'Pictures of travel and vacation destinations and tours for Central America and South America and Tourist Information About Colombia
'Pictures of travel and vacation destinations and tours for Central America and South America and Tourist Information About Colombia
'Pictures of travel and vacation destinations and tours for Central America and South America and Tourist Information About Colombia
'Pictures of travel and vacation destinations and tours for Central America and South America and Tourist Information About Colombia
'Pictures of travel and vacation destinations and tours for Central America and South America and Tourist Information About Colombia
'Pictures of travel and vacation destinations and tours for Central America and South America and Tourist Information About Colombia
Colombia

Tourist Information About Colombia


Passport and Visas

The following information is subject to change and should be verified by contacting the nearest diplomatic or consular office of Colombia. Violations of entry and exit requirements may result in serious penalties.

i. United States Tourists

A valid U.S. passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Colombia and to return to the U.S. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 60 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Colombia, U.S. citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Colombia and are in good condition. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Colombia in the case of dual citizenship, all U.S. citizens must use a U.S. passport when returning to the U.S. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in the U.S. or Colombia.

All U.S. tourists traveling within Colombia should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Colombia.

In order to prevent international child abduction, Colombia may require documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

ii. Canadian Tourists

A valid Canadian passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Colombia and to return to Canada. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 60 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Colombia, Canadian citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Colombia. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Colombia in the case of dual citizenship, all Canadian citizens must use a Canadian passport when returning to Canada. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, Certificates of Canadian Citizenship, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in Canada or Colombia.

All Canadian tourists traveling within Colombia should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Colombia.

In order to prevent international child abduction, Colombia requires documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

iii. European Tourists

A valid European passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Colombia and to return to Europe. A visa is not required for all tourist visits of up to 60 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Colombia, European citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Colombia.

All European tourists traveling within Colombia should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Colombia.

In order to prevent international child abduction, Colombia requires documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

Airport Taxes and Customs

Though sometimes a portion is included in the price of the airline ticket, Colombia charges an exit tax of US$56. Be sure to check with your airline for more information regarding whether this tax is included or not.

Health and Vaccinations

All tourists should be sure that their routine vaccinations are up to date whether traveling or not. This information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website.

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Rabies vaccinations are recommended, but not required, for all those traveling to Colombia. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

Malaria risk exists in all rural areas at altitudes below 800 m (<2,624 ft). There is no risk in Bogotá or the surrounding areas. If you will be visiting areas with a risk of malaria infection, you should take an antimalarial drug such as atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Chloroquine is not an effective antimalarial drug in Colombia and should not be taken. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control website for more information.

To avoid infection of any diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, it is recommended that you wear long sleeves or pants or have in your possession mosquito repellant, especially in areas where infection of Malaria is possible. Additionally, the use of bed nets is recommended in these areas.

Safety and Security

Warnings are in effect for travel to Colombia as violence by guerilla groups and drug trafficking groups remains high in many urban and rural areas. The degree of violence in such as cities as Bogotá, Medellin, Barranquilla, and Cartagena has decreased recently though violence is still strong in cities like Cali, Buenaventura, and the surrounding areas.

Clothing and What to Bring

Tropical clothing is important in the humid areas of the coast. In cities like Bogotá, Boyacá, and the Zona Cafetera, the nights may cool down a bit making it a good idea to carry an extra layer and a pair of pants to keep warm. In the high mountains, temperatures can drop so a thick layer is definitely worth bringing. Medellín and Calí require only light clothing. Also be sure to bring a rain coat or other protection from the rain when traveling in the uplands or in general during the rainy season. See the climate and weather section for more details about the different Colombian seasons.

Currency, Banks, Credit Cards
The currency of Colombia is known as the peso (COP). Recently the exchange rate is generally 2,000 to 2,500 pesos per US$.

A good option is to bring US$ into Mexico as they can be exchanged in the airport or banks. Upon departure, any surplus may be exchanged back. Canadian dollars may be difficult to exchange in Mexico and US$ are preferred.

In addition, international debit and credit cards may be used to withdraw money from local ATMs. Also, most major credit cards are accepted in Mexico, especially in tourist destinations. It is always a good idea to check with your credit card companies to find out what, if any, foreign exchange fees exist.

Bringing US$ traveler's checks to Mexico for exchange is also another viable option. Canadian dollar traveler's checks may be difficult to exchange and US$ traveler's checks should be used.

Taxes and Tips
Tipping is customary more so in high end restaurants than at a local eatery. In a more expensive restaurant, such tips are generally 10% to 15%. In some more expensive restaurants, there may already be a service charge added onto the bill in which case additional tip may be left at your discretion depending on service. Be sure to check the bill to see if a service charge is present. Taxi drivers are generally not tipped though other services such as hotel services may be tipped.

Time Zone

The time zone used in Colombia is five hours before Coordinated Universal Time, or (UTC-05:00). This means that during summer (daylight savings time) Colombia is one hour behind New York City and two hours ahead of Los Angeles.

Telephone Calls

When calling from Colombia to the United States or Canada visitors must dial the following: 009 1 City Code Local Number.

When calling from Colombia to another international country visitors must dial the following: 009 Country Code City Code Local Number.

Electricity and Voltage

Electricity in Colombia is 120V at 60Hz and uses the standard two prong flat blades. These sockets will most likely not have a third hole for the round ground pin. This means that standard North American devices may still require an inexpensive prong adapter to get around the third ground prong.

Local Newspapers

• Diario del Magdalena (Santa Marta)
• Diario del Otún (Pereira)
• Diario del Sur (Nariño)
• Diario La Nación (Huila)
• Diario Occidente (Cali)
• El Catolicismo (Bogota)
• El Clavo (El Clavo University, Cali)
• El Colombiano
• El Espectador (Bogotá)
• El Heraldo
• El Informador (Santa Marta)
• El Liberal (Popayan)
• El Meridiano de Cordoba (Monteria)
• El Meridiano de Sucre (Sincelejo)
• El Mundo
• El Nuevo Día (Ibagué, Tolima)
• El Nuevo Siglo
• El Tiempo
• El Universal (Cartagena de Indias)
• Excelsio (Boyaca)
• La Libertad (Barranquilla)
• La Opinión (San José de Cúcuta)
• La Patria (Manizales)
• La Republica
• La Tarde (Pereira)
• Latin American Post (English)
• La Vanguardia Liberal (Bucaramanga)
• Primera Plana
• Revista Cambio
• Semana (Bogota)
• Voz (Spanish)

Transportation and Getting Around in Colombia
i. Cars
Car travel outside of the largest major cities should be avoided all together, especially at night. This is because of violence that occurs in rural areas of the country due to drug trafficking and guerilla groups.

ii. Taxis

Taxis within major cities are generally an affordable and efficient option for travel. Be sure to use official taxis only and negotiate the price beforehand.

iii. Buses
Bus travel through Colombia is not recommended because of the violence that occurs in rural areas of the country due to drug trafficking and guerilla groups.

iv. Planes
Domestic air travel is strongly recommended for any trips between Colombian cities. This is to avoid travel through rural areas which are susceptible to violence from drug traffickers and guerilla groups.

Business Hours
Banks in Colombia are generally open from 9:00AM until 3:00PM. These may vary depending on the city and whether the area is very busy or not. Private businesses are generally open from 8:00AM until 5:00PM while stores are open from 9:00AM to 8:00PM.

Call Latin America Collection Toll Free from the USA or CANADA toll free
USA:
1-866-256-2765
or
(800)-807-7952
CANADA:
(800)-807-7952

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