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FAQ Colombia
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FAQ Colombia

General Facts

Capital

Bogotá

Area

440,800 mi²km2

Population

49,07 million citizens

Time Zone

GMT-5

Currency

Colombian Pesos COP (COP$)

Geography

Pacific and Caribbean lowlands, Highlands and Amazon rainforest

Emergency phones

123

Most frequent questions

Do I need a visa/passport?

All travelers will need a passport valid for at least 6 months after they depart. Travelers from the US and Canada do not need a visa to enter Colombia. Other nationalities may have to check with the consulate.

 

What is the official language in Colombia?

The official language in the country of Colombia is Spanish. In all the main touristic areas of the country you will find people who speak English. This includes hotels, restaurants, museums, and other touristic centers, but not by the general population.

 

How can I get cash in Colombia?

It is recommended that money should be exchanged in hotels, banks and authorized money exchange offices. The exchange rate against the US Dollar is variable.

Colombia has a vast network of ATMs in all cities throughout the country. Always go with someone and if you have a problem with your credit or debit card, be suspicious of strangers offering to help you; it is better to consult the bank directly and employ the usual security measures.

 

Will my credit cards work in Colombia?

Most local shops also accept all types of credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club. When you use your credit card, request that they make the transaction at the table with a dataphone.

 

How much should I tip?

Mid-level to upscale restaurants will include a 10% service charge onto your bill (along with a 19% tax).  If the service has been exceptionally good, you can leave another 10% (as a reference) to indicate your appreciation.

 

What is the electricity voltage?

Electricity is provided at 110V and 60Hz.

 

Is Colombia a safe country?

Colombia is no longer the nation of violence and drugs portrayed in Hollywood films. However, you should still protect your money, valuables and credit cards, among other things, from thieves and bag snatchers. Take great care of bags, rucksacks, mobiles phones and cameras, especially in crowded places such as public squares, bus stations, markets and the beach, etc. Find out where you should avoid for safety and to avoid theft and crime in general.

Keep your valuables in the hotel safe, make a photocopy of your Passport, and write down the number of your credit or debit card company so that the cards can be cancelled if lost or stolen. Use only registered and certified taxis. The emergency number from anywhere in the country is 123.

 

Are there any special health issues I should consider?

Your health is important. If you have heart problems or high blood pressure, you must consult your doctor before going to highland areas such as Bogotá. In any case it is a good thing to acclimatize yourself, in case you suffer from altitude sickness; for this reason, we recommend that you rest the first day, drink plenty of fluids and eat lightly.

 

Do I need any special vaccinations/ immunizations?

Yellow fever vaccinations are now mandatory for travel to some remote regions in Colombia – you’ll need to show your yellow booklet before boarding flights. Your travel advisor will let you know if this is needed when creating your itinerary.

Travelers heading to remote lowland areas such as the Pacific and the Amazon should consider taking anti-malarial medication. Please let your doctor know you will be travelling to Colombia so he/she can advice you properly.

 

Diet guidelines to avoid food poisoning and other complications

Colombia has excellent water resources and tap water in bigger cities and mountainous areas is usually safe to drink. In less developed regions such as the Amazon, Chocó and parts of the Caribbean coast it’s best to drink only bottled water. Also, avoid clams (which are served uncooked) and any uncooked or unpeeled products. Do not eat in any place or restaurant not recommended directly by us, your cruise and/or hotel.

 

Special Needs

Colombia is just starting to apply mandatory facilities for special needs i.e.: wheelchair ramps, wide doors, etc. We will provide you with accurate information and will do our best to accommodate you.

 

Customs for Colombia

You will have to clear customs upon arrival to Colombia, in Bogotá. All of your personal baggage will be scanned for items such as fresh fruit and or other fresh plant and animal foods.