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Colombia Phones

Colombia Country Code: 57

In many smaller towns, Telecom has an office with phone service to local, national and international numbers. To make a local or national phone call, you can also go to a shop with a sign stating Minutos or Llamadas. They charge $0.10-0.20 per minute to cellular calls, more to land lines (fijo).

Local phone numbers have seven digits and begin with a number from 2 to 8; 9 is reserved for pay phones. For mobile-to-mobile calls, the phone number is prefixed by a three-digit access code (see below).

When calling from a landline to a cell phone, dial 03 + access code + phone number. For calls made from a cell phone to a landline, dial 03 + city/region code + phone number.

Emergency Phone Numbers

For police, fire and general emergencies, dial: 112 (nation-wide) or 123 (in Bogotá, Medellín and Cúcuta).

Domestic Long Distance

For domestic long distance, Colombia has three carriers covering specific cities and regions of the country. Only ETB is nation-wide. Domestic long distance calls are prefixed with “0,” followed by the code for the carrier: 5 for Orbitel, 7 for ETB and 9 for Telefónica. The third digit is the city (region) code (see below), which is then followed by the seven-digit number (ex. 091-XXX-XXXX).

Colombia City (Region) Codes:

1 - Bogotá (Cundinamarca)

2 - Cali (Valle del Cauca), Popayán (Cauca), Pasto (Nariño)

3 - Not used

4 - MonterĂ­a (CĂłrdoba), QuibdĂł (ChocĂł), MedellĂ­n (Antioquia)

5 - Riohacha (La Guajira), Barranquilla (Atlántico), Santa Marta (Magdalena), Valledupar (Cesar), Sincelejo (Sucre), Cartagena (Bolívar)

6 - Manizales (Caldas), Pereira (Risaralda), Armenia (QuindĂ­o)

7 - CĂşcuta (Norte de Santander), Bucaramanga (Santander), Arauca (Arauca)

8 - Tunja (Boyacá), Ibagué (Tolima), Yopal (Casanare), Neiva (Huila), Villavicencio (Meta), Puerto Carreño (Vichada), Florencia (Caquetá), San José de Guaviare (Guaviare), Puerto Inírida (Guainía), Leticia (Amazonas), San Andrés (San Andrés), Mocoa (Putumayo), Mitú (Vaupés)

International Long Distance

You can call home from Colombia with a mobile phone, landline or Skype. Some Internet cafés and cabinas (phone centers) have international phone service, charging $0.15-0.30 per minute to the U.S., and more for other countries. It is cheaper to call home on a landline than a mobile phone. Skype is the most affordable option, though in some parts of the country it is unavailable (especially in the Southern and Eastern regions). It is also possible to make collect calls from Colombia. International calling cards are available in bigger cities.

The prefix for international calls is 00. If using one of the national long distance carriers, the prefix is followed by the carrier code (see above). Then follow the country code + area code + phone number. For example, to call the U.S. or Canada, you would dial: 009 + 1 + area code + phone number.Other country codes are:

France: + 33

Germany: +49

Poland: + 48

United Kingdom: + 44

Argentina: + 54

Bolivia: +591

Brazil: + 55

Chile: + 56

Ecuador: + 593

Peru: + 51

Australia: + 61

Japan: + 81

New Zealand: + 64

South Korea: + 82Calling Colombia From Abroad

The country code for Colombia is 57. When dialing, this will be prefixed by your country’s international calling number, and be followed by the city (regional) code (see above) + the phone number. For example, a person calling from North America would dial: 011 + 57 + city/region code + seven-digit phone number. See your home telephone directory for specifics for your country.When calling a Colombian cell phone from abroad, substitute the cell phone carrier access code (see Colombia Cell Phone Providers) for the city/region code. It is cheaper to call a Colombian landline than a cell phone. To make cheap calls to Colombia, you can either use a voice-over-internet system like Skype, or buy a phone card.

Cell Phones

Cell phone use in Colombia is overtaking traditional landline use. Mobile phones in Colombia have SMS and MMS capabilities; more expensive phones have Internet access. Cell phone coverage in Colombia is reliable, even in the mountains and jungle.

It may be possible to use your cell phone from home while traveling in Colombia. Colombia’s cell phone carriers operate on GSM networks; Tigo uses the 850 Hz band, and Comcel and Movistar use both 850 and 1900 Hz bands. Dual-band phones from Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania will not work, but GSM-enabled phones from North or South America likely will. All quad-band, and most tri-band, phones will work in Colombia. Cell phones from outside the western hemisphere will need a flat blade plug adapter and 110-volt converter in order to charge safely. Colombian mobile phone companies have roaming agreements with many international cell phone companies, so, while extremely expensive, it may be possible to use your existing phone plan in Colombia.

Colombian Cell Phone Providers

There are three service providers in Colombia: Tigo, Comcel and Movistar. All three offer monthly pre-paid-a good idea for longer stays, and pay-as-you-go services. Cell phones can be purchased at retailers throughout the country; shop around, as the three companies are quite competitive. In larger cities, many small shops specialize in the sale of refurbished cell phones.

The codes for each of the three carriers are:

Tigo: 300, 301, 302, 304

Comcel: 310, 311, 312, 313, 314

Movistar: 315, 316, 317

Phone shops will also sell SIM cards that will give you a local phone number and allow you to place and receive calls. Purchase minutes for your mobile phone at Tigo, Comcel or Movistar stores, or at most convenience stores. Cards to recharge your saldo (credit) come in 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 COP denominations.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Colombia: Bucaramanga Keeping in Touch, Photography in Colombia, Colombia Mail and Colombia Internet.

30 Mar 2012

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