Practical Info

Planning to visit Colombia? Take a look at our practical information to help you plan your trip. 


The official language of Colombia is Spanish, with variants in pronunciation and iteration depending on the country's region.

Time Zone:   

(UTC-05:00) Bogotá, Lima, Quito

Yellow Fever Vaccine
The Ministry of Health recommends that foreign nationals wishing to visit Colombia take a vaccine against yellow fever, particularly if visiting the departments of Norte de Santander and Putumayo, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Natural Park, the Tayrona National Park, the Amazon, or the Orinoco regions.
People between the ages of one and 60 should be immunised at least 15 days before entering the Colombian territory.


Public Parking

Always use car parks. Parking cars in the street is prohibited in all major Colombian cities, and may result in traffic fines or vehicle clamping.

In Bogota and other major cities, the value of parking is charged per minute to a maximum fee of about $100 per minute; this value will depend on the location of the property. All malls have their own parking areas and service costs may vary depending on the mall. You can also find some places that charge a single value for the whole day after certain hours.


There is no obligation to tip in Colombia, yet in most commercial establishments a suggested value is often added to bills - if this is the case, no further tip is necessary.  

It is normal in hotels to tip the bellman for helping you to carry luggage; it could be between U.S. $2 and U.S. $5.
It is not customary to tip in the case of taxis or public transportation, because the rates are determined by public authorities; the rate charged in taxis is calculated based on a fixed fee service startup and the distance travelled in kilometres. 

Dialing to Colombia:

Landlines : +57 + area code + telephone number    

Mobiles : +57 + 3 + telephone number

Security Tips

There are high rates of crime in Colombia, as in other countries around the world. It is always advisable to be careful on the streets, keeping your hands in your pockets where valuables are or perhaps using zipper bags.

Whenever possible, avoid people asking for information or charity salespeople.
Keep car windows closed in traffic and at traffic lights.
Avoid wearing jewellery or ornaments that appear to be expensive so as not to draw attention. Likewise, avoid showing devices like smartphones, tablets, personal computers, etc. on the street.
  • Road information: call from the mobile phone to 767
  • Policía Nacional (National Policy)11
  • Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, DAS (Administrative Security Department): 153


Although tap water is treated in Colombia, using bottled water is still recommended, particularly in rural areas. Bottled water can be found in supermarkets, convenience stores, service stations, beverage dispensers or any other food establishment. 


Pico y Placa (Peak & Plate):

The Peak and Plate system was introduced in major Colombian cities in order to decrease traffic and improve pollution levels. It involves traffic restrictions for private vehicles on certain days and times during the week. In some cities, it also applies to motorcycles and taxis. Restrictions change every year so keep checking for all the latest information. 

Public Toilets

Public toilets can be found at all airports, shooping malls, restaurants, bus terminals and gas stations. Please be aware that these can sometimes be very basic and are not always cleaned on a regular basis. 

Internet - WiFi

Internet access is widely available all around the cities; you will find Internet cafes that offer different services with varying fees depending on the quality of the equipment and services. Many restaurants, hotels and malls have free WiFI available to the public.