Visas for Colombia

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Visas for Colombia

Citizens of most western countries, including most European countries, all South American nations, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Bhutan, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore don't need a visa, unless they are staying for more than 90 days. Irish citizens no longer need to apply for a visa at a Colombian embassy, and should have the same treatment at immigration as any other visa-free travelers.

Colombian authorities will stamp passports from the above countries giving permission to stay for a maximum of 30 to 90 days. Immigration officials at any of the international airports of the country will usually ask you the intended length of your trip, giving you a determinate number of days that will cover it, which you can extend to 90 by going to any immigration services office.

Extending your stay:

You can apply for a 90-day extension to your stay at a Asuntos Migratorios office in some of the major cities, which costs around 40.00 USD. You need two copies of your passport's main page, two copies of the page with the entrance stamp, two copies of a ticket en route out of the country, and four photographs. The procedure takes some time and includes taking your fingerprints. For visitors, the maximum length of stay can not exceed 6 months in 1 year.

Getting to Colombia

By Plane

There are regular international flights into major cities including Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Pereira and San Andres Islands as well as to other smaller cities in the borders with Venezuela, Ecuador, Panamá and Brazil.

There are daily direct flights to and from the U.S, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Spain, France, and South America.

Beware that Medellín is the only Colombian city served by 2 airports: International and long-range domestic flights go to José María Córdova International Airport (IATA: MDE) while regional and some other domestic flights arrive in Olaya Herrera airport (IATA: EOH).

Bogota has two airport terminals: Puente Aereo and El Dorado. Outside the airport, be aware of enterprising men who will help you lift your bags into a taxi or car, and then expect payment. It is best to politely refuse all offers of help unless from a taxi driver you are about to hire.

Taxis are regulated, reasonably priced and safe from the airports. A taxi ride from the airport to the central business district in Bogota, takes approximately 20 minutes.

By Car

  • Enter from Venezuela by the San Cristobal-Cúcuta or Maracaibo-Maicao pass.
  • Enter from Ecuador by the Tulcan-Ipiales (Rumichaca) pass.
  • Important: There are no major roads coming from 3 neighboring countries: Panamá, Brazil and Perú. There are no roads at all from Panamá, and there are tiny roads between Colombia and Perú or Brazil, but they do not lead to major cities or regions.

By Boat

Enter from Panama by the Puerto Obaldia-Capurganá pass. From Capurganá, another boat ride takes you to Turbo, where buses take you to Medellín and Montería.

By Bus

From Venezuela:

Connections can be made from the Caracas main terminal to most cities in Colombia. From the main terminal, Maracaibo (Venezuela) you can find buses that run to the cities (Cartagena, Baranquilla, Santa Marta) on the coast. The border at Maicao provides a relatively easy, straightforward entry into Colombia from Venezuela.

You can also enter from Venezuela via the busy San Cristóbal to Cúcuta route, which passes through the border town of San Antonio del Táchira.

From Ecuador:

It is very straightforward to enter Colombia from Ecuador. Travel to Tulcan, where you can get a taxi to the border. Get your exit stamps from the immigration offices and take another taxi to Ipiales. From there you can travel further to Cali, Bogotá.

From Panama:

You can't cross from Panama to Colombia by bus--the Darien Gap begins at Yaviza, where the Interamericana runs out. Consider using the boat crossing instead. There are often yachts that will shuttle you between Colombia and Panama and offer a stop in the gorgeous San Blas islands. Airlines with flights between the two countries are: Avianca, COPA, Aires.

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