👥 Population: 50 million
🌍 Region: South America
🗣 Languages: Spanish
🚙 Drive on the: Right
💵 Currency: Colombian Peso, COP, COL$
☎️ Calling Code: +57
Colombia is a country in South America and the most populous Spanish speaking country in the region. Featuring access to the Caribbean sea, cobble stoned colonial streets, jungles, modern cities and more, Colombia features a lot of diversity within its shores.
🌴 Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world. 10% of the Amazon Rainforrest lies within Colombia.
🗣 It's pronounced Col-o-mbia and not Col-u-mbia. Use the latter at your own peril.
🇨🇴 The yellow and red in the flag were taken from the Spanish flag, with the blue in the middle symbolising the ocean between the countries.
Depending on your country of origin you may stay in Colombia visa free for up to 90 days. You can extend this for another 90 days by visiting an immigration office in person or online.
Instead of extending, it is usually quite straightforward to fly into a neighbouring country and return to Colombia. Make sure that you don't extend past 180 days max in a year.
If you require a visit visa they are valid for up to 90 days also, and are called "eVisa". You apply for them online.
The Colombian Peso uses the same symbol as the US Dollar ($), due to their shared origin with the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar. To differentiate here, we use COL$.
There is no limit to the amount of cash you take into Colombia but you do have to declare anything over the value of $10,000. Make sure to find out whether you need to tell your bank of your travels as many, as a security feature, will freeze your account.
You can withdraw cash at any ATM in Colombia by using your local bank card. Bear in mind that these often have high fees and your bank may also charge you.
Consider opening an e-money/digital money account such as Wise or Revolut as you can save a considerable amount in withdrawal, conversion and transfer fees.
You can pay with your credit or debit card in most establishments. VISA or MasterCard are accepted everywhere that accepts card payments. American Express and Diners Club less so.
There are 3 main mobile network providers:
The most recommended provider is Claro. It has good coverage and 4G. You can purchase a SIM card from an official Claro store or Oxxo, which is a convenience store you can find everywhere, just like in Mexico. Take your passport with you as identification to get your SIM.
As of July 2021, 4.5GB of data will cost you COL$20,000 every 20 days.