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Islas Rosarios are some of the most beautiful islands to visit in Colombia.

Is it Safe to Travel in Colombia? Everything You Need to Know For Visiting

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Are you wondering is it is safe to travel to Colombia? Traveling during COVID-19 can be tricky and uncertain for a lot of people. Times are changing and travel isn't quite as simple as just purchasing a flight ticket. Luckily some countries are starting to open their doors, and one of them is Colombia!

After spending the holidays last year at home in the US, we decided we needed a getaway. There weren't many countries open, but we found out that Colombia has opened! Here is all you need to know about traveling to Colombia right now.

Is It Safe to Travel to Colombia Right Now?

First things first, let's talk about safety. We're not talking about general safety, but safety about health and Covid. In this part of the world the cases have been fluctuating a lot, which makes people doubt whether it is safe to travel to Colombia right now.

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We can tell you that Covid-19 is all over the world, and while you should be extremely cautious anywhere you go, it should not stop you from experiencing new places! If you are continuing to go to the supermarket in your home town, what makes it different going to one in another country?

Travel judging is real. But we need to realize that instead of shutting out travel completely, we just need to do our part to stay as safe as possible. It's important to do our part to keep healthy & clean, so that the virus doesn't spread more.

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Corona Virus in Colombia

Yes, cases of Covid-19 may have been high, but they are high in many places! We have been to so many places (in the US for example) where the numbers are high, and people aren't even wearing masks, they are attending parties, etc.

We have to say that it is safe to travel to Colombia. The country takes a lot of precautions when it comes to Covid, and we felt very safe traveling through the country.

Small towns and cities alike have been doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus. We will get into the safety protocols further into this article about whether it's safe to travel to Colombia. 

Playa Blanca, is it safe in Colombia
is it safe to travel to Colombia
Ciudad Amarilla, Cartagena, colorful spots in Colombia

There are plenty of outdoor areas that are safe to travel to in Colombia.

Entry Into the Country

One of the biggest uncertainties while traveling at this time is actually getting into a new country. Will they let me come in? Will I need to quarantine? Do I need to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival? There are many things to consider right now, which is why we are here to answer all of your questions!

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Do I Need a Visa?

Some countries are now requiring an extra visa to enter the country due to these crazy times. Luckily, Colombia is not one of them. This does not mean all visas are exempt however! If Colombia normally requires that a citizen from a certain country needs a visa, that will still be applicable.

Make sure you check with the Colombian embassy in your home country to make sure that you don't need a visa. If you do not need one normally, than you are good to go! For more information on restrictions for specific countries click here.

Do I need to Quarantine?

As of now (April 2022) there is no mandatory quarantine required. Once you have arrived in the country, you are free to travel without having to stay inside your hotel. This makes traveling in Colombia much easier, especially for those that don't have a lot of days available to visit.

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Do I need to Present a Negative COVID-19 Test?

Many countries require a negative COVID-19 test. When we entered in the end of December, the test was not required entering into the country. As of today, the test is now required.

A Negative PCR test must be completed within 96 hours of travel, and the results must be kept with the traveler. This may change, but it is also important to check as many places are changing their protocols.

Health Screening

When traveling to Colombia during COVID-19, a health screening must be filled out. We were informed that we must do one electronically before the flight, so we highly suggest doing so before checking in to your flight. It only takes a minute, and you will receive a QR code to show to the gate agent. Click Here to complete the questionnaire.

Additionally, upon arrival there are paper questionnaires that are given out to be filled out and handed to immigration. Temperatures make be taken in some airports, and masks are required at all times.

What do I Need to Know Before Traveling to Colombia?

When traveling to Colombia during Covid-19, getting in is pretty easy. Have the negative test, fill out the health questionnaire beforehand, and make sure you have a roundtrip flight or a plan to leave the country!

Make sure to carry hand sanitizer with you and wear a mask whenever in public areas, and just keep in mind that you will need to follow all of the safety protocols.

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Safety Protocols

Safety protocols are very important during these times! Here's what you need to expect in Colombia during COVID-19.

Entry Into Establishments

Colombia is very on top of their protocols for health and safety when it comes to this pandemic. Almost all establishments will have a mat for you to clean your feet, and will make you sanitize or wash your hands before entering. Temperatures are taken, and in many places information is recorded for each person that enters inside.

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What is Open?

The country is in a weird transition at the moment. When we enetered, pretty much everyhing was open completely. When we went back to Bogota at the end of the trip (just 11 days later), there was a complete lockdown and only certain people could be out at certain time. As tourists, they weren't so strict on us, but most restaurants and shops were closed, so we had to go to the supermarket and order take away and delivery for our final day.

The lockdown was scheduled to finish the 12th of January 2021, but we are unsure if everything is back to normal. It is only expected that not everything will be open to its full capacity with normal operating hours. It is important to consider this while traveling, as you may end up making plenty of mistakes like us by assuming that everywhere is open.

Castillo San Felipe Cartagena
Umbrella Street in Guatape, colorful spots in Colombia
Piedra del Peñol, Guatape, things to do in Colombia

Make sure to double check times, and see if you need a reservation to visit tourist destinations.

Depending on the region depends on how many things you will find open. We found that in the north (such as Cartagena, Barranquilla and Santa Marta) almost everything was open, with pretty normal hours of operation. On the contrary, when we went to Bogota, it seemed to be that most recreational places such as museums needed reservations,

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Do Your Research

The best way to know if certain places in Colombia are open is to use your tools. It is very important to do your research beforehand, so that you don't end up like us showing up to places assuming that they are open. Traveling though Colombia during COVID-19 means that not everything will be open, or hours may change. Here's what we suggest so you don't waste time or money.

Step 1: Check Google Maps

Here you can see the hours of operations for businesses. A lot of them will say "temporarily closed" in red. Here is your first indicator that the place is closed due to COVID. 

That being said, just because a place says that it's open, doesn't mean that it is. If the hours are listed and are in green, you may be in luck- but you should still do a little more research.

Step 2: Check the Website

While trying to find out what is open in Colombia during COVID-19, you may need to continue your research. Many places have official websites. Here you may be able to find if they are operating or not.

Step 3: Call the Establishment

This was the most practical way that helped us. Speaking with someone who works there will help clarify the real hours, as many that we had found listed on google maps were inaccurate or has simply changed since this pandemic has started.

This is also important, because we have found that many places actually require a reservation in advance! There is nothing worse than showing up somewhere that is open, only to find out that you still can't get in.

Step 4: Ask a Local

When all else fails, ask a local. Sometimes there is simply no clarity when checking online, or maybe you were not able to get through on the phone. The best thing to do is ask around, or head to a local travel agency and ask if tours are running there. If there are tours, that means it is in fact open! 

You can then inquire about additional information such as needing a reservation, hours of operation, etc. 

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Traveling can definitely be challenging right now, but certainly not impossible. We found that it was safe to travel in Colombia, and we felt very comfortable moving around the country.

We are here to help for those who want to explore new places in the safest way possible. Colombia is a great country to get away to right now, and there are still many things that are able to be enjoyed. Safe and happy 2022 travels!

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