The days of travellers heading off on their adventures with nothing but a dog-eared guidebook in hand are beginning to fade – these days, savvy tourists are just as likely to plan their entire trip via Smartphone apps as they are using a Rough Guide. Luckily for any wannabee Colombia travellers, there are some great apps out there to assist you in your travels, so here are the essential apps to download before visiting Colombia.
Colombia’s best taxi app (although Uber is often used in Colombia, it’s technically illegal so should be used with some degree of caution) – Tappsi connects users with yellow taxi drivers throughout the city, allowing you to order a cab (to be paid in cash or in-app) which can also be tracked using GPS for security purposes. It’s easily the safest way to get a taxi in Colombia.
Colombia Travel Guide
A free travel guide to Colombia featuring regularly updated city guides to Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Cali and a number of other popular Colombian travel destinations. With sightseeing sections directing you to the best monuments and museums in each city, as well as guides to the best restaurants and bars, Colombia Travel Guide might not replace a detailed guidebook, but it’s a great, free alternative to enjoy on-the-go (it also works offline).
redBus is one of the easiest ways to buy a bus ticket during your travels in Colombia (ordering bus tickets in advance can sometimes be tricky without actually visiting the bus terminal). With thousands of routes and operators available on the app, and the option to choose seats and pay using a variety of different well-known payment methods, redBus takes a lot of the guesswork out of Colombian bus travel.
Calendario Festivos Colombia
Colombia has more festivals and public holidays than almost any other country on earth, and this useful tool allows you to keep on top of all those myriad festivals in one handy app. Whether you’re looking to plan your next festival weekend and need some tips or advice or you want to keep abreast of the crowds, this calendar is the perfect addition to your Colombian app collection.
Transmilenio y Sitp
The Bogota bus network can be at best confusing and, at worst, downright infuriating! If you’re not familiar already with the stops and destinations, then navigating it can be truly complex. Luckily, the transport ministry has released this handy app allowing you to search routes, check departure times and even plan your exact journey with a useful GPS tracking feature, meaning you can plot the fast route from where you’re standing to where you need to be.
All Birds Colombia
Colombia has more species of bird than any other country on earth, and this excellent app is essentially a complete field guide to all of those species, conveniently stored on your phone. It’s not cheap – coming in at around US$25 – but it’s well worth the money for any budding ornithologist. With full-colour plates, birdsong recording, and a handy feature allowing you to compare birds by appearance or geographical location, All Birds Colombia is the best Colombia app for nature lovers.
A fantastic Colombian home-delivery app, Rappi offers delivery services in Bogota, Medellin, and Barranquilla. The app connects users with delivery drivers who can deliver anything from food orders to groceries from supermarkets or medicine from pharmacies. The interface is easy to use and works quickly, and the tracking service means you can follow every stage of your order. Rappi is fast becoming the quickest and easiest way to order delivery in Colombia.