through an international volunteer program in Colombia. You will have the opportunity to get to know for yourself the Colombian people and their way of living. We are waiting for you!
This is general information, you will find specific information on each project in its section. Depending on each program, different information will be included and there will be different arrival and cooperation timetables.
PROGRAMS IN CARTAGENA
Help us to generate a change in the living conditions of our children and young people through education. All the experiences that children live in childhood influence their growth and behavior.
You can participate all year round in the following volunteer programs in Cartagena, Colombia:
- Productive Patios
- Culture and sport
Volunteer programs run from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Only in the culture and sports program volunteers attend classes in the afternoon, these run from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.
Volunteers usually work approximately 6 hours a day. On the weekends, you will be free to discover the country.
Depending on the location of the center where your chosen volunteer program takes place, you will stay in:
- Hostel in Getsemaní available for volunteers (depending on availability), with a kitchen to use.
- A host family selected by the organisation.
To get to some of the program areas, you won’t need to take public transport, but there are other project locations that do require you to travel by bus or taxi. The cost of transport to the project is included in the cost of the volunteer program.
It’s important to bear in mind that in the accommodation you will share rooms with other volunteers.
If you want to join us, no specific training is necessary in most case. It’s only required that you are:
- Of legal age.
- Available for various jobs.
- A participative and committed person.
- Respectful of the people who work in the project and the local community.
- Aware of the culture and customs of the country.
- Able to work in a team.
To participate in our volunteer programs, you must provide the following additional information:
- One passport-size photo
- Passport photocopy
- Criminal record certificate
- Immunization record
- Return flight confirmation
The cost of the volunteer programs in Cartagena, Colombia, starts at €460 for 2 weeks.
WHAT’S INCLUDED ?
- Airport pick-up
- Bed and breakfast, depending on the type of accommodation
- Transport to the project
- Orientation and induction to the program and country
- 24/7 support from the Adventure Volunteer team
- Monitoring and evaluation of the program
- Certificate of participation
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Flight to Colombia
- Return to the airport on the last day
- Trips inside or outside the country
- A mandatory travel medical insurance
ARRIVAL AT YOUR DESTINATION
Our volunteer programs in Colombia are located in Cartagena de Indias or the ”Caribbean Pearl” as it’s usually called. This city is located in the north of Colombia, on the shore of the Caribbean Sea.
If you’re volunteering with Adventure Volunteer in Cartagena, Colombia, we will pick you up from the airport. The responsible coordinator will be waiting for you and will take you to the volunteer hostel or family house, depending on the chosen program.
You must bear in mind that in the case of international flights, the city of Cartagena de Indias has connectivity with the following destinations: New York, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. If you are already in Colombia and want to go to Cartagena, at a local level you have the following departure points: Bogota, Medellin, San Andres and Bucaramanga.
You will be given an orientation day, during which you will be told the basic rules of the place where you are staying and where your accommodation is located. The responsible coordinator will also explain everything about the volunteer project that you will take part in.
Tips for traveling to Cartagena de Indias
This information has been very useful for our volunteers before their trip:
Documentation and visa: If you are travelling from Spain and you are going to stay for less than 3 months, you don’t need a visa. But remember that you will be asked to present your passport.
Vaccinations: They aren’t obligatory and at the moment you don’t have to get any special vaccinations.
Security: Cartagena is a safe city. We always recommend staying around the areas of the Walled City, Bocagrande, Castillogrande, Getsemaní and Laguito. In either case, you should avoid going to remote areas.
If you want to get lost in the streets and corners of a colonial city and feel as if you were in two places at once, then you should definitely visit Cartagena de Indias.
One of the best times to visit Colombia is from December to April, when you will find temperatures between 28 and 31 ºC.
May to November is considered the rainy season, but the temperatures are the same, just with cooler nights.
The official currency in Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP). You will be able to exchange currencies in almost all tourist places (Bocagrande, Ciudad Amurallada). €1 is around 3600 Colombian pesos.
You can also exchange money before coming or withdraw by credit card at the airport in Cartagena.
You can find cheaper flights if you use search engines such as Google flights or Skyscanner. Rember to arrive in the country on a weekend to start your project on Monday. Pick-up times from the airport are from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.
A unique and fascinating place where you can travel with family, friends, a partner or alone. It’s an interesting destination, not only because of its walls but also because it’s a place that witnessed great historical moments such as: prowess of independence, confrontations and lootings.
Once inside, you will be surprised by all the things you can see. Here are some of the places you can visit within the Walled City:
- La Plaza de la Aduana: You can see different historical buildings, such as the one that the founder of the city, Don Pedro de Heredia, lived in. You can also see the statue of Christopher Columbus in the central part of the square and the House of the Marqués del Premio Real.
- Palace of the Inquisition: Here you will find an exposition of instruments that were used to torture people that were considered a danger to the society, which was a common practice at that time.
- Churches: Among the ones you can visit are the convent of San Pedro Claver, the church La Trinidad, Santo Toribio, La Ermita del Cabrero.
All you have to do is walk through the clock entrance and you come across this wonderful neighbourhood, full of life and colour. Here you will find a variety of inexpensive hostels and restaurants with a good atmosphere. The neighborhood is safe, with humble and hardworking people, and many small businesses. It’s the perfect place to meet the people of Cartagena, and to taste and live the true essence of the city.
Depending on the area, you can easily visit the beaches of El Laguito and Castillogrande that are possibly the most popular in the city.
These islands offer some truly beautiful quiet beaches and the possibility of doing many activities during the day. The beach of Baru is one of the most beautiful and the one of Isla Grande one of the quietest. To get to these beaches, you can buy a tourist package. The packages are offered from one to several days and usually include transportation (round trip), meals, accommodation (in case you go for longer than a day), and tours to other islands.
WHERE CAN I EAT FOOD TYPICAL OF CARTAGENA?
Within the walled city you can find the popular El Portón de San Sebastián and Az-zahr restaurants. However, you can find many other places that offer typical Colombian food cheaply. There are also many Italian and fast food restaurants.
If you go to Getsemaní, you will find cheaper places to eat, for about 4 euros per set menu. Local restaurants are more modest, but they’re the best places to interact with the people of the city.
A good typical dish usually includes salad and soup, meat or fish with coconut rice, potatoes, beans or lentils, and a delicious juice.
So, make sure you try the great natural fruit juices and meat skewers from the street stalls outside the walls. In the beach area you can choose between expensive restaurants and grilled fish from the beach bars, however, we would recommend the latter.
WHERE CAN I PARTY?
We’ve already told you how beautiful the city is, but there are a few more places left. The safest places to go out at night are within the Walled City and Getsemaní.
If you like salsa, the Café del Mar and the Café Havana are perfect for you. For a slightly different night, La Movida is an exclusive place that is a bit more expensive.
A place with great atmosphere during the week is Tu Candela, the music is varied and it’s one of the few places that opens until late even on weekdays. There’s also Mister Babilla, a good place to go in a group of friends, where you will listen to local music such as vallenatos, salsa, reguetón and of course the champet.
- From the moment you fill out the registration form for a program in Colombia, your place will be reserved for 7 days.
- To confirm your place definitively, you must pay a deposit of €150 within these 7 days. Once the deposit is paid, your place will be guaranteed and you will formally become part of the Adventure Volunteer family.
- As soon as you pay the program deposit, we will send you an email to confirm that your place is guaranteed. After that, you will receive another email with more additional information explaining everything you need to know to prepare your trip correctly. The rest of the payment is made one month before your incorporation to the project.