15 Best Travel Apps in Colombia

travel apps in colombia

Aren’t you happy that we’re in the golden age of travel? Just 10 years ago, people traveled with just their Lonely Planet guidebook and instinct. We’ve come a long way and we have travel apps for every destination. In this article, I’m listing the best travel apps in Colombia.

Why trust this list? I fumbled my way around Colombia while working remotely. Since I was working while traveling, I really had to optimize and rely on travel apps recommend to me by fellow travellers and locals.

I categorized these apps into multiple categories, described what makes them useful and why you should choose them. I also briefly talked about what I disliked about them.

Let’s get started!

Transportation Travel Apps in Colombia

One of the biggest complaints of travelers is getting ripped off right at the gate. Well, you don’t need to be ripped off if you know how much you should be paying. Download at least one of these taxi apps so you know the proper fare to your destination.

InDrive

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InDrive is a ride-hailing service that allows users to negotiate the fare directly with drivers, offering an alternative to fixed-price ride services

When is it useful?

It’s particularly useful in situations where you want to find a ride at a potentially lower cost than standard taxi services or other ride-sharing apps. It’s also beneficial in busy periods or in areas where ride prices might be inflated due to high demand.

What I dislike about this is the need for it to authenticate through SMS, which may mean turning. on roaming (or better yet, download the app before you leave your home country). If you’re like me who found yourself only with Uber and without an SMS number, this is a bummer. I love to barter and you can do just that with InDriver (minus the in-person haggling). 

Why choose this app?

InDrive stands out because it empowers users to have control over the fares they pay, fostering a competitive environment that can lead to more reasonable prices

Benefits of using the app

  • Users can negotiate fares directly, potentially leading to savings.
  • It provides an alternative to traditional taxi services and other ride-sharing apps, offering more options for users.
  • The app includes features like OTP verification and ride cancellation, enhancing usersecurity and flexibility

Picap

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Picap is a ride-hailing app specifically designed for motorcycle taxis, offering a quick and often more affordable way to navigate through traffic in Colombian cities.

When is it useful?

It’s particularly useful during rush hour or in densely populated areas where traditionalcars might be slower due to traffic congestion.

Why choose this app?

Picap offers a unique transportation option that can save time and money, especially in urban areas where navigating traffic quickly is a priority.

Benefits of using the app

  • Faster travel times in congested areas.
  • Often more affordable than car taxis or other ride-hailing services.
  • Provides an authentic local transportation experience.

Uber

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Uber is the best known taxi app that offers a variety of transportation options across more than 10,000 cities. The Colombian government does not officially endorse the usage of Uber. If anything, it’s not even allowed to operate in certain cities and especially in some airports. I was only able to use it in Bogota. 

When is it useful?

Uber is useful for a wide range of transportation needs, from quick local trips to longer journeys. It’s also beneficial for scheduling rides in advance or requesting rides for others

Why choose this app?

Uber is known for its safety features, including driver screening and insurance. The app also allows users to track their trip and stay connected for added security

Benefits of using the app

  • Wide availability in cities around the world.
  • Variety of ride options to suit different needs and budgets.
  • Advanced safety features and the ability to track rides in real-time.

Navigation Travel Apps in Colombia

If you’re like me who sometimes have questionable sense of direction, have at least two of these apps in case one of them fails to retrieve your offline app.

Maps.Me

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Maps.Me is an offline navigation app that offers downloadable maps, turn-by-turn navigation, and the ability to mark favorite locations

When is it useful?

It’s especially useful for travelers in areas with limited internet access or those looking to save on data usage. It’s also great for outdoor activities like hiking and exploring remote locations

Why choose this app?

Maps.Me is free and provides detailed offline maps that are invaluable for navigation without an internet connection. It also includes features like searching for public restrooms and following trails

Benefits of using the app

  • No need for an internet connection once maps are downloaded.
  • Comprehensive offline navigation features.
  • Ability to mark and save locations for easy access

Google Maps

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Google Maps is a comprehensive navigation app that offers detailed maps, directions, and local business information

When is it useful?

It’s useful for everyday navigation, finding local businesses, planning trips, and exploringnew areas. Google Maps is also beneficial for businesses looking to increase their visibility

Why choose this app?

Google Maps is widely used and trusted for its accuracy and extensive features, includingreal-time traffic updates, public transit options, and street view

Benefits of using the app

  • Reliable and up-to-date maps and navigation.
  • Extensive local business information and reviews.
  • Useful features like real-time traffic updates and public transit schedules

Strava

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Strava is a fitness tracking app designed for runners and cyclists to record their activities, track performance, and connect with a community of athletes. Plus, it can also double as a map. 

When is it useful?

It’s particularly useful for active travelers in Colombia who want to keep up with their training, explore new routes, and challenge themselves while on the go.

Why choose this app?

Strava stands out for its social features, allowing users to share their activities, compete with others, and discover popular routes recommended by the community.

I also found it useful in hiking in less popular areas because you’ll be able to see which routes have been taken before. Be careful though because sometimes trails get closed down. I found myself on a dead-end when hiking a less frequented area of Tayrona National Park while using the app. 

Benefits of using the app

  • Detailed tracking of running and cycling activities.
  • Access to a global community of athletes for motivation and tips.
  • Discovery of new routes and challenges to keep fitness routines exciting.

Food Apps in Colombia

There’s days when you just want to lounge around and relax. When that day comes, know that there’s food delivery apps and the most popular one in Colombia is Rappi.

Rappi

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Rappi is an on-demand delivery app that offers food delivery, groceries, and even pharmaceuticals, making it a versatile tool for various needs.

When is it useful?

It’s useful for travelers who prefer the convenience of having meals, groceries, or other items delivered directly to their accommodation in Colombia. You’ll also find Rappi to be popular in nearby countries like Peru.

Why choose this app?

Rappi is chosen for its wide range of services, including restaurant delivery, supermarkets, hopping, and more, all accessible through a single app.

Benefits of using the app

  • Convenience of ordering a wide range of items from the comfort of your location.
  • Saves time and effort, especially for travelers unfamiliar with the area.
  • Offers promotions and discounts for various services.

Mobile Data eSIMs in Colombia

You can either get a local eSIM or you can make it easier by getting an eSIM. Either way, staying connected is a must.

Airhub

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Airhub makes it easy for travelers to get mobile data (and even an international number to send SMS or make calls) while in Colombia. It also has an app to help you purchase your eSIMs, ensuring that you stay connected throughout your Colombian adventures.

When is it useful?

Airhub becomes particularly invaluable in various scenarios.

  • Effortless International Arrivals. Upon landing in Colombia, Airhub allows you to skip the hassle of seeking local SIM cards. You can instantly activate your eSIM, ensuring connectivity from the moment you touch down.
  • Multi-City Exploration. If your Colombian journey involves exploring multiple cities, Airhub’s eSIM eliminates the need for city-specific SIM cards. Your connection remains consistent across diverse destinations.
  • Flexible Duration Stays. Whether you’re in Colombia for a short vacation or an extended work assignment, Airhub’s eSIMs cater to your specific duration, providing optimal flexibility.

Why choose this app?

Choosing Airhub as your eSIM in Colombia is great for many reasons

  • Cost-Effective Connectivity. Among all eSIMs I’ve compared in Latin America, Airhub provides the most cost-effective eSIM option, allowing you to allocate your budget more efficiently during your travels.
  • Efficiency and Simplicity. Airhub streamlines the process of acquiring and activating eSIMs, especially if you get the regional plans
  • Global Coverage. Airhub offers eSIMs with robust regional plans. This is particularly advantageous for travelers who plan to explore beyond Colombia’s borders, ensuring a seamless transition between LatAm countries without connectivity disruptions.

Benefits of using the app

  • Instant Activation. You can purchase the eSIM in advance and set the activation date to be during you arrival time. This allows you to setup everything before you even need to use your eSIM.
  • Continuous Connectivity. Enjoy uninterrupted connectivity as you move across cities in Colombia. It allows you to pick the network you want to connect to. In Colombia, you can pick from the leading networks: Claro, TIGO, and Movistar to just name a few. Airhub’s eSIM ensures a stable and reliable connection, allowing you to navigate, communicate, and share your experiences seamlessly.

If you’re curious what we thought of Airhub, read my full review below 👇

Language Apps in Colombia

If you’re a fluent Spanish speaker, move on to the next section. But for people like me who are still trying to learn Spanish, we still need our crutches and this is where Apple Translate and Google Translate come in.

Apple Translate

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Apple Translate is a language translation app offering text and voice translations in multiple languages, including Spanish.

When is it useful?

It’s useful for English-speaking travelers in Colombia who need to translate Spanish phrases or conversations in real time through its conversation mode option. Unlike Google Translate though, it can’t translate words on photos. 

Why choose this app?

Apple Translate is integrated into the iOS ecosystem, offering a seamless translation experience for iPhone users. I also found it to be more accurate is some situations

Benefits of using the app

  • Real-time text and voice translations.
  • Integration with other Apple apps and services.
  • User-friendly interface for quick translations.

Google Translate

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Google Translate offers typed, spoken, and camera translations in multiple languages, making it invaluable for understanding and communicating in Spanish.

When is it useful?

It’s especially useful for travelers in Colombia who need quick translations for signs, menus, or conversations.

Why choose this app?

Google Translate is widely recognized for its accuracy and extensive language support, including offline translation capabilities. I found its best usage is translate foreign menu items though. 

Benefits of using the app

  • Supports a wide range of languages.
  • Offers various translation modes (text, voice, camera).
  • Useful for real-time communication and understanding local language1.

Communication Apps in Colombia

Having the most used messaging platform in the country you’re in is a must when traveling. It’s the fastest way to plan out your trips and keep in touch with people you meet along the way.

I must admit that my contacts has more than quadrupled since I started traveling, and I have (semi) promised too many people now that I’ll visit their home country someday.

WhatsApp

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WhatsApp is a messaging app that offers end-to-end encrypted communication, including text messages, voice and video calls, and the ability to share media and documents. You can be sure that 99% of time, the traveler you meet will have WhatsApp. It’s the most widely used messaging app.

When is it useful?

It’s particularly useful for staying in touch with friends and family globally without incurring SMS or call charges. It’s also beneficial for group chats, sharing travel updates, and coordinating with travel companions.

Why choose this app?

WhatsApp is chosen for its widespread use, cross-platform compatibility, and comprehensive features beyond basic messaging, such as location sharing, customizable privacy settings, and media sharing.

Benefits of using the app

  • Free international messaging and calls.
  • End-to-end encryption ensures privacy and security.
  • Feature-rich, including group chats, voice and video calls, and media sharing

Currency

Usually I recommend WISE for currency conversions and money transfers, but sadly, they do not support certain countries so if this fails, one has to look for alternatives to avoid really high fees.

Using your debit or credit card on no-fee or low-fee ATMs or cajero automaticos may be your next bet if not my recommendation below.

Western Union

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Western Union is a global money transfer service that allows users to send and receive money internationally with ease. It offers various transfer options, including online transfers, app-based transfers, and in-person transfers at agent locations

When is it useful?

Western Union is particularly useful for sending money to family and friends living abroad, supporting loved ones in times of need, managing international business transactions, or transferring funds for travel purposes. It’s also beneficial for those without access to traditional banking services

Why choose this app?

Usually I recommend using WISE, but WISE does not support the Colombian peso. 

This is where Western Union comes it. It’s a better option in Colombia due to its global reach, with the ability to send money to almost any country around the world. It offers convenience, speed, and flexibility in sending and receiving options, including cash pickup, bank transfer, and mobile wallet transfer. Additionally, Western Union is known for its reliability and security, ensuring safe transactions

Benefits of using the app

  • Global Reach. Western Union’s network spans over 200 countries and territories, making it one of the most accessible money transfer services worldwide.
  • Speed. Offers same-day and next-day money transfer options, allowing funds to reach recipients quickly, often within minutes depending on the transfer method chosen.
  • Convenience. Users can send and receive money online, through the mobile app, or in person at one of the hundreds of thousands of agent locations globally. The app provides a seamless experience for managing transfers from anywhere at any time.
  • Flexibility. With a variety of sending and receiving options, users can choose the most convenient method for them and their recipients, including cash pickup, bank transfer, and mobile wallet transfer.
  • Security. Western Union employs state-of-the-art security measures to protect money transfers. The app includes several security features to protect users’ money and personal details.
  • Reliability. With a long history of providing money transfer services, Western Union is a trusted name in the industry, ensuring that funds arrive safely and efficiently.

Western Union’s global reach, speed, convenience, flexibility, security, and reliability make it a preferred choice for individuals and businesses looking to transfer money internationally.

Accommodation Apps in Colombia

There’s just two sites I trust to book my accommodation. I do occassionally also look at Airbnb but I found that accommodations are hit or miss in South America. Plus their customer support is not so helpful too.

Booking.com

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Booking.com is a comprehensive travel booking platform offering a wide range of accommodations, from hotels to vacation homes and unique stays.

When is it useful?

It’s useful for travelers looking for a one-stop-shop to compare and book accommodations across the globe. The platform caters to both leisure and business travelers.

Why choose this app?

Between Booking.com and Hostelworld, I generally lean towards Booking.com because they have better accommodations plus it’s easier to navigate the website.

It also helps that they have instant booking options and 24/7 customer support.

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Benefits of using the app

  • Global reach with properties in over 220 countries.
  • Wide range of accommodation types.
  • Instant booking and round-the-clock support.

Hostelworld

hostelworld - best travel apps in colombia

Hostelworld is an app designed for booking hostels worldwide, offering a platform to find and reserve budget accommodations and connect with fellow travelers.

When is it useful?

It’s useful for backpackers and budget travelers looking for affordable lodging options. The app’s social features like Hostel Chat make it ideal for those wanting to meet new people during their travels.

Why choose this app?

Hostelworld is chosen for its extensive selection of hostels, user reviews, and unique social features that enhance the travel experience by facilitating connections with other travelers.

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Benefits of using the app

  • Wide selection of hostels worldwide.
  • Social features like Hostel Chat to meet fellow travelers.
  • User reviews and ratings to help make informed decisions.

Tour Apps in Colombia

If you enjoy planning everything ahead of time, you should take a look at the two leading tour apps and sites to use. I usually prefer booking in-person to haggle. But if you need a break from walking around and meeting new people, that’s fine too. Just book your tours through these two apps.

Viator

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Viator is an app for booking tours, activities, and experiences worldwide, offering travelers a way to find and book things to do.

When is it useful?

It’s useful for travelers planning their itinerary and looking to book tours and experiences in advance or even last minute. The app helps avoid long entrance lines and discover local experiences.

Why choose this app?

Viator is chosen for its extensive selection of tours and activities, user reviews, and the convenience of having tickets saved on your phone. It’s also great for finding activities based on your location.

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Benefits of using the app

  • Wide selection of tours and activities.
  • User reviews to help choose the best experiences.
  • Convenience of mobile tickets and location-based suggestions.

GetYourGuide

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GetYourGuide is an app similar to Viator, designed for discovering and booking tours, and attractions, and activities around the world.

When is it useful?

It’s particularly useful for travelers who want to plan their activities and excursions in advance, ensuring they don’t miss out on popular attractions and experiences.

Why choose this app?

GetYourGuide is chosen for its user-friendly interface, a wide range of activities, and flexible booking options, including free cancellation on most bookings. It also offers unique experiences and skip-the-line tickets.

Benefits of using the app

  • Extensive selection of tours and activities.
  • Easy booking process with free cancellation options.
  • Access to unique experiences and skip-the-line tickets.

GetYourGuide enhances travel experiences by offering an easy way to discover and book a wide range of activities, ensuring travelers make the most of their trips with memorable experiences.

Wrapping up

There you have it, all the best travel apps in Colombia for almost everything you’ll need. Whether you’re exploring the cities, trying local food, handling money, or staying connected, we’ve got you covered.

Try out these apps and make your Colombian adventure easier and more fun.


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