Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > Colombia International Travel Information
Physical Address: Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50, Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
Mailing address: Carrera 45 No. 24B-27, Bogotá, D.C. 110111, Colombia
Telephone: +(57) (601) 275-2000
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(57) (601) 275-2000 and press 0
U.S. Consular Agency Barranquilla
Calle 77B No. 57-141, Suite 511
Centro Empresarial Las Americas 1, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
Telephone: +(57) 605-353-2001 and +(57) 605-369-0149
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(57) (601) 275-4021
For hours and services, please visit the U.S. Embassy Bogota website.
See the Department of State’s website www.state.gov for information on U.S. - Colombia relations.
Travelers must complete Migración Colombia’s Online Check-Mig Form within 72 hours of boarding an inbound or outbound flight from Colombia. There is no fee to complete the form.
All U.S. citizens who do not also hold Colombian citizenship must present a valid U.S. passport to enter and leave Colombia. U.S. citizens do not need a Colombian visa for a tourist or business stay of 90 days or less, or for cumulative stays of 180 days or less per calendar year. Before your 90-day stay expires, you may request an extension of up to 90 additional days from the Colombian immigration authority (Migración Colombia). You will face a fine if you remain in Colombia longer than allowed, and you may not be able to leave Colombia until the fine is paid.
Any traveler entering with a Colombian visa of any type (as opposed to visa-free entry described above) with more than three months’ validity must register the visa at a Migración Colombia office or online within 15 days of arrival in Colombia or face fines. You may be denied entry to Colombia if you do not have a return ticket. Visit the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism website for the most current visa information.
Visit the CDC Traveler View website for vaccination information, and the Colombian Ministry of Health website for Yellow Fever vaccination requirements.
Special Entry/Exit Instructions for U.S. Citizens Born in Colombia:
All Colombian citizens—regardless of dual citizenship—MUST present a valid, non-expired Colombian passport to enter and exit Colombia. Colombian citizens traveling with non-Colombian passports may be unable to depart the country until they obtain a Colombian passport.
Be aware that any person born in Colombia or of Colombian parentage may be considered a Colombian citizen, even if never documented as such.
Be aware as well that all U.S. citizens, regardless of dual citizenship, must present a valid U.S. passport upon returning to the United States. Persons who are both U.S. and Colombian citizens MUST travel between these countries with both passports, presenting the Colombian passport upon departing Colombia and the U.S. passport upon arrival in the United States.
Additional Exit Requirements for Minors: To prevent international child abduction, Colombia has implemented special exit procedures for Colombian children under 18 (including dual nationals) who depart the country alone, without both parents, or without a legal guardian.
When exiting the country, a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, along with a written, signed, and notarized authorization from the absent parent(s) or legal guardian must be presented. The authorization must be notarized by a Colombian authority and explicitly grant permission for the child to travel alone, with one parent, or with a named third party. If a parent is deceased, a notarized copy of a death certificate is required. If one parent has sole custody of the child, that parent may present a custody decree instead of the other parent’s written authorization. In cases where a Colombian citizen or dual national child has been adopted in a U.S. Court, the adoption decree must be legalized (via an exequatur process) by the Colombian Supreme Court.
U.S. citizens traveling overland must enter Colombia at an official border crossing. If you do not, you may be fined or jailed. We strongly advise against entering Colombia overland. Colombia’s border areas are off-limits to U.S. government employees unless specifically authorized.
Lost or Stolen Passport: If your U.S. passport is lost or stolen in Colombia, you must obtain a new one before leaving the country. You can report the loss or theft on the Colombian National Police website.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Colombia.
Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is focused on unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
In Colombia, the National Liberation Army (ELN), the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army (FARC-EP), and Segunda Marquetalia terrorist organizations continue plotting and executing attacks.
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: Crimes and scams against tourists, and those perceived to be wealthy, are common and well-coordinated in urban areas, including in affluent neighborhoods. Firearms and knives are prevalent in Colombia and often used in muggings and robberies under the threat of violence. Drive-by motorcyclist snatchings of cell phones, bags, and valuables are extremely common. Victims are often identified well in advance of the robbery based on visible jewelry, high value wristwatches, and general attire while in public places such as shopping malls, restaurants, and airports.
Narco-trafficking groups, including the Clan del Golfo frequently engage in violence against civilians and security forces.
ATMs: There have been instances of fraudulent charges or withdrawals from accounts due to “skimmed” cards. If you choose to use credit or debit cards, you should regularly check your account to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions. Travelers should limit the amount of cash they carry in public, exercise caution when withdrawing cash from ATMs, and avoid ATMs located on the street. ATMs inside shopping malls or other protected locations are preferable.
Taxis: U.S. government employees are prohibited from hailing taxis on the street due to the risk of assault or robbery. U.S. citizens have been killed during robberies while using taxis. Use a dispatch service or cell phone app whenever possible.
Disabling Drugs: The Embassy receives regular reports of criminals using drugs to temporarily incapacitate unsuspecting victims and then rob or assault them. Scopolamine, a fast-acting incapacitating drug, is often surreptitiously applied to food, drinks, and hand sanitizer vials by criminals to rob or assault their victims. Victims of scopolamine-related crimes are often targeted in bars, night clubs, or through dating apps. Avoid leaving food or drinks unattended at a bar or restaurant, and refuse offers of something to eat or drink from a stranger.
Ayahuasca/Hallucinogens: Traditional hallucinogens, often referred to as ayahuasca, can be marketed to tourists as “spiritual cleansing,” and typically contain dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a strong psychedelic that is illegal in the United States and many other countries. Risks to hallucinogen users while intoxicated include robbery, assault, illness, or death. People claiming to be shamans or spiritual practitioners are neither licensed nor regulated.
Demonstrations: Protests and demonstrations occur frequently, particularly in Bogota. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.
Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Colombia. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police by dialing 123 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +57 (601) 275-2000 or +57 (601) 275-4021 after hours. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance. Help in domestic violence situations is available, in Spanish, by calling 155 (*155 from a cell phone).
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities are uncommon. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified by the government or by recognized authorities. In the event of an injury, adequate medical treatment may only be available in or near major cities. First responders may only be able to provide basic medical treatment and may be unable to access areas outside of major cities. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance (see information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.)
Venezuelan Border: The U.S. Department of State has categorized Venezuela as Level 4: Do Not Travel due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, kidnapping, and the arrest and detention of U.S. citizens without due process or fair trial guarantees. U.S. citizens are at risk of detention when crossing into Venezuela from Colombia. The Colombia-Venezuela border is not clearly marked, and U.S. citizens should not go near the border due to the risk of crossing into Venezuela accidentally and being detained for illegal entry. If you still choose to travel to Venezuela, do not attempt to enter Venezuela without a visa. Visas are not available upon arrival. U.S. citizens attempting to enter Venezuela without a visa have been charged with terrorism and other serious crimes and detained for long periods. The Maduro regime does not notify the U.S. government of the detention of U.S. citizens and the U.S. government is not granted access to those citizens. The U.S. government has extremely limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, imprisoned, or expelled.
Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.
Customs Regulations: If you enter or exit Colombia possessing cash or other financial instruments worth more than $10,000USD, you must declare them and be able to prove the legal source of the funds. The Embassy has received reports of customs officials confiscating high-value jewelry that was not declared upon entry.
Colombian law prohibits tourists and business travelers from bringing firearms and ammunition into Colombia. Colombian law also restricts the importation of plants and animals (and some related products).
Artifacts: Colombian law forbids the export of pre-Columbian objects and other artifacts protected by cultural patrimony statutes. U.S. customs officials are obliged to seize pre-Columbian objects and certain colonial religious artwork brought into the United States.
Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Colombia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long pre-trial detention and lengthy prison sentences under harsh conditions. Colombian law may require that released offenders serve a lengthy period of parole in-country, during which the offender is given no housing and may lack permission to work.
Colombia uses comprehensive screening procedures to detect narcotics smuggling at its international airports. Travelers are occasionally questioned, searched, fingerprinted, and/or asked to submit to an abdominal X-ray upon arrival or departure. Most airport inspectors do not speak English.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTQI+ Travelers: Colombia has one of the strongest legal frameworks in Latin America defending the rights of LGBTQI+ people; however, in practice protections remain a long way from full enforcement and harassment persists, especially in rural areas. In many parts of Colombia, violence against trans people exceeds levels of violence against any other members of the LGBTQI+ community. Criminals do utilize dating apps to target potential victims of theft, so travelers should use caution on such apps. Certain regions, especially in rural areas, experience higher instances of harassment/violence against LGBTQI+ communities. In 2022, there was an uptick of homicides specifically targeting gay men in Medellín. LGBTQI+ associated and friendly establishments exist mostly in metropolitan areas, especially Cartagena, Medellin, and Bogota.
See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Colombia prohibits discrimination against persons with physical or mental disabilities, but the law is not fully enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities is not as prevalent as in the United States. Many public places and transportation are not adapted to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities. The most common types of accessible facilities may include restrooms, ramps, and elevators. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure, including sidewalks, intersections, buses, and taxis. There is a significant difference between the capital (and other large cities) and the rest of the country.
Repair and replacement parts for aids/equipment/devices are available. Sign language interpreters or personal assistants are available for hire.
Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Cruise Ship Passengers: See our travel tips for Cruise Ship Passengers.
For emergency services in Colombia, dial 123 from any mobile phone or land line.
Ambulance services are available in larger cities, but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on the type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Travelers can check with the Embassy of Colombia in the United States to ensure the medication is legal in Colombia.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC Traveler View website for vaccination information, and the Colombia Ministry of Health website for Yellow Fever vaccination requirements. Childhood vaccinations are required by Colombian law for children ages six and under. Visit the Ministry for Health and Public Safety website for a list of required childhood vaccinations.
Further Health Information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Health Facilities in General:
Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery:
Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:
The following diseases are prevalent:
In Chocó, Nariño, and Córdoba, use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents, and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers in the Amazon region, even for short stays.
HIV/AIDS: Travelers should bring medication sufficient for their entire stay.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Colombia.
Road Conditions and Safety: Due to the security environment in Colombia and poor infrastructure, U.S. government employees and their families are not permitted to travel by road between most major cities. They also cannot use inter-city or intra-city bus transportation or travel by road outside urban areas at night. Follow these same precautions.
Road travel in Colombia can be dangerous, especially at night. Some roads are poorly maintained, or vulnerable to heavy rains and mudslides. Mountain roads may lack safety features such as crash barriers or guard rails, and conditions are frequently made more treacherous by heavy fog. Highways are often unmarked and unlit, and do not have signs indicating destinations. Slow-moving buses and trucks frequently stop in the middle of the road unexpectedly. In the countryside, livestock is often herded along roads or left to graze on roadsides. Due to a lack of sidewalks, roads are also used by pedestrians.
The use of motorcycles and bicycles is widespread throughout Colombia. U.S. government employees may not use motorcycles because of security concerns.
Traffic Laws: Traffic laws are often ignored and rarely enforced, creating dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers in a private vehicle. Car seats are mandatory for children, and a child under ten years old is not permitted to ride in the front seat. It is against the law to talk on a cellular phone while driving.
If you are involved in an accident, you MUST remain at the scene without moving your vehicle until the authorities arrive. This rule is strictly enforced and moving a vehicle or leaving the scene of an accident may constitute an admission of guilt under Colombian law.
Public Transportation: Do not hail taxis on the street. U.S. government employees may not hail street taxis or use public transportation in Colombia because of security concerns. U.S. citizens have been killed during robberies while using taxis. Use a dispatch service or transportation app whenever possible.
See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the Colombia national authority responsible for road safety, the Instituto Nacional de Vias.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Colombia’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Colombia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings.
Tourist Vessels: Exercise caution when embarked on small tourist boats off the northern coast between Cartagena and the nearby islands. During the months of December and January, the seas off the northern coast can be dangerous for small boats. U.S. citizens have died in boating accidents. Check for lifejackets and safety equipment before boarding a tourist vessel.