Everything you need to know when planning your trip to Colombia!
The currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso (COP). There are $ 1,000, $ 2,000, $ 5,000, $ 10,000, $ 20,000 and $50.00 bills and $50 $ 100, $ 200, $ 500 and $ 1,000 coins. It is advisable to exchange dollars and other foreign currencies into pesos at exchange houses at airports, hotels and banks. Never do this in the street. Also, consult the website of the Portfolio newspaper which publishes the daily representative exchange rate. Those who bring in to Colombia over US $ 10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies, including COP in cash must declare this in the Baggage and Money Declaration Form. If the traveler does not declare the entry of foreign currency or makes false, incomplete, defaced or misstatements, authorities may retain the currency and impose sanctions. You can bring in temporarily and without taxes goods for personal and professional use that should be mentioned in the Baggage and Money Declaration Form then taken out of the country by the traveler. Capital cities have ATMs on major roads and shopping centers, which mostly operate 24 hours. Do not give your card or reveal your password to strangers. Most high category department stores, shops, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants in Colombia accept debit cards. Most hotels, restaurants and commercial establishments accept credit cards like Visa and Master Card. Some places accept American Express and Diners Club.
The official language is Spanish. There are also more than 65 native dialects still spoken.
It is important to be aware of potential risks when travelling. The most common illnesses in Colombia are acute altitude sickness, stomach problems, and in jungle areas malaria and yellow fever.
VACCINATION: You must be vaccinated against yellow fever at least 15 days before departure to these departments: Santander, Norte de Santander, Bolivar, Boyaca, Huila, Arauca, Caquetá, Casanare, Cesar, Guainía, Guaviare, La Guajira, Meta, Putumayo, Vichada, Amazonas and Vaupés., The vaccine is not suitable for people with HIV, pregnant women and children under 6 months of age, among others. To visit nature parks or wilderness areas other vaccines, such as tetanus and hepatitis A and B are also recommended. Visitors from countries offering a dengue vaccine should have it applied before traveling if visiting sites below 1,800 m.
MEDICAL CARE AND PURCHASE OF MEDICINES: Those wishing to visit Colombia should buy travel insurance giving them medical and emergency hospital care coverage. As regards medication and prescription drugs, these can be obtained without restriction in drugstores and pharmacies. You should verify that the package has the date of expiry and price printed on it.
WATER CONSUMPTION: Tap water is only safe to drink and use for cooking in Bogota. Other capital cities have very good water supply services, with water that can be used for bathing. In rural areas and small towns it is advisable to buy bottled water or in treatment plants.
The usual tipping ranges from 8% to 20%.
Entering and remaining in Colombia is allowed for tourism purposes for up to 90 days from the date of entry. Countries that do not require a visa to enter Colombia are: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Cyprus, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Granada, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Iceland, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Papua, New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Dominican Republic, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, San Marino, Santa Lucia, the Vatican, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Suriname, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela.