Some Colombians have Italian ancestry
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Protest marches and demonstrations against the government are currently taking place across the country in Colombia. Some of these are associated with massively violent riots. There have already been numerous deaths and hundreds injured. Further escalations cannot be ruled out; an end to the unrest is not yet in sight.
- Find out about the local media.
- Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people in large areas.
- Follow the instructions of local security guards.
The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Before unnecessary, tourist trips toColombiais currently being warned.
Colombia is severely affected by COVID-19. Regional focuses include the metropolises Bogotá and Medellín, but also the Caribbean coast.
Nationwide, the incidence is more than 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days, which is why Colombia is classified as an area with a particularly high risk of infection (high incidence area).
The Colombian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.
Entry for German nationals to Colombia is currently possible by air if a negative PCR test, which must not be older than 96 hours, is presented upon entry, and online registration was made using the Check-Mig form from Migración Colombia and the registration confirmation of the airline is presented before departure in Germany and questions about the state of health are answered via the CoronApp-Colombia application. (The data transmitted will be passed on to the Colombian health authorities. They will contact those who enter the country upon arrival.)
The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Colombian diplomatic missions abroad can provide specific legal information.
Transit and onward travel
The land and sea borders are closed until at least June 1, 2021. The Colombian migration authorities can provide current information.
Regular international air traffic will gradually be resumed, but the number of flights is still severely limited.
National air traffic again offers individual, heavily thinned out flight connections.
Restrictions in the country
Freedom of movement can be restricted. There are regionally / locally different regulations such as curfews, e.g. at night or on certain days of the week or weekends. Especially in Bogotá and other large cities, freedom of movement will be restricted again and again, even in the short term.
Restaurants and shops can have limited opening times or be completely closed. Only supermarkets and pharmacies are usually open all day. However, access can be restricted (e.g. according to the last digit of the identification document).
Mouth and nose protection is mandatory in all public spaces, including outdoors. Failure to comply can result in a heavy fine. Body temperature is checked before entering shops, banks or public buildings; Visitors must also disinfect their hands. A minimum distance of 2 m between people is recommended.
- Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
- Before entering Colombia, make sure of the current entry regulations with the Colombian authorities as well as the current conditions of carriage with the airline.
- Find out more about detailed measures and additional information from the Colombian Ministry of Health.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
- When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current transport conditions at the responsible company or your tour operator if necessary and contact the health department of your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
From trips to the following departments or areas - with the exception of journeys on main roads between large cities in daylight - strongly discouraged:
- North of Santander (with the exception of the capital Cúcuta)
- Arauca (with the exception of the capital of the same name)
- Vichada (with the exception of the capital Puerto Carreño)
- Guainía (with the exception of the capital Puerto Inírida)
- Guaviare (with the exception of the capital San José del Guaviare)
- Caquetá (with the exception of the capital Florencia)
- Eastern and southern parts of Meta (with the exception of the Caño Cristales tourist region)
- Putumayo (with the exception of the capital Mocoa)
- Nariño (except the capital Pasto and the border crossing Ipiales)
- Cauca (with the exception of the capital Popayán)
- Chocó (except for the coastal strip between Utría National Park and Punta Arusi)
- Rural regions in the north of Antioquia
- South Cordoba and
- South Bolivar
From traveling to the immediate border areas to Venezuela will beadvised against.
The security situation in Colombia has improved considerably in recent years. The peace process with the FARC continues despite various difficulties. Guerrilla remnants (ELN, EPL), FARC dissidents and organized crime groups continue to commit acts of violence and engage in gang wars in the fight for supremacy in the drug areas. The groups mentioned are active in a wide range of crime areas (drug economy, illegal mining, smuggling, extortion, kidnapping, attacks, violent and homicidal offenses, etc.) and act aggressively against intruders and potential victims. This is particularly true in the border regions of Colombia with Venezuela and Ecuador and in rural, sparsely populated areas. State control is still not guaranteed there. Even if tourists are usually not the target of attacks, there is a risk of collateral damage.
With the exception of an attack in a shopping center in Bogotá in June 2017, there have been no terrorist attacks on tourist destinations in recent years.
Demonstrations, protests and strikes can take place at any time, especially in large cities in Colombia. Traffic obstructions and road blockades, including at border crossings such as Ecuador and Venezuela, as well as violent riots cannot be ruled out.
- Find out about the local media.
- Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people in large areas.
- Follow the instructions of local security guards.
Guerrillas and drug growers have laid land mines in large areas. Just a few steps away from paved roads and solid gravel roads there is a risk of stepping on a mine. Information on the distribution of the mined areas can be found e.g. under DescontaminaColombia.
In the border area with Venezuela, booby traps must also be expected on paved roads, which are used by military patrols, but can also be triggered by civilian vehicles and can have lethal effects.
- Avoid leaving roads outside of built-up areas if possible.
In the big cities (Bogotá, Medellin, Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, Santa Marta etc.) the security situation is comparable to that in other Latin American metropolises.
The crime rate (especially street theft and break-ins) and the general propensity for violence are high. This applies to scenic areas / hiking trails as well as to the capital Bogotá and tourist centers.
Even during the day you have to expect robbery and trick theft in busy streets. As dusk falls, there is an increased risk of violence being used in the event of robberies.
When taking a taxi, there is a risk of becoming a victim of a robbery or short-term kidnapping, in which the perpetrators usually squeeze credit cards and PINs in order to withdraw cash from the victim's account at ATMs. This sometimes happens to passengers who are unfamiliar with the location and the language even when using the regular yellow taxis at Bogotá Airport.
Knockout drops and similar substances are also used in drinks, food, sweets and cigarettes, especially in Bogotá and in intercity buses. Some tourists reported drug abuse at roadside checks.
Travelers are also abused as “drug smugglers” against their will and in ignorance.
- Avoid lonely neighborhoods and streets in larger cities when it is dark and do not travel alone away from the tourist centers.
- Under no circumstances should you resist a robbery.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
- Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
- Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, train stations, in the subway, on the bus and watch out for your valuables.
- Do not hitchhike or hitchhike.
- Always park vehicles in guarded parking spaces and do not leave any valuables or bags visible in the car
- Do not stop taxis at the roadside, but order them by telephone or internet service (e.g. the taxi app CABIFY), use taxis at the authorized taxi stands or use a limousine service.
- Do not accept drinks or food from strangers or leave them unattended in the restaurant.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.
- Be particularly careful with bait offers, e.g. via the Internet, in order to travel at the expense of others.
- Do not take baggage for strangers with you and check the contents of your own baggage.
Nature and climate
Colombia lies in a seismically active zone. In the area of the Cordilleras in western Colombia, an increased risk of earthquakes is to be expected. There are also some active volcanoes.
The climate is predominantly tropical or subtropical, at higher altitudes like Bogotà it is also temperate.
April to mid-June and October and November are the rainy season in Colombia, with heavy rains, often with floods and landslides.
On the north coast of the Caribbean Sea, cyclone season is from June to December.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
Security authorities have made significant efforts over the past few years to ensure the safety of road links between the main cities in the country (the main routes are secured especially on major holidays and weekends). The main routes between the main cities in the country can therefore usually be used. Excursions in the vicinity of Bogotá and (with restrictions) in the vicinity of other cities are also possible.
Due to the poor road condition and the mountainous topography, however, there is an increased risk of accidents and you have to reckon with long driving times.
In addition, disabilities due to landslides or strikes can arise at any time, which is why you should plan carefully and check the current situation in advance when driving your own or rental car. In the cities and on main traffic connections, the current information from internet services such as wayzz or google maps is usually correct.
Outside the big cities, and especially in the nature parks, there is no nationwide internet or mobile phone connection.
- Always drive defensively and allow for longer driving times.
- Always have enough drinking water and warm clothing with you when driving through the mountains.
- Because of the increased risk of accidents and assaults across the country, avoid driving at night (including buses).
- In case of emergencies on tours in national parks and other remote areas, carry alternative means of communication such as a satellite phone or a rentable emergency call system such as SPOT.
The German driving license is sufficient for tourist stays, but the international driving license is recommended for practical use and is only valid in conjunction with the national German driving license.
Hikes, mountain tours, visits to national parks
Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required to visit some national parks.
The vaccination is free of charge at El Dorado / Bogota airport and in various vaccination centers, but effective vaccination protection only arises after 10 days. The date of your vaccination will therefore be precisely checked when you enter the respective parks.
On high mountain tours, due to the extreme altitude of often over 5000 meters and the special local conditions such as overgrown scree, even experienced mountaineers can have serious accidents. A comprehensive, reliably accessible mountain rescue service does not exist, and rescue flights are not possible in many places.
- Before setting off, obtain information from the organizer or local guide about the specific rescue options in an emergency, in case of doubt emphatically.
- Be sure to observe the restrictions and recommendations of the national park administration for the individual areas.
- Find out more at Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia.
Onward travel to neighboring countries / border crossings
Please refer to the section “News Transit and onward travel“.
Special instructions for behavior / spiritual ceremonies
Sometimes tourists have the opportunity to participate in ceremonies, e.g. for spiritual cleansing, in indigenous communities, especially in Putumayo and the Amazon region. Caution is advised when hallucinogenic substances are offered. These are not banned in Colombia, but they can contain dangerous poisons and, especially when interacting with drugs, lead to massive health hazards and even death. Since such ceremonies usually take place far away from the cities, quick help is usually not available. Ayahuasca or Yage in particular, a plant from which a drink containing dimethyltryptamine is made, has led to medical emergencies several times. In Germany, the ingredient falls under the Narcotics Act; Importing and selling without a permit is a criminal offense.
Homosexuality is not a criminal offense, but acceptance among the population, especially in rural areas, is not very pronounced.
Drug offenses such as drug possession and smuggling are severely punished. Long sentences must be served in Colombian prisons.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the Colombian peso (COP). You can exchange euros in local currency at exchange offices. The acceptance of credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) is widespread, and withdrawals from ATMs are usually possible.
- Use extra caution at ATMs.
- Check machines for possible preparations to illegally read the card.
- Use the machines only during the day, in busy streets, large banks or shopping centers.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: No.
- Temporary identity card: No.
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be in good condition and be valid for at least the intended length of stay at the time of entry.
Damaged travel documents (e.g. frayed outer cover, loose binding of the pages) usually lead to entry refusal.
A return or onward flight ticket may be required upon entry.
Travelers who have ever reported their current passport as lost or stolen should ensure that the report in the Interpol file has been completely deleted before departure. Otherwise, entry will usually be refused.
When entering the airport, all luggage is checked by a scanner. In addition, physical searches for drugs are occasionally carried out without suspicion.
In the event of baggage searches on suspicion of drugs, you should definitely try to call in an independent witness. German-Colombian dual nationals must enter and leave the country with a Colombian passport.
German citizens do not need a visa for a purely tourist stay in Colombia. The immigration authority "Migración Colombia" determines the length of stay at the border crossing points or at the international airports by stamping in the passport. You should therefore ask the border officials during the immigration control by submitting letters of invitation, plane tickets or similar to approve a length of stay that covers the desired period of stay.
The initial maximum length of stay is 90 days, which can be extended by a further 90 days. When entering the country by land, make sure that the entry stamp is affixed, otherwise there will be problems when leaving the country.
Especially on the border from Ecuador to Colombia, intercity buses like to be "waved through" without giving their passengers time for the immigration formalities.
If you wish to stay in the country beyond the approved length of stay, you must apply to Migración Colombia for an extension (subject to a fee) in good time before the end of the approved period. Migración Colombia is represented in all major cities in the country. As a rule, a one-time extension of another 90 days is granted, but there is no entitlement to this.
If the stay is not exclusively for tourist purposes, contact the Embassy of Colombia in Berlin with the question of whether a visa is required for the stay in Colombia.
Minors who are (also) Colombian citizens (e.g. German-Colombian dual nationals) can only leave the country with a written, notarized declaration of consent from their parents or parent not traveling with them. This applies even if the parent in question accompanies you to the airport and also if he / she is not in Colombia.
Entry from / via Brazil
Travelers arriving from or via Brazil currently have to provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination, without which carriage from airports in Brazil is often already refused. Note the 10-day period for the vaccination to be effective and therefore valid.
The import and export of local and foreign currency is possible up to an equivalent value of 10,000 US dollars.
The export of Colombian cultural goods, antiques and wild animals is prohibited.
The German embassy in Bogotá provides information on entry with pets.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany. However, it is strongly recommended that all travelers have a yellow fever vaccination before traveling to an area in Colombia where yellow fever occurs.
These include areas below 2,300m in the departments of Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlántico, Bolivar, Boyacá, Caldas, Caquetá, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Guainía, Guaviare, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Riasaralda, San Andrés, Providencia, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Vaupés and Vichada; the cities of Acandí, Juradó, Riosucio and Unguía in the Choco department, the cities of Albania, Barrancas, Dibulla, Distracción, El Molino, Fonseca, Hatonuevo, La Jagua del Pilar, Maicao, Manaure, Riohacha, San Juan del Cesar, Urumita and Villanueva in the La Guajira Department.
A low exposure potential for yellow fever also exists in the departments of Cauca, Nariño and Valle de Cauca, the central and southern Choco Department and the cities of Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena and Medellín.
Yellow fever is not transmitted in areas above 2,300m, including the urban areas of Bogotá and Uribia in the La Guajira Department.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute's vaccination calendar up to date.
- Vaccinations against hepatitis A are recommended as travel vaccinations, and in the case of long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies.
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
- The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
Zika virus infection
The predominantly diurnal AedesMosquito-borne infection with Zika viruses can lead to malformations in children during pregnancy and neurological complications in adults.
Dengue viruses are nationwide by diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is usually associated with fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs and is increasingly affecting travelers as well. In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see information sheet on dengue fever.
For Colombia, as in other areas of the Caribbean and neighboring countries, confirmed cases of Chikungunya have been reported.
Chikungunya viruses are diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is characterized by a high fever and possibly prolonged joint and muscle pain. The symptoms can often not be clearly distinguished from other mosquito-borne diseases. Chikungunya fever does not always heal without consequences; long-term rheumatoid-like symptoms rarely occur. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy, see leaflet Chikungunya fever.
- To avoid chikungunya fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.
Malaria is caused by crepuscular and nocturnal anopheles- Mosquitoes transmitted. If left untreated, the dangerous one is particularly dangerous Malaria tropica
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