13th Country Together Traveling To Colombia from San Antonio
After 1 year 9 months, we’ve made it to our 13th country together traveling to Colombia from San Antonio.
This travel lifestyle is a ton of fun, but there’s some parts that will have you scratching your head (like travel visas, exchange rates and different languages). But, in my opinion, those parts of uncertainty outweigh living by someone else’s schedule.
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When you want to BE where you want, when you want with your Adventure Partner, it’s well worth the time it takes to put together a fun business online. The result is being truly in charge of your TIME – this is the most expensive & valuable, non-renewable resource on earth.
Let’s explore what it takes to travel to Bogota, the Capital City of Colombia, from San Antonio, Texas.
NOTE: This blog post is meant for entertainment purposes & as a guide. Things change between countries & with travel visas CONSTANTLY. As a result, we always recommend consulting your government’s travel websites for the most up-to-date info. BE Adventure Partners and their representatives cannot be held liable for the information here being complete as everyone’s experiences are different.
Traveling To Bogota Colombia
We love to take trains, planes, automobiles, and all sorts of different transportation. For this particular trip to Bogota from San Antonio, we decided the best way to get there, in the least amount of time, would be to fly!
The search started with seeing which airlines flew to Colombia from San Antonio with the LEAST amount of connecting flights. Consequently, we ended up flying with InterJet because they had the best rate, with the shortest flight time & plenty of layover time to get through Customs in Mexico City.
New Travel Carry On Bag = Huge Win!
On this trip, we got to use our new Osprey Sojourn 45L rolly-bag-backpacks, which turned out to be really nice. No longer having to slug packs on our backs is the way to go!
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As we checked in to our InterJet flight at the San Antonio International Airport, we were a little overweight on our carry on bags (about 4 kg each!). Luckily, the InterJet agent said that she’s been to Colombia and let us slide!
Passing through security was a breeze! Normally we would have to take out all our liquids for inspection, but I think because of how the Osprey Sojourn is laid out, it made it really easy for the scanner machine to identify the quantity.
I’m going to have to chalk that up as a huge win on both parts!
Longer Layover In Mexico City
Besides being all in Spanish, arriving in Mexico City for a 6-hour layover sounds like a headache. In reality, a layover that long, specifically in Mexico City on our way to Colombia, is well worth the time, and here’s why…
When arriving in Mexico City from an international destination, you will have to pass through Mexico’s customs.
No kidding! As an American & Canadian traveling together, we were both granted 180-day travel visa for a 6-hour layover.
Getting through Mexico’s customs can BE quick, or it can take a few hours, depending on how busy the airport is that day. Luckily for us, it only took about an hour to walk from the plane to customs, and then to wait in line.
We didn’t necessarily need the full 6-hours to get through, but that amount of time gave us peace of mind that we would get through without an issue.
What we DID do with our remaining 5 hours was finished writing a blog post and editing a video for YouTube! SCORE! Got it done, uploaded, scheduled and ready for you to view!
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Do Canadians & Americans Need A Travel Visa To Visit Colombia?
On arrival to Colombia, there are THREE lines to get through Colombian customs.
- Line #1 is for Colombians
- Line #2 is for Foreigners
- Line #3 is for Canadians
These lines are actually colored (not numbered), and I can’t remember all the colors… I do know that the “Foreigners” line was green though.
While we were checking in through customs, they asked the usual questions…
- Why are you here?
- How long will you be here?
- What’s the address of where you’re staying?
- What do you do for work?
Not being the BEST at speaking Spanish, we definitely played up the fact that we don’t speak it well, and, of course, I added in a nice draw on my Texan accent just to seal in that fact!
Colombia grants US & Canadian citizens a tourist visa upon entering up to 90 days. Now, this could change because some places we read said it was 60 days for US citizens and 90 days for Canadians.
For us, it ended up being a solid 90 days on our travel visa stamp! It was great that we didn’t have to apply for the visa in advance (or we would have probably gone to a different country!) I’m sure at some point, we’ll run out of countries that grant tourist visas upon entering and we’ll have to break down to apply in advance.
What Is The Canadian Reciprocity Fee?
Not seeing that there was a line specifically for Canadians (until the customs agent pointed it out), Erin came with me through the foreigner line (because, we’re both foreigners…) The customs agent simply made her go to the Canadian entry window.
What’s crazy is that, Erin, my sweet Canadian Adventure Partner, was charged COP $201,000 ($84.41 CAD) Canadian Reciprocity Fee to enter Colombia (COP means Colombian Peso).
This is printed on the Platinum Card:
This fee is levied by the Colombian government on Canadian citizens in reciprocity to the charge for biometric data collection imposed by the Canadian government on Colombian citizens in addition to the cost for applying for a Canadian visa.
After doing some research, we found that in 2013 Canada imposed an $85 CAD fee on 29 countries to collect biometric data on travelers & immigrants, reported by The Star.
Colombia followed up this fee by imposing their own reciprocity fee in 2014 on Canadian Passport Holders wishing to visit, The Bogota Post reported. This was said to be a sort of “tit-for-tat” move.
Whoever would have thought traveling to Bogota Colombia would be such an experience!?
We’re excited about the new experiences to come & invite you to follow our journey on YouTube so that you can see the vlog films we create, chronicling our lives. You’ll also learn how we’re able to do this, and what you could do to make it a reality for you too!
We’re super happy that Colombia is our 13th country together! And for all the other travelers out there who are trying to cram in as many countries in as little amount of time… best wishes to you!
Both Erin & I feel like to BE a traveler, you’ve gotta take it slow! Enjoy the places you go. Spend time to get to know some locals & experience their weekly events like farmer’s markets and festivals.
If you’ve never been to Colombia, we highly recommend it! Albeit, we’ve just landed in Bogota… Keep tuned in because we’re going to document our adventures, the cities we visit and the experiences we go on so that YOU can live vicariously through us until you are able to do it for yourself!
We travel full-time because we built our little business online. You don’t have to BE a millionaire to live like a millionaire!
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Brian Garcia + Erin Nicole Bick are full-time location independent, online business owners. Brian’s background is in firefighting, digital + photographic imaging, and web development. Erin’s background is in professional hairstyling, social intuition, personal development, creative writing, and brand identity development. Together, they create eCourses, high-end online business development coaching, and social media marketing strategies. They go by… BE Adventure Partners!
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