Colombia Register Travel insurance Destinations

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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

Colombia - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Colombia due to high levels of crime.

Regional advisory - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to the following areas due to the risk of kidnapping and violent crime posed by the presence of illegal armed groups and other criminal organizations:

  • the area within 20 km of the border with Venezuela
  • the area within 20 km of the border with Panama
  • the area within 20 km of the border with Ecuador
  • Buenaventura and Tumaco ports

Safety and security situation

Regional advisory - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the following departments due to drug-related criminal activity by illegal armed groups and other criminal organizations:

  • Antioquia (excluding the cities of Carmen de Viboral, Medellín and Rionegro, the José María Córdova International Airport and the road to this airport)
  • Arauca
  • Caquetá
  • Cauca (excluding Popoyán)
  • Chocó (excluding the capital, Quibdó, and the whale-watching towns of Bania Solano, Capurganá and Nuquí)
  • Córdoba (excluding the capital, Montería)
  • Guainía
  • Guaviare
  • Meta (excluding the capital, Villavicencio)
  • Nariño (excluding the capital, Pasto)
  • Norte de Santander (excluding Cúcuta)
  • Putumayo
  • Tolima (excluding the city of Ibagué)
  • Valle del Cauca (excluding the capital, Cali)
  • Vichada

If you intend to travel to the any of the above excluded areas, do so by air. Exercise a high degree of caution at all times.

Safety and security situation

Travel Health Notice - Zika virus

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Colombia. See Health for more information.

Safety and security

Safety and security

Demonstrations

Demonstrations and strikes occur regularly throughout Colombia, especially in large cities. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Ongoing protests by taxi drivers against Uber drivers have caused serious traffic disruptions in Bogotá and other major cities. Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place.

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

It’s illegal for Canadians who enter Colombia for tourism purposes or on a visa to participate in local political activities, rallies or public demonstrations. Political involvement may result in your deportation.

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Crime

There have been significant improvements in Colombia’s security situation following the peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Crime, however, remains a problem throughout the country.

Armed robberies

Muggings and assaults occur even in the safer areas of Colombia’s cities, and violence can accompany these incidents. Firearms and other weapons are common in Colombia. Armed robberies may occur on streets, in buses and in taxis.

  • Avoid walking alone in isolated or deserted areas
  • Avoid travelling alone after dark
  • Dress down, avoid wearing jewellery or watches and keep cell phones, cameras and other electronic equipment out of sight
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Refrain from using your cell phone on the street
  • Use ATMs inside banks, shopping malls and other public locations during business hours only

Kidnapping

There is a risk of kidnapping for ransom in Colombia. Armed groups may target foreigners in all parts of the country, especially those who work for oil and mining companies. Business travellers and Canadian companies establishing operations in Colombia should take enhanced security measures to protect both personnel and company assets. Choose living accommodations that have significant security measures in place and modern office facilities.

“Express kidnappings” are frequent and often occur in affluent areas, as well as in tourist areas. In this scenario, criminals kidnap the victim from the street or a taxi and force her/him to withdraw funds from an ATM. The victim is sometimes held overnight so that a second withdrawal can be made the next day.

Avoid hailing taxis on the street.

If threatened by armed criminals, stay calm and don’t resist.

Petty crime

Street crime, including pickpocketing, purse snatching, assault and robbery, is common, particularly in larger cities such as Bogotá, Cali, Medellín and Santa Marta.

Theft

Bogotá

In Bogotá, thefts are common in:

  • the Ciudad Bolivar neighbourhoods in the south of the city
  • El Codito in the northeast, between calles (streets) 174 and 182 from Carrera 7 to Carrera 1, and in the northeastern hills from calle 182 to 200 Kennedy in the southwest and Soacha in the east;
  • Monserrate and its surroundings;
  • the downtown area of La Candelaria and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Avoid these areas after dark, unless a guide or private driver accompanies you.

Medellín

In Medellín, thefts occur frequently in the city centre and areas not covered by the metro system. Avoid the Metrocable. Try to arrive at Medellín’s José María Córdova International Airport during the day to avoid the road into the city after dark.

Cali

In Cali, remain in the hotel zone and the south of the city. Violent crimes occur throughout Cali, even in wealthier neighbourhoods and shopping malls.

Santa Marta

In Santa Marta, there’s been a significant increase in violent crime since the beginning of 2018, including purse snatching and armed robbery. Assaults against tourists have also occurred on Taganga’s beaches, located 5 km north of Santa Marta.

Other areas

Violence directed at tourists is much lower in resort areas such as Baru Peninsula, Cartagena, Providencia and San Andrés islands, Rosario Islands, the Amazon resorts near Leticia and the coffee-growing area known as Eje Cafetero (in Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda departments).

Common criminal strategies

Thieves posing as police officers have approached foreigners to verify their documents or foreign currency. Don’t hand over your money or documents unless you feel threatened, in which case you shouldn’t resist. If possible, request to provide your documents or currency at your hotel or other public place, to maximize your safety. When travelling by car, place all belongings under your seat. Keep your doors locked and windows closed at all times. Carry a cell phone. Park your car in a guarded parking lot when in a city.

Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times. Whenever possible, leave your passport and other travel documents locked in your hotel safe. Always keep photocopies with you, as local authorities often conduct identity verifications. If taking an overnight bus, keep your belongings close to you, not on the floor or in storage compartments, as they could be stolen while you sleep. Stay in reputable accommodations with good security.

Fraud

Card overcharging occurs. Exercise caution in popular tourist areas, where scammers target tourists by charging them elevated prices for services, food and drink. Ask for a printed price list before ordering and check for any unauthorized transaction on your account statements.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Scopolamine

Scopolamine is a drug that temporarily incapacitates unsuspecting victims, who become disoriented quickly and are vulnerable to crime. Thieves blow drugs, such as scopolamine, into the faces of victims on the street or in busy nightclubs and bars. This occurs most frequently in Colombia’s larger cities such as Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena and Medellín. Use extreme caution when dealing with strangers offering pamphlets, requesting information or selling street wares.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Safe-travel guide for women

Illegal armed groups

The temporary ceasefire agreement between the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) ended on January 9, 2018. Since then, the ELN has carried out several terrorist attacks. Targets have included the police, armed forces and oil and gas installations in the departments of Arauca, Atlántico and Norte de Santander, among others. More violent attacks may occur throughout Colombia.

The presence of armed drug traffickers, illegal armed groups such as the ELN and other criminal groups such as Grupos Armados Organizados (GAO)pose a major risk to travellers in some areas. These groups engage in terrorist activity and perpetrate armed attacks, extortion, kidnappings, bombings and damage to infrastructure. They continue to use landmines. Mined areas are frequently unmarked.

These activities often result in deaths and injuries. Violence can occur with little or no notice. There is a risk in being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Remain on well-travelled roads and paths when visiting remote      locations
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times

For decades, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia posed a significant threat to the security situation in Colombia. Even though the Government of Colombia and FARC signed a bilateral ceasefire agreement on June 23, 2016, a number of residual dissident FARC groups refuse to recognize the agreement and remain a threat to public safety.

Terrorism

There is a threat of domestic terrorism. Several terrorist groups operate throughout Colombia as a result of an ongoing country-wide armed conflict. Attacks occur periodically. Targets may include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • military and police installations and vehicles
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
  • infrastructure, specifically pipelines
  • health-care facilities

Avoid any unattended package or parcel and bring these to the attention of police or security personnel. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor local media for the latest updates.

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety can be poor throughout Colombia, including in Bogotá. Road signs are difficult to see. Drivers are extremely aggressive and reckless. They often drive at excessive speeds, are frequently distracted and ignore traffic controls.

Motorcycles are common and are often involved in traffic accidents.

Pedestrians don’t have the right of way, including at stop signs.

Due to a break in the Pan-American Highway caused by dense, mountainous jungle known as the Darién Gap, it’s not possible to drive between Colombia and Panama. If you wish to take you vehicle to Panama, you must ship it from Cartagena to Colón, Panama.

Driving conditions may be particularly hazardous during the rainy seasons.

Never hitchhike in Colombia.

Roadblocks

Unauthorized roadblocks and bandits pose a threat. Undertake any road travel during the daytime and use main roads only. Local authorities may deny you entry to certain areas due to emerging security threats. Military checkpoints outside cities are common.

Labour strikes by truck drivers and agricultural workers occur in Colombia. Associated roadblocks on major transit routes may cause significant travel disruptions. If you’re planning to travel by land in Colombia, consult local media and follow the instructions of local authorities. Dial 767 (from cell phones, only) to receive advice (in Spanish) on current road closures from the Colombian Highway Police information line.

Public transportation

Public transportation isn’t safe in Colombia. City and rural buses are frequent targets for theft. Armed groups frequently stop and rob rural buses.

Avoid hailing taxis on the street, as express kidnappings and assaults often occur in unlicensed taxis. Instead, book taxis through your hotel or an authorized taxi centre. Smartphone applications are available that allow you to order safe, GPS-monitored taxis. Many restaurants and stores will call a taxi for you. If you have no choice but to hail a taxi on the street, avoid cabs without licence plates. Never enter a cab if it already has one or more passengers. Note the licence plate number and name of the driver when you travel. Immediately communicate this information to family or friends, if possible.

The El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá only allows authorized taxis to pick up passengers at its terminals. Consult the airport’s website to obtain transportation service recommendations. If possible, arrange pickup in advance with your travel agency or hotel.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

 

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Colombian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Colombia.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required (for stays of up to 90 days)
Business or work visa: required
Student visa: required

Entry stamp

You must obtain an entry stamp in your passport when you enter Colombia by land. If you don’t, border officials may require you to go back to your border entry point to obtain this stamp. You may be fined if you fail to obtain an entry stamp.

Entry tax

Canadians must pay an entry fee (approx. CAD$95) to visit Colombia. Exempted to pay this tax are Canadians:

  • under 14 or over 79 years old
  • travelling only to the archipelago of San Andrés, Santa Catalina and Providencia
  • travelling to Cartagena’s Rafael Núñez International Airport via a charter flight from Canada

For all other points of entry, Canadians travellers must pay this tax to customs officials, in cash (Colombian pesos or U.S. dollars) or by credit or debit card. Use the separate immigration line designated for Canadians only.

Upon entering Colombia, officials will issue you a “platinum card” (tiquete platinum). You must keep this card and show it upon leaving Colombia.

Length of stay

The permitted length of stay for tourists is determined by the immigration officer upon entry to Colombia. A tourist stay can be granted for up to 90 days. You will be fined if you stay in the country longer than the specified period on your entry stamp. To extend your stay, you must obtain authorization from the nearest Migración Colombia office. Tourists may extend their stay up to a maximum of 180 days per year. The final decision remains with the immigration authority.

Other entry requirements

You must show proof of onward or return travel to enter Colombia.

Airport tax

Colombia charges an airport tax for international departures. Your airline ticket usually includes this fee. Confirm this with your airline or travel agent at the time of purchase.

Drug screening

Colombia employs strict screening measures at its international airports to detect narcotics smuggling. Customs officials may search you and/or your luggage. They may fingerprint you. They may also require you to undergo an X-ray inspection upon arrival and/or departure.

Most airport customs inspectors speak only Spanish.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Exit requirements for dual citizen children

Whether travelling to a domestic or international destination, underage Canadian-Colombian dual citizens must present:

If travelling alone or accompanied by a single parent and under 18

  • Written authorization to travel from both parents. The authorization must be in Spanish and notarized at a local notary public or at a Colombian embassy or consulate abroad; and
  • A Colombian birth certificate showing the parents’ names or a long-form Canadian birth certificate and its official Spanish translation.

If travelling with both parents and under 8

  • A Colombian birth certificate notarized at a local notary public; or
  • A long-form Canadian birth certificate and its official Spanish translation.
Useful links (in Spanish only)

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.

Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is recommended depending on your itinerary.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunyadengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness)West Nile virus , yellow fever and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue    haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal. 
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Leishmaniasis, cutaneous and mucosal

Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.

Zika virus infection

Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.

Travel recommendations:

All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly).   Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.

Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:

  • Should avoid travel to this country
  • If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
  • Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
  • Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
  • Female travellers:  wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
  • Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive.  Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.

See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
 


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical care is adequate in major cities but varies in quality elsewhere. Many private clinics offer emergency services. They may require advance payment in cash or by credit card. Ensure that you have access to sufficient funds. If you don’t have proof of travel insurance, you may be transferred to a public hospital, where medical care may not meet Canadian standards.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medical tourism

Canadian citizens have died or had serious health complications following cosmetic or other elective surgeries in Colombia. Before leaving for a medical travel, make sure you have done your research and use competent health-care providers only.

Prescription drugs

If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality in Colombia. Always keep your medication in the original container. If possible, pack them in your carry-on luggage and carry a copy of your prescription(s). Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you, as the same medication may not be available in Colombia.

Other health tips

You may experience health problems due to Colombia’s high altitudes. Altitude sickness can be life-threatening. It may require immediate medical evacuation. A health-care professional can advise you of how to prevent or reduce the effects of altitude sickness.

The quality of Colombian tap water is better in colder regions than in warmer zones. Regardless of your location, it may not meet Canadian standards.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

Laws & culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

No transfer of offenders’ treaty exists between Canada and Colombia. If you’re convicted of a serious crime, you must serve your jail sentence in Colombia. Prison conditions are harsh.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.

Monitor your luggage closely at all times. Never transport other people’s packages, bags or suitcases. Never exchange money for strangers, as this is a common practice among money launderers.

Firearms

Colombian law prohibits travellers from bringing firearms into Colombia. Illegal importation or possession of firearms may result in lengthy prison sentences.

Artifacts

It is illegal to export certain cultural artifacts from Colombia.

Child sex tourism

It is a serious criminal offence to have sex with minors in Colombia. Conviction may result in a lengthy prison sentence.

Child Sex Tourism: It’s a Crime

Driving

You must carry an international driving permit.

In the event of a car accident, you must remain at the scene until the authorities (Policia de transito) arrive. Don’t move your vehicle. Failure to remain at the site may result in serious consequences.

More about the International Driving Permit

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Colombia.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Colombia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

LGBTQ2 travellers

Colombian law acknowledges same-sex marriage. Colombian society remains conservative, however, and homosexuality is not widely accepted, particularly in the rural areas.

General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad

Money

The currency in Colombia is the peso (COP).

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Colombia is subject to various natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, torrential rains, floods and mudslides.

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Useful links

Rainy season

Colombia’s rainy season usually occur from March to June and from September to November. Incidents of flooding and mudslides can occur, especially in rural areas.

Seismic activity

Volcanoes

There are several active and potentially active volcanoes throughout Colombia.

Debris from erupting volcanoes may clog rivers and cause them to overflow, which could in turn cause flash floods and landslides. Ash clouds may also cause disruptions to domestic and international flights.

If you live or are travelling near active volcanoes:

  • monitor levels of volcanic activity through the local media
  • pay careful attention to all warnings issued
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • be prepared to modify your travel arrangements or even evacuate the area on short notice

Colombian Geological Service - Colombia’s government (in Spanish)

Earthquakes

Colombia is located in an active seismic area. Earthquakes occur frequently. Dangerous landslides can also occur, even after minor earthquakes.

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

For emergency assistance, dial 123.

Consular assistance

Bogotá - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressCra. 7, No. 114-33, Piso 14, Bogotá, ColombiaPostal AddressP.O. Box 110067, Bogotá, ColombiaTelephone57 (1) 657-9800Fax57 (1) 657-9912Emailbgota@international.gc.caInternetwww.colombia.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to ColombiaTwitter@CanadaColombia
Cartagena - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressEdificio Centro Ejecutivo Bocagrande, Carrera 3, No. 8-129, Oficina No. 1103, Cartagena, ColombiaTelephone57 (5) 665-5838Fax57 (5) 665-5837Emailcartagena@international.gc.caFacebookEmbassy of Canada to ColombiaTwitter@CanadaColombiaOther social media @CanadayColombia

For emergency consular assistance, call the the Embassy of Canada to Colombia, in Bogotá, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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