Country Info: Colombia


Colombia is a country which has been living in shadows for years. It is one of the world’s most diverse countries with two oceans, energetic cities and wildlife. Discover excellent beaches, step into the depths of the Amazon, try Colombian coffee, learn about the history and rich cultural heritage of an unforgettable land, and more.

Colombia is a traveler’s paradise waiting to be explored. Here are a few of the things that Colombia is known for:


Colombia has one timezone COT (Colombia time) UTC


The estimated population of Colombia is 49,755,971


Although Spanish is the country’s official language, it also has 68 ethnic languages and dialects. English is also official in the archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina.


The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) does not collect religious statistics, and accurate reports are difficult to obtain. However, based on various studies and a survey, about 90% of the population adheres to Christianity, the majority of which (70.9%-79%) are Roman Catholic, while a significant minority (16.7%) adhere to Protestantism (primarily Evangelicalism). Some 4.7% of the population is atheist or agnostic, while 3.5% claim to believe in God but do not follow a specific religion. 1.8% of Colombians adhere to Jehovah's Witnesses and Adventism and less than 1% adhere to other religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Indigenous religions, Hare Krishna movement, Rastafari movement, Orthodox Catholic Church, and spiritual studies.


The currency in Colombia is the peso. There are $ 1,000, $ 2,000, $ 5,000, $ 10,000, $ 20,000 and $50.00 bills and $50 $ 100, $ 200, $ 500 and $ 1,000 coins. Then you can convert other currencies.

It is advisable to exchange dollars and other foreign currencies into pesos at exchange houses at airports, hotels and banks. Never do this in the street. Also, consult the website of the Portfolio newspaper (Economic indicator), which publishes the daily representative exchange rate

Those who bring in to Colombia over US $ 10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies, including Colombian pesos in cash must declare this in the Baggage and Money Declaration Form.

If the traveller does not declare the entry of foreign currency or makes false, incomplete, defaced or misstatements, authorities may retain the currency and impose sanctions.

You can bring in temporarily and without taxes goods for personal and professional use that should be mentioned in the Baggage and Money Declaration Form then taken out of the country by the traveller.

Most high category department stores, shops, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants in Colombia accept debit cards.

Most hotels, restaurants and commercial establishments accept credit cards like Visa and Master Card. Some places accept American Express and Diners Club.




Unitary presidential constitutional republic


Government taxes such as the Galapagos National Park tax, the Galapagos National Institute Migration Control Card and International Airport taxes are not included in the tours and need to be paid in cash by every passenger. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are NOT accepted. Government taxes are subject to change without prior notice:

  • Galapagos National Park fee US$100.00
  • Galapagos National Institute Migration Control Card US$10.00
  • International Airport Departure Taxes: Quito - US$ 40.80, Guayaquil US$ 28.27


In small restaurants, some people tip 1000 pesos or less (about $ .50 US); A few tip 2000 pesos (about $1 US). Most Colombians tip very little or not at all. In the finer restaurants, wealthy people tip more, about 10%.


There is a 20-kg luggage allowance and your carry-on bag mustn’t exceed 7-kg per passenger for all DOMESTIC flights, including the Galapagos Islands. Check-in time at the counter is usually AT LEAST one hour before departure for all domestic flights, EXCEPT for flights to GALAPAGOS which require all passengers to be at the counter TWO HOURS BEFORE DEPARTURE.


Area Codes:

Colombia Phone Code: 57

Bogota Area Code: 1

Bogota Dial Code: +57 1

Cell phones: 09 and then the seven-digit number.

To call another country, dial 00 + country code + area code + phone number.


Tap water is only safe to drink and use for cooking in Bogota. Other capital cities have very good water supply services, with water that can be used for bathing. In rural areas and small towns it is advisable to buy bottled water or in treatment plants.


In Colombia the International Unit System (IUS), heir to the metric system, is used.
We advise you to consider this information to avoid having major problems with distance, your cell phone charger or height somewhere.

Domestic power is 110 volts AC at 60 Hz (110V AC, 60Hz). For industrial facilities it is 220 volts AC at 60 Hz (220V AC, 60Hz). Electrical connectors or plugs are used with two flat input pins or with a third round pin (plug type B) and it easy to buy adapters and voltage regulators. It is advisable to check the technical specifications of the devices that will be used in Colombia.


Capital cities have ATMs on major roads and shopping centres which mostly operate 24 hours in English. Do not give your card or reveal your password to strangers


Pickpockets are a problem in all large cities. But if you keep an eye on your belongings at all times, you should be fine. Never put anything valuable in your backpack.


From warm to freezing Colombia is privileged in having all known climate zones, making the country a destination with a wide variety of landscapes. You can see different wildlife and ecosystems by travelling short distances over land, making this one of the best travel experiences enjoyed by many people including birdwatchers.

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