Capital: Santa Fe de Bogota
Time zone: GMT – 5
Telephone services: Country Code: 57
Outgoing Code: 90
Emergency telephone numbers: All services – 112 (01 in smaller towns and rural areas)
Tourist information: Ministerio de Desarollo Economico, Carrera 13, No 28-01, Pisos 5-9, Santa Fe de Bogota DC, Columbia. Tel: (1) 320 0077 Fax: (1) 287 6025., Corporacion Nacional de Turismo, Apdo Aereo 8400, Calle 28, No 13A-15, 16º-18º, Santa Fe de Bogota DC, Columbia. Tel: (1) 283 9466 Fax: (1) 284 3818.
Passport information: Valid passport required by all with 6 months validity except nationals of Chile and Ecuador travelling direct from their respective countries and holding national identity cards. Return Ticket Required. Requirements may change at short notice. Contact the embassy before departure.
Visa information: Not required by tourists staying less than 90 days. NOTE: Visitors must show proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay. Nationals of The People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Haiti do require visas, whatever the purpose of their visit. All visitors must obtain an exit stamp from the security police before leaving. (Best obtained at the airport or in the main cities.)
Health information: Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended.
Malaria: Exists throughout the year in low lying and rural areas in the Falciparum variety. Resistance to chloroquine has been reported.
Yellow Fever: Vaccination recommended
Other Health Risks: Cholera, Hepatitis and Rabies.
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption.
Currency: Peso (Col$).
Exchange: The US$ is the easiest to exchange at hotels, banks, shops and travel agencies.
All major credit cards are accepted. Travellers cheques in US dollars are preferred. These are easier to exchange in the larger towns.
ATM availability: Over 2,500 locations.
Cost of living: Accommodation and commodities are moderately priced in the cities
Languages: Spanish. Local Indian dialects and English is also spoken
Weather: Hot and humid with a raining season between May – Nov. Cooler climate in the upland areas
Electricity: 110/120 Volts AC, US 2 pin plugs are used.
Post: Airmail usually takes 5 – 7 days. International post boxes are yellow.
Transport: FLIGHTS: There is an excellent network of domestic flights and the large distances between cities makes this method of transport more convenient. ROAD: Highways connecting the main cities have recently been completed. Roads are usually passable except during the raining season. DOCUMENTATION: An IDP is required.
Special information: Guerilla attacks on the periphery of Bogota and other urban centres are intensifying. Kidnapping and criminal violence remain problems especially in rural and border areas extreme caution is therefore required. Road journeys are dangerous and so is travel after dark. Personal safety and possessions are at risk at all times. Thus, whilst not specifically advising against travel to Colombia, great caution is needed and conditions cannot be guaranteed. Corruption is commonplace in Columbia.