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What is the Origin and History of the MICE Industry Worldwide

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

Origin of the MICE industry

Although there is not much information on the history of this sector, the first historical approach or origin of the MICE industry in Europe took place in 1814 when the Congress of Vienna was celebrated, as well as many other meetings on political, religious and cultural issues.

However, much of the story begins in 1841. That year, Thomas Cook, a famous British businessman, organized transportation for 540 people to the annual Temperance Convention Association.

This achievement is considered the first organized voyage, and while it did not bring great commercial success, Cook recognized that such activity represented potential future benefits. So years later he decided to set up a travel agency called Thomas Cook & Son, which is considered to be the first travel agency in history.

What is the history of the MICE industry?

Early approaches for the MICE industry

The beginnings of the meetings industry, or as it is now known, the MICE industry, lie in Europe and North America.

Throughout the 19th century, many institutions, particularly universities, had a growing need to exchange information with other academic organizations, paving the way for numerous meetings.

At the same time, thanks to the development of the railways, the hotel industry benefited from the high demand from travelers, which made it necessary to build hotels in the major railway stations.

On the other hand, as far as incentive trips are concerned, at the end of the century some companies saw the need to stimulate their employees in order to achieve greater motivation, which would increase the company’s production and profitability. This is how incentive trips came about.

The first incentive trip was in the United States in 1910 by the National Cash Register Company of Danton. Agents and distributors attended and were rewarded with a free trip to New York for their excellent results, applications, and job performance.

Over the years all kinds of events related to product promotion, annual board meetings and expert gatherings have become more and more obvious. At the beginning of the 20th century, more and more events and participants were included in the industry, so better training was introduced for those involved in the organization, especially those who worked in sales, which was the most important area.

The birth of the MICE industry

Based on the information you found in the Origin of the MICE Industry section, other key moments in history are considered to be the beginning of the industry.

As cities increasingly recognized the value and economic and social benefits of hosting meetings, a group of entrepreneurs decided, for the first time in history, to hire a vendor to recruit and host meetings across multiple industries for their city of Detroit, Michigan. In 1896 the first Convention Bureau was established in the United States. So this is the year he thinks the industry was officially born.

How was the MICE industry affected by the world wars?

Due to the influence of the world wars and their aftermath, there were very few congresses and conferences in the period from 1914 to the end of 1945, so the industry did not develop particularly well during this period.

From the 1950s, the industry experienced a boom, largely due to the accelerated growth of multinational companies and agencies, and the need for topical training for companies and their employees.

Post-war MICE industry

After World War II, tourism in general underwent an incredible transformation and became a mass phenomenon, largely due to the development of commercial aviation, which prompted investors to give the industry a major boost.

Since the 1960s there has been increasing investment in infrastructure to support conventions, conventions, meetings, and events around the world.

Some such infrastructures in Europe were the Sheffield Arena, the National Arena, and the Wales Millennium Center in the UK. On the other hand, the Convention Bureau of Belgium created the first Convention Bureau on the continent.

Infrastructure investments were also made in North America, Australia, and Africa (particularly South Africa). The Sava Centar in Belgrade, the largest congress and business center in the region, was built in 1977 and has a capacity of about 4,000 people.

These types of investments continue to be made today, as most of them are economically and socially significant and offer their countries the opportunity to position themselves on the map of top MICE destinations.

The most important associations of the MICE industry

Apart from the historical facts that mark the development of this tourism industry, the creation of professional associations in this field also contributes to its history.

Below are some of the most important associations in the MICE industry and the year they were founded:

1928 — International Association for Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)

1957 — Professional Association for Convention Management (PCMA)

1958 — International Association of Conference Centers (AIPC)

1963 — International Congress and Convention Society (ICCA)

1964 — European Association of Conference Cities (EFCT)

1968 — International Association of Professional Convention Organizers (IAPCO)

1969 — British Association of Conference Venues (BACD)

1972 — International Conference (MPI)

1975 — Meetings and Events Australia (MEA)

1981 — Association of British Professional Conference Organizers (ABPCO)

1990 — Association of the Meetings Industry (MIA)

With the growing number of events and conventions taking place throughout the year around the world, we hope this overview of the history of the MICE industry will help put its importance into perspective. If you have any questions or are looking for a MICE destination in Colombia for you or your company, please contact us, we will be happy to help you.

Working in Colombia – Visa guide for foreigners

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.

More and more foreigners want to settle in Colombia. However, this usually comes with some problems.

What do you need to work in Colombia?

In Colombia, as in any other country in the world, there are many requirements for practicing a profession or setting up a company. Depending on the profile and the activity to be performed, these requirements may vary.

General requirements for employing foreigners in Colombia

It is at the sole discretion of the Colombian government to authorize the entry and stay of foreigners in the country.

Following are the requirements or limitations to consider when applying for a job in Colombia:

  • When entering Colombia as a tourist, foreigners are not permitted to work in the country or apply for a work visa.
  • As a foreigner, if you want or plan to have a job, employment or activity in the country (through an employment contract or as a civil servant), you must belong to the general social security system as an employee (health, pension and occupational risks).
  • Being able to join the pension system and contribute is entirely voluntary, as long as the foreigner certifies that they contribute to the pension system of their country of origin or another country.
  • Important to know that Colombian companies have an obligation to inform you about your rights and obligations as a worker in Colombia.
  • If you wish to practice a regulated profession, it is essential that you provide evidence of your professional qualifications and obtain a license or permit from the relevant professional bodies or competent authorities.

The most important thing to be able to legally work or hold an occupation in Colombia is a work visa. Below you will find all the information you need to apply for a visa.

What you need to start a business in Colombia

If you want to incorporate a company in Colombia, there are several steps to follow. First of all, these documents are required:

  • Certificate of incorporation and legal representative of the company issued by the official body of the company’s registered office. If the representative is a non-resident, they must provide a copy of their passport.
  • Authorization of the appropriate person to act on behalf of the company.
  • Articles of Association.
  • Resolution of the company: Purpose of the company, amount of capital allocated, business address, the appointment of a legal representative and an auditor.

The above documents are required for the next phase, which is to formalize the public deed. This must be signed by the legal representative of the company in Colombia.

In addition, declarations of acceptance from industry representatives are required. These letters must include the full name of the person accepting the position, their position, ID card type and number, and your signature.

You must then register with the responsible tax authority. The process of obtaining the company’s Tax Identification Number (NIT) can be carried out in person or through a legal representative at the National Tax and Customs Directorate (DIAN).

In addition, the business registration form must be completed and submitted, detailing the taxes to which the organization is subject, and the company must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce. Every company must register its accounts with the Chamber of Commerce.

On the other hand, it is of paramount importance to open a corporate account in the name of the company into which the investors will deposit the initial capital.

Finally, don’t forget to register the foreign investment with the Central Bank of Colombia. Once the investment has been made, ie the initial capital allocated to the company, any subsequent capital increase must be registered with the Central Bank of Colombia. Depending on how the investment was made, the procedure for registering the investment differs.

Visa for entrepreneurs in Colombia

You may be wondering if you need a work visa to start your business in Colombia… and the answer is yes. In this case, we recommend the M-Worker visa, which is valid for a maximum of three years and requires the following documents to apply for:

  • Valid passport with at least two blank pages.
  • A valid photocopy of the front and side with the entry stamp of the applicant’s passport.
  • A photo with a white background of 3×4 centimeters.
  • A letter of introduction from the legal representative of the company.
  • Certificate from the Chamber of Commerce showing that the value of the new business exceeds 100 Colombian minimum wages (approximately $26,000).
  • Existing personal or professional bank statements.
  • An F-4 interchange statement.
  • Accountant’s professional card and national identity card and a background report.
  • Foreign Investment Certificate (optional).
  • Complete the relevant application form on the government’s migration website.

What does it take to invest and live in Colombia

Colombia has positioned itself as one of the most interesting countries in Latin America for investors. So if you are planning to invest in a Colombian company and work in the country, this information is of interest to you.

There are 3 ways to do this:

Visa for resident investors in Colombia

In order to obtain this visa, you must invest capital of at least $180,000. This amount can be used for direct investment in a business in Colombia or for the purchase of the real estate.

The foreigner holding such a visa is entitled to engage in any legal activity in the country, including that exercised on the basis of an employment relationship or contract.

Entrepreneur visa for investments in Colombia

The Entrepreneur Visa (or Owner-Partner Type – M) allows entry and residence in the country to start, develop and manage a business. In other words, in order to apply for this visa, the foreigner must establish a business in Colombia that is active, producing goods and services, paying taxes, etc. This visa is only allowed to carry out activities for the relevant company.

Investor visa as a real estate owner in Colombia

This type of visa allows foreigners to stay in Colombia to take advantage of purchasing a property in the country. In order to apply for this type of visa, the applicant, as a foreigner, must have an income intended solely for the acquisition of real estate or land in the Colombian territory.

Working as a clerk in Colombia

If a Colombian company hires you and you want to settle in Colombia, you need to consider the following:

  • As already mentioned, depending on the activity, you must have a visa that allows you to practice the activity, profession or licensed trade.
  • You need a Cédula de Extranjería if your stay is three months or more.
  • The employer company must notify the Administration Office for Migration in Colombia in writing within 15 working days of the commencement or termination of work of the employment, hiring or admission, as well as of your dismissal or termination of the contract.
  • It is very important to know that there are some regulated professions in the country. These require a temporary special registration issued by the professional councils for the exercise of the profession in the respective field of knowledge.
  • Keep in mind that as long as the foreign worker is employed abroad to perform a job in the country, the employer or contractor must cover the costs of returning the foreign worker (as well as the costs of his family or beneficiaries). (Art. Decree 1067 of 2015).

What you need as a “digital nomad” to work in Colombia.

There are a number of companies in Colombia that hire foreigners to telecommute. Currently, the conditions for applying for this visa are not specific (it depends on the company), but like many other, mainly European countries, Colombia is also striving to introduce the so-called nomad visa.

The aim of this visa is to allow you to stay in the country for a specified period (between 30 days and one year depending on the permit) and work legally over the internet.

Among the possible requirements, the most basic can be:

  • Valid identity card and passport.
  • Certificate of remote income.

Visa to work in Colombia

A work visa in Colombia is a permit for foreigners to enter and stay in Colombia and, as the case may be, to carry out a specific job. It is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cost of the visa is currently $230.

In order to apply for any of the different visas that we will talk about shortly, you (as an employee) must first produce an employment contract.

If you are hired by a company, they must prove that they have an average turnover of 100 minimum wages (around USD 25,000 in 2022). If the employer is a natural person, he must prove that his average monthly income is 10 minimum wages. In addition, upon termination of the employment contract, the employer must cover the costs of returning the foreign worker to his country of origin or residence and, if applicable, also to his family.

What other types of visas are there for work in Colombia?

As established by Decree 1067 of May 26, 2015, there are several categories or types of visas to work in Colombia, depending on the work to be done.

These are some of the categories or types of visas:

  • TP-4: Foreigners wishing to move to Colombia to enter into an employment or service contract with a resident of Colombia, whether a person or entity. This option also applies to artistic or cultural groups planning a public performance in the country. The validity of the visa corresponds to the duration of the contract and may not be longer than three years.
  • TP-7: This type of visa is intended exclusively for foreigners entering Colombia to carry out certain activities or professions, e.g. B. as a pensioner or retiree, as a partner or owner of a company, for medical treatment, as the owner of real estate, to exercise a self-employed trade or activity and to exercise professions or activities not provided for in this decree. The visa is valid for one year.
  • TP-9: This option is offered by the national government to foreign nationals arriving as refugees or asylum seekers. This visa entitles the holder to engage in any legal work, including that carried out by virtue of an employment relationship or contract. The visa is valid for 5 years.
  • TP-12: Visa for foreigners wishing to enter the country to participate in academic, scientific, artistic, cultural or sporting events (regardless of whether they have an employment contract or not), an interview as part of a personnel selection process public or private To run facilities, undergo business training, establish commercial or business contacts and report journalistically. This visa is valid for 90 days.
  • TP-13: Visa for foreigners wishing to enter Colombia to provide specialized technical assistance (regardless of whether they have an employment contract or not) for public or private entities. The visa is valid for 180 days.
  • TP-15: Exclusively for foreigners from Mercosur and its Associated States who apply for temporary residence in the country, based on the Agreement on Residence of Nationals of Mercosur , Bolivia and Chile. The foreigner with the TP-15 visa is entitled to engage in any legal employment in the country, including that which is exercised by virtue of an employment relationship or contract. The visa is valid for two years.

Basic visa requirements in Colombia

These are some of the main general requirements for applying for a work visa in this country:

  • Valid passport with blank pages for the visa to be pasted.
  • Current photo.
  • letter of application
  • Employment contract and letter of motivation in which the company explains the reasons for your employment.
  • Employer bank statements for the last 6 months prior to the visa application.
  • Certificates of professional experience in the relevant trade or profession.
  • If you apply for the visa while in Colombia, you must prove that the applicant is in a regular migration situation and present the most recent entry stamp, exit stamp or security stamp.
  • If the visa is applied for at a Colombian consulate abroad, a copy of the document proving regular residence in the country where the foreigner resides must be presented.

Requirements may vary depending on the job to be performed and the type of visa applied for. We therefore recommend that you obtain additional information for your case before applying for a visa. On the other hand, the Colombian visa authority has a period of about 5 days from the date of registration of the payment to consider the case accordingly. However, if it is necessary to request additional documents or to have an interview, the period can be extended by up to 30 days from the date of online registration of the visa application.

Entrepreneurship in Colombia

Want to start a business in Colombia but not sure if it’s a good idea? Or do you want to start a business in this country but don’t know how?

Colombia is a country where entrepreneurship is a great alternative because, despite being a competitive market, it is an alternative that allows you to earn a good income if you plan and carry out your project professionally.

According to the registrar Único Empresarial, more than 251,000 new companies were founded in 2021, up 16% year-on-year, which is not surprising as more and more people and companies are counting on success in this country. This is according to UK company Circle Loop’s ranking, which places Colombia in the top three most entrepreneurial areas in the OECD, beating countries like the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany. In addition, this research found that 64.8% of Colombians have the ability to be entrepreneurs, 47.9% see good opportunities in Colombia and 33.9% intend to start a business by 2021.

Colombia also offers all kinds of support for entrepreneurs, such as: B. Advice, courses, financial support and much more.

Personal experience with visa in Colombia

I came to Colombia in 2015 and organized my student visa in advance in Switzerland. During my studies in Colombia I founded my company and applied for an entrepreneur visa. However, the visa as an entrepreneur was delayed for some time, so I had to extend the student visa. In the following I would like to describe what a dispute with the Colombian bureaucracy can look like:

Extension visa 2016

  • I personally visited the Migracion office on Calle 100. I was turned away with the comment that I was still too early and should come back next week.
  • A week later I went back to the same place and they asked for confirmation from the university. This had not been mentioned in the previous week. I left the Migracion office at 100 Calle and went to the secretariat of the University of Los Andes in the center of the city.
  • The university secretariat explained to me that such confirmations were not issued.
  • back in the Migracion in Calle 100 and after endless waiting in the long queue, I explained this to the responsible clerk. However, they were not interested in my request.
  • I then went to reception and requested an appointment with the team leader.
  • The lady, who was not so nice, was also not at all interested in my request and explained to me that this was my problem, that I would be in the country illegally in a few days. I then asked for her manager and she gestured to an office with her hand.
  • After a short conversation with the superior and the nice hint that this situation was caused by the non-functioning of his office, he said he was helpful. All he wanted was a confirmation email from the university.
  • After consultation with the university, the relevant secretary sent a short confirmation. However, since the local head left the office for the lunch break, I had to wait another 2 hours for his return. I was then granted the extension.

Renewal visa 2020

  • To renew my business visa, I submitted all the documents online. Due to Covid, physical visits to the Foreign Office have been suspended.
  • The application was rejected on the grounds of insufficient capital.
  • I submitted the application again, pointing out that the company had a multiple of the required capital.
  • The application was again rejected on the grounds that the share capital was too small.
  • After a capital increase, I submitted the visa application again.
  • The request was again denied without justification.
  • I submitted my application a fourth time and reserved an appointment, visits were again possible at that point.
  • During the interview, I explained the whole situation to the clerk, whereupon a second lady intervened. It was noted that formal mistakes had already been made by the office with the last visas.
  • Finally, I received my new visa. The compensation I mentioned (submit 4 times = pay the fee 4 times) was ignored.
  • In a four-page letter, addressed directly to the Foreign Minister, I described my experiences and my dismay at the visa process. I asked if Colombia didn’t know How and capital interested.
  • A few weeks later I received a reply letter signed by a secretary. The letter contained only one sentence, “Thank you for your letter, we will look into it”. There were no further communications.


Colombia has a horde of officials and complicated and outdated processes. Because of the culture, only what is instructed by the next higher authority is carried out. However, if you have problems with applications and disputes with officials, you should be polite but persistent.

The Ports of Colombia – Commercial Logistics

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.

Ports have an impact on the economy and globalization of any country, as they mainly serve as entry and exit channels for all types of products, thus ensuring trade relations with the rest of the world countries.

Several port areas exist in Colombia, such as the ports of: Santa Marta, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Buenaventura and Tumaco.

Port of Cartagena

Located in the city’s bay known as “La Heroica “, the Cartagena Group port is the Caribbean’s most important logistics platform. Thanks to its strategic location, it is an important point for international trade.

Currently, this is the country’s top export port as more than 60% of trade with the United States passes through this port. On the other hand, it is connected to 750 other ports in around 150 countries around the world and serves 25 shipping lines.

The main goal of the Port of Cartagena Group is to facilitate Colombia’s foreign trade and global connectivity in order to promote the socio-economic development of the region and the country. This goal is achieved thanks to the advanced infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, high safety standards and excellent staff training.

Port of Cartagena group services

  • Maritime services: loading and unloading; supply of drinking water and fuel; bilge and refuse disposal and treatment; Berths for cargo ships, cruise ships and smaller vessels; Possibility to moor ships up to 16,000 TEU.
  • Freight services: container, refrigerated cargo, autoload, general cargo, IMO cargo.
  • Logistics services: warehousing, nationalization of cargo, preparation for onward shipment and international distribution, sending of reports, stamping and serialization.
  • Cruise ship services: ship handling, passenger handling and embarkation.

Domestic transport times from the port of Cartagena

The transportation time from Cartagena is about 2-3 days to the interior ( Bogota, Medellin, Cali) and 3-4 days to the south of the country. This is under normal transit conditions (ie no detours, no obstructions on the route affecting vehicle traffic).

Container transport rate

The average cost of transporting a 20-foot container from the port of Cartagena to Bogotá in 2022 is: 5,216,269 million Colombian pesos (COP).

International shipping times

Below are the shipping times of goods from some of the main international ports to the port of Cartagena:

  • China: Shanghai (29 days), Hong Kong (31 days)
  • Singapore: Singapore (35 days)
  • South Korea: Busan (28 days)
  • Germany: Hamburg (15 days)
  • Belgium: Antwerp (14 days)
  • Netherlands: Rotterdam (14 days)
  • United States: Los Angeles (10 days), New York (5 days), Georgia (9 days)

Advantages of the Port of Cartagena

  • It is on the list of the top 100 container ports.
  • It offers port and logistics services not only for cargo ships but also for passengers.
  • More than 50 companies and industries are based in the bay which has made it an economic cluster for the Caribbean and the country.
  • He specializes in container handling.
  • Its sea terminals, SPRC and Contecar, are equipped with the most modern ships and have all the instruments for the arrival of the largest ships in the world.
  • He has the infrastructure to handle car transport.
  • Management of project loads such as heavy or oversized parts.
  • As a logistics center, it creates added value for the freight and offers its customers storage, labeling and repacking options, among other things, depending on their needs.
  • 98 percent of the cruise passengers that reach the country arrive here.

Port of Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura

The Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura port is located on the Colombian Pacific coast, in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, near the main sea routes that cross the planet from north to south and from east to west.

The port of Buenaventura is among the ten most important ports for maritime import and export traffic in Latin America and among the most important ports in the country as it is the main seaport for the arrival of goods from all over the country. In Colombia, it is the logistics hub through which most goods are handled, namely around 45% of the country’s international sea freight volume.

It is connected to 300 ports around the world and has 14 docks, a 1050 meter mooring line, a terminal with forklifts, 2 multipurpose terminals and 3 mobile cranes.

This port has an immense impact on the Colombian economy, mainly because of the wide variety of bulk cargoes it receives. In addition, its geographical location makes it one of the most interesting seaports in Colombia for international trade.

Services of the Regional Port Company of Buenaventura

The most important services are as follows:

  • Integral security program.
  • pilot service.
  • Handling, reloading, loading and unloading and packaging.
  • towing boats.
  • Provision of water, fuel, lubricants and supplies.
  • Wharfage, storage, power supply, inspections, weighing.
  • Ship Maintenance: Repair of mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and refrigeration systems.
  • Medical, dental and migration services for ship crews.
  • Storage services for shipping company LCL storage.
  • Monitoring and control of transshipment containers.
  • Consolidation and deconsolidation of LCL containers.
  • Treatment of solid and liquid waste.
  • use of cranes.

Domestic transport times from the Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura.

Shipping time from the port of Buenaventura is approximately one day (Cali) to two days (Bogota, Medellin). This occurs under normal transit conditions (ie no detours, no obstructions on the route affecting vehicular traffic).

container transport rate

The average cost of transporting a 20-foot container from the port of Buenaventura to Bogotá in 2022 is 5,920,097 million Colombian pesos (COP).

International shipping times

Below are the shipping times of goods from some of the main international ports to the port of Buenaventura:

  • China: Shanghai (29 days), Hong Kong (31 days)
  • Singapore: Singapore (34 days)
  • South Korea: Busan (27 days)
  • Germany: Hamburg (18 days)
  • Belgium: Antwerp (17 days)
  • Netherlands: Rotterdam (17 days)
  • United States: Los Angeles (9 days), New York (7 days), Georgia (11 days)

Benefits of the Buenaventura Regional Port Company

  • The port of Buenaventura has excellent infrastructures such as corridors, warehouses and natural sea basins that facilitate the arrival of ships.
  • It is the most important port on the Pacific coast because it is close to the main sea routes that cross the planet from north to south and from east to west.
  • It is one of the Latin American ports closest to the Far East, which makes it easier to connect to the Asian market.
  • It has a multipurpose capacity for port services near the Panama Canal.

Port of Barranquilla

The port of Barranquilla is located north of the port of Cartagena and close to the capital of the Atlantic, on the west bank of the Magdalena River, 22 km from its confluence with the Caribbean Sea. It is currently the fourth most modern and most important port in the country in terms of transported cargo volume.

It is also known as the Golden Gate of Colombia, as it was through this port that the most innovative and important technological achievements entered the country, such as B. Radio, cinema, television, aviation, railways, river navigation and other things that were possible thanks to its natural features as a city port.

One of the main features of this port is that it can store more than 350,000 barrels of oil and other products from the refineries. In the coming years it is expected to become the port with the largest storage capacity for barrels of crude oil, vegetable oils and other liquid substances.

In addition to the port terminals, 372 companies are operating in various fields such as consulting, warehousing, transport, cargo handling, logistics, etc., creating more than 13,000 jobs.

Barranquilla Port Services

  • Container Service: Storage, Reach Stacker, Elevators, Platforms, Telescopic Handler, Container Yard, XPS and N4 Software.
  • Logistics platform: storage, distribution, repairs, packaging, picking, deliveries, delivery service, printing, photo documentation.
  • Refrigerated and frozen goods: official controls, cross-docking, storage, order picking, palletizing, labeling, stowage, weighing.
  • Cargo: sorting of cargo, river handling, land transport, bagging service, CDLI, crate repair, thermopackaging, cleaning, and vehicle maintenance.
  • Bulk cargo: bagging, storage, loading ships, pallets, removal of compartments on ships, laboratory, cargo inspection, moisture control equipment.

Domestic times from the Port of Barranquilla

The transportation time from Barranquilla Port is about 2-3 days to the interior (Bogota, Medellin, Cali) and 3-4 days to the south of the country. This is under normal transit conditions (ie no detours, no obstructions on the route affecting vehicle traffic).

Container transport rate

The average cost of transporting a 20-foot container from the Port of Barranquilla to the city of Bogotá in 2022 is 5,720,859 million Colombian pesos (COP).

International shipping times

Below are the shipping times for goods from some of the major international ports to the Port of Barranquilla:

  • China: Shanghai (29 days), Hong Kong (32 days)
  • Singapore: Singapore (35 days)
  • South Korea: Busan (28 days)
  • Germany: Hamburg (15 days)
  • Belgium: Antwerp (14 days)
  • Netherlands: Rotterdam (14 days)
  • United States: Los Angeles (10 days), New York (5 days), Georgia (9 days)

Barranquilla Port Benefits

  • The Port of Barranquilla has the ability and excellent management to expand due to the growing warehousing needs of most of the country’s private and public terminals. This expansion includes the construction of a large coal storage facility for the Barranquilla SPR.
  • There is an area exclusively dedicated to separating the coal from the other deposits, to avoid waste and waste of this resource and to prevent possible fires.
  • Ease of multimodal transportation, with access to the country’s major trunk roads in less than an hour to move cargo by land and sea.
  • Broad portfolio of container routes and shipping companies such as: MAERSK, SeaLand, King Ocean Services, SEABOARD MARINE, Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Süd, Cosco Shipping, Evergreen, Ocean Network, Yang Ming, CMA CGM, MARFRET, ZIM, Melfi Marine.

Port of Santa Marta

The port is located at the northwest end of the city of Santa Marta and is bounded by the hills of San Martin to the north and by Cerro Ancon and Taganguilla Bay to the west.

This seaport has many advantages for Colombia, such as: B. its capacity for container transport and storage, as well as a growing cargo activity of fuel, grain and other products such as the traditional palm oil. In addition, it has 7 docks and an exclusive rail freight service that allows unloading and loading of these goods upon their arrival at the port.

The Sociedad Portuaria de Santa Marta is mainly used by shippers who carry out their professional activity on the commercial routes intended for the maritime transport of goods in the Atlantic Ocean.

Santa Marta Port Company Services

  • Container terminal: cold rooms, warehouses, storage and operational centers, isolation areas, motor vessel maintenance.
  • Bulk terminal: storage, warehouses, mobile crane, suction systems, unloading in silos.
  • General cargo terminal: storage, loading and unloading, provision of personnel, equipment rental, provision of ships, loading of motor vessels.
  • Liquid terminal: loading and unloading, railcar cleaning, storage, tank and pipe cleaning.
  • Coal terminal: loading and unloading, storage, tippers, dampening systems, barriers to control particle dispersion.
  • Ro-Ro Terminal: parking, surveillance, wifi, driver availability, loading and unloading service, maintenance, battery charging, transfers.
  • Cruise ships.

Shipping times from the Port of Santa Marta

The transportation time from Santa Marta Port is about 2-3 days to the interior (Bogota, Medellin, Cali) and 3-4 days to the south of the country. This is under normal transit conditions (ie no detours, no en route inconveniences or natural situations affecting vehicular traffic).

Container transport rate

The average cost of transporting a 20-foot container from the port of Santa Marta to Bogotá in 2022 is 5,754,006 million Colombian pesos (COP).

International shipping times

Below are the shipping times for goods from some of the major international ports to the Port of Barranquilla:

–           China: Shanghai (29 days), Hong Kong (32 days)

–           Singapore: Singapore (35 days)

–           South Korea: Busan (28 days)

–           Germany: Hamburg (15 days)

–           Belgium: Antwerp (14 days)

–           Netherlands: Rotterdam (14 days)

–           United States: Los Angeles (10 days), New York (5 days), Georgia (9 days)

Benefits Port of Santa Marta

  • Due to the high volume of bulk cargo in Colombia, this is the third most important seaport in the country.
  • It has the best climatic and environmental conditions of any port in the country.
  • He works non-stop 24 hours a day.
  • This port is the only one on the Atlantic coast served by rail.
  • It has an anti-drug police base.
  • The Port of Santa Marta has the greatest natural draft (depth) in the country, allowing for the berthing of large and/or heavy vessels.

Tumaco Regional Port Society

This port is located in the municipality of Tumaco in southwestern Colombia, near the border with Ecuador. It is considered the second largest port in Colombia on the Pacific after the port of Buenaventura.

This port is known as the “Pearl of the Pacific” because it is a major port on the Pacific Ocean and is close to its maritime landscapes such as Cabo Manglares, Tumaco Bay and Isla del Gallo to name a few.

It has facilities specially designed to receive enormous quantities of liquid and dry bulk goods, and its main activities include the enormous oil exports abroad, as well as the export of crude oil and bananas.

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Tumaco Services

  • Cargo handling: loading and unloading of general cargo and liquid bulk cargo in sea transport, land transport, loading and unloading ashore, filling and emptying of containers, stowage and unloading, lashing, unlashing, inspection and classification of cargo.
  • Trained personnel for piloting, lashing and unloading cargo.
  • Boat and towing services, transport services depending on the type of cargo.
  • Maritime and port security.

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Tumaco

International shipping times

Below are the shipping times of goods from some of the main international ports to the port of Tumaco :

  • China: Shanghai (29 days), Hong Kong (31 days)
  • Singapore: Singapore (34 days)
  • South Korea: Busan (27 days)
  • Germany: Hamburg (18 days)
  • Belgium: Antwerp (17 days)
  • Netherlands: Rotterdam (14 days)
  • United States: Los Angeles (9 days), New York (7 days), Georgia (11 days)

Benefits of the Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Tumaco

  • The Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Tumaco has good connections to the country’s major cities, such as Cali and Bogota.
  • It is a port with growing commercial activity and technology.
  • Optimal infrastructures for the storage of different materials.
  • It creates thousands of jobs.
  • It has the greatest tax advantages that any coastal community can have anywhere on the Pacific Rim.

Colombia has a large number of ports and companies in charge of the logistics processes of all types of traders. We hope you found this information useful and if you need advice or have any questions, please contact us. We’re here to help.

Colombia’s Industries – Details by Sector and Region

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.

The main industries in Colombia that contribute to the country’s economy and its economic sectors are agriculture, livestock, mining, energy, industry and fisheries.

The main export sectors are agriculture, mining, industry and fisheries, which are developing in different regions of the country. But what you may not know is that Colombia is made up of 6 natural regions with an enormous variety of geographical aspects, industries, traditions, accents and gastronomy.

Therefore, below we present everything you need to know about the different economic sectors of Colombia and the contribution of its regions (Caribbean, Pacific, Andes, Orinoco, Island and Amazon) to the market and economic development of the country.

The main economic sectors of Colombia

The Colombian Agricultural Sector

The agricultural sector, also known as the agricultural sector, is one of the most important sectors in the country and the primary sector. Products such as palm oil, coffee, cocoa, bananas and flowers are produced.

Products of the agricultural sector in Colombia

Colombia is among the 5 largest producers in the world for:

  • Coffee
  • avocado
  • Palm oil

The country is among the top 10 world producers of:

  • sugar cane
  • bananas
  • pineapple
  • cocoa

Colombian Agricultural Sector Exports

In 2020, the main destinations of the country’s agricultural and agro-industrial exports were as follows:

Destination country % share of exports Export dollar value Tons
USA 38,4% US $1.723 millions 651.305
Netherlands 5,7% US $257 millions 276.964
Belgium 5,0% US $224 millions 282.501
Germany 4,2% US $190 millions 132.898

Country of destination % of exports Dollar value of exports tons

United States 38.4% US $1,723 million 651,305

Netherlands 5.7% US $257 million 276,964

Belgium 5.0% US $224 million 282,501

Germany 4.2% US $190 million 132,898

Exports in this sector increased by 34.6% and amounted to around US$1,876 million in the first two months of 2022.

The Colombian Livestock Sector

This sector aims at the production or extraction of food or other products. According to the results of the DANE Report 2021, the Colombian livestock industry with all its activities contributed 8.8% to the national GDP, which represents a significant growth compared to the results of the previous year.

Colombian livestock products

Dairy and meat products are mainly produced in Colombia. But other products such as wool and leather are also in high demand.

Exports of the Colombian livestock sector

Livestock sector exports are classified as follows:

  • According to the DANE, between January and September 2021, meat exports totaled nearly 40,880 tons, worth US$175 million, exceeding the figure for all of 2020.
  • Export of cattle reached 102 million US dollars, equivalent to 282,000 cattle.
  • International trade in dairy products has also increased significantly. From January to September 2021, a total of 5,213 tons were exported, for a total value of US$22 million. International trade in milk powder, cheese, butter and yoghurt increased by 130.2%.
  • Exports of leather, shoes and leather goods reached 167 million US dollars.

Colombia’s mining energy sector

The energy sector in Colombia corresponds to the primary activities of the economy and is based on the use of energy and non-renewable natural resources.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy said that in July 2021, the sector’s royalty income reached COP 4.1 trillion, exceeding the set target, up 27% from an estimated COP 15.4 trillion at the end of 2021 and early 2022.

In the third quarter of 2021, the mining sector recorded growth of 10.3%.

Products of the Colombian mining and energy sector

This sector is made up of three sub-sectors: Electricity, Mining and Hydrocarbons.

Colombia is a country rich in energy resources such as:

  • Petroleum,
  • Money,
  • natural gas
  • and hydropower.

It is also rich in minerals such as:

  • Gold,
  • Silver
  • copper
  • platinum
  • and especially emeralds.

These are mined in different regions of the country and are an essential part of the economy. In Latin America, Colombia ranks first in the production and export of emeralds, while globally it is surpassed only by Zambia.

The country is on track to develop up to 30 gold and copper projects by 2024, according to the Colombian engineering school.

This could mean investments of around US$5 billion and the creation of more than 7,000 jobs.

important to know that a large part of the mining in Colombia is illegal. The country suffered more than $5.6 billion in damage from 2010 to 2018.

Colombia’s Mining Energy Exports

Finally, the petroleum industry is of great importance for Colombia’s exports, which accounted for 34.8% of the country’s total exports in 2021.

In the same year, over $129 million worth of emeralds were sold abroad. This is a triple increase compared to 2020.

The industrial sector in Colombia

In the technical sense, the Colombian industry summarizes the mechanized processes of raw material processing. In 2021, it contributed 8.3% to Colombia’s GDP.

Within the industrial sector in Colombia, there are several sub-sectors such as food, beverage, textile and chemical industries, which are the main economic sectors in the country.

This sector generated 25.97 trillion COP in the first quarter of 2021 and according to figures from DANE, textile manufacturing was the one that grew the most in 2021, registering an increase of 16.8% compared to 2020. In addition, the Colombian Industrial Production Index (IPI) rose by 10.3% in the same year.

Products of the Colombian industrial sector

  • Food and beverage industry: Meat, fish, oils, animal and vegetable fats, dairy products, starches, coffee, sugar, panela, cocoa, confectionery, animal feed, cereals, alcoholic liquids, vinegar, among others
  • Textile industry: cotton textiles, nylon, wool, polyester, fiber products, yarns and fabrics.
  • Chemical industry: petrochemicals , oleochemicals , plastics, rubber, paints, agrochemicals, containers and packaging.

Exports of the Colombian industrial sector

Among the most exported products of the industrial sector are:

Product Value in exports
Chemical products US $2.570,7
Manufactured goods US $1.675,8
cut flowers and foliage US $1.317,6
machinery and transport equipment US $1.090,8
animal feed US $822,9
raw materials US $560,3

Exports of manufactured products in 2019 were US$18,752.4 million, which represented a growth of almost 8.6% compared to 2018.

In 2019, the top destinations of the country’s industrial exports were:

  • United States with 25.8% of exports
  • Ecuador with 8.7% of exports
  • Mexico with 6.3% of exports
  • Brazil with 6.0% of exports
  • Peru with 5.1% of exports
  • China with 3.3% of exports
  • Puerto Rico with 3.3% of exports
  • Chile with 2.7% of exports
  • Canada with 2.6% of exports

Colombian fisheries sector

The Colombian fisheries and aquaculture sector is present on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and other areas across the country, particularly in the major rivers such as the Magdalena, Amazon, Orinoco and Sinu, where fish are caught for food consumption and the ornamental fish market. Traditional fishermen and farmers account for about a third of total capture and aquaculture production.

Although this sector accounts for only 0.7% of GDP, it is one of the most important sectors in Colombia, employing 14.5 million people. The national fish market is about 350,000 tons annually.

Products of the Colombian fisheries sector

Aquaculture contributed 175,580 tons, while fisheries recorded a catch volume of 81,200,698 kilograms, divided between artisanal and industrial fisheries, according to the Statistical Service for Fisheries in Colombia.

In addition, there is fish farming in Colombia, ie the rearing of fish with the aim of producing meat, oil and ornamental fish. Fish production involves three production stages: hatching, rearing and fattening, in order to market the various fish either as a whole or as part of a process that produces different end products depending on the product. By-products such as oils, fish cakes and nuggets are also obtained.

Exports of the Colombian fisheries sector

Exports have grown by 119% over the past decade and in the first two months of 2021, exports have grown by 28%.

The main exporter of the sector is the industrial tuna fishery, which has a turnover of between 280 and 300 million US dollars abroad, followed by other fish species such as :

  • tilapia,
  • Trout,
  • aquaculture of shrimp,
  • crabs
  • and ornamental fish.

Regions in Colombia and its economy

Mapa Regiones Colombia
Shadowxfox, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Caribbean region of Colombia

Geographical borders:

  • North: Caribbean Sea
  • South: Andean region
  • West: Caribbean-Pacific Sea
  • East: Venezuela

Area: 132,288 km² – 11.6% of the national territory.

Population: 10,301,982 inhabitants.

Climate: Tropical dry and arid climate (in Guajira and Cesar), with temperate oceanic climate on the peaks of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Departaments: Atlántico, Bolívar, Cordoba, Magdalena, Cesar, Guajira, Sucre.

Main cities: Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Valledupar, Montería, Sincelejo, Riohacha.

The Caribbean region is located in northern Colombia. The inhabitants of this region are known as Costeños and have a clear Afro influence.

This region is characterized by its warm climate and its spectacular beaches, but also by unique destinations such as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Corales del Rosario and San Bernardo and the Tayrona Park.

Historically, the Caribbean region has been one of the best connected to the rest of the world, thanks to the ports of Barranquilla and Cartagena, which in turn are Colombia’s two main urban centers.

Economy of the Colombian Caribbean region

The key economic sectors of the Caribbean region accounted for nearly 30% of Colombia’s total exports and a national GDP of US$146 billion in 2020, accounting for 14.5% of the national total.

The economy of the region has developed in several ways:

Agribusiness in the Caribbean

First up is the exploitation of the land, with agribusiness being the most important in the Caribbean region, especially for banana production. It is here, in the banana-growing areas of Urabá, that the country’s and Latin America’s most important banana companies are based. There are also other crops such as plantains, rice, coffee, cocoa, cotton, cassava, African oil palms, coconuts and other fruits.

Livestock farming in the Caribbean

Livestock farming, which comes second, is also fundamental to the region’s economy. Along with the departments of Córdoba, Magdalena, Bolívar, Sucre, Atlántico and Cesar, in the valleys of the Sinú and San Jorge rivers, are the areas with the highest production of cattle, from which the dairy, meat and leather industries develop. On the other hand, goats are also raised in the Guajira region.

Mining Industry in the Caribbean

After all, mining is largely done in the Caribbean. The main mining districts in the Caribbean are in Guajira, where salt, natural gas, nickel and coal are mined in areas such as El Cerrejón and Ferroníquel.

Other industries in the Caribbean

In addition, tourism and metallurgy, refining and energy industries are also, to a lesser extent, representative of the economic activities on the Colombian coast.

Pacific region of Colombia

Geographical borders:

  • North: Panama
  • South: Ecuador
  • West: Pacific Ocean
  • East: Andes

Area: 83,170 km² – 7% of the national territory.

Population: 1,500,753 inhabitants.

Climate: Tropical humid and monsoon.

Departments: Chocó, Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Nariño.

Main cities: Cali, Quibdó, Popayán, Pasto, Buenaventura, Tumaco, Guapi, Barbacoas, Tadó .

According to the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Pacific region is known to be the wettest area on earth, home to most of Colombia’s biodiversity. The location on the largest ocean in the world also opens the doors to the international arena, which is crucial for the development of the Pacific and the country.

This is the main area of Afro-Colombian culture as 90% of the population is of Afro-Colombian descent, and the region is also home to the ancestral lands of indigenous communities such as the Kunas and the Emberá. This promotes the region’s cultural identity and opens the way for great gastronomy, music, dance and much more.

Among the most outstanding destinations in the Pacific are the beaches of Bahía Solano, Nuquí and the fauna and flora reserve of Isla de la Corota.

Economy of the Pacific Region

According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the Pacific region contributed 13.84% to Colombia’s GDP in 2020. In addition, in the same year, 12.9% of exports were accounted for by one of the region’s representative products, sugar cane.

The activities that contribute the most to the economy of this region are:

The fishing industry in the Pacific

Industrial fisheries, the most developed in the whole region, are exploited both for local consumption and for trade with the rest of the country and in some cases with other countries.

Mining in the Pacific Region

On the other hand, there is industrial mining, which plays an important role in the extraction of gold, silver and precious stones.

Forestry for the extraction of wood and mangroves for the national and international market is also widespread.

Other industries in the Pacific region

To a lesser extent than the above activities, agriculture also contributes to the Colombian market, particularly the cultivation of sugar cane.

Andean region

Geographical borders:

  • North: Caribbean region
  • South: Ecuador and Amazonia
  • West: Pacific Rim
  • East: Venezuela and Orinoco region

Area: 282,450 km² – 24% of the national territory.

Population: 28,863,217 inhabitants.

Climate: temperate (oceanic and Mediterranean), tundra and polar climate.

Departments: Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cundinamarca, Huila, North of Santander, Santander, Tolima, Risaralda, Quindío.

Main Cities: Bogotá DC, Medellín, Tunja, Manizales, Bucaramanga, Cúcuta, Neiva, Armenia, Pereira, Ibagué.

The Andean region is probably the most important region for all sectors of the country, as it is where most of Colombia’s population is concentrated and it is the area with the greatest economic development in the country, where the three most important cities are located: Bogota, Medellin and Cali.

For this reason, the Paisa, Santander and Cundinamarca-Boyacán cultures can be found here, among others.

The Andean region is made up of ten departments with seven cultural sub-regions that lie in the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world.

It is a region with a great climatic diversity thanks to the different areas that range from near sea level to peaks of more than 5000 meters. Outstanding attractions include Los Nevados National Park and Chicamocha National Park.

The economy in the Andean region

This region is one of the most important economic regions in Colombia and generates about 65% of Colombia’s GDP.

The agricultural industry in the Andean region

The main economic activity in the Andean region is agriculture, thanks to the numerous fertile soils suitable for a variety of uses. Various products are planted and harvested here for export and national consumption such as coffee, sugar cane, cotton, rice, cocoa, potatoes, barley, etc.

More than 80% of the country’s coffee crop comes from these areas.

The mining industry in the Andes region

This region has great natural riches: oil, gold, emeralds, copper, lead, iron, clay, coal, salt and other minerals are mined from its subsoil, which is why mining is very important in this part of the country.

Livestock farming in the Andes region

Finally, another important activity is animal husbandry, which is more intensively practiced in the areas and zones of the region, especially cattle breeding, but also sheep and pig breeding.

Other industries in the Andean region

Another branch of the economy is tourism because this region has the largest lakes and reservoirs in the country as well as the most beautiful snow-capped mountains and parks.

Island region

Geographic Boundaries: Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.

Area: 300 km² (surface).

Number of inhabitants: 74,620 inhabitants.

Climate: Tropical dry and tropical humid.

Departments: San Andrés and Providencia, Bolívar, Cauca, Cordoba, Valle del Cauca.

Main Islands: San Andrés, Barú Island – San Bernardo Islands – Rosario Islands (Bolívar), Gorgona Island (Cauca), Malpelo Island (Valle del Cauca), Tortuguilla Island (Córdoba).

The island region encompasses all of Colombia’s remote islands and offers unique marine beauty and paradisiacal landscapes with beaches and islands that are important natural reserves and protected areas and are home to thousands of animal and plant species.

The economy of the island region

The island region contributed 15.2% of the country’s GDP in 2019.

The tourism industry in the island region

The main source of income of the Colombian island region is tourism because  numerous hotels are visited by locals and foreigners every year. Ecotourism is in high demand thanks to the beautiful islands that are one of Colombia’s main attractions.

Agriculture and fisheries in the island region

Fishing and agriculture are important sources of income for this part of the country. Fish, seafood, bananas, corn, coconut and lime are the most commonly traded items.

Other industries in the island region

Another industry that is not as well represented in the region is livestock farming, which raises pigs, goats and poultry.

Orinoco region

Geographical borders:

  • North: Venezuela
  • South: Amazonia
  • West: Andean region
  • East: Venezuela

Area: 285,437 km² – 18% of the national territory.

Population: 1,681,273 inhabitants.

Climate: Tropical dry and monsoon climate.

Departments: Arauca, Meta, Guaviare, Vichada, Casanare, Boyacá, Cundinamarca, North of Santander (Piedemonte llanero).

Main cities: Arauca, Yopal, Villavicencio, Puerto Carreño.

Colombia’s Orinoquia is made up of vast, seemingly endless plains, numerous rivers, and incredible ecosystems.

The warm and dry climate of this region gives rise to savannah vegetation and natural pastures, as well as rich and varied wildlife.

The dominant animal husbandry, which we will discuss later, has had a strong influence on culture, architecture, fashion, gastronomy, dance and music.

The economy of the Orinoco Region

According to a survey conducted by DANE in 2019, the Orinoco region contributes 6% to the national GDP.

The economy in this area of Colombia is mainly focused on the primary sector. Today there are 3 sectors or economic activities that contribute to the economy of this region.

Livestock farming in the Orinoco region

The most important industry in the Eastern Plains is livestock. Thanks to the rich soil with extensive plains and savannas, the production of meat and milk is crucial.

Mining in the Orinoco region

Second, the mining industry is primarily mining-focused, as this region is home to the country’s largest oil-producing areas, although to a lesser extent coal and salt are also mined in the Orinoco region.

The agricultural industry in the Orinoco region

Finally, there is agriculture, with activities such as the production of food and fiber. The main crops are coffee, rice, corn, sugar cane, bananas, plantain, agave and others.

Amazon region

Geographical borders:

  • North: Orinoco
  • South: Ecuador, Peru, Brazil
  • West: Brazil and Venezuela
  • East: Andean region

Area: 483,119 km² – 41% of national Territories.

Population: 264,945 inhabitants.

Climate: humid and monsoon.

Departments: Amazonas, Caquetá, Guaina, Putumayo, Guaviare, Vaupé .

Main cities: Leticia, Florence, Inírida, San José del Guaviare, Mocoa, Mitú.

The Amazon region in the south of the country is the largest of the six regions. It occupies 40% of Colombia’s territory and is home to an extremely diverse flora and fauna that preserves and protects much of the planet’s biodiversity.

Their culture is based on the heritage of the indigenous people, because in this region there are almost 200 indigenous reserves and communities of different families such as the Tukano , Arawak or Huitotos . Some of these indigenous tribes live in the middle of the rain forest on the riverbanks because of the warm climate.

The economy in the Amazon region

The Amazon region’s share in national GDP was 0.08% in 2020. The main economic sectors in this region are fishing, agriculture and forestry.

Agriculture and fisheries in the Amazon region

Fishing is particularly strong due to the numerous rivers that cross this area of the country, while agriculture is characterized by the cultivation of rice, bananas, corn, sugar cane and cocoa, among others.

Forestry in the Amazon region

On the other hand, forestry use leads to the production and marketing of wood, both non-timber and useful. The most marketed products of this industry include rubber, grenadilla wood, cedar wood and ipecac.

Other industries in the Amazon region

Finally, there are other sectors that contribute less to the economy of this region, namely ecotourism, which represents the amazing landscapes and trade in handicrafts, history and tradition of the Amazon.

We hope this information has been useful to learn more about Colombia’s economic sectors, the main industries and the economic contribution of the 6 natural regions that Colombia is divided into.

Main business districts in the main cities of 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.

Colombia is one of the countries in Latin America with the best business environment. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, Colombia ranks third among the best business opportunity countries on the continent, after Chile and Mexico.

Over the past decade, Colombia has made efforts to improve its investment climate and as a result, foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country has evidently increased sharply. Considered by investors as a reliable and stable location, the country has several cities where trade plays the leading role and which offer opportunities for all domestic and foreign industries.

The Cities Competitiveness Index (ICC) conducted a 2020 study listing the country’s most competitive cities for business. Among them are Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Manizales, Bucaramanga and Villavicencio.

Below you will find information about trade in these cities, as well as the main commercial areas.

The Business in Bogota

Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, is the country’s most important city, and one of the most competitive cities in Latin America.

The great attraction for this city lies in the great investment opportunities. Today there are more than 1,300 foreign-invested companies, it has been cataloged as one of the Cities of the Future and holds second place in fDi Magazine’s (2021 – 2022) ranking of Cities of the Future in Latin America.

Most of the industries in Bogotá are textiles, clothing, leather, rubber and plastics, printing, chemicals, food, beverages, tobacco, wood, machinery and equipment, and metallurgy products, to name a few.

Also, the country’s largest city has a variety of shopping options, which you can find below.

Business district in Bogota

Bogota is the cradle of commerce in the country and in this great city you will find numerous opportunities of sectors and shops of all kinds of industries.

There are also several multinational companies and supermarkets in the city, such as Almacenes Éxito, Carulla, Alkosto, Olímpica, Homecenter, Makro, Cafam and others.

Center of Bogota

You can find everything in this area. The main attractions include the Historical Center, the International Center of Bogota and Carrera Séptima (between 12th Street and 19th Street).

Here you will find mainly

  • clothing stores
  • jewelry stores
  • Specialized bookstores
  • Hotels
  • banks
  • exchange offices
  • travel agencies
  • music stores
  • cigar shops
  • restaurants and cafes
International Center Bogotá

The International Center of Bogota (CIB) is an area of downtown Bogota that is home to several of Colombia’s tallest skyscrapers, mostly made up of offices and close to several plazas and pedestrian streets. This sector has evolved to become the city’s premier financial sector.

Chapinero in Bogota

in Chapinero, mainly along with the city’s Carrera 13. According to the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, Chapinero is the district with the second-highest number of businesses in the city (26,196), representing 10.8% of the total number of registered businesses.

The north of Bogotá

The north of the city of Bogotá hosts a large number of the most important commercial establishments, shopping malls, hypermarkets and department stores. There are a variety of boutiques, jewelry stores, antique shops and currency exchange offices.

In the Zona Rosa, around Calle 82, you will find art galleries, department stores and luxury shops with the best national and international brands.

Usaquén sector shops are selling woolen fabrics, antiques and curios. There are several streets such as 109 and 116 and Avenida 19 that offer a wide range of commercial activities.

On the weekends there is also the Mercado de las Pulgas, where Colombian artisans are represented.

Shopping centers in Bogota

  • Urban area: Centro Chía, Fontanar, El Trébol ( Mosquera), Metrosur, Gran Plaza Soacha, Mercurio.
  • City center: Terraza Pasteur, Mallplaza NQS, El Gran San, Neos center.
  • North: Unicentro, Palatino, Atlantis Plaza, Andino, El Retiro, Santa Ana, Avenida Chile, Hacienda Santa Bárbara, Santafé, Unilago.
  • West: Portal of the 80, Cafam Forest, Poplars Diverplaza, Gran Estación, Salitre Plaza, Galerías, Titán Plaza, El Eden, Hayuelos, Plaza Claro, Nuestro Bogotá, Metropolis.
  • Northwest: Bulevar Nice, Paseo San Rafael, Iserra 100, Centro Suba, Subazar, Plaza Imperial.
  • South: Multiplaza Bogotá, Plaza de Las Americas, Ciudad Tunal, Tintal Plaza, Centro Mayor, Plaza Central.

Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá

The Bogota Chamber of Commerce is the main ally of entrepreneurs and businessmen in creating successful businesses.

The Chamber supports companies in their various life cycles by offering them legal certainty and developing measures to improve the competitive environment.

Commercial in Medellin

The City of Eternal Spring is one of the most competitive business cities in the country. The industries with the greatest participation and relevance in the greater Medellín area are textiles, chemicals, food, beverages, metalworking, electrical engineering and electronics.

There are many national and international companies of global competitiveness that are based in this city and promote the economic development of the city. A clear example of this is that Medellín is the headquarters of the largest electricity transmission company in Latin America and the city controls the general electricity system of the country thanks to its cutting-edge technology in this sector and its optimal functioning.

The Business district of Medellin

The city of Medellín offers a wide range of shopping opportunities, most of which are focused on the city’s main activity, fashion. Still, there are two areas to consider:

Laureles in Medellin

This district of Medellín is one of the main reference points of the city, not only for its history and tradition, but also for its gastronomic offer and its commercial activities.

Laureles consists of the Avenidas Nutibara , Jardín , Calle 33, Carrera 76 and Carrera 70 and is today an important axis for trade and services. Here you will find major shopping malls and chain stores including Éxito, Jumbo, Carulla, Euro and Makro.

With a traditional French style and lots of green space, you’ll also find a variety of restaurants, specialty shops, banks and more. Many houses and buildings still have their original facades and structures.

El Poblado of Medellin

This sector is one of the most recognized in the country for its location in the most exclusive area of Medellin, with the best infrastructure for high-end housing and luxury shops. It is also the safest area, with large shopping malls, brand shops, the best hotels in Medellín, all kinds of restaurants and the most exclusive bars and business centers nearby.

In recent years, business activity in Medellín has been concentrated in El Poblado as this is the cradle of the city’s economy and business development. Why is that? In this sector, there is the Golden Mile, which brings together the most important and diverse business centers of the capital of Antioquia, of which the financial sector is the most important.

El Poblado is strategically located in the Aburrá Valley and is served by major avenues such as Av. El Poblad , the Av . Las Vegas, Calle 10 and Av. Crosses regionally as well as the upper, middle and lower cross streets.

In addition, in Medellín and the Aburra Valley there are more than 40 industrial parks such as La Regional Industrial and Warehouse Park in Sabaneta or ZOFIVA (Free Trade Zone in Caldas) and more than 10 industrial zones such as Barrio Colombia, Belén, Guayabal and others.

Shopping centers in Medellin

These are 14 of the biggest and best malls in Medellín:

  • City Center: Mayorca, Arkadia, Premium Plaza, El Parque, Viva Envigado
  • North: Terminal del Norte, Unicentro, Los Molinos, Puerta del Norte
  • West: Obelisco, Viva Laureles
  • East: National Palace
  • South: El Tesoro, San Diego

Chamber of Commerce of Medellin

The Medellín Chamber of Commerce is a leading body in the Antioquia region that offers business services advice and manages the commercial registers of companies and corporations incorporated in the department.

This organization promotes economic growth in the city, and competitiveness also improves the quality of life of citizens and entrepreneurs by understanding their needs and therefore has developed a wide range of services.

Some of the most important services are

  • Business training
  • The Godfather Plan
  • Center for Mediation, Arbitration and Amicable Settlement
  • Digital Certification Services
  • Subsidiaries in Trayectoria Mega

Commercial in Cartagena

Cartagena de Indias not only has a wonderful natural wealth, an incredible gastronomic offer, or important hotel infrastructures but also has a solid economy thanks to sectors such as industry, tourism, commerce and logistics for international maritime trade due to its strategic location on the Caribbean Sea, in the north of South America and the center of the American continent.

The Business district in Cartagena

In the city of Cartagena, you will find several industrial and commercial areas, because Cartagena is the largest economic metropolis on the Colombian coast.

One of the most important sectors of the city is Bocagrande, the city’s most modern area with luxurious hotels as well as numerous restaurants, discos and casinos that make this area a popular tourist area.

However, in the list below you will also find other areas that are more trade-oriented.

La Matuna in Cartagena

The Matuna sector has gradually become the financial, commercial and business center of the city and includes industries such as tourism, international trade, education and transport, among others.

In this area there are countless colorful hostels, bars and restaurants with excellent typical Cartagena cuisine.

La Matuna, which was built precisely on one of the places where part of the wall was cut, divides the historic center of Cartagena in two: on one side there is Avenida Venezuela and the neighborhood of San Diego. On the other side are Avenida Daniel Lemaitre and the Getsemaní neighborhood. The strategic location makes it easy for visitors to explore the city and reach the main attractions.

Cartagena Industrial Park

Most of the city’s industries are located in the Mamonal Industrial Park, considered one of Colombia’s most important industrial areas.

It is home to around 209 large and medium-sized companies and the El Bosque industrial zone, which houses the city’s main free trade zones.

Free Trade Zones in Cartagena
  • La Candelaria Free Trade Zone
  • Central Park Free Zone
  • Industrial Free Trade Zone for Goods and Services Cartagena Zofranca SA
  • Tourist Free Trade Zone
  • Uniempresarial de la Refinería de Cartagena Free Zone
  • Argos SA Permanent Special Free Trade Zone
  • Permanent Special Free Zone Puerta de Las Americas

Shopping centers in Cartagena

The main shopping centers in Cartagena include the following:

  • Bocagrande Plaza
  • La Serrezuela
  • Plaza el Castillo Shopping Center
  • Caribbean Plaza
  • Nao shopping mall

Chamber of Commerce of Cartagena

The Cartagena Chamber of Commerce is a private, not-for-profit organization whose main objective is to serve as the body of the general interests of commerce vis-à-vis the government and the traders themselves and to promote regional development.

This entity is authorized by law to provide mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution services. In addition, as part of its general services, it offers advice, administration and processing in the formation of companies.

For more information about the Cartagena Chamber of Commerce and its services, please click here.

Commercial in Barranquilla

Barranquilla is a major industrial and commercial center, with major economies including industry, commerce, finance, services and fishing.

Major products manufactured in Barranquilla include: oils, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, shoes, bus bodies, dairy products, cured meats, beverages, soaps, building materials, furniture, plastics, cement, metal-mechanical parts, clothing and boats, to name but a few to name a few.

According to the National Statistics Office (DANE), in 2019 Barranquilla was a major player in the Colombian economy, contributing 17% to the growth of the national industry, being the city with the highest increase in real retail sales and an increase of 66, 6% and 37.4% respectively in exports from its La Cayena and ZF Barranquilla permanent free zones.

The Business district of Barranquilla

The city of Barranquilla is divided into 5 localities: Riomar , Norte-Centro Histórico , Sur Occidente , Metropolitana and Sur Oriente . There are between 24 and 40 districts in these places and each of these places has a strong presence of both retail and wholesale.

These are 3 of the sectors where the city’s commerce is most concentrated:

Paseo de Bolivar in Barranquilla

Paseo de Bolívar is the main avenue in Barranquilla. A large part of the city grew and expanded around this avenue.

Located in the historic center of the city, this neighborhood is home to the City Hall, the Church of San Nicolás, and numerous commercial and financial buildings. There is a lot of trade and commerce of all kinds in the streets as well as in the big shops and shopping centers.

It is a very busy sector and since 2021 a relocation process has been initiated for more than 100 sellers who will move from the public space of Paseo Bolivar to the Robertico and Volpe shopping centers. An excellent alternative to free up public space in this area, improve pedestrian traffic and encourage formal commerce.

Riomar in Barranquilla

Riomar is a very exclusive area. Although residential use predominates in this part of the city, there are also other uses such as industry, institutions, tourism and commerce. Here you will find several 4 and 5-star hotel chains, several shopping malls, bars and restaurants. It is considered an ideal place for shopping as the latest trends in various industries, especially coastal fashion, can be found here.

El Gulf Barranquilla

Located to the north of the city, Barranquilla Golf is brimming with luxury and tranquility.

In this area, which hosts the most exclusive neighborhoods for its infrastructure and location, there are residential developments, modern high-rise buildings and skyscrapers such as the Grattacielo and the Mirage 5, as well as numerous drugstores, clothing stores, gyms, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and the main shopping and financial centers of the city.

Shopping malls in Barranquilla

  • Riomar – North: Viva Barranquilla, Buenavista, Villa Country, Único Outlet, Miramar, Villa Carolina, Gran Boulevard, Country Plaza.
  • Historical Center: Portal del Prado, Commercial Shopping Center, Aladino, Tropical Centro, Parque Central.
  • Southwest: Americano
  • Southeast: Panorama, Alegra
  • Others: Metropolitano, Metrocentro, Gran Plaza del Sol, Carnaval

Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce

Focused on merchant needs, the Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce is a leader in fostering prosperity and competitiveness by activating flows of information, capital and knowledge that impact the region.

The company has excellent Headquarters and Service Points in Barranquilla, Soledad and Sabanalarga where the services are delivered with technical support and efficient and trained staff.

For more information about the Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce and its services, please click here.

Commercial in Manizales

The city of Manizales is the capital of the department of Caldas, which is located in west-central Colombia in the Central Cordillera.

Doing Business Colombia 2010 study conducted by the World Bank, Manizales ranked first. Manizales is considered the city in Colombia where it is easiest to start a business. Today, the city continues to position itself as one of the strongest industrial and commercial cities in the country.

The main activity and tradition of the city is the cultivation and production of coffee, but there are also many companies dedicated to the production of spirits, shoes, rubber, chocolate, car parts, household appliances, soap, metallurgy and other products.

In addition, thanks to the natural wealth and the large number of forests and nature reserves that surround the city, bird watching has become an important point of reference, giving a great boost to tourism and the economy.

Shopping in Manizales

In this Colombian city, also known as the City of Open Doors, these two areas are mainly commercial:

Zona Rosa de Manizales

East Manizales is home to the Zona Rosa, home to some of the city’s most elegant neighborhoods. The Zona Rosa is today an area dedicated to gastronomy, entertainment and commerce, in particular the shops of the most luxurious brands in the city and country, as well as the main shopping centers. In addition, a large part of the quality hotel offer in the capital of Caldas is concentrated in this sector.

This is also the closest area to La Nubia Airport, which is convenient for travelers to access and thanks to its excellent location, and easy access to the bus and taxi system.

The Historical center of Manizales

While the city center is the busiest part of Manizales, it is also the main area for cultural, commercial and administrative activity.

Around 20% of the city’s economic activity is concentrated in this sector alone, where the best of the city’s history meets growing trade.

In the center and its surroundings, two zones can be distinguished in which trade plays the main role:

  • The upper zone made up of the neighborhoods of Los Agustinos, Las Américas and the west end of the center, is densely populated and has moderate economic activity, with about 50 establishments per thousand inhabitants.
  • In the middle zone, which includes the entire Centro district and is home to around 20% of the city’s private economic activity, there are just over 400 businesses per thousand inhabitants.
  • This neighborhood of Manizales is dominated by shopping malls, car companies, restaurants, clothing stores, drugstores, pharmacies, banks, currency exchange offices, and technology stores.

Shopping centers in Manizales

  • Mallplaza Manizales
  • Fundadores Shopping Center
  • Cable Plaza shopping mall
  • Caldas Park shopping center
  • Shopping center La 19
  • Shopping center Sancario
  • Multicentre Estrella

Chamber of Commerce of Manizales

The Manizales Chamber of Commerce aims to be the best partner for entrepreneurs in the region. In fulfillment of the tasks entrusted by the state, this organization works to create economic value in the region and supports the strengthening and growth of traders.

Their key business development services and actions include:

  • Attention in communities: training, business clinic, vender Más program, etc
  • Strengthening the economy: training courses, sectoral programs to strengthen the economy, advice, etc
  • clusters and productivity
  • business growth
  • internationalization

Commercial in Villavicencio

Villavicencio is a Colombian municipality, capital of the Meta department and the most important commercial center of the Eastern Plain. Agriculture, livestock and mining are the pillars of the city’s economy, which has developed greatly thanks to significant and constant trade and good financial backing. Villavicencio is an important storage center and transit point inland for most of the crops and livestock produced in the Llanos region.

In addition, in Villavicencio, as the place is traditionally called, and in the surrounding area, there is a significant rice processing industry, palm oil and concentrate production, seeds and metalworking industry.

Business district in Villavicencio

In Villavicencio, the departmental capital, there are some facilities of great importance for economic and commercial development. Some of them are: the seat of government of the Department of Meta, the Water and Sewerage Company of Villavicencio (EAAV), the company Electrificadora Del Meta (EMSA), the branch of the Bank of the Republic of Colombia and the Chamber of Commerce of Villavicencio (CCV).

Villavicencio city center

Villavicencio city center includes the entire central area of the city around the Parque de Los Fundadores. In this area, you will find the main and widest shopping streets of Villavicencio, as well as numerous restaurants and hotels of all kinds.

South area of the center of Villavicencio

Around Calle 27, to the south of the city center, is this neighborhood considered one of the safest and most luxurious in Villavicencio. The main features that make this sector one of the most important in terms of commerce include a wide range of typical Llanos gastronomy, the best range of hotels and a large number of shopping centers.

Shopping centers in Villavicencio

The town of Villavicencio has many shopping centers. The most important include:

  • Llanocentro Shopping Center: This is where the Grand Hotel is located
  • Unicentro shopping center
  • Viva Villavicencio Shopping Center (formerly La Sabana Shopping Center )
  • Villacentro shopping center
  • Único shopping center
  • Primavera Shopping Center Urbana

In and around these malls across the city, you can find supermarkets and businesses such as Falabella, Homecenter, Constructor, Exito Supermarkets, Makro, Alkosto, Tiendas Metro and Olímpica.

Chamber of Commerce Villavicencio

The Chamber of Commerce of Villavicencio is the most important chamber of commerce in the Meta department. This facility promotes corporate governance, alternative methods of conflict resolution, and public records in the jurisdiction. It should also contribute to the development and growth of companies in the region.

One of their most important services is business orientation. It also offers virtual company databases and the possibility of renting space, equipment and complimentary services.

For more information about the Villavicencio Chamber of Commerce and its services, please click here.

Helicopter flights in Colombia 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.

One of the biggest challenges for business travelers today is optimal time management. A large number of destinations can be visited in a short time. However, due to local infrastructure, bad roads, or a lack of flight connections, such visits sometimes cannot be carried out within useful time windows.

A possible, but also cost-intensive solution is to use helicopter transport. Although these are expensive, the bottom line is that such a solution can still be economically worthwhile, taking all costs into account.

Which option can business travelers use?

Below you will find useful information about helicopter travel in Colombia.

What types of business services do helicopter companies provide in Colombia?

Helicopter tourism companies in Colombia offer a variety of services such as: Visits and overflights of all types of landscapes in the country such as Guatapé or the Chicamocha Gorge, the main cities, for a day as a pilot or even for marriage proposals.

For tourist flights, we refer to our separate blog about tourist helicopter offers in Colombia.

Among the services aimed at business tourism, the following are the most important:

Passenger transport by helicopter

The transportation of people from one place to another is what is most requested by companies because a destination can be reached so quickly and directly.

Air taxi with helicopter

Some companies provide air taxi services that offer flights to any location in the country with a variety of fleet options, state-of-the-art technology and a satellite system that allows real-time tracking of flights across the country.

Air Freight Transportation

When transporting freight or goods by helicopter, the terms crane helicopter or cargo helicopter are also used. These terms are used because helicopters generally transport the cargo as a type of crane and dump the goods at the desired location.

Executive Charter Airline

Charter flights offer more flexibility than commercial flights, serving virtually any destination, at any time, according to customers’ needs.

These flights are not scheduled flights and are not part of the regular flight schedule of the various companies that operate them.

Ambulance and rescue service by helicopter

This type of service provides medical accompaniment to passengers in special situations and assists the patient with medical assistance from arrival to arrival at the airport or flight base.

Some companies also offer transfers to destination airports, clinics, hospitals, health centers and/or the patient’s place of residence.

In addition, this service also takes care of accident patients and sick people, rescue services and helicopter transport with immediate switching to other means of transport.

transport of valuables

Moving valuables is all about maintaining a high level of security from one destination to another. Companies offer this service for valuables with all security parameters.

The Helicopter Tourism Industry in Colombia

The helicopter industry for tourist travel in Colombia is becoming more and more popular. The topography and the lack of infrastructure favor helicopter transport immensely. Of course, a helicopter can land almost anywhere in the country provided it has permission from the local landowner (coordinates and pictures are usually required).

Generally marketed as a more expensive but less time-consuming alternative, this service caters to an adventurous and luxurious clientele.

Also, these services are performed by companies duly licensed by the Colombian Civil Aviation Authority.

The Colombian Aviation Sector

Colombia has 16 international airports and the main airport for cargo traffic (El Dorado International Airport, Bogota) in Latin America and has invested up to 20.2 million dollars to modernize its helicopters by 2021.

Special features of helicopter flights

One of the most important aspects of this sector and its services is the respect given to the topography of the country. Depending on the altitude or the terrain, the operation of a helicopter is more or less restricted. Helicopters have a greater capacity at sea level than at high altitudes.

In Bogotá, at an altitude of almost 2,700 meters above sea level, the capacity of a helicopter is reduced. A machine with a capacity for 10 people can only carry about half of them. In another city, e.g. B. Santa Marta, the helicopter can fly at full capacity at an altitude of only 2 meters above sea level.

Below is a table of the most important destinations in Colombia and their height above sea level.

Table of elevations in the main cities of Colombia
Ciudad Elevación
Bogotá D.C. 2.640 meter – 8,660 feet
Medellín 1.495 meter – 4,856 feet
Cali 1.018 meter – 3,327 feet
Bucaramanga 959 meter – 317 feet
Santa Marta 6 meter – 20 feet
Villavicencio 467 meter – 1,532 feet
Casanare 350 meter – 1,150 feet
Guatapé 1.890 meter – 6,200 feet
Barranquilla 18 meter – 59 feet
Manizales 2.160 meter – 7,090 feet
Cartagena 2 meter – 7 feet
La Guajira 75 meter – 246 feet
Villa de Leyva 2.149 meter – 7,051 feet
Ibagué 1.285 meter – 4,216 feet

Restrictions on Helicopter Flights

In Colombia, certain areas are not allowed to be entered or flown over, e.g. B. Military bases, prisons and volcanoes, as well as indigenous areas such as the Guajira and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. There are also areas where flying at any altitude is prohibited. On the other hand, there are some additional aspects defined by AIP Colombia that must be taken into account for helicopter services and flights to be legal in Colombian territory, such as the minimum safe altitude, the ban on dropping objects, aerobatics, towing and area advertising, etc.

Potential customers of helicopter companies in Colombia?

Besides tourism, oil, mining and energy are the main industries in which helicopter companies in Colombia offer their services. As companies seek new, more efficient transportation alternatives to reach interesting destinations such as the Eastern Plains, Yopal, Arauca, Florencia, Mocoa and the North Coast.

In the mining industry, aerial imaging services enable a variety of highly complex tasks such as surveys, prospecting, drilling, rescue operations, and other services.

Helicopter tourism budget in Colombia

The cost of the services offered by helicopter companies for business tourism in Colombia can vary depending on the number of people, the destination and the type of service. In addition, helicopters can land almost anywhere, but for this the service providers need, among other things, coordinates, photos of the landing site and permission from the property owner.

The basic price for renting a helicopter can vary, the following factors are decisive:

  • Cost per flight hour
  • The cost of extra time to start the engines
  • The cost of helicopter landing fees or airport landing fees
  • FBO (Fixed Based Operator) costs associated with handling and using the terminal for private aircraft (airport only)
  • Parking fees for requests that require the helicopter to wait for passengers at the destination
  • The minimum flight or travel fare

The average price for a one-hour helicopter service for companies in Colombia in 2022 ranges from 1,200,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) to 7,500,000 Colombian Pesos (COP).

However, we warn you that these values depend on how many people are flying, where you are, what type of helicopter, what route and what company you choose.

Available helicopter models in Colombia

These are the helicopter models most used by companies for their tourism and business tourism services in Colombia:


  • Type: twin turbine
  • Top speed: 140 km/h
  • Pilot: One
  • Capacity: One passenger – 170 kilos


  • Type: twin turbine
  • Top speed: 185 km/h
  • Pilot: One
  • Capacity: One passenger – 196 kilos


  • Type: Single Turbine
  • Top speed: 130 km/h
  • Pilot: One
  • Capacity: One passenger – 142 kilos

BELL 206-L3

  • Type: single engine
  • Top speed: 222 km/h
  • Pilot: One
  • Capacity: 4 to 6 passengers – 450 kg

BELL 206- B

  • Type: mono turbine
  • Top speed: 215 km/h
  • Pilot: One
  • Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers – 450 kg


  • Type: mono turbine
  • Top speed: 189 km/h
  • Pilot: One
  • Capacity: One passenger – 408 kg


  • Type: single engine
  • Top speed: 189 km/h
  • Pilot: One
  • Capacity: One passenger – 408kg


  • Type: Four turbines
  • Top speed: 310 km/h
  • Pilot: Two
  • Capacity: 10 to 15 passengers – max. 3,400 kilos


  • Type: Single Turbine
  • Top speed: 223 km/h
  • Pilot: Two
  • Capacity: 10 to 13 passengers – max. 1,100 kilos


  • Type: Monoturbiuna
  • Top speed: 259 km/h
  • Pilot: Two
  • Capacity: 10 to 13 passengers – 2,000 kilos


  • Type: Monoturbiuna
  • Top speed: 259 km/h
  • Pilot: Two
  • Capacity: 10 to 13 passengers – 2,000 kg


  • Type: Four turbines
  • Top speed: 278 km/h
  • Pilot: One
  • Capacity: 7 to 9 passengers – maximum 990 kilos

MI 171

  • Type: Four turbines
  • Top speed: 250 km/h
  • Pilot: Two
  • Capacity: 20 to 26 passengers – 4,000 kilos

MI 8 MTV-1

  • Type: Four turbines
  • Top speed: 230 km/h
  • Pilot: Two
  • Capacity: 20 to 24 passengers – 4,000 kilos


  • Type: Four turbines
  • Top speed: 164 km/h
  • Pilot: Two
  • Capacity: 12 to 14 passengers – 3,000 kilos


  • Type: Four turbines
  • Top speed: 268 km/h
  • Pilot: Two
  • Capacity: 8 to 10 passengers – 1,700 kilos

Do you need a helicopter flight? We would be happy to advise you and organize your desired flight.

Flight Connections Colombia – All national and international connections

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.

International flights in Colombia

Colombia now has a large number of direct international connections and more are being added all the time.

Flight connections Central America and the Caribbean Europe

Flight connections Europa

Flight connections North America

Flight connections South America

National flights Colombia

In this section, you will find a list of the different destinations you can fly to in Colombia.

Airlines in Colombia

There are currently 22 airlines operating in Colombia. Below is a list of general information about the most popular airlines, with a focus on the cheapest and those with business class.

Colombian Airlines


Avianca is the main Colombian airline and one of the most important in Latin America. Avianca Holdings and its subsidiaries fly to 111 destinations in 28 countries. In South America 74 destinations are connected to the rest of the continent by direct or connecting flights. In North America, Avianca flies to 13 destinations, in Central America, it flies to 13 destinations, in the Caribbean it flies to 7 destinations, in Europe Avianca flies to 4 destinations from Colombia.

Avianca offers its passengers the opportunity to fly in Business Class, which offers more comfort with reclining seats, more space and electrical connections. In addition, if you choose this service, you will have priority when boarding and disembarking, as well as when handing over documents and luggage at dedicated counters.

On the other hand, it also offers an economical option, in which the user can choose between different alternatives for entertainment, luggage, seat type and catering that best suit his budget.


It is the national airline of Colombia. Domestic flights operate from Bogota’s Puente Aereo Terminal, Medellin’s Olaya Herrera Airport, Cali’s Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport and Bucaramanga’s Palonegro International Airport.

It is also the Colombian airline that serves most of the destinations in the country.

International Airlines in Colombia


Air Canada is the largest Canadian airline and flies to 207 destinations worldwide. Air Canada is based in Montreal, Quebec.


It is the flagship among French airlines and offers connections between 345 cities in 85 countries.

American Airlines

American Airlines is an American airline based in Fort Worth, Texas. It serves domestic and international routes in North America, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

Copa Airlines

Copa Airlines is the international airline of Panama with its main hub at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. It flies to 84 destinations in 33 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.


Delta Air Lines is the leading US airline, which is also the sixth oldest airline by date of incorporation and the oldest airline in the United States. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the airline connects a network of 325 destinations in 52 countries.


Iberia is Spain’s leading airline and belongs to the IAG group together with British Airways. Its main hub is Madrid Barajas International Airport. Iberia flies to 108 destinations in 42 countries.


Is a Chilean multinational airline formed by the merger of South American airlines LAN, TAM and their subsidiaries. Destinations include countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania. A total of 136 destinations in 24 countries are served.

LATAM Airlines Colombia is the second-largest airline in Colombia, serving 23 destinations nationwide.

The company offers a premium business option, the main features of which are priority check-in, priority boarding and disembarking, access to the LATAM VIP lounges, privacy throughout the flight, a wide choice of meals, enhanced entertainment systems and seats that revolve around 180° can be converted into a full-fledged bed.

United Airlines

A major US airline serving international, regional and domestic destinations, with a presence in the US, Europe, Canada and South America.

Colombian low cost airlines

It should be noted that a low-cost airline offers a cheaper fare, but charges extra for many of the services. Printing out the flight tickets as well as excess baggage or not adhering to the dimensions leads to additional costs.


Easyfly is a low-cost airline that operates regional flights in Colombia. Currently, the airline has 5 hubs: Terminal Puente Aereo in Bogota, Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellin, Palonegro International Airport in Bucaramanga, Los Garzones Airport in Monteria and Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport in Cali. It regularly serves 20 destinations on 24 routes.

Viva Air

It is a low-cost commercial airline in Colombia. Your hub is located at José María Córdoba Airport.

Zu den Strecken gehören El Dorado in Bogotá, Ernesto Cortissoz in Barranquilla, Palonegro in Bucaramanga, Rafael Núñez in Cartagena, Camilo Daza in Cúcuta, José María Córdova in Medellín, Los Garzones in Montería, Matecaña in Pereira, Almirante Padilla in Riohacha, Gustavo Rojas Pinilla in San Andrés and Simón Bolívar in Santa Marta.

Außerdem gibt es internationale Verbindungen nach Lima, Cancun , Orlando und Miami.


A Colombian low-cost airline formed from Viva Air and operating only in Colombia. Its main base is José María Córdoba Airport and it offers a total of 7 destinations and 9 routes.


Wingo is a Colombian low-fare airline owned by Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia.

It has 20 destinations, 11 countries and 33 routes, mainly in Latin America and domestic.

International low cost airlines in Colombia

JetBlue Airways

It is an American low-cost airline owned by JetBlue Airways Corporation. The main base is at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and it serves 104 destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, the Caribbean and Central America.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is an American low-cost airline that offers scheduled flights in the United States. It currently flies to 77 destinations in Central America, the Caribbean, South America and the United States.

Colombia transportation guide 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.

Taxi services in Colombia

Colombia has an extensive taxi system with regulated tariffs and individual use.

In all taxis, you should find a form showing the prices of the routes. Some regions use a taximeter, others don’t. Sometimes surcharges apply, sometimes not. In Bogota and Medellin, taxi companies meet the requirements.

In other regions, however, my personal advice is: always find out about the approximate fare before you set off!


  • EasyTaxi
  • Taxi Libres
  • Tappsi

Taxi company:

  • Bogota: Taxis Libres, TaxExpress, Cooperativa Teletaxi, Taxis Verdes
  • Medellín: Taxsuper, Coopeombas, Taxis Medellín
  • Cali: Tax Feribo, Taxis Zone, Taxisday, Taxis Valcali, Taxis del Valle
  • Cartagena: Cooprotax, Radio Taxi Cartagena, Cartagena Airport Taxis
  • Santa Marta: Hey Taxi Santa Marta, Taxi Santa Marta SAS
  • Barranquilla: Rtaxi, Taxi Prado, Radio Taxi Modelo
  • Manizales : Taxi Amigo Manizales, Taxis Flota El Ruiz, Taxi Seguro Fast
  • Bucaramanga: Radio Taxi Bucaramanga, Radio Taxis Libres SAS, Radio Tax

Parameters and tariffs to consider in Bogotá:

  • Minimum fare: 4,500 Colombian pesos (COP)
  • Value per unit: 90 Colombian pesos (COP) (every 100 meters or every 24 seconds waiting time)
  • Surcharge to and from the airport: from $4,500* Colombian Pesos (COP)
  • Night supplement, Sunday and public holiday supplement: from 2,200* Colombian pesos (COP)
  • Surcharge for door-to-door service: 800 Colombian pesos (COP)

I live in Colombia and I sometimes hail a taxi from the street. However, I advise all foreign visitors to order taxis with an app or have them ordered in the hotel or restaurant.

Private transportation in Colombia

In recent years, all kinds of digital platforms for individual transport have been introduced in Colombia. Traveling by car and using these applications is the most common means of transport for the country’s middle class, although much time is lost due to heavy traffic in the country’s major cities.

This is a very good option as you know the cost of the ride before you go, plan it according to your schedule and contact the driver directly if needed. It should be noted that the tariffs for these services may vary depending on the number of travelers, the type of vehicle, the time of day, traffic and sometimes the weather.

However, my personal experience is that these drivers do not always find the destination or the passenger right away.


  • UberYa: 4 people maximum, instant service
  • Uber Planet: Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Comfort: Better vehicles for more comfort
  • UberXL: Spacious vehicles for up to 7 people


  • Lite: Economy service where the vehicles are basic
  • Beat: Immediate standard service
  • Plus: Better and more spacious vehicles


  • Cabify: Instant service (value may vary based on time, distance and incidentals)
  • Cabify Corp: An executive option where reservations for these services must be made 48 hours in advance and cancellations starting 4 hours before the service will be charged. In addition, the terms of payment must be determined in advance. The vehicles are more modern.


It is an application where the user can choose the fare and negotiate with the drivers to find the ideal driver. Here you can see the driver’s rating and vehicle type before ordering a ride.


A budget option for private transportation, with the option of instant service or a taxi.


It is an alternative to private service, that is, to travel by motorbike. You enter your starting point, then the destination, then you can see the estimated price of your trip, you accept the service, you get the complete information from your driver and that’s it.

Rental car in Colombia

The car rental business in Colombia is going from strength to strength. According to the Agremiación para electrical alquiler de vehículos (Asorenting) there are more than 40,000 vehicles of all types for hire in the country, including light, commercial and heavy vehicles.

Generally, drivers must have a credit card with sufficient funds to cover the deposit required by each company, a valid driver’s license, and an ID card or passport to obtain this service.

Several companies offer this service and their prices vary depending on vehicle type, length of rental and other factors.

We recommend making the reservation via the Internet, as it is not only easy and fast but also gives the opportunity to see all the vehicles on offer and to choose the location where you can pick up your vehicle in the easiest way. It’s also important that you check the condition of the vehicle upon delivery and if you can make a video of it that’s even better. According to some reports, there are many inconveniences when returning the vehicles when they show damage, which is usually not caused by the current renter, but for which he is still held responsible.

Depending on the company and vehicle type, the fare can range from $35 to $120.

Among the most recognized car rental companies you can find:

  • Bogotá: Autovermietung Kolumbien, Rentcars, Kayak, Alamo, Budget, Expedia, Avis, Alquilercarrosenbogota.co, Alkilautos, Budget.
  • Medellin: Medellin and Envigado Car Rental Alkiautos, Jet Rent a Car Medellin, Rentarte, Rent A Car
  • Cali: Rentautos 24/7, CEO Renting, RentalCars, Farallones Rent Car, Alkiautos, Alamo
  • Cartagena: Executive Rent a Car, Evolution Rent a Car, Alkiautos, S&M Rent a Car, Autorental del Caribe, AVS del Caribe
  • Santa Marta: Express Car, Locate Rent a Car, Alamo, Nationale Autovermietung
  • Barranquilla: Alkiautos, Premium Rent a Car, Autorental del Caribe, AVS del Caribe
  • Manizales: Movirents Colombia, Locate, Casa Lopez, About Wheels, Nisagi
  • Bucaramanga: Alkiautos, Localiza, Rentacar Geiscar, Rentiautos

Take a look! https://youtu.be/sGrQOllDLhY

Private transportation services in Colombia

There are all types of private transport companies in Colombia where you can book everything from legal white cars to luxury vans. The transfer options can be both within the same city and to the surrounding areas, in addition to certain companies offering ground service from one city to another.

Prices range from $14 to $150 depending on the company, destination and vehicle type.

The most popular companies are:

  • jelpit
  • Colviajes
  • Transportes Ejecutivos
  • integra
  • Conquistador Private Transport
  • Cooperative Multiaktiva De Transportadores Coomtranscol
  • Dhuchi Business Group
  • Agile cargo
  • Transurbio
  • Edward Botero
  • Corporate transport Bogotá
  • estarter
  • aerosur
  • Benz driver

Public transport in Colombia

The main cities of Colombia have their own public transport system, which runs on the main lines of each city. This option is the cheapest and is generally preferred by the country’s middle class, as well as lower class and students.

SITP and Transmilenio – Bogotá

Bogotá’s transportation system is the largest in Colombia. It handles around 12.2 million trips a day. Also, due to the heavy daily private traffic in the city, this option is several times faster than a car.

the Transmilenio (TM) is Bogotá’s mass transit system and has grown into the country’s best-known and most extensive rapid transit system, operating along the city’s major highways. The TM also includes the Integrated Public Transport Service of Bogotá (SITP), which are smaller blue buses that circulate around the city’s neighborhoods and main streets.

For 2022, the tariff is 2,650 Colombian pesos (COP). We, therefore, recommend that you plan your trip in advance in order to load your card with the necessary credit.

The Transmilenio service can be used from El Dorado Airport. The M86 bus runs along with Avenida El Dorado and then on Carrera 7 to the north.

Access to Transmilenio or SITP is via contactless smart cards purchased and topped up at Tu Llave counters or via the transport system’s website or app.

There are currently several types of cards:

  • Tu Llave Plus Card: Can be loaded in Colombian Pesos (COP) to pay for fares. They are personalized with the user’s personal data, allow credit recovery in the event of loss and offer discounts for transfers within the same system.
  • Tu Llave Básica card: also allows top-ups in Colombian pesos (COP) for the payment of fares and allows discounts for transfers within the SITP. However, it is not customizable and therefore does not provide a way to restore funds in the event of a loss.

Integrated mass transit system of Medellín

In the city of eternal spring, the most famous form of public transport is the Medellín Metro.

The Medellín Metro has 2 lines with 25 stations in the city. Their lines cover an area from Bello with one stop to Sabaneta and one stop to La Estrella. The longest line of the metro is line A, which starts in La Estrella (Sabaneta) and ends in Niquía (Bello), a route that is 25 km long and has 21 stations. The shortest line, on the other hand, is line B, which starts in San Javier (Medellín) and ends in San Antonio (Medellín), a route of 6 km with 7 stops.

The estimated price of the metro ranges from 2,580 to 4,215 Colombian pesos (COP), the value depends on the integration of the passenger. That is, whether you only take the subway or whether you decide to use other services such as tram, gondola, bus or feeder. The fare also depends on the chosen route.

The operating hours of this system are Monday to Saturday from 4:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Sundays and public holidays from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. depending on the line.

Western Integrated Mass Transit System (MIO) – Cali

Over the past 10 years, the city has redesigned and updated its integrated transportation system.

In 2009 the Masivo Integrado de Occidente (MIO), a system that transports between 400,000 and 500,000 passengers daily within the city.

Easily recognizable by its blue color, the MIO, as Cali residents call it, has 91 lines with 1773 stops that run throughout the city and even neighboring communities such as Candelaria, Palmira, Puerto Tejada, and Santiago de Cali achieve Yumbo. The longest MIO line is the T31, which starts in Universidades in the city of Cali and ends in the municipality of Palmira; it is 18 km long and has 30 stops. The shortest line is the A32, a route in the municipality of Palmira, with a length of 1 km and 2 stops.

The MIO works with a contactless smart card that must be purchased at one of the ticket offices and loaded with the corresponding fare of 2,200 Colombian Pesos (COP) in order to use the service.

There are 2 types of cards:

  • Personalized Card: With a value of 3,500 Colombian Pesos (COP), which can be loaded with any value and can be used every time you want to use the service.
  • Ticket: This ticket must be handed in at the entrance. Since more than one bus is used on almost all routes, often outside of train stations, the ticket must be validated by swiping the card again. With a single ticket it is not possible to change from one bus to another without paying another fare.

The offer is completed by 5 feeder lines, distributed in different parts of the city and recognizable as green buses, and by the MIO CABLE cable car line, which goes from the Brisas De Mayo station to the Cañaveralejo terminal.

It has 4 stops and hours of operation are 5:00am to 9:26pm Monday to Saturday and 6:00am to 7:53pm on Sundays.

The integrated transit system Transcaribe – Cartagena

Transcaribe is based on the concept of a “trunk-feeder” system. In the main districts, this system consists of feeder lines with medium and small capacity buses, which take users to interchange terminals, where they transfer to the main routes, with physical, operational and fare integration, to be brought to their destinations by high capacity buses, articulated by main traffic corridors with exclusive or preferred lanes.

In the Cartagena district, the integrated transport system also takes into account the possible integration with maritime transport.

The infrastructure of the integrated transport system consists of a series of road corridors, interchange terminals, stops and all street furniture for public transport.

The tariffs for the collective public transport of buses, buses and microbuses are the following:

  • Basic Service Buses: $2,600.
  • Basic Service Microbuses: $2,500.

SETP Strategic Public Transportation System – Santa Marta

Santa Marta’s strategic public transportation system consists of a series of blue buses and minibusses that operate on the city’s main thoroughfares. It is identified as STU and has 15 lines with 164 stops.

Their routes range from north of Santa Marta at the Carrera 3, 62-644 stop to south of Cienagón at the I-90, 5 stop. The westernmost stop is Airport 1-99 and the easternmost stop is Unnamed Road.

The fare for this system is currently 2,000 Colombian Pesos (COP) on normal days and 2,050 Colombian Pesos (COP) on holidays when paying in cash.

Public Transportation System – Barranquilla

Barranquilla does not currently have an official public transport system, but it is scheduled to be introduced in the second quarter of 2022.

Nevertheless, Operador Uno is the leading organization in this sector. It has a very efficient integrated service that covers 75% of the urban area with more than 3,000 buses and minibusses spread over 89 legal routes.

The fare is 2,400 Colombian pesos (COP) on normal days and 2,500 Colombian pesos (COP) on Sundays and public holidays.

Integrated local transport system Metrolínea – Bucaramanga

Bucaramanga, the beautiful city of Colombia, has a transportation system called Metrolínea, which is distinguished by its apple green color, carries 245,000 passengers daily and has 2 lines in Bucaramanga with 9 stops in the city. The routes run from Quebradaseca station to Campoalegre station and vice versa.

To use the service, you need to buy a card at the train stations. The card is placed on a reader at the entrance and the user enters the system. The Metrolínea card costs 3,000 Colombian pesos (COP) and is loaded with the value of the fare, which is 2,550 Colombian pesos (COP). It can be recharged at stations or points of sale throughout the city.

Colombia offers various travel options within this amazing country that the visitor can choose according to their budget and itinerary. We hope this information is useful for your next visit. If you need advice to organize your trip, contact us, we will be happy to help you.

What female business travelers need to know

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.

The position of women in the workplace has changed significantly in recent decades. That’s why today in hotels and airports you often see women working on their laptops or using their cell phones in meetings.

Women are no longer just housewives and mothers, they are bosses, managers, and representatives of the most important brands in the market and that is why their business trips are one of the most important segments in business tourism today. And we know that their needs and challenges are often different from those of their male counterparts.

Women in business travel

Business travel spending will reach about $1.7 trillion by 2022, meaning more companies are sending their employees abroad, according to an article by Decysy.

For this reason, the number of women traveling in business is increasing rapidly. In areas such as marketing, tourism and human resources, a large proportion of the representatives are naturally women. For example, according to a report by PwC, 3 out of 4 travel managers are women. 90% of them like to travel for work and do so on average between 6 to 10 times a year.

In the profile of the businesswoman, we find peculiarities such as:

  • Women prefer to organize their trips themselves, even if their company is involved. Women want to be well informed.
  • Women are more likely to join hotel loyalty programs as it gives them security and benefits.
  • A study by Booking Business shows that 76% of women take the opportunity to enjoy their free time while on a business trip.
  • In addition, 25% like to combine their business trip with a weekend to explore the destination and, if possible, share it with family or friends; they describe themselves as leisure travelers. The activities in which they invest most of their time include shopping, design and discovering fashionable places, or more cultural aspects such as sightseeing, visiting museums, going to the theater, visiting art galleries, or active life experiences such as discovering the country and its people.
  • A study by Solitair Holidays shows that 72% of women like to travel alone because it allows them to better focus on the purpose of their trip.

However, gender inequality is still relevant in this sector because, as the organization ClosinGap notes, for every business trip a woman makes, there are three trips by a man. If men do about 1.2 million business trips a year, what would happen if women did the same? It is estimated that 6 million additional business trips would take place, giving MICE tourism a major economic boost.

Aspects of business traveler women

Women are aware that this type of trip must be planned with a lot of commitment, mainly because  several aspects are fundamental for them and that are not always given the necessary importance.

Safety first

Women travelers often face all sorts of challenges, not only related to their work but which can also put their safety at risk.

Most women feel more insecure when traveling, research has shown. For example, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) conducted a study of female business travelers’ feelings of safety, which found that 67% of women share this concern and that number is increasing over the years.

On the other hand, this has a major impact on how women behave on a business trip and how they plan their trips. Travel insurance company Travel Guard (AIG Travel) provided the following figures in the same study to support this point:

  • 86% of women prefer to book flights on the day
  • For 67%, the safety of the location of their accommodation is of the utmost importance
  • 56% of businesswomen prefer accommodation that has been highly recommended to them
  • 58% confirm that they communicate frequently with their office and family members, giving them their exact itinerary
  • 80% have an emergency contact
  • 8 out of 10 women in the study say security concerns have directly impacted their productivity on business trips.

That’s why women don’t leave anything to chance when organizing their trips, preferring not to draw too much attention to themselves and, if it can’t be avoided, they make sure that they have all the necessary means so as not to take unnecessary risks.

Every trip is well planned

Women, who always have the purpose and destination of a business trip in mind, are much more specific when organizing their itinerary so that no detail is overlooked.

Why is that? Coupled with the safety aspect mentioned above, women also want peace of mind that nothing can go wrong on their journey and that they will reach their destination. In addition, fewer and fewer companies book their employees’ travel themselves, so that when booking travel independently, it is ensured that flight schedules, choice of accommodation, company activities, leisure activities – simply everything is taken into account for a perfect trip.

It’s worth noting that 6 in 10 women book their trips themselves, but make sure they follow company policies, according to a ConnectAmericas article.

The ideal accommodation

When it comes to accommodation, there are several important factors. First of all, when choosing the ideal hotel, the duration of the trip and the location are fundamental, since on this depends the type of rooms and services you need.

Many hotels are now catering to female travelers by offering more female-friendly and female-centric services, recognizing the significant portion of this group in the tourism industry.

Other services that are particularly important for women include:

  • You are in a safe and easily accessible area
  • To have facilities such as meeting rooms
  • Wi-Fi service
  • safe deposit box
  • Personal hygiene items
  • parking facilities
  • Restricted access for guests only
  • room service
  • restaurant and/or bar
  • Gym, spa, hairdresser service

Convenient and safe mobility

Getting from one destination to another, be it from the airport to the hotel or from one part of the city to another, is one of the first things women pay attention to when traveling.

There are various options to consider. Renting a transport before arriving at the destination is always an option for the transfer as it saves time and is safer, especially in lesser-known destinations. There are also other types of services such as taxis, shuttles (if the hotel offers this service) and even limousines, which can be cheaper than taxis in many cities around the world. Of course, there is also the option of renting a car, although this is not always the best option for this type of trip. It can be quite expensive in some cases and the distances are not large enough to consider this possibility.

Strategic baggage

Depending on the destination, there are different aspects of luggage to consider, as not the same thing is required for every trip.

  1. If you want to transport delicate items, you opt for a sturdy suitcase, while if your luggage consists only of clothes, you prefer a suitcase that doesn’t weigh too much, isn’t too big and is easy to carry/roll.
  2. As for the luggage itself, women are much more rigorous in their luggage choices and put together more strategic combinations that are suitable for any weather, elegant occasions, or after-work trips.
  3. It is also important that you take a backpack, handbag or briefcase with you in addition to your suitcase. It is also imperative to have essential items on hand, such as: Your appointment calendar, your phone, your contacts, your credit cards, your hotel address, information about the means of transport you will be using, your passport and all the necessary information to avoid unforeseen events. It is also advisable to carry some cash in the currency of both the departure and destination cities.
  4. Finally, electronic devices such as a mobile phone, laptop or tablet are a must on this type of trip. They are a great ally of women who use them on this type of travel to facilitate access to information, keep in touch with the company, attend meetings and generally keep in touch.

Make the most of your free time

Business travel can mean long waits at airports and a lot of uncontrollable moments of stress. It is therefore of paramount importance for the traveling woman to find free moments in the daily routine to make the most of her free time and give herself a well-deserved break.

Being physically active, visiting the city, going out for a drink or just reading a book, listening to music or watching a film are very pleasant moments in which they can have fun without neglecting their duties.

Impact on personal life

While business travel can bring many benefits, certain personal life implications may not be optimal.

Captio ‘s second report on the personal impact of business travel found that 89.3 percent of respondents said business travel affects their personal lives.

This is because it is more difficult for frequent travelers to lead a healthy and balanced life due to various impairments, according to this study, such as health (32.3%), lack of free time (28.1%), tiredness (26.3%) and difficulties in reconciling family life (16.3%). However, 15.4% do not feel stressed at all if they have to take part in a business trip, since not all cases are the same, of course.

Women have a great responsibility.

According to the GBTA and AIG Travel survey, 83% of women say their companies care about their travel safety, but 63% also say they could do better.

Concerning to security, companies should be involved in the preparation of the trip, e.g. by preparing reports on the destination, including protocols, dress code, legislation, etc. This may also include possible travel restrictions. This may include possible restrictions on women for religious, cultural and other reasons to avoid public order problems and vulnerability to women workers.

Among other relevant percentages, half of the respondents in the study state that their company provides safety notices for their trips that they consider useful  to be able to manage their trip without problems. On the other hand, 68% of respondents believe their organization should have specific measures in place to manage risk because no matter how well you prepare in advance, there will always be an unforeseen event that requires your organization’s support.

Maiden Voyage’s chief executive, Carolyn Pearson, believes that there are “certain key areas where women differ from men that need to be considered when traveling on business”, particularly when it comes to safety. Therefore, one of the most important legal due diligence tools for female travelers is a 24-hour helpline, either through traditional channels or through dedicated applications as offered by specialized agencies. This includes full information about the destination, safety and emergency contacts, location, etc. About 61% say their company provides a hotline.

The role that companies play in business travel is the most important, not only because of the due diligence required but also because it helps to narrow the gender gap that is still quite evident in most companies.

Initiatives by companies and organizations

More and more companies are becoming aware of their role in the business travel of their female employees and their main goal is to help build a gender-neutral business travel sector.

Here are some of the companies and organizations that have presented their strategies in this regard:

  • Women Leading Tourism: This is an organization founded by female travelers who created a platform ( MeetIN ) to promote women’s participation in the tourism sector. Her goal is to “promote inclusive policies that increase the presence of women on boards and decision-making bodies,” according to Natalia Ros, founding partner of Forum Business Travel and editor of MeetIN. In addition, events, training courses and alliances are held to raise awareness of the special needs of female travelers. Another interesting initiative by this group is the creation of the WLT Friendship Seal, designed to recognize companies with best practices in the field of women’s leadership. These are initiatives by women for women, supported by men who believe in the need for change.
  • Red SOFÍA: This program aims to raise awareness among all those working in Costa Rica’s tourism industry to ensure equality in this sector, eliminate violence against women in the country and visitors, and create a safe environment for tourists.
  • ClosinGap: This organization consists of an alliance with eight Spanish-based companies (Merck, Mapfre, Vodafone, Repsol, Mahou San Miguel, Meliá Hotels, L’Oréal and BMW Group) whose objective is to analyze the gender gap and then to take action against it. In addition, they work with Women Leading Tourism to work specifically for business tourism.
  • Focus on Women: This is a travel agency that specializes solely in helping women plan and manage travel. The main motivation of this company is to give traveling women the security they need to achieve their goals.
  • SheDrives: This is a transportation agency in New York City that offers safe taxi rides for female business travelers. They make sure their customers can move around with peace of mind and have all the information they need to be able to rely on this service 24 hours a day.
  • Blablacar and Carpooling are other women-only ride and transfer services.
  • Hotel Artemis: The first hotel in Europe dedicated exclusively to women.
  • Marriott International: The Marriott group has strived over the past few years to be a benchmark for women’s inclusion. One of her programs is the Let’s Talk women’s forums, launched in 2020 to create a space for open conversation that allows women leaders to provoke, inspire, enlighten and empower themselves and others in the region. In addition, as part of the Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction aims to empower women through developing skills and creating opportunities in the tourism sector, investing up to $500 million in more than 3,500 women-owned businesses around the world.
  • Hotels: Some hotels like The Dukes, Grange City Hotel, Hamilton Crowne Plaza or Bella Sky Comwell have floors for women only.
  • Korean Air and other airlines, mainly Asian ones, have set up VIP lounges for female travelers only, which have different areas for working and resting. In addition, most aircraft are equipped with ladies-only toilets.

Business travel in Colombia: why choose Colombia as a MICE destination?

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.

What are business trips?

A business trip is a trip that is not undertaken for pleasure but for work or business purposes. A trip with your colleagues to a tropical beach to strengthen team cohesion is an example of this.

For more information on features, drivers, industry, problems and solutions, see our article What is business travel?

Colombia MICE, how is the country?

Although Colombia is not exactly the focus of international companies, this South American country has a lot to offer and can be considered one of the titans of MICE tourism in Latin America thanks to its excellent geographical position, its biodiversity and its incomparable culture. That is why more and more companies and business travelers are becoming aware of it.

This tourism sector has brought great benefits to the country’s economy as, for example, hotel services are in demand and hotel occupancy increases by up to 58% depending on the season, according to DANE research. In the last two years, the main reason for travel for Colombian hotel guests was business travel, which accounted for 45%, along with other reasons such as leisure, congresses and health.

In 2019, Colombia received around 4 million international tourists. All of this is a clear example of the great appeal that Colombia has as a MICE destination, as the country has more than 30 convention centers and more than 455 hotels with spaces for large events and meetings across the country. Bogota has also been recognized twice as a leading conference destination (2020-2021) by the World Trade Awards (WTA).

Colombia in the ICCA world rankings

According to the International Congress of other conventional Association (ICCA), Colombia was the fourth largest Latin American country hosting the most international conventions in 2019.

Colombia also made it into the top 30 countries in the ICCA world rankings, number 29 to be precise, but still surpassed countries like Ireland, Russia, South Africa, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

How has the business travel industry developed in Colombia?

In the field of MICE tourism, there is a major event in Latin America that is even recognized by the ICCA as the region’s reference fair. This is the world fair for meetings and incentives for Latin America and the Caribbean.

With the participation of most of the countries of the continent, the FIEXPO is Latin America is the ideal location for training, networking and promoting business tourism development in the region.

According to ProColombia, the country aims to become the leader in MICE tourism in Latin America by 2027.

What contributed to the development of the MICE segment in Colombia?

In the previous sections, we covered some facts about the growth of the business travel sector in Colombia. What activities or characteristics make this sector grow?

An improved sense of security

After the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC in 2016, the country has a better reputation among international travelers and many regions that used to be dangerous are now safe to visit.

Improved air transport links and infrastructure

The presence of more airlines in the country, as well as the renovation of El Dorado International Airport (Bogotá) and the establishment of more domestic and international destinations also contribute to the increasing success.

Higher quality of infrastructure due to more investments

Some luxury hotels specialize in business tourism and therefore offer adequate facilities for the needs of this sector. International travelers will find high-quality standards in hotels and events in the main Colombian cities.

Sponsored by chambers of commerce and local offices

The establishment of convention bureaus in key cities has contributed to the sponsorship strategy of national institutions such as ProColombia, which aims to attract more meetings and events to the country.

Reasons why Colombia is the best MICE destination

The diversity of the country, in addition to the above-mentioned aspects of Colombia’s competitiveness in the field of MICE tourism, is another reason that makes the country an ideal tourist destination.

Colombia offers a variety of destinations, offers and activities for all types of businesses and individuals.

Colombia has excellent geographic conditions

Colombia’s privileged location as the gateway to South America gives it many advantages. First, the country has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The Andes Mountains are divided into 3 chains in the south of the country, dividing the country into 5 natural regions and the sixth region is formed by the paradisiacal Caribbean islands.

Due to the topography, one can find 5 thermal floors in Colombia, ie different climatic conditions that vary according to the altitude of the area. The lower the altitude, the hotter it is and vice versa. You will find tropical, warm beaches, temperate cities on mountain slopes, but also moorland and glaciers.

Temperatures in the main cities range from 10°C to 30°C, again depending on altitude. It is worth noting that Colombia is a tropical country where there are no seasons, so you can enjoy a stable climate all year round.

Biodiversity in Colombia

One of the aspects that attract thousands of travelers to the country every year is its biodiversity. Colombia is one of the 12 most diverse countries on our planet thanks to its privileged geographical location, its climatic diversity, its natural wealth, its flora and fauna and its beautiful ecosystems.

Colombia is the leading country in terms of the number of birds, orchids, amphibians, butterflies and other species because this country is like no other. This is of course a highlight, especially for nature lovers, but it remains an attraction for all travelers as the landscapes are breathtaking.

All these advantages mean that the country offers all kinds of travel destinations that cater to visitors’ desires for unforgettable experiences.

These are some of the opportunities that Colombia offers in terms of biodiversity:

  • Natural parks for ecotourism.
  • Nature reserves combine the best of the country’s diversity.
  • Natural landscapes such as jungles, plains and deserts to explore
  • Gardens, aquariums and zoos in different cities
  • Safaris and “Cowboy” Trips (Orinoco Territory)
  • Beautiful beaches to rest and relax. Rivers, waterfalls, lakes and lagoons.
  • Nature and adventure tourism activities for incentive trips such as whale watching, bird watching, water sports, fishing, horseback riding, cave tours and more

A culture to discover in Colombia

Colombia has been recognized multiple times as one of the happiest and most welcoming countries in the world. Cultural highlights include its compelling history, myriad traditions, and of course, the friendly and charismatic people.

The natural division of the territory into natural regions has greatly influenced the culture of the Colombian people. That is why visiting the country is interesting, as is visiting 6 different nations, each with unique behaviors, dialects, gastronomy and traditions.

The numerous festivals and cultural events, as well as the joy of local people, make the country an ideal destination for organizing cultural and sporting events.

Thousands and thousands of events are held every year that are fundamental to the culture of this country, to nurture its history as well as the different customs of the different regions of the country.

A clear example of this is the Barranquilla Carnival, considered the most important folkloric and cultural festival in Colombia, celebrating the country’s history, ethnic diversity, rejoicing, dance, music and tradition.

Another great example is the Cartagena International Music Festival, which brings together world-class musicians, trainees and large audiences. In addition, there are a variety of Colombian figures who are internationally recognized for their contributions to literature, music, art, dance and sport.

Examples of cultural occasions and aspects in Colombia:

  • There are about 10 different dialects and about 65 native languages in the regions of the country.
  • More than 4,030 fairs, festivals, carnivals and events in different parts of the country highlight the peculiarities of Colombian culture every year.
  • Hundreds of libraries and bookstores of all sizes.
  • Several monuments that are considered architectural gems.
  • Emblematic squares and palaces.
  • Flea markets in the main cities where you can buy handicrafts.
  • Art exhibitions, dance and music events.
  • Historic districts in big cities that invite you to stroll and admire the variety of facades.

Wide gastronomic offer in Colombia

The country has a rich gastronomic tradition and has a wide variety of typical dishes. In addition, thanks to the great variety, there are thousands of renowned restaurants that offer the best dishes of international cuisine and, of course, the typical Colombian cuisine.

the most iconic dishes is the bandeja paisa , the sancocho , the ajiaco , the empanadas , the arepas , the cocido boyacense , the posta cartagenera and many others.

These are just some of the opportunities that Colombia offers in the field of gastronomy:

  • Local and international fairs are dedicated to all types of food, such as the Wine & Food Festival or the Popayán Gastronomic Congress.
  • International restaurants in the most luxurious areas of each city.
  • Restaurants with typical dishes from each region.
  • Traditional fast-food restaurants and food stalls on the main streets.
  • Bars with all kinds of drinks and preparations.
  • Market places where you can enjoy typical food and a variety of fruits, vegetables and other ingredients.
  • Restaurants serve delicious Colombian breakfasts 24 hours a day.
  • Cafeterias with a wide range of Colombian coffee and small snacks.
  • Historic neighborhoods where you can take tours to learn about local cuisine.
  • Villages with all kinds of gastronomic tours.
  • Several wineries, wine cellars and vineyards.
  • Activities such as coffee tasting.

Sports in Colombia

Sport plays a fundamental role in Colombia and is part of the culture. Currently, two sports are the most representative, namely football and cycling. Mainly because of the talented athletes who perform excellently in national and international competitions of all kinds.

But there are also a variety of other sports that are practiced in this country by both professionals and beginners. The main ones include baseball, tennis, golf, ice skating and swimming, but also extreme sports like motocross.

Tejo, specific to this country and its culture, in which you win by causing small explosions.

These are some of the opportunities that Colombia offers in the field of sports:

  • Football, basketball, tennis and other sports fields in most cities, as well as large sports clubs and hotels with sports infrastructure
  • Sports stadiums for observing competitions.
  • Indoor and outdoor pools of different sizes depending on the location.
  • Sports centers.
  • Bowling lanes for professionals and beginners.
  • Diverse destinations for extreme sports such as paragliding, rafting, hiking, diving, cycling (track and mountain), surfing, canyoning, caving and others.
  • Golf courses with a different number of holes depending on your needs.
  • Millions of facilities such as gyms to strengthen physical fitness.

Incentives – Experiences in Colombia

Team building works best when the environment is inspiring. In Colombia, you have many options to organize the perfect incentive trip for your needs. The experiences possible here are incomparable and exceed every imagination. Culture, nature, wellness, luxury and more… this country has it all.

Infrastructure and connectivity in Colombia

Colombia offers an advanced infrastructure that meets international standards to host high-profile events. The country has around 30 convention centers and 455 hotels with function rooms, and the range of non-traditional venues is increasing.

In addition, thanks to the good international and domestic flight connections, foreigners can easily reach the main regions of the country.

Types of leisure activities in Colombia

If you don’t know where and how to spend your free time, there are alternatives for all tastes and budgets in this country.

These are just some of the entertainment options that Colombia has to offer:

  • A calendar with hundreds of events such as concerts and plays every month.
  • All kinds of bars and discos with different moods and styles of music.
  • Shopping centers with hundreds of shops with the best local and international brands.
  • Famous areas with different economic entities.
  • Wellness and relaxation areas in specific sectors.
  • Cinemas and audiovisual recreation centers.
  • Casinos.
  • Study and express courses in painting, ceramics, cooking and other areas of interest.

Countless destinations in Colombia

It’s no secret that Colombia is a great incentive travel alternative, as there’s a perfect destination for everyone. The country has a magical variety of modern cities, landscapes and amazing places where you can find all kinds of activities that will make your visit an unforgettable experience.

These are some of the options that Colombia offers in terms of general travel destinations:

  • Big cities with all kinds of infrastructures.
  • International and local hotels with the best options for luxury and relaxation.
  • Picturesque historic towns.
  • Beaches and small islands.
  • Natural areas and nature reserves.
  • Haciendas, fincas, and other unique Airbnb options.
  • International and commercial areas in major cities.

MICE destinations in Colombia

These are the top MICE destinations in Colombia.


Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and is therefore considered the economic and political center of the country.

Located at 2,650 m above sea level in the Eastern Cordillera, it is the capital of the department Cundinamarca and of Colombia. Together with Medellín and Cali, Bogotá forms the Golden Triangle, the most developed region in Colombia, which also receives the most investments.

The ICCA rankings for Latin and North America rank the city 9th in the number of events per city with 53 events in 2019.

Learn more on our Bogota page


Medellín is the capital of the Antioquia department. Located in the central Andes, Medellín is known as the country’s innovation center and has a modern infrastructure.

Thanks to its mild climate, Colombians call it “the city of eternal spring”.

With 34 events in 2019, the ICCA rankings for Latin America and North America ranked the city 18th in terms of the number of events per city.

Find out more on our Medellín page


Cali, or Santiago de Cali, is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department and lies in the valley between the western and central Andes.

In the ICCA rankings for Latin America and North America, the city ranks 98th in the number of meetings per city with 5 meetings in 2019.

Visit our Cali page for more information


Cartagena is the capital of the Bolivar department on the Colombian Caribbean coast.

It is one of the most important Colombian cities for tourism and offers a combination of history and modernity on the Caribbean Sea. The colonial old town and the walled city contrast with the modern districts, which are home to large luxury hotel chains.

The ICCA rankings for Latin and North America rank the city 12th in the number of events per city, with 42 events in 2019.

Visit our Cartagena page for more information

Coffee growing area

This region is the country’s largest coffee producer and has a unique culture.


Located in a valley in the central Andes, the city is the capital of the department of Risaralda .

Pereira has 46 meeting and event venues with a total capacity of 12,500 people and over 2,190 hotel rooms with 3,400 beds.

Visit our Pereira page for more information


Manizales is the largest city in the central Andes region and the capital of the Caldas department. The city is known as the City of Open Doors because of the warmth of its people.

It has 45 conference rooms with a total capacity of more than 9,600 people and 186 accommodation units with 2,800 hotel beds.

Find out more on our Manizales page


Armenia is the capital of the department of Quindío, the smallest in Colombia.

It has a congress center that can accommodate more than 1,500 people and 7 hotels suitable for meetings and events, for a total of around 600 rooms.

Visit our Armenia page for more information

Emerging City: Yopal

Yopal is the capital of the department of Casanare in the Eastern Plains region. This Orinoco River basin region stretches onto Venezuelan soil and is known for its vast plains that offer a unique type of safari.

Although Yopal is more suitable for incentive travel, it is also developing a good infrastructure for business tourism.

Visit our Yopal page for more information