Latin America Visiting Colombia and Brazil in June/July need info

Discussion in 'The Rest of the World' started by beerman4, Mar 21, 2014.

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  1. beerman4

    beerman4 Initiate (145) Mar 22, 2009 California

    So I will be coming down to South America this summer visiting Bogota Colombia and then Brazil. I will be coming down the first week of June and flying into Bogota Colombia first. I will be staying in Colombia for two to three weeks. Then traveling to Brazil for some World Cup action. I don't have any contacts down there yet, and am looking for some good info as were to stay and not stay. Are there Hostels there? Are Hotels expensive? Should I rent a car? Is public transportation safe? Are taxis safe? How much are tickets for the World Cup selling for?

    While in Colombia I will be staying in Bogota most the time. I was born there, and was adopted by an American family. My main priority while in Colombia will be finding my biological Mom and family. I know that I was born in Bogota, and that I was taken care of by someone there. Not sure if I was adopted from a Hospital, or what. But I will have more info on that hopefully in the next few weeks. While in Bogota, I was wondering where the safe places are to stay. What cities, or neighborhoods should I stay away from if possible. Are there safe Hostels to stay at? Is renting a car smart? Where should I go to do some sight seeing? What's the weather like that time of the year? Do any craft beer people care for some beer from the USA? I can bring or ship some down there! And I have alot of really good US craft beer!

    While in Brazil, I would like to attend a few World Cup matches. Will tickets be easy to get? What cities would be best to go to? What cities are the safest and most dangerous? Should I rent a car? Are Hotels sold out already? Anyone renting out a room(I can pay for a room or trade US craft beer)? Where should I go to do some sight seeing? What's the weather like there in July?

    Thanks for checking this out, and for any advice that is given. I hope to plan a really fun trip, and will be purchasing my ticket next week. Please feel free to respond in he thread or BM with any comments or suggestions.

  2. sfoley333

    sfoley333 Initiate (0) Oct 26, 2006 Brazil

    World Cup tickets are mostly sold through a lottery system by FIFA starting back in the fall of 2013 continuing until right about now. You should check FIFA for more information. I would recommend against coming to Brazil for the World Cup because the country is not prepared for it at all. Tickets won't be easy to get here, especially in cities like Sao Paulo, Rio, Natal, and BH. Hotel and Airfare will be really expensive during the cup. The weather will be colder, in Sao Paulo anywhere from 7 C to 20 C and drier since it will be winter down here, but Brazil is a huge country so temp. will vary from North to South and also this year's weather has been crazy so who knows. I think if you haven't planned a trip by now for the World Cup and secured tickets then you shouldn't come but its up to you. Most people who are renting rooms for the period of the world cup are going to charge you a lot because everyone sees this as a time to make money off of tourists. As for safe cities, I guess I would say that Natal would be a good choice and for tourists I think its better than a lot of other places because of the number of beaches and activities to do there. Whatever your choice good luck with finding your mother and family.
  3. beerman4

    beerman4 Initiate (145) Mar 22, 2009 California

    The tickets down there aren't that much, and I already have the money saved just for the plane ticket. Your comments on Brazil don't make me want to go to Brazil for as long as I wanted to go. But since I'll be in Colombia already, I might try to make it to Brazil for at least a week. But if you don't think that's a good idea, I might have to skip it, and go to another Country while I'm down there. Any suggestions on another country to go to while down in South America. I have saved up some money to have a great trip, so money shouldn't be that big of a deal. Anyone have any suggestions on another country to go to?
  4. PaulQuinn

    PaulQuinn Initiate (174) May 27, 2011 British Columbia (Canada)

    I always say that if you want to go to Brazil you should go to Florianopolis, which is much a great city, much safer, cleaner, no world cup games, with beautiful beaches and, specially, women. But I'm biased so... Also, it's colder in the winter so it's harder to enjoy the sun during that time of year.

    Anyhow, reading the news about what happens/is happening in some parts of Colombia I don't think you should have any worst anywhere you'd go in Brazil. Except for the price of course.
    beerman4 likes this.
  5. sfoley333

    sfoley333 Initiate (0) Oct 26, 2006 Brazil

    My comment was more directed at going to the World Cup cities or games without a ticket. If you want to visit Brazil at that time I would suggest what PaulQuinn said because Florianopolis is a great city but it won't have a world cup game and the south of Brazil gets pretty cold in the winter, 80 cities in the south last year had a little snowfall. Check out some websites like or to get an idea of the price of rooms.
  6. DoubleJ

    DoubleJ Poo-Bah (5,196) Oct 13, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    Brazil is a fun country, though there are some caveats to consider during the time of the World Cup. For starters, the airports don't run smoothly even on a normal day. Rental cars are expensive, especially if you choose one with automatic transmission. But the elephant in the room regards the number of potential protests at and during the World Cup. Since last June, dozens of protests have occurred over the way that the World Cup has been handled, and I would expect the temper to flare again during the event.

    That's being said, there's lots to see in Brazil and friendly people who have become more interested in craft beer over the years. Rio de Janeiro is an obvious destination (though I fear the crowds it will bring during the World Cup). Florianopolis is a great alternative, and has nearby cities which are worth visiting too (Balneario Camboriu, Blumenau).
    beerman4 likes this.
  7. LocoArdi

    LocoArdi Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2014 Germany

    Hi beerman4, if you have ever been into downtown LA you don't have anything to fear about Colombia. In fact I have never fear for my life except that day in LA (I lived 20 years in Bogota, and I've walked through not so good areas at 3 am and drunk) for the most part, try to avoid empty/dark streets at night, you might be victim of a robbery. If that happens to you, always, I mean ALWAYS give your money to the theft and he will go away, this is a problem. they usually don't have access to guns, but surely will have a knife and might get angry if there is no money. (A tip is to not have the money in your wallet, but in 2 or 3 pockets, so you quickly give one away + maybe your phone, and important documents in a safe place that wont get robbed).

    I know this does not sound very promising, but for the most part this wont happen, but society has evolve to this "street rules".

    Now, to visit this website has the top rated areas of the city in terms of night live, and also for sight seeing. If you are in Candelaria feel free to stop by Café Magola Buendía as it is owned by a close friend and we have plans to put a 2 bbl brewery there, everything is in its early stages (we might have the tanks already in place but not production), for now you can enjoy some good coffee from Huila.

    In terms of beers, the craft beer is not so big in Colombia as in the US, but these are some established craft breweries you might want to visit:

    Bogota Beer Company (has pubs in nearly all the city, but it is hard to find seasonal beers as they are the most interesting to taste, but give it a try to Chapinero if I remember correctly. Should have a strong hop aroma and a reddish color)

    Tres Cordilleras in Medellin though, but should be interesting to go there as well

    Apostol Also in Medellin, they have a tour, you should check it out.

    cerveza fomeque they have a pub I think, in Fomeque, about 1 hour driving in the other side of monserrate (the church on top of the andes in the eastern part of Bogota) this one is very small as well, maybe 1 bbl batch.

    Other than that, there are very small micro breweries like mine starting out but not yet fully operational or withou pubs, so they sell beer to restaurants and the restaurants re-labled it as from the house so you never really know who is making it or its ABV or IBUs or color

    you should also visit the Gold museum (this is a must), the salt mines in Zipaquira (also very interesting) and maybe Villa de Leiva for its colonial architecture and feeling.

    Weather in Bogota is 50 to 70 F year round, it usually rains a lot during FEB-MAR-APR and AGT-SEP-OCT, but this doesn't mean in the rest it doesn't rain.

    A typical day could be a small drizzel around 4-5:30 am, sunny / partially cloudy from 8 am to 3-4:30 and overcast/gray clouds/rain from 5 to 6 or 7pm or so. (old people say always bring your jacket and umbrella) but I think Bogota has become too hot for jacket if sunny( from 9 am to 4 pm) ussually. but might be a good idea after 5. It is somehow similar to San Francisco in March-April

    but Jun-July should have few rain or even no rain. It depends on what year if there is the niño or niña phenomena occurring.

    I don't think renting a car will be a good idea, Bogota is over crowded with cars and it is usually very hard to find parking spots (also don't know what is the price like, gas is more expensive then the US). If you are going far it should be very fun to drive along the andes. Taxis are very cheap and can take you everywhere if you don't want to be sandwiched in a red Transmilenio Bus (don't use it in peak hours, it is a nightmare, valley is fine).

    do you mind bringing two beers so my friends at the cafe can taste them? like an Arrogant bastard or Pliny and maybe one of your favorites.

    We are building this brewery totally remotely, I don't know if it will work. I now live in Germany after being 3 years in CA and they live in Bogota with limited craft beer options, so they have never taste like a really hoppy beer, it is not for everyone, but should be interesting for them. If it is too complicated it is fine also.

    Enjoy your stay!

    beerman4 likes this.
  8. Espenoza

    Espenoza Initiate (0) Dec 26, 2009 Brazil

    Hey, if you're looking for a good beer experience, I'd reccomend somewhere south (pref... Sao Paulo). No craft beer here in the North-East but it does have the best Beaches (Natal is very underrated). If you don't mind getting gouged a little, then you can't go "too" wrong in Brazil.

    As far as safety is concerned... Follow common sense. Don't go down dark alleys at night waving cash, and don't get into any unmarked Cab's or Vans. Most importantly... just stay away from Rio...
    beerman4 likes this.
  9. beerman4

    beerman4 Initiate (145) Mar 22, 2009 California

    Is staying in Hostels in Bogota Colombia safe? Or would staying in hotels be better? Any info would be cool.
  10. beerman4

    beerman4 Initiate (145) Mar 22, 2009 California

    So I will be coming down on the 10th it looks like. I was thinking of staying in a Hostel in/or around Candelaria. Do you think that is a safe way to find a room? I've looked around, and they seem to be pretty nice. Or would you recommend a hotel? I will be bringing some beer with me, not sure a Pliny. But will have a few hoppy beers, some stouts, BA Stouts, sours, etc. I hope to bring two twelve pack wine shippers of beer with me. Do you think they will make it through customs? Are you going to be there in a few weeks?
  11. beerman4

    beerman4 Initiate (145) Mar 22, 2009 California

    OK well it looks like I'll be coming to Bogota, Colombia on June 10th. I will be staying in hostels while there. Anybody have any recommendations? I am in the country for almost a month. My main objective is to find my family, not beer. Although I will be bringing some North American specialties if wanted! If anyone cares to share some beers let me know.
    Cheers, Chris
  12. beerman4

    beerman4 Initiate (145) Mar 22, 2009 California

    I am in Colombia, and I brought some American craft beer with me. I will be staying in La Candelaria next weekend if anyone cares to meet up for a beer. Send me a message and I will see if I can meet up with anyone.
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