January 20, 2022

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Colombia Travel Advisory

8 min read

Do not travel to Colombia due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Colombia due to crime, terrorism and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.  

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.    

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Colombia due to COVID-19.   

Travelers to Colombia may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Colombia due to COVID-19. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page  for more information on COVID-19 in Colombia. 

Do Not Travel to:

  • Arauca, Cauca (except Popayan), Chocó (except Nuquí), Nariño, and Norte de Santander (except Cucuta) departments due to crime and terrorism.

Reconsider Travel to:

  • Several departments throughout the country due to crime and terrorism.

Violent crime, such as homicide, assault, and armed robbery, is common. Organized criminal activities, such as extortion, robbery, and kidnapping for ransom, are widespread. 

While the Colombian government signed a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorist group, some dissident groups refuse to demobilize.

The National Liberation Army (ELN) terrorist organization continues plotting possible attacks in Colombia. They may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. 

U.S. government personnel cannot travel freely throughout Colombia for security reasons.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Colombia:

Arauca, Cauca, Chocó, Nariño and Norte de Santander Departments – Do Not Travel

Violent crime, including armed robbery and homicide is widespread. 

Terrorists groups are active in some parts. 

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to these areas without permission from the Embassy’s Regional Security Office. When permitted, U.S. government personnel must travel to the cities of Popayan (capital of Cauca) and Nuqui (capital of Chocó) by air.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Several Departments throughout the Country – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider Travel to:

  • Antioquia department north of Medellin
  • Caquetá department
  • Casanare department
  • Cesar department outside of Valledupar
  • Cordoba department outside of Montería
  • Guainía department
  • Guaviare department
  • Meta department
  • Putumayo department
  • Valle del Cauca department outside of Cali and Palmira area
  • Vaupes department
  • Vichada department

Violent crime, including armed robbery and homicide, is widespread. 

Terrorists groups are active in some parts.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to these areas without permission from the Embassy’s Regional Security Office.

U.S. government officials and their families are generally permitted to travel to the major cities of Valledupar, Monteria, Cali, and Palmira by air.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Travel Restrictions for U.S. Government Personnel

U.S. government personnel must request advance permission for any travel outside of Bogota and the Atlantic Coast corridor from Cartagena to Santa Marta, and sometimes are required to travel in armored vehicles or carry personnel trackers. U.S. government officials and their families are generally permitted to travel to major cities only by air. They cannot use inter- or intra-city bus transportation or travel by road outside urban areas at night. During daylight, they are permitted to use only the following routes:

  • Main highways between Bogota and Bucaramanga, and between Bogota and Ibague.
  • Highways between Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia and within the “coffee country” provinces of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío.
  • Highway 90 from Cartagena, through Barranquilla to Santa Marta.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information. 

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