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Getting To and Away from Colombia


Entering Colombia is not a difficult transition. A valid passport–for some a visa–and a return ticket to wherever you came from will be enough to get you inside. To ensure your departure is as trouble-free as the entry, keep the customs form you’re given when you fly in with your passport; it will entitle you to a refund of sales taxes, if you have spent enough.


By Plane

Flights to Colombia arrive from neighboring Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador, as well as elsewhere in South America. There are also numerous flights to Colombia from North and Central America, and Europe. The only international Colombian airline is Avianca, which is also the biggest operator for domestic flights. Other airlines, however, like British Airways, Continental Airlines, American Airlines, Mexicana de Aviación and Aerolíneas Argentinas frequently go to Colombia. Main airports include El Dorado in Bogotá, Rafael Núñez in Cartagena, José María Córdova in Medellín, Alfonso Bonilla Aragón in Cali and Ernesto Cortissoz in Barranquilla.


Departure Tax

If flying out from Bogotá, you must pay a departure tax. For stays of less than 60 days, it is $33 (or 65,400 COP). If you have been in the country for more than 60 days, or are a Colombian or a foreign resident, the fee is $64 (124,400 COP). The tax may be paid in US dollars, Colombian pesos (COP); travelers checks and credit cards are not accepted. If you are flying with a North American or European courier, the tax may already be included in your ticket. Updated: May 11, 2011.


By Land

Land border crossings exist between Colombia and Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil. International bus service only operates along the Caribbean coast, from Cartagena, Barranquilla and other Colombian cities, to Maracaibo, Valencia and Caracas, Venezuela.


By Boat

Boat is the only way to enter Colombia in some regions. Arriving from Panama is only possible by air and by chalupas (local boats) or by sailboat. International boats also run between Esmeraldas, Ecuador, and Tumaco on the Pacific coast, and along the Amazon River, between Santa Rosa and Iquitos, Peru, and Manaus, Brazil, to Leticia. It is also possible to navigate rivers from Colombia to Venezuela; even though these are now heavily patrolled by Colombian military, accessing the waterways’ ports is difficult as the roads pass through the war zone. If you are sailing on your own to Colombia, the major Caribbean Sea ports—Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta and San Andrés—all have marinas. You can also drop anchor in such places as Taganga, Riohacha or Cabo de la Vela.


Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Colombia: Getting to and away from Quibdó, Getting to and away from Cúcuta , Getting to and away from Buenaventura, Getting to and From Capitanejo, Getting to and Away from El valle, Getting Around, Getting to and away from Pamplona, Getting Around Bogotá, Getting To and Away and Getting To and Away.

27 Sep 2011

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