Special rates have been negotiated in the Las Américas Hotel in Cartagena de Indias - please therefore ensure you book your accommodation via the official accommodation page.
Accompanying persons' program - tourist information
As in previous years, tourist information on tours, visits, excursions and activities will be available during the whole week. Accompanying persons are therefore encouraged to make use of this information, and to plan their own schedule. A tourist office is available opposite the reception desk near the entrance to the Casa de Playa part of the hotel. A hostess will be happy to organize special tours for you.
Accompanying persons are welcome to attend the receptions on the Tuesday and Thursday evenings. We kindly ask you to let us know (on your registration form) whether your accompanying person will attend the reception.
Arrival in Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena de Indias Rafael Nunez International Airport is located 5 minutes by taxi from the Las Américas International Convention and Exhibition Center. Taxi rates are more favorable when the faire is paid in COP. Visit the taxi kiosk located within the baggage claim area and give them the hotel name and address. The taxi service from the airport is regular, reliable, and affordable (in the region of about 5 USD). Please note that in view of the proximity of the airport no shuttle service will be provided between the airport and the hotel.
Colombia has a tropical climate along the coast and eastern plains. However it can be a bit cooler in the highlands. For weather information visit: www.accuweather.com.
Currency, Banking, Credit cards
The official currency in Colombia is the Colombian Peso. The currency code for the Peso is COP, and the currency symbol is $ (not to be confused with the US Dollar). For a currency conversion guideline, click here. The US Dollar is widely accepted in Colombia, but the Peso is the preferred currency.
All major credit cards are accepted and Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are readily available throughout Colombia. There is an ATM in the Las Américas Hotel (near the entrance to the Casa de Playa.
The standard supply voltage in Colombia is 110 V AC, 60 Hz. Colombia uses the type of socket shown in the photo below.
It is strongly recommended that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance to cover the duration of your visit to Colombia and to protect you against cancellation charges, loss or damage to your luggage and personal effects, loss of cash and medical expenses.
Internet access and computers
There will be free wifi internet access in the hotel rooms and in the Las Américas International Convention and Exhibition Center Seminar/CIML meeting room.
Spanish is the common language throughout Colombia. The Seminar and CIML meeting will be conducted in English and simultaneous interpretation into and from French will be provided during the CIML meeting (only).
Lunch and refreshment breaks
Lunch and refreshments will be served on the days indicated on the Schedule page.
Delegates should please note that (as usual) no paper documents will be available for the CIML meeting; all the meeting documents will be made available for download via the CIML page.
The three major providers in Colombia are Claro, Movistar and Tigo. Claro has the best nationwide coverage, and is the most useful to the traveler. Cell phones are cheap, and many travelers end up purchasing one - a basic, no-frills handset will cost about COP$60,000 to COP$70,000, or travellers could bring their own cell phone from home and purchase a Colombian SIM card. A Claro SIM card, for example, costs COP$5000, which includes COP$1000 worth of prepaid calling minutes, though SIM costs vary by provider. Click here for detailed information.
There will be a an OIML Reception on the Tuesday evening and a Host Country Reception on the Thursday evening; dress code is business casual and more information will be given during the week of the meetings.
Every effort will be made to ensure that any special needs delegates have are taken into account.
Most goods and services sold in Colombia are subject to 19 % VAT (called "IVA").
The IVA tax is generally already included in the prices displayed.
The standard time zone in Colombia is GMT/UTC -5 hours. Local time, and various other information concerning Colombia (and indeed all major cities in the world) can be found at the World
Time and Date web site.
There are no firm rules about tipping in Colombia, but common practice (notably in restaurants) is for the waiting staff to ask the customer if he/she agrees to the addition of a 10 % service charge. If the customer refuses to pay this charge, this implies he/she was not satisfied with the meal or service. The term "propina incluida" means that the tip is included. If not included, in general 10 % to 15 % is the accepted tipping amount.
The venue for the 52nd CIML Meeting is given on this page.