Survival Guide
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Welcome to Bogota!

We very much look forward to welcoming you to the 2018 edition of the LAHC Conference, which will be held in Bogota, Colombia. On these pages you can find out more information about Colegio Gran Bretaña, Colegio Anglo Colombiano and the English School, the city, and leisure options in Bogotá and beyond.

Bogotá has a welcoming culture that ensures that visitors are received with open arms. You will notice it immediately, everywhere; we hope that you will have the opportunity to explore some of the hidden gems of Bogota, a city “2600 meters closer to the stars”. Read more about the city and how to make the most of it in our Leisure Options section.

If you have any other questions not answered on these pages, please feel free to write to:
Mateo Joya: digitalmarketing@cgb.edu.co
Fiorella Rocha: admissions@cgb.edu.co


About Colegio Gran Bretaña

Colegio Gran Bretaña (CGB) is a fully coeducational, international school here in Bogotá, Colombia. Founded in 1997, exactly 20 years ago, it opened its doors to 40 students (children of British Petroleum employees). It offered a British curriculum, taught in English by British teachers. Today, CGB is a vibrant intercultural community comprised of 556 students representing 35 different nationalities. There are 92 members on the academic staff, representing 12 nationalities. We offer a British curriculum, including VESS, the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), the International Middle Years Curriculum and the IGCSE programme, that culminates in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

It was the first school in Colombia to receive the double international accreditation from both NEASC and CIS; is an authorized center for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and the University of Cambridge IGCSEs. It is a member of the Latin American Heads Conference (LAHC), the Andean Association of IB Schools (AACBI), the Unión de Colegios Bilingües (UCB) and is a global Round Square member.

Colegio Gran Bretaña is situated on a rural campus in the north of Bogotá. Additionally, the school uses El Retiro de San Juan, a recreational club, as its Sports Campus.

What to wear
Temperatures range from 7ºC to 24ºC (45ºF to 75ºF). The weather is incredibly variable, so it’s not unusual to experience four seasons within one day, going from cold to hot in an instant. Always be prepared for amazing sun, heavy rain, clouded skies and a hot day. You will need to pack creatively! Dress for the conference is smart casual, except for the final dinner, which is more formal (jacket and tie for the gentlemen and equivalent for the ladies).

Altitude
Bogota sits at 2,600 meters (8,530 feet) above sea level, so some people may feel the effects of decreased oxygen at this altitude. You need to stay hydrated, don’t over-push yourself while exercising, and we encourage you to consult a doctor before coming to the city if you have any sort of heart condition.

Voltage
Colombia's voltage is 110V-120V, 60 Hz. Your laptop charger will deal with this automatically but be careful with hairdryers and
other electrical appliances that you intend to bring with you. The plugs in Colombia are the same as in the US (two flat blades in old
constructions, or two flat blades and one rounded for ground in newer constructions). You can easily buy an adaptor between both
types, in case you need it.

Currency
1 USD = 2,843 COP (March 24th, 2018)
There are numerous places where you can exchange money. In the airport there are 3 currency exchange offices, and throughout the city you can find many more. The most common currencies accepted by these offices are the US Dollar and Euro. There are also many ATMs throughout the city and you shouldn’t experience difficulties withdrawing cash from these with an international debit or credit card. Major credit cards are also very widely accepted. Having said that, it is never a bad idea to bring a few dollars with you in case of emergencies.

At the airport
El Dorado is a large, modern airport that has been upgraded and expanded recently. Immigration and customs procedures are usually straightforward and shouldn’t present any problems. You should enter Colombia as a tourist. The exact category on their website is “Turismo/participante en un evento” (Tourist/participant in an event).

Visas
Colombia requires a visa for very few of the nationalities that are likely to be represented at the conference to enter as a tourist. Notable exceptions are Cuba, Nicaragua, and South Africa. However, we recommend checking the official site of the Colombian Foreign Office here . This is a very informative and easy to use guide to visas and related topics

Yellow fever vaccinations
The situation regarding Yellow Fever vaccinations is changing constantly across Latin America, so we strongly recommend that you check your personal situation, not only for Colombia but also for your own country, in order for you to be able to get back home! If in doubt, get the vaccination. It is quick and easy, it doesn’t have any side effects, and it will last for 10 years.

Transport from the airport
The easiest way to get to the hotel is to take one of the official taxis. There are booths as you exit customs and major credit cards are accepted. Prices are very reasonable. However, sometimes there are very long queues.
An alternative is to take the hotel shuttle. These are located outside the terminal building and the cost can be put straight onto your room bill. You will need to let the hotel know in advance if you wish to take this option.

Personal safety
Colombia and Bogota gained a reputation for being dangerous over the last few decades but today Bogota is no different from the majority of Latin American cities. If you follow the usual precautions and keep your wits about you it is very unlikely that you will have any problems. As Colombian people say you must not “Dar Papaya” - a common expression which means not to have anything valuable on display while you’re out and about. Avoid drawing attention to yourself with ostentatious jewellery, expensive cameras, etc., keep your cell phone out of sight while walking on the street, only carry with you what you need and make sure that you know where you are going before you set out. For more tips on safety, visit this site

Taxis
For security reasons it is best not to get a cab on the street. If you do, all taxis are required to have a taximeter and a yellow chart visible that lists the name of the driver, license plate number and price rates, so make sure that yours does before you get in. As an alternative you can use a transport app such as Uber, Cabify, Easy Taxi or Tappsi.

Public transport
Bogota is famous for its Transmilenio bus, which runs the whole length of the city on a dedicated lane and which links up with the SITP buses. However, the system is not particularly easy to use and we do not recommend using it if it is your first time in Bogota.

Medical attention
Private medical services are good in Colombia and it is advisable to take out travel insurance for the trip, especially if you intend extending your stay. Help with locating suitable health care will be available during the conference, and an infirmary with qualified nurses will be available at all the schools throughout the event.

There are many options very near the hotels, here are our suggestions:

Restaurant Address Cuisine Price guide
Crepes and Waffles Cra 6 # 119 - 56 International + 30,000 COP
Cafe Amarti Calle 119 # 6 - 24 Italian + 40,000 COP
Madison Calle 119 # 5 - 80 Hamburguers + 35,000 COP
Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant Calle 119a # 6a - 34 Indian + 45,000 COP
Bistronomy Cra 6 #119 - 24 International + 60,000 COP
Mister Ribs Calle 119 # 6 - 06 Steakhouse + 45,000 COP
Osaki Calle 118 # 6A - 05 Asian + 40,000 COP
Kathmandu Cra 6 # 117 - 26 Thai + 35,000 COP
80 Sillas Calle 118 # 6A - 05 Peruvian + 40,000 COP
Mediterranea de Andrei Calle 118 # 6A - 05 Greek + 50,000 COP
Wok Cra 6A # 117 - 02 Asian + 30,000 COP

Explore Bogota
Bogota can be loud and crowded, but there are plenty opportunities for you to take a break and participate in outdoor activities, such as running, biking, walking and going to multiple parks throughout the city. You can go to Monserrate, which is a walk/jog of 2.5km (1,5 mile) in a mountain where you reach one of the most emblematic church in the city; you can go to “Quebrada de la Vieja”, that is a waterfall surrounded by vegetation and nature, or go to over 30 parks throughout the city, where you can exercise, take a break from the city or simply relax. Your hotel is located in a zone called Usaquen, once a separate town. Usaquen was absorbed into the metropolis in the 1950s and is now a neighborhood with a small-town feel. Check this list of top 10 things to do in Usaquen

Explore Colombia
Colombia has the particularity that it has all the possible climates in the world, from sunny and hot beaches, to freezing cold mountains, so we encourage you to take some time off, relax and explore the wonderful country that stands under your feet. There are numerous agencies that can help you travel and explore the nation, but our recommendations are:

1. Colombia Trekk: View Site
2. KonTour Travel: View Site
3. De Una Colombia: View Site

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