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ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: All U.S. citizens who are not also Colombian citizens must present a valid U.S. passport to enter and depart Colombia, and to return to the United States. Dual U.S-Colombian citizens must present a Colombian passport to enter and exit Colombia, and a U.S. passport to return to the United States. Be aware that any person born in Colombia may be considered a Colombian citizen, even if never documented as such. U.S. citizens born in Colombia or who otherwise have Colombian citizenship, will need both a Colombian passport and a U.S. passport for the trip.
U.S. citizens traveling to Colombia do not need a Colombian visa for a tourist stay of 60 days or less. Travelers entering Colombia are sometimes asked to present evidence of return or onward travel, usually in the form of a round-trip plane ticket. Americans traveling overland must enter Colombia at an official border crossing. Travelers arriving by bus should ensure, prior to boarding, that their bus will cross the border at an official entry point. Entering Colombia at unauthorized crossings may result in fines or incarceration. Travelers planning to enter Colombia over a land border should carefully read our information on Traffic Safety and Road Conditions below.
The length of stay granted to travelers is determined by the Colombian immigration officer at the point of entry and will be stamped in your passport. Extensions may be requested by visiting an office of the Colombian immigration authority, known as the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, or DAS, after arrival in Colombia. Fines are levied if a traveler remains in Colombia longer than authorized, and the traveler cannot leave Colombia until the fine is paid. Any traveler possessing a Colombian visa with more than three months' validity must register the visa at a DAS immigration office within 15 days of arrival in Colombia or face fines. The DAS immigration office in Bogota is located at Calle 100 and Carrera 11B.
There is no arrival tax collected upon entry into Colombia, but travelers leaving by plane must pay an exit tax at the airport, in cash. The tax varies with the dollar/peso exchange rate, but is usually between $50 and $70. Some airlines include all or a portion of this tax in the cost of your airline ticket; check with your airline to find out how much you will have to pay at the airport.
U.S. citizens whose U.S. passports are lost or stolen in Colombia must obtain a new U.S. passport before departing. They must then present the new passport, along with a police report describing the loss or theft, to a DAS office. Information about obtaining a replacement U.S. passport in Colombia is available on the U.S. Embassy's web site at http://bogota.usembassy.gov. Contact information for DAS is available in Spanish at http://www.das.gov.co. The Embassy in Bogotá or the U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla can provide guidance on contacting DAS when you apply for your replacement passport.
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Colombia is a medium-income nation of some 44 million inhabitants. Its geography is very diverse, ranging from tropical coastal areas and rainforests to rugged mountainous terrain. Tourist facilities in Colombia vary in quality and safety, according to price and location. Security is a significant concern for travelers, as described in the Department of State's Travel Warning for Colombia.
EMBASSY CONTACT INFORMATION/LOCATION: In case of a serious emergency that jeopardizes the health or safety of an American citizen in Colombia, please call the Embassy at (1) 315-0811, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From the United States, the number is (011-57-1) 315-0811.
The Embassy's American Citizen Services office provides routine information at http://bogota.usembassy.gov. For questions not answered there, inquiries may be sent by email to ACSBogota@state.gov. Email messages are answered by the next business day.
The American Citizens Services office is open for passport applications, notary services, and routine in-person inquiries from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon Monday through Thursday, excluding U.S. and Colombian holidays. Inquiries concerning Social Security and other federal benefits can be made in-person from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, except holidays. The Embassy is located near Avenida El Dorado and Carrera 50 in Bogota. The American Citizen Services fax number is 011-57-1-2196/7.
The U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla, which accepts passport applications and performs notarial services, is located at Calle 77B, No. 57-141, Piso 5, Centro Empresarial Las Americas, Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia; telephone (011-57-5) 353-2001; fax (011-57-5) 353-5216. The Consular Agency is not staffed to respond to after-hours emergencies; in case of an emergency in the Barranquilla/north coast area, please contact the Embassy in Bogota at (011-57-1) 315-0811.
Americans residing or traveling in Colombia are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Bogota through the State Department's travel registration web site. Registrants can sign up to receive emailed notices on travel and security in Colombia. By registering, American citizens also make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of a family emergency or other problem.