October 2020 - Colombia Mice

28 Exhibitions in Colombia You Should Attend

Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. We are located in Bogota, Colombia. We are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions.

Exhibitions of all kinds are held in Colombia all year round. Perhaps you belong to the tourism, fashion, technology, or maybe the construction sector and want to know which is the ideal trade show to showcase your products and services? Read on.

Following, you will find a chronological list of the main exhibitions in Colombia for different sectors of the economy.

Note: Attending an exhibition in Colombia might be a striking experience – culturally speaking. So, we’ve written an article on the Do’s and Don’ts as an exhibition visitor to guide you through it.

Exhibitions in Colombia in January

COLOMBIATEX de las Américas

City Medellín
Venue Plaza Mayor Medellín Convenciones y Exposiciones
Organizer Inexmoda
Sector Fashion – Textile

COLOMBIATEX is an international trade show for the fashion industry, where textiles, design, and supplies are the center of attention. It is organized by the Institute for Exports and Fashion (Inexmoda).

The fair has been growing considerably, 2020’s version had 21 participant countries, over 500 exhibitors, and a business expectation of over 750 USD million. For 2021, the event will take place through physical and virtual platforms.


Date January and August
City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias
Sector Leather

The International Footwear and Leather Show – IFLS occurs twice a year combined with the International Exhibition of Leather Supplies, Machines and Technologies – EICI. They are the largest business platform in Colombia and the Andean Region where manufacturers, buyers, designers, and suppliers of the leather sector gather and share trends.

There you can find all kinds of footwear, clothing, and travel items made of leather. Also, connect with its manufacturers, designers, and suppliers of materials, machines, and other technological devices key to the sector. The program includes fashion shows and conferences too.

Exhibitions in Colombia in February


Frequency Every 2 years.
City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Koelnmesse, Corferias
Sector Wood and furniture

INTERZUM was first known as the Furniture & Wood Fair. This is a trade show that exhibits machinery, supplies, and services for the industries of wood transformation and furniture manufacturing of Colombia, the Andean region, and Central America.

The 14th edition had over 13,400 professional visitors, 100 national companies, and 92 international companies, closing with business expectations of 13 USD million. INTERZUM Bogotá offers great opportunities to enter this high-potential market.

Vitrina Turística ANATO

City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Anato, Corferias
Sector Tourism – Travel

Vitrina Turística Anato is the most important event in the tourism industry in Colombia since 1982 and takes place every year in February. The Colombian Association of Travel Agencies and Tourism is in charge of its organization and the event is targeted at professional visitors (businesspeople in the sector), not the general public.

Here, the biggest companies including hotels, travel agencies, and tour operators, showcase their products while other smaller providers and local delegations make the visitors fall in love with their regional destinations.

In 2020, there were 35 countries, all 32 Colombian departments, and 16 Heritage Towns of Colombia involved for a total of 3,400 exhibitors and 42,000 participants. For the 40th version, in 2021, this will be a key setting to reactivate business in the sector, connect with providers from all Colombia and the invited countries, and transition to more sustainable tourism.

Exhibitions in Colombia in March


City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Federación Odontológica Colombiana, Corferias
Sector Dental

Odontotech is a specialized fair that takes place within the (larger) Meditech Fair.

There you can find the main national companies and representatives of the leading brands in the dental industry nationally and globally to build valuable business connections. It offers the possibility to discover the latest innovations in products and services on dental technology. Therefore, the event is targeted at administrative, financial, and sales managers from dental clinics and other professionals on dental health, as well as international buyers from Latin America.

Meditech – Feria Internacional de la Salud

City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer ACHC, Corferias
Sector Medicine

The International Health Fair – Meditech, has been organized for 7 years by the Colombian Association of Hospitals and Clinics – ACHC, and Corferias. It is the business hub for the health sector in Latin America and its public is highly specialized, with decision-making power, thus facilitating the closing of business deals and networking.

2021 brings a new international partner – Messe Dusseldorf, which is the organizer of the leading health fair Medica. Meditech 2021 “Powered by Medica” is the opportunity to keep up to date with the innovations and trends on medical technology, do business, and connect with the main actors in the industry.


Frequency Every 2 years.
City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Koelnmesse GmbH, Corferias
Sector Food – Hospitality

Alimentec has become the top platform for the food-restoration and hospitality industry in the Andean region, the Caribbean, and Latin America. This event is ideal to showcase several products and services related to gastronomy and seek business opportunities with leading enterprises.

Segments of the fair go from meats and dairy to bakery, frozen goods, organic products, and drinks. In its last edition, Alimentec had a total of 449 companies from 30 countries, as well as 28,400 professional visitors – who obtained solutions and got to know market news and sector trends from its participation.

Exhibitions in Colombia in April

Feria Internacional del Medio Ambiente – FIMA

Frequency Every 2 years.
City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias
Sector Environment – Sustainability

The International Environmental Fair is a referent platform promoting sustainability and environmental care in today’s society.

What you can find here is an exhibition of environmental products and services aimed at the productive sector, but the event serves as a meeting point between different actors of the productive chain. The participant sectors are the industries of energy, water treatment, air and climate protection, biodiversity, waste management, the public entities and corporations, the academic sector, international organizations, private companies with environmental projects, among others.

Today, FIMA is the main platform for the dissemination of high-impact environmental programs and projects. Also, it is the most important center for commercial, technological, specialized service, and academic transactions in the region on the sustainability matter.

GAT Expo

City Cartagena
Venue Centro de Convenciones Cartagena de Indias
Organizer 3A Producciones
Sector Gaming – Technology

The Gaming & Technology Expo brings modernity to the classic city of Cartagena every year. Formerly known as FADJA, the GAT Expo now expands to the world of technology as it is what drives innovation to the gaming industry. It is the greatest meeting for global trade between manufacturers, suppliers, national operators, foreigners, and associations.

Platforms, software, cybersecurity, online betting and games, e-sports, and more can be found at this fair. The academic agenda, institutional events, and networking opportunity are other attractions of the GAT Expo. And Colombia, currently with 2,500,000 active online players, is the best location for an event of this level.

Exhibitions in Colombia in May

Feria Internacional del Libro – FILBO

Date Late April – early May
City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias
Sector Literature – Culture

Bogota’s International Book Fair is one of the most famous exhibitions in the country and Latin America. It revolves around literature and culture and is an amazing experience for both visitors and exhibitors. Every year starting 33 years ago, this fair gathers every actor in the book chain: authors, editors, proofreaders, translators, distributors, agents, and booksellers.

This is the place to discover all the stories from all of Colombia, but also from around the world since there are always international guests. And apart from the commercial exhibition of books and related products, there is a complete academic and cultural agenda that keeps the dynamism of the event.

This year’s fair was held virtually and you can find an online book offer on the webpage.

Expoconstrucción & Expodiseño

Frequency Every 2 years
City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias
Sector Architecture – Design

Expoconstrucción & Expodiseño is an international fair promoting the development of the construction, architecture, infrastructure, and design sectors in the region.

2019’s version brought together 57,000 visitors and more than 500 national and international exhibitors, who presented the latest trends in materials, machinery, equipment, tools, and services, as well as issues related to productivity and sustainable development in the country. Business expectations reached over 65 USD million. Because of that, this exhibition is one of the most important settings for knowledge, innovation, and technology for the sector.


Frequency Every 2 years
City Bogotá
Venue Sheraton Bogotá
Organizer Sofex Americas Ltda
Sector Logistics and Transportation Engineering

Andinatraffic is an international trade show about transit and transportation technologies. In its 2019 edition, there were over 1,200 participants, nearly 90 exhibitors, and 20 countries from America, Europe, and Asia.

Throughout its 10 years of existence, the fair allows an exchange of knowledge and contacts since different recognized businesses and brands of the sector participate and there are courses, conferences, and workshops by international experts.

Exhibitions in Colombia in June


City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Cámara Colombiana de la Confección y Afines, Corferias
Sector Textiles – Clothing

Createx is the most relevant platform for knowledge and products-services offer in the national textile and clothing industry. It gathers the best business specialized in textiles, supplies, machinery, technology, and services of the sector and allows them to improve their presence in the market and analyze competitors.

Last version, over 90 brands attended as exhibitors and 8,400 people visited. There are networking spaces, an academic agenda, a program for showing new trends, and a space for a fashion showcase.

Comic-Con Colombia

Date June (BOG) / December (MED)
City Bogotá – Medellín
Venue Corferias Convention Center (BOG) – Plaza Mayor (MED)
Organizer Planet Comics, Corferias
Sector Culture – Entertainment

The famous pop culture convention held in many cities in the world also takes place every year in Colombia. With 2 versions, one in Bogota and the other in Medellin, thousands of people gather to enjoy scenic arts, dance, music, cosplay, anime, literature, and gaming. This is a great platform for pop culture lovers to showcase their talents and connect with others.

Comic-Con involves the participation of the main film and TV studios, videogames, and editorials so it is also an advertising platform for these businesses. Commercial stands, academic talks, product launches, and special guests make part of the largest entertainment exhibition in Colombia and the world.

Exhibitions in Colombia in July

Colombia Moda

City Medellín
Venue Plaza Mayor Medellín Convenciones y Exposiciones
Organizer Inexmoda
Sector Fashion

Colombiamoda is Colombia’s fashion week and takes place every year in the city of Medellín. The organizer – Inexmoda, is a private organization that aims at supporting and promoting the fashion industry of Colombia to the rest of the world.

Colombiamoda showcases fashion and garment from Colombian designers and brands and it is actually the most important fashion show in Latin America! The 570 brands exhibiting and 25 runways throughout the 3 days of the event confirm that. The public has direct access to the selling brands but also specialized buyers from Colombia and abroad (wholesalers, distributors, etc.) have a VIP space for doing business. Lectures and workshops are also available.

If you work in the fashion industry, you cannot miss Colombiamoda.

Agroexpo Bogotá

Frequency Every 2 years
City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias
Sector Agriculture

Agroexpo is Bogota’s international fair of the cattle and agricultural industry. With 42 years of history, it has reached international recognition, especially in Central America and the Caribbean.

Every region of Colombia gets to showcase their best cattle and other animals, and products to the rest of the world. Guest countries present the latest trends in machinery and technology for agriculture, and experts open spaces for academic discussion. It is also an opportunity for networking and doing business internationally.

F-Air Colombia

Frequency Every 2 years
City Rionegro, Medellín
Organizer Aeronáutica Civil de Colombia, Fuerza Aérea Colombiana
Sector Aeronautics

Colombia is a leading country in aeronautics in the region, so F-Air is the trade show that promotes opportunities to create new business connections and present updates in the civil and defense air sector. Apart from networking and commercial exhibition, there is an academic agenda, aircrafts exhibitions, and air shows for the public.

Guest exhibitors from all over the world enrich this event that seeks the development of the national aeronautic and aerospace industry.

Exhibitions in Colombia in August


City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Andigraf, Corferias
Sector Graphic design – Printing

Andigráfica is the meeting point and business center of the graphic industry in Latin America. Here, the latest trends and solutions on machinery and equipment, supplies, digital animation, design, advertising, and printing are presented. The future of the industry is 3D printing, augmented reality, and other technological innovations that many business models are already implementing.

With over 150 exhibitors and 15,000 professional visitors, this fair connects all the actors in the productive chain. At Andigráfica, visitors can do business, exchange knowledge, make contacts, present trends, and strengthen their products and services.

Gran Salón Inmobiliario

City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias, Lonja de Bogotá
Sector Real Estate – Investors

The Gran Salon Inmobiliario is the most complete trade show of the sector in Colombia. This event brings together in one place the most representative national and international construction, development, real estate, and urbanization companies. These have an attractive and wide range of investment projects in residential, office, hotel, commercial, and industrial real estate assets, both national and international.

Lectures, auctions, financial advice, and more can be found in this exhibition targeted at strategic investors.

Exhibitions in Colombia in September


City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias
Sector Security

The International Security Fair ESS+ is the largest business and exhibition platform in the Latin American region of the sector. It has 4 segments: security, cybersecurity, fire safety, and work safety. Annually, leading companies in security solutions exhibit innovations to face the challenges in technology and design.

The purpose of this trade show is to promote investment in security in the countries of the region which have a high population density and are a relevant market for manufacturers and distributors. The value offered at ESS+ is the possibility to connect with leaders and experts of the industry, establish alliances, and do business.


City Cartagena
Venue Cartagena de Indias Convention Center
Organizer Cintel
Sector ICT

ANDICOM is the international congress of Information and Communication Technologies that brings together the main actors of the industry in the Caribbean city of Cartagena. 2020’s edition was virtual though, taking advantage of the digital technologies.

This trade show includes a commercial exhibition, an academic agenda presenting the latest technological solutions for the current context, and different networking activities.

Belleza y Salud

City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias
Sector Cosmetics – Personal care

The international showcase for esthetics and health in Bogota attracts over 68,000 visitors and professionals in the sector such as cosmetologists, beauticians, therapists, and hairdressers from the region. What is especially attractive about this show are the competitions in different categories where these professionals test their abilities. Among them, barbering, hairdressing, makeup, nail art, and fitness.

About 450 national and international exhibitors present new brands, business models, and innovative products and technologies for health and cosmetics. Congresses, workshops, shows, and experiential zones also make part of the fair.

Exhibitions in Colombia in October


City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá
Sector Arts

Bogota’s International Art Fair – ARTBO, annually calls galleries, curators, artists, and the public from all over the world to participate in one of the most important showcases of plastic and visual arts in Colombia. The main section displays the best-ranked galleries, but also there are platforms for emerging local artists and discussion forums about contemporary arts.

This event mainly attempts to promote Bogotá as a destination for culture and business, but also to generate spaces for commercial networking, cultural exchange, research, and dissemination of the local artistic offer.

During October, various cultural events take place in the capital of Colombia, ARTBO being the central axis. This is why it is considered one of the must-see events in the art circuit worldwide.

Cafés de Colombia Expo

City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Federación Nacional de Cafeteros, Corferias
Sector Coffee – Food processing

Cafés de Colombia Expo is the most important specialty coffee trade show in Colombia and Latin America. It integrates the entire coffee value chain and offers a scene to display and promote market trends and innovations nationally and globally.

This fair welcomes coffee farmers, unions, exporters, machinery and supplies producers and distributors, support entities, and certifiers, all related to the coffee industry. It has academic, commercial, and cultural activities that allow establishing new valuable connections, business agreements, and exchange knowledge.


Frequency Every 2 years
City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Asocolflores, Corferias
Sector Floriculture

Proflora is one of the largest fairs for the floriculture industry worldwide. It is held every 2 years in Colombia – the world’s second-largest exporter of flowers, after the Netherlands. The country is also the world’s largest exporter of carnations and the US’s first supplier.

Exhibiting a portfolio of over 1,600 flower varieties, Proflora attracts more than 1,000 international buyers and 7,000 general visitors during its 3 days. Activities include visits to flower farms in Bogota’s surroundings, exhibitions, talks, and a fun official closing reception.

Exhibitions in Colombia in November


City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Koelnmesse, Corferias
Sector Packaging

Andinapack is the international trade show of the packaging industry. It showcases products, equipment, and services related to packaging and cutting-edge technology for food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, personal hygiene, printing and labeling, and agribusiness industries.

The fair attracts the biggest buyer groups of the mentioned industries and serves as their main platform for networking and keeping up to date with the innovations and trends in the Latin American region.


City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Federación Nacional de Cacaoteros, Corferias
Sector Chocolate – Food processing

Chocoshow is a scene for the visibility, experience, and knowledge of the cocoa and chocolate subsector in Colombia. It is a great chance for local and international brands to get closer to the end consumer and stay informed about the trends and developments in the industry.

During the 3 days of the fair, about 17,000 visitors enjoy the Colombian chocolate experience provided by hundreds of exhibitors. This comprehends cacao tasting, activities for children, conferences, workshops, and even a chocolate fashion show!

Exhibitions in Colombia in December


City Bogotá
Venue Corferias Convention Center
Organizer Corferias
Sector Handicrafts – Culture

Expoartesanías is Colombia’s largest handicrafts fair and takes place during the first weeks of December in Bogotá. Visitors can discover the great artisan richness of the country made up of different regional traditions in one place. And not only discover but experience the traditions.

This trade show seeks to help local artisans reach wider markets, nationally and internationally. However, foreign exhibitors (artisans, public and private organizations representatives, and NGOs) are also welcomed to showcase their products as long as they involve crafts and traditional techniques of the country of origin.


If you didn’t find an exhibition for your industry, contact us and we’ll find the perfect trade show for you.

What is Corporate Volunteering+ Great Programs in Colombia

Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. We are located in Bogota, Colombia. We are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions.

Companies, big or small, have an impact on society. Essentially, people fund enterprises whether to solve a particular necessity in their region or to offer innovative products that make human life easier. Right? But sometimes they focus on generating profits and what’s behind it gets often forgotten.

Good news: Businesses can increase their impact through volunteering! Whatever their sector is, they can contribute positively to their communities and countries.

What is Corporate Volunteering?

This is the kind of volunteering supported by companies in which the action of employees (volunteers) represents a great contribution to social problems as they transmit their professional knowledge. It can also mean their commitment to solving specific issues inside the non-profit organization, based on the company’s expertise.

Important to clarify is that corporate volunteering is a program regulated within the company and there usually is a policy that states how much paid time off employees have per year to indulge in social work. Remember, some of your employees volunteering in a charity on weekends is a whole different thing.

So, why volunteering?

Volunteering is an excellent way to strengthen key skills within companies such as teamwork and problem-solving. And when the top management gets involved in these activities, volunteer employees show greater satisfaction and commitment to society and the company.

From this perspective, corporate volunteering has a triple impact.

Companies win. Employees become more committed, the work environment improves and so does the company’s internal and external reputation. As a result, business performance increases while the company understands different realities and leaves a positive impact on society.

Employees win. Employees develop personal satisfaction as they feel important as to have a role in a cause leading to sustainable development. And, at the same time, they get to develop or strengthen their communication, leadership, and teamwork skills, their empathy, innovation, creativity, flexibility, and many more qualities.

Society wins. Many people are benefited from the collaboration that different NGOs and institutions get from committed and capable people in several action fields.

Everybody wins!

Corporate volunteering is evolving from giving economic contributions and donations to actively participating in and committing to social causes, involving intellectual or interpersonal skills. The idea is volunteers are increasingly aware of their contribution and, at the same time, get trained on how to donate their time, knowledge, and experience to organizations.

Volunteering during the pandemic

The landscape of corporate social work is changing due to Covid-19. A study made by Osmia – an organization promoting volunteering in Latin America, to 128 big companies from 10 Latin American countries, revealed that 80% of volunteering projects changed to virtual modalities during 2020.

In the words of Verónica Aftalion, a senior consultant on corporate social responsibility and sustainability:

“If the role of volunteering was already important for society, it becomes much more relevant in the current context. In this regard, technology offers us opportunities for volunteers to remain agents of positive change in society”.

But how could you volunteer online?

  • Donations: Some groups of employees have reunited efforts to donate equipment for health workers or products of the basic market basket for people in need because of the lockdown measures.
  • Telephone support: Depending on the interests of your team, you could be of help and emotional support to elders or ill people who live alone, or all of those who have been negatively impacted by the quarantine.
  • Online scholar support: You could also help children from foundations to understand better certain topics and teach them new interesting stuff.
  • Online mentoring: Sharing your professional knowledge to entrepreneurs, small companies, or social organizations as a team is a great opportunity. They’ll learn – and you too!

Corporate Volunteering in Colombia

Although helping others can take many forms and means, in-person experiences are preferred overall because interacting face-to-face tends to feel more enriching and rewarding. And choosing the destination for volunteering can be hard, there are so many variables to filter from. But whatever you are looking for, Colombia may be the right choice for you.

Colombia is a country almost twice the size of Texas, with 32 departments, 50 million people, and the second-largest biodiversity in the world. But it also has a vulnerable economy and society due to inequality, corruption, violence, among other issues. Despite that, Colombians are extremely hard-working, joyful, and supportive people who fight for overcoming difficulties and achieve fair development every day.

This is why volunteering in Colombia is special. And here you can find immense opportunities in several cities with different environmental, economic, social, and cultural backgrounds.

The corporate volunteering market in Colombia is experiencing significant growth and each time more businesses – national and international, engage in social activities to empower local communities and help conserve the ecosystems.

The first corporate volunteer study in Colombia was carried out by the Foundation Dividendo por Colombia – United Way in 2017 and 40 of the biggest local companies participated. As an interesting founding, women are leading the way in this field. 65% of volunteers and 77% of volunteering program coordinators were women. So, these programs are a starting point for developing gender equity within national companies.

Now, let’s get to the point. What kind of programs or action fields can businesses find in Colombia for volunteering?

Education volunteering programs in Colombia

Most of the programs of foundations in Colombia are focused on education. And this is because there is a huge education breach in the country which means children living in rural and remote zones don’t even have access to primary school. In this field, activities include donating funds for scholarships, sharing time with vulnerable kids, and mentoring them on skills such as foreign languages, maths, problem-solving, creativity, leadership,  and even teaching peaceful solutions to conflicts.

Environmental volunteering programs in Colombia

Another popular focus of volunteering initiatives is the environment. Opportunities to plant trees, work in community gardens, and help local farmers are among the most common. Programs related to the conservation of animal and plant species and ecosystems, in general, can also be found. These experiences help participants understand the context of rural Colombia and cherish the availability of natural resources, among other topics.

Business volunteering programs in Colombia

This category often requires the participation of professionals with experience in business management, business strategy, marketing, advertising, and other similar fields to help foundations and small enterprises to create and develop appropriate strategies to reach their goals in a sustainable way. Also, it can be supporting the commercial and customer service areas.

Technology volunteering programs in Colombia

Similarly to the last field, tech experts can volunteer in organizations and small businesses that need to develop websites or implement specialized software to make their processes more efficient and impactful.

Logistics volunteering programs in Colombia

Programs that involve events and complex itineraries look for volunteers with excellent organization, leadership, and communication skills so that they can be in charge of planning great events, carrying out fundraising strategies, making alliances with other organizations, and leading big groups of collaborators.

Vulnerable groups volunteering programs in Colombia

Of course, there are also programs for volunteer experts in psychology, social work, health sciences, and arts. We are talking about programs that target elders, homeless, handicapped people, displaced people, violence victims… vulnerable groups of people, in general. These initiatives seek to support them emotionally, spend quality time with them, and empower them through many tools and ways. For example, creating a life project, or teaching them art/entrepreneurial skills to leave their hurdles behind and progress in life.


If you are interested in a corporate volunteering experience in Colombia, contact us. We will find the volunteer program that bests aligns with your teams’ motivation and your company’s mission and values. This way, employees and organizations can work together for improvement, for a real change in the country.

Is Colombia Safe for Business Travelers?

Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. We are located in Bogota, Colombia. We are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions.

Spoiler alert: Yes

Colombia has lived with a questionable reputation for years. Drugs, guerrillas, and criminal groups used to be the first thoughts about the country. The notion of being an extremely dangerous country for tourists has kept many from discovering what this land has to offer. Now, Colombia’s landscape is way safer than before for locals and travelers alike.

COVID-19 in Colombia

The country was quarantined in 2020 for 5 months until the end of August with several confusing restrictions and permits. Although this month was reported as the peak of contagion, the country removed constraints on September 1st.  

Public or private events with crowds were still not allowed, but restaurants could open with a smaller capacity, following mandated protocols. Mask-wearing is still mandatory outside the home, everywhere. Meanwhile, it has been further relaxed and tightened at the same time. Even government officials, including the president, along with Jeff Bezos in March 2022, as well as well-known celebrities unabashedly show up without masks.   

It remains to be seen when the country will lift senseless and anti-scientific measures and return to normality.   

Is Colombia unsafe or dangerous for travelers? 

Travel advisories from various countries advise increased caution due to the risk of crime and terrorism in certain areas of Colombia.  

For over 50 years, illegal armed groups have carried out attacks, kidnapped, and held hostage foreigners and citizens as part of their fight with the state. But since the peace treaty signed in 2016 between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), these kinds of crimes have drastically decreased. 

However, some FARC rebels refuse to disarm and other armed groups continue to exist. Remote areas of the country are the most hit by violence and unlawful activities.

Regions not recommended for travel include all borders (Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil) and regions around them. For example, the departments of Arauca, Caqueta, Cauca, Choco, Nariño, and Putumayo, among others, but excluding capital cities and tourist spots.

Security situation in Colombia and business travel 

Fortunately, the cities for business travel are not located in high-risk areas. The major cities in Colombia have been completely safe from terrorism and serious crime for many years now.  

What does this mean for business travelers? 

In Colombia, as in Central and South America, “street crime, including pickpocketing, purse snatching, assault, and robbery, is common, particularly in larger cities such as Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, and Santa Marta” (Canada Travel Advisory). Scams and express kidnappings for money can also occur and are targeted especially at foreigners when the circumstances allow it. These brief kidnappings usually end at the nearest ATM and end as soon as the machine stops dispensing money.   

There have always been cases of poisoned foreigners in Medellin and Cartagena. These poisonings are mostly related to sex tourism. Usually, the perpetrators only want to rob the victims but are too amateurish with the dose. 

Colombian cities are safe for travelers but it is always advisable to take necessary precautions. Taking precautions means staying in known sectors of the cities, avoiding walking alone at night or in shady zones, not wearing flashy accessories nor using mobile devices in the streets, not carrying a lot of cash on trips and not hailing taxis on the street, and refraining from sex tourism or at least being very cautious 

Just in case you encounter yourself in a dangerous situation – i.e. you are robbed, or if you want to take precautions before touring the city, here is the contact information of the national police:

Emergency Line 123
Citizen’s Helpline (1) 515 91 12 (from landlines in Bogota)

018000 910600 (Rest of the country)

GAULA – Anti-kidnapping and anti-extortion 165
Traffic and Transport Police #767 (from mobiles)
E-mail [email protected]

For bilingual assistance in touristic cities, you can ask for specialized tourism police officers. They will help you with the process of filing a complaint – if you lost your documents, or with anything you need.

Lately, in Colombia strikes have taken place in large cities and can also break out from time to time. Usually, these are peaceful, but the most sensible thing to do is stay away from the places in question, monitor the situation, and plan extra time for commutes. 

Also, Colombians may invite you to a party or social event. In this case, always stay with your partners and colleagues and don’t leave your food and drinks unsupervised, since it is an opportunity for robbers and knockout drops are also known in Colombia. Also, remember that being drunk makes you easy prey.   

In general, Colombia is just like many countries around the globe. Use your common sense and the risk of something happening will already be reduced to a minimum.   

Have a good trip! 

Incredible Incentive Trips in Colombia: 8 MICE Destinations

Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. We are located in Bogota, Colombia. We are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions.

In other blogs, we’ve shown you the wide offer found in Colombia in terms of meetings and business events venues. But what about incentive travel? Well, Colombia has everything you can imagine – and more.

Incentive trips are an ideal strategy to reward high-performing employees and motivate your staff in order to improve productivity and teamwork, which at the end of the day will be profitable for your company!

But what kind of incentive trips are possible in Colombia? Below are 32 examples of great experiences your team can enjoy in the main MICE Colombian cities.

Incentive trips in Bogota, Colombia

Bogota, as the capital city of Colombia and home to the main international airport of the country, is the starting point for most business travelers. Although it may give the impression of a cold, boring city in the Andes, Bogota is actually a cultural paradise full of surprises.

A city tour will bring out the contrast between the high, modern buildings and the preserved historic center La Candelaria, which is preferred by foreigners. The old town houses a good percentage of the local museums, universities, and cultural centers, besides the seat of the national government. And there are a lot of museums in the so-called South American Athens. So one of the activities here is a museum tour that will bring you on a journey through Colombian history, traditions, and forms of expression.

There is also the possibility to know the city center in more dynamic ways. A group bike tour is ideal when you want to visit the most iconic places in Bogota but time is limited. Other interesting ways to get acquainted with the local culture are through food and art. Fortunately, you can book a Bogota food tour or a graffiti tour! Plus, the finest restaurants are located in exclusive G and T zones.

Finally, climbing to the top of Monserrate mountain at 3,100 m (10,170 ft) asl is a must. Whether it is by cable car, ferry, or hiking, the panoramic view of the city from the Catholic sanctuary is worth it.

As fascinating as the city sounds, the surroundings of Bogota are even more exciting. Nature becomes the protagonist. Close towns such as La Calera, Chia, Zipaquira, Guatavita, and Suesca offer diverse incentives for hiking, partying, and even rock climbing. Depending on your motivations and needs, you could visit:

  • Chingaza National Natural Park, where you get to know the precious Paramo ecosystem where the white-tailed deer and the Andean bear live,
  • Andres Carne de Res, a restaurant/bar/club famous for its chaotic Colombian parties with delicious typical food and drinks,
  • Zipaquira’s Salt Cathedral, a striking religious monument built in a salt mine 180 m (590 ft) below the earth,
  • Guatavita Lagoon, a place of indigenous heritage and home to the well-known El Dorado legend,
  • or Suesca, the place for climbing huge rocks below the bluest skies.

Incentive trips in Medellin, Colombia

Medellin attracts a lot of business tourists because of the thriving industry of science and innovation reflected on its infrastructure, but also because of the climate. It is known as the city of eternal spring for a reason.

Just like Bogota, Medellin is full of museums and parks that give life to the city. The Botero Museum, Antioquia Museum, Explora Park, and Modern Art Museum of Medellin are some of the most attractive ones you could visit. On the other hand, the Botanical Garden and Arví Park are the perfect destinations to connect with nature without getting out of the city. There, ecotourism activities are offered.

But those who prefer absorbing culture through the streets can go on a walking tour visiting the main attractions and tasting typical food. Or take a more specific tour to Comuna 13, a once problematic neighborhood affected by violence and crime that now proves what social cooperation and sustainable tourism can do to help communities flourish.

Antioquia department – where Medellin is located, has a picturesque architecture style and culture very distinguished from other regions. Paisas are quite driven people with extreme friendliness and no fear of obstacles. All of the traditions and symbols of the paisa culture can be found in Pueblito Paisa, a viewpoint and replica of the classic Antioquia town on top of a hill. However, you could choose to visit the actual towns of Jardin, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Jerico, or Fredonia, to name a few.

Last, for a little more adventure, a day trip to Guatape is the right choice. 2 hours by car from Medellin, Guatape is a colorful town with an artificial reservoir decorated with small ‘islands’. This landscape is well-appreciated from the top of El Peñol rock, a huge rock with over 700 steps. In the reservoir, water sports such as water skiing and fishing can be practiced.

Incentive trips in Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is probably the best-known Colombian city among tropical beaches lovers. Indeed, it could be described as a Caribbean paradise. Not only does this city in northern Colombia boast awesome beaches but it is packed with history. Founded in 1533, Cartagena keeps the colonization history alive thanks to its architecture and many museums.

The most visited place is the Walled City, the historic city center characterized by being enclosed by ramparts – as the name suggests. This was to protect the city from pirate attacks. This zone is colorful and romantic, many boutique hotels and fine restaurants are located there. Its historic and cultural importance even granted it the appointment as a World Heritage Site.

There you can also find museums such as the Inquisition Palace, the Zenu Gold Museum, the Modern Art Museum, the Naval Museum, among others. Whether on foot or by bike, you can see colonial buildings including churches such as the San Pedro Claver church and big old houses. But the city tour is not complete without a visit to the landmark of San Felipe Castle, which is a fortress as old as the city with an incredible history and view of the Caribbean sea. To complement the journey, there are several squares, parks, and markets full of exotic fruits that make the most refreshing juices perfect for the hot weather.

Of course, a trip to a coastal city cannot lack a beach day. Cartagena’s best beaches are on islands though. Tierra Bomba, Baru, and the Rosario Islands archipelago offer spectacular landscapes with clear waters, pristine nature, and a lot of fun activities to work on team-building.

Incentive trips in Cali, Colombia

The third-most populated city in Colombia sure knows how to entertain tourists. Located in the Pacific region, Cali is close to the western coast of the country but lies between 2 of the Andes mountains.

What is Cali known for? Salsa dancing. It actually is the world’s capital of salsa thanks to the unique twist local dancers give to this genre. Caleños are joyful and welcoming people that make every visitor feel at home. Obviously, they offer salsa workshops for inexperienced dancers in the many academies throughout the city and amazing shows at night.

Another trait of the Colombian Pacific is its delicious cuisine. This can be enjoyed in elegant restaurants… or the streets. San Antonio district is a special place for tasting regional and international gastronomy and interacting with locals. Nights in San Antonio hill mean handicrafts, traditional dishes and snacks, music, and street storytelling, altogether with a shocking view of the awakened Cali.

Moreover, nature destinations around Cali are unforgettable. Experiences in nature reserves include hiking, bird watching, water sports, wildlife observation, or just relaxation. The portfolio is long: Los Farallones, Bataclan, Km 18, Calima lake, San Cipriano, and Sonso lagoon are just a few of the green havens this region has to offer.

Incentive trips in the Coffee Triangle, Colombia

One thing that Colombia stands out is in coffee production. In the foothills of the Andes, three departments are among the highest-quality coffee producers in the country. Quindio, Caldas, and Risaralda house the cities of Armenia, Manizales, and Pereira respectively. This region is a haven for nature lovers who wish to get away from the bustling cities and connect with themselves in the middle of lush forests.

Certainly, most of the activities offered in the coffee triangle belong to the nature tourism sector. The essential one is a tour of a coffee farm where all the process from seed to cup is explained by the farmers themselves and you get to taste and recognize the flavor of authentic Colombian coffee. By interacting with these local families, one learns and enjoys a lot. Our two recommended farms are Hacienda Venecia in Caldas and Café San Alberto in Quindio.

Whoever visits the coffee region for an incentive trip should be prepared for adventure. Hiking is one of the most popular activities since there are a plethora of nature trails. The famous destination? Los Nevados National Natural Park, which is formed by 3 of Colombia’s remaining glaciers and other important ecosystems such as paramos and high Andean forests.

One of the most common entrances to the park is the well-known Cocora Valley, a forest of the huge Quindio wax palms, Colombian flagship tree. This is also a great choice when the travelers are not in the conditions to practice trekking in altitudes above 4,000 masl.

Now, to get to the valley you will have to start from Salento, a traditional town once only known by backpackers that is currently succumbing to the development brought by tourism. In any case, there are several other pretty historical towns worth being visited, some of which belong to the 17 Heritage Towns list of Colombia.

There is an option for calmer groups that prefer wellness and relaxation in the mild climate of this region. Thanks to the volcanic activity coming from these nevados, a wide range of hot springs are open to the public with exclusive plans packed with medicinal benefits. Spa resorts Santa Rosa de Cabal, Termales del Ruiz, and Termales del Otoño are some of the best you can find.

Last but not least, this zone is blessed with biodiversity. For this, birdwatchers – whether enthusiasts or professionals, love to go on trips to hear and observe some exotic yet beautiful species. Various lodges and birding hotspots are within the buffer zone of Los Nevados Park, so it is easier to combine all of the experiences above.

Incentive trips in Yopal, Colombia

Yopal, Casanare, as part of the vast plains in the Orinoco river basin, would be the Colombian version of the Wild West. This comparison is to give you an idea, although both places are unique. Basically, the Llanos are pure cowboy land. This region is flooded by several bodies of water surrounded by immense savannas that are home to millions of animals.

Traveling to the Llanos and not going on a Llanero safari is like not going at all. This excursion can be made on horseback or by 4×4 vehicles. Although you cannot find giraffes and rhinos, you will see large groups of capybaras, deer, giant otters, giant anteaters, colorful big birds, and even crocodiles. Of course, cattle could not be missing as it is the main economic activity of the region. El Encanto de Guanapalo is one of the most famous reserves that offer this kind of tour.

However, observing wild animals is not the only choice. You also get to live like a local cowboy and learn their chores as you get familiar with their culture! You will see how cattle ranching is not an easy job and you will be lucky to taste the local delicacies – mostly made of meat, of course. For this, consider Hato Los Deseos.


This is just an overview of all the possible incentive trips you can enjoy in Colombia. But it is enough to spark your interest in traveling to Colombia with your company. For more information or a tailor-made trip, contact us.

9 Tips for Business Meetings in Colombia – Business Etiquette

Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. We are located in Bogota, Colombia. We are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions. 

We’ve listed 9 tips (do’s and don’ts) to help you have a successful business meeting in Colombia.

But before, here are the first things you should know about Colombia:

Capital city Bogota
Language Spanish
Currency Colombian peso – COP
Business hours Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm

*Some companies also work on Saturdays, but Sundays are free.

*There are 19 national holidays throughout the year. Most of them are on a Monday.

*Schedules might vary depending on the company or the region.

1. Plan and arrange meetings in advance

As with every kind of event, planning early will always be better. It is advisable to arrange meetings a couple of weeks or even a month in advance. Be sure to call the person you want to meet, because e-mails have hardly any validity in Colombia. 

In any case, confirm meetings and appointments again or even several times in the hours or days before. 

Even all these measures do not protect you from canceling an appointment at short notice. In the local culture, almost everything is confirmed in each case; it’s all about saving face. The truth usually only comes to light as soon as it is unavoidable and usually too late for alternative planning. 

2. Don’t rush the schedule in Colombia

As an explanation to the last point, Colombians – generally speaking, live a laid-back life. Schedules are important but times are not taken as rigorously as in other cultures. They take time before and after meetings to drink a tinto (black coffee) or to catch up with their partners or colleagues.

SSo do not stress out if it’s been 10 minutes and the meeting hasn’t started. As said, punctuality is rather flexible here. 15 minutes is what it usually takes to formally start a meeting unless anything extraordinary happens. Don’t take it as an offense, go with the flow. But don’t be too late either. It is, therefore, advisable to include extra time in your agenda in between meetings. 

3. In Colombia, get to know your partner first

Commonly, locals want to know about their (potential) partner or client before getting down to business. Colombians feel uncomfortable negotiating with a stranger. So, take the time to talk about your previous experience in Colombia and to share stories.

To be more specific, in Colombia, the level of basic trust among people is low. Business by handshake does not happen here. Written contracts are used for everything, and even then the trust of contractual partners is limited. On the one hand, this is related to history; on the other hand, the state institutions in Colombia do not function ideally, to put it diplomatically.   

Likewise, an obvious lie is not necessarily qualified as a lie here. It is more a form of communication. Among Latinos, people understand each other well and are aware of this, but coming from European culture, this can be quite confusing.   

4. Don’t be too straightforward

Although people from Colombia are known to be extremely friendly and welcoming, you should think carefully about what you say to them.

Latin American culture is more sensitive – somewhat different than that of Europeans, for example. Therefore, if you have something positive to say, say it. But if you have bad news to deliver, don’t be too direct, try to phrase it diplomatically. 

Colombians are emotional and very easily feel personally attacked and offended. Sometimes a little criticism is enough. Usually, you are presented with a large number of excuses and excuses. In Colombia we also say: “La culpa es de la vaca”, the cow is to blame. 

So be careful, such an incident can destroy an entire business relationship. 

5. Learn about Colombia beforehand

Colombians generally love all foreigners. If you know a little about Colombia, you will quickly take Colombians to your heart. Moreover, it is considered a sign of respect. If you also speak a little Spanish, perfect!

It is best to do a little research to know the basic things about their economy and culture. Plus, you will have a topic to break the ice with your partner.

6. Don´t make jokes about drugs, war, religion, and Pablo Escobar 

In general, don’t bring up topics like guerrilla warfare and the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. The long-time conflict that has struck the country has left deep scars and it is too early to come to terms with them. Colombians feel strong emotional pain and, in some cases, shame when discussing such topics.   

You can rather talk about their biodiversity, their cultural richness, and the booming sectors of their economy. 

7. Try to speak Spanish in Colombia 

As a Swiss, I’m used to adapting to foreign negotiating partners and speaking their language whenever possible. I am also used to speaking English with expats who have been living in Switzerland for more than 10 years, as they have not learned any of the 4 national languages there in all these years. 

A kind of ignorance that is certainly more pronounced in some nations than in others. 

Language is not only important for negotiations but also the basis for understanding a culture. This is all the more important in Colombia because many things work differently here. Do you want to do business in Colombia and gain trustworthy contractual partners? Learn Spanish! 

8. Choose the right clothes in Colombia 

Now, this is a less crucial aspect, but wearing the right clothes will make a better first impression of you.

Clothing varies by city and its climate. If you are used to wearing elegant suits, Bogota or Medellin will be perfect. A tailored suit is almost standard here, depending on the industry. In addition, the climate in these cities is appropriate for suits –Bogota is actually a high city at 8,530 ft above sea level. 

On the contrary, in coastal or warmer-climate cities such as Cartagena, Cali, Pereira, and Yopal, the culture – and dress code, is more uncomplicated. Business casual is a good fit here. 

9. Always include extra time in your program while in Colombia

Be generous with your time planning in all cases. For example, if you have arranged different meetings at different locations in Bogota, the general traffic congestion can quickly throw a spanner in the works. Likewise, as said, meetings or events usually do not start on time at the specified time.

Also, Colombians are very spontaneous and it is likely that your potential Colombian business partners will invite you for an off-business occasion. This might be lunch, dinner or even a weekend in their weekend house in the countryside.   

You might also be interested in knowing how organizing a business meeting in Colombia works and what to expect of an exhibition in Colombia.


Attending Exhibitions in Colombia: 6 Basic Things You Should Learn

Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. We are located in Bogota, Colombia. We are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions.

Exhibitions are key events for your business. And when you are interested in a foreign market, going to the country yourself and getting to know the terrain besides making new business contacts is ideal.

During the last years, Colombia has been gaining more recognition in the global economy. Sectors such as industry, commerce, and tourism are growing just as foreign investment. Therefore, the number of events held in the country aiming to promote trade and business opportunities is dazzling.

So, attending an exhibition in Colombia is quite an opportunity for foreign companies but might be shocking for new visitors. In this article, we will explain some aspects you need to take into account when attending an exhibition in Colombia.

Getting to the venue (transportation in Colombia)

Convention centers or fairgrounds are usually located near the city’s airport and the hotel zone. The venues may be about 20 minutes away by car or even within walking distance from your lodging. However, if the exhibition site is too far away to reach on foot, you should know that transportation in Colombia is a bit chaotic.

This is a problem inherent to the largest cities, namely Bogota, Cali, and Medellin (at least Medellin has a decent public transportation system). In these cities, the traffic is really annoying, and a 20-minute drive can easily turn into a 45 or 60-minute trip, also depending on the routes taken and the hour. Therefore, it is highly recommended to plan enough time to get to the venue. The same goes for the return to the hotel or the airport.

Also, it is better to order a taxi in an app or have the hotel call one for you, as those on the street usually take certain routes and won’t take you to your destination if it means making a detour. Or they will take advantage and charge you more if you look like a foreigner. So, if there is a flat rate from the beginning, you won’t have to worry.

Organization and culture in Colombia

If you are used to running like a Swiss watch, Colombia might stress you a little. Latin American culture, in general, is more spontaneous and less strict than that of Europeans or Asians. And this is not different in business. This is why you can feel shocked or uncomfortable with the way a tradeshow or a meeting is organized in Colombia.

What can be so different? You may ask.

Well, punctuality is not taken as seriously. So conferences may start later than expected whether it is because:

  • the attendees don’t get in time,
  • the audiovisual aids were not prepared in advance,
  • or maybe because the host ran into an old acquaintance just before getting on stage and they could not miss the opportunity to catch up with each other’s life.

It is worth noting that not all the events start late, nor all Colombians are unpunctual. It is just a common possibility that you shouldn’t take as disrespect.

Another situation is that, although the layout of the stands is well-organized, there will be thousands of people going one way or the other without a specific order or direction. So, if you attend as a visitor, walking from stand to stand or getting to the wanted place can be challenging. This is common in big exhibitions all over the world anyways. What is important to mention is that the concept of personal space here is a little blur and you might see that people get too close when walking, greeting, or talking.

Language in Colombia

Although there are over 60 recognized indigenous languages with around a million speakers in Colombia, the official language is Spanish. Colombians hardly speak English, let alone French, German or Japanese, which can be a big issue when networking. You find bilingual staff in big airports, hotels, companies, and even maybe in fine restaurants, but apart from that, it is difficult that someone understands you.

Because of that barrier, it is advisable that you learn basic expressions to communicate basic needs or business jargon and a more professional vocabulary if you want to appear interested in the local market and respectful of the local culture. If this is not possible, however, a local interpreter will be of great help since there are quite different accents and slang depending on the region in the country. Anyways, Colombians are friendly people and will find a way to communicate with you if you show them you care.

Security in Colombia

There might be a perception of danger in Colombia and other Latin American countries for several reasons related to drug crime and guerrillas.

Colombia’s reputation is slowly changing worldwide since a peace agreement was signed in 2016, which implemented a ceasefire both from the largest local armed group and the military. It should not be denied that there are still traces of conflict in remote rural areas, but Colombian cities are safe for business travel and tourism in general.

Having said that, just as in any other country, crowded events are a feast for thieves. As a local would say, you shouldn’t “give papaya”. What this means is that you shouldn’t make it easier for thieves to rob you by wearing expensive accessories and taking out your smartphone (or leaving it in your back pocket) while you walk through the crowd. It is just a matter of common sense. Leave your expensive belongings in your hotel room and carry enough cash for the day, but not too much.

Planning logistics in Colombia

If you are an exhibitor at the trade show, the major recommendation is to plan your trip and the logistics for the exhibition well in advance.

As always, unexpected events can occur, and you must be prepared. For example, if you are flying to a city in the coffee triangle, your flight might be delayed or canceled because of weather conditions. Or for any destination, your local supplier of transport, guidance, or decoration for your stand may fail to carry out their job or not arrive on time, who knows. Giving them notice some days (and then some hours) before the event is a good option.

Also, bring many brochures and business cards to give out to your potential clients and partners. Bring some branded material too because Colombians love free things – and it could be a chance to increase your brand awareness locally.

Enjoy the exhibitions in Colombia!

Last, attending an exhibition in Colombia is an unforgettable experience, no matter the sector or industry involved.

People are so warm and there are plenty of cultural aspects to know, places to visit, and activities to do, apart from the fact that connecting with Colombian companies will expand your business. Just keep in mind the recommendations mentioned above and enjoy your time in Colombia. You will want to come again.

Organizing a Meeting in Colombia? Consider these 3 Points

Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group and we are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions. We are more than happy to help you organize your business meeting in Colombia.

As one of the top 30 countries for business meetings in the world (according to ICCA), Colombia certainly has a lot to offer regarding MICE tourism. Cities such as Bogota, Cartagena, and Medellin are leading the way in terms of infrastructure and services around meetings, congresses, events, and incentives, but there are other competitive destinations in the country.

If you are uncertain about why you should choose Colombia as the host country of your meeting or event, we have a separate blog on business travel in Colombia that explains the reasons. However, here you have a summary. The South American nation has an option for every need in the market.

For those who already decided to hold an event in the country, in this blog, we will go over the aspects that you, as a CEO, meeting planner, or business in general should bear in mind when organizing a meeting in Colombia.

1.    Selecting the location of a meeting in Colombia

Choosing the perfect location for your meeting is no easy task and depends on several factors. We have listed some below:

Size of the meeting

First, you must be clear about the size of the meeting you are holding as 15 people are not the same as 50 or 80. Of course. The point is that cities have venues and hotels with specific capacities and you should choose accordingly.

For instance, in general, all main cities in Colombia have luxury hotels with business centers and meeting rooms that can hold from 8 to 20 people and event halls for 500 people or more. There are also modern convention centers with capacity for thousands of attendees in different styles of event halls. Some of them are Centro de Convenciones Valle del Pacífico, Ágora and Corferias in Bogota, Centro de Eventos El Tesoro in Medellin, and Centro de Convenciones Cartagena de Indias. But you should be aware of the accommodation capacity since it is not always directly proportional to the event capacity.

Type of venue

The type of event will determine the type of venue to choose for your meeting. Nowadays, companies attempt to innovate and hold events in places where in the past no one would think to have a business meeting. However, specialized venues such as convention centers, auditoriums, and hotels are still preferred among many. Each type of venue caters to a specific need.

Non-traditional venues in Colombia

Theaters: Large meetings can be held in theaters because they have the capacity, logistics, and audiovisual equipment. Plus, typically theaters are located in strategic zones of the cities, for instance, La Candelaria in Bogota.

Chambers of commerce: These modern buildings are ideal for training and congresses since there are large and medium auditoriums equipped with the latest technology. Also, open-air spaces within or near the buildings can be found. A good option is, for example, the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota which has over 10 branches spread in the city.

Fincas: These farms have now improved services including event planning professionals. They are located in rural zones close to the urban area but still with a different environment suitable for disconnection and creativity. You can find these in the Coffee Triangle and Cali.

Museums: Museums, apart from keeping precious works of art, are silent buildings where inspiration can arise. Various museums in Colombia have auditoriums and meeting rooms to hold conventions or smaller business gatherings.

Botanical gardens: These big green zones in the middle of the concrete jungle also have auditoriums and halls usually offered for academic and research events but also suitable for different kinds of meetings. The collection of exotic flora and fauna species with beautiful landscaping around the halls is the perfect environment for distraction and leisure after the event.

Climate of the destination

As a tropical country near the geographic equator, Colombia has no seasons but a rather a stable climate that varies according to the altitude of the place under consideration.

The warm climate can be experienced on the Caribbean coast with temperatures above 20°C (68°F). MICE destinations in this zone include Cartagena and Santa Marta, which boast tropical beaches along with luxury hotels, conference venues, and leisure facilities. Cali is another warm city that lacks the coast but impresses with its culture and range of activities.

Those preferring more temperate climates should consider locations such as the city of eternal spring – Medellin, or Pereira, Armenia, or Manizales in the Coffee Triangle. These also combine nature with comfort and especially coffee.

Last, for a rather cold climate, the best option is Bogota, which sits at 2,600 meters (8,530 ft) above sea level on the Eastern Andes mountain and has temperatures generally around 12 °C (53,6 °F). Anyway, here you must be prepared since it can be really sunny and the next minute it’s raining cats and dogs.

Colombian cities profile

Your preferences for leisure activities may also influence your decision on where to have your meeting. You should agree with your employees and attendees about the kind of activities they are interested in for their leisure time or for team-building. Cultural immersion, luxury, nature, adventure, or relaxation… Colombia has a place for each one.

Cultural metropolis

Interested in culture? If you want to experience art, history, architecture, music, language immersion, etc. Bogota is the perfect destination. Not only is it the capital city but the cultural center of Colombia. It is even known as the Southamerican Athens. Museums abound and free music and art shows are not uncommon.

Of course, private, luxurious events cannot be missing and the offer is varied. Also the Spanish spoken by the locals is usually easier to understand than in other regions so it is perfect for practicing the language skills.

Beach vibes

Want luxurious relaxation by the sea? Cartagena is your choice.

The ‘heroic city’ is a popular destination both for Colombians and foreigners. Its biggest attraction is the walled city, the zone with a classic colonial style, and the San Felipe fortress. However, large hotel chains have set on the Caribbean coast and offer the best relaxation experience with all the comforts you can imagine. Visiting the luxurious Rosario islands is also an option worth considering.

Dance and gastronomy

For working on the motor and social skills of your team, Cali is waiting for you.

The world capital of salsa is a warm, vibrant city with intense nightlife and friendly people. There are salsa dance schools on every corner ready to teach even the quietest person to move smoothly and enjoy the rhythm of this tropical dance. Gastronomy is a strong point too, the cuisine of the Colombian Pacific is on another level.

Innovation and technology

If technology is more appealing to you, you could choose Medellin.

This spring city is the center of innovation of the country and its transport infrastructure exceeds that of Bogota and the other major cities. Museums and interactive science centers are widely recommended as well as more natural attractions such as the Arvi Park and the Botanical Garden.

Nature spots

Looking for a connection with nature? The Coffee Triangle is the best region to get away from the ‘civilization’ and connect with nature.

Having your meeting in a green environment can generate positive outcomes since it allows full concentration and creativity. Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia are privileged cities because they boast modern infrastructure for business tourism while conserving the magic of the Andes mountains and its biodiversity.


Perhaps you are interested in adventure. In this case, Yopal is the right choice. This city in the Llanos region is still undiscovered by international tourism but has great potential. Being a small and calm city is no obstacle to developing good business tourism infrastructure.

In addition, if you ever wondered how the cowboys lived, here you can discover. Spending time with the llaneros who are cattle ranchers by tradition and having a safari along the plains are certainly appealing activities.

2.    Logistics for meetings in Colombia

Once the destination is decided, it is time to think about the logistics of the meeting. This includes

  • The location of the hotel and venue
  • The options for transport to any of the places on the agenda
  • The catering and audiovisual services
  • Among others

In most cities, the best hotels are near the main event halls or convention centers, if they don’t already have these spaces. We are talking about walking distances or short car trips.

Regarding transportation, average car speed is acceptable in most cities and the distances are rather short, except for Bogota. Here, the traffic is so heavy and the distances so long that getting anywhere takes about an hour, if not more. In any case, private transport is recommended.

Organizing the services required for the meeting may be easy or tedious depending on the offer of the venue. Typically all meeting rooms in hotels or convention centers include audiovisual aids and catering. But when it comes to unconventional venues the situation might be different. Additional services such as bilingual support (Colombians hardly speak English) or event planning professionals are mostly provided by specialized companies.

Last, beware of the local culture and infrastructure and its implications in the logistics of your meeting. As a rule, you must plan well in advance and have reserve time and plan b in case of an unexpected event. Schedules can be moved and services canceled at short notice. For longer stays, it is advisable to consider insurance for all attendees.

3.    Local partner for business meetings in Colombia

All of the aspects mentioned above require extensive planning and logistics management expertise. This can be tricky and time-consuming. Therefore, contacting a local professional in business travel that understands your needs and organizes the perfect event for you seems a reasonable choice.