Expatriation to Colombia: border updates

Hello everyone,

in Colombia as elsewhere, the current pandemic has changed our way of life but also our mobility, due to the state of borders of nearby countries or countries we wanted to visit.

Today we would like to take stock of the current border situation in Colombia and collect your testimonies, whether you are already an expat there or still preparing your move.

Is the country currently accessible to newcomers?

Have quarantine measures been put in place? If so, what are they?

What about leaving the territory as an expat resident? Will you be able to easily reach Colombia if you leave it temporarily?

How does the current borders state impact you, whether you are already an expatriate in Colombia or are planning to move there soon?

Do you have some visibility about the future of borders in your country of expatriation, in the longer or shorter term?

Thank you in advance for your contribution :)

Cheryl,
Expat.com team

Colombia is resuming air travel for international passengers after a six-months ban, according to various online sites that follow the border and transportation scene.  It is widely reported that September 21st will see the initial flights from other countries.

A requirement for entering Colombia is a covid test within 96 hours before flying.  My research is unclear on whether a quarantine of up to 14 days upon arrival is required for covid-negative passengers.

According to the insurance website www.worldnomads.com,
maritime and land crossings into Colombia are closed to travelers until at least October 1st.

cccmedia

My take...

Expats should travel to and around Colombia only by plane.

Expats should visit only major cities and forego more rural places.

The covid death rate ranks among the higher rates in South America.  The peace process is stalled or worse.  Rural areas are no-man's land inadequately patrolled by police or the military in most places.


Bogotá is the covid epicenter of the country with one third of all cases.

Police authorities concentrate any efforts on protecting the major cities.  In rural areas, bad actors have physically attacked suspected superspreaders of covid.

I was in Medellín earlier this year for a month, pre-covid.  I felt safe in and around the Golden Mile where I stayed and would not have safety concerns to visit there again.

Areas to avoid due to health and safety concerns... any place near Venezuela, Nariño department in the south except for the city of Ipiales, metro Bogotá (disease and civil unrest), Parque Lleras in Medellín (excessive pollution).

A USA State Department web page recommends against any tourist travel to Colombia.

cccmedia

Cheryl :

What about leaving the territory as an expat resident? Will you be able to easily reach Colombia if you leave it temporarily?...

Do you have some visibility about the future of borders in your country of expatriation, in the longer or shorter term?

Colombia is a volatile place in a volatile covid time.  Ipso facto, nobody can reliably predict the answers to these questions.

cccmedia

I received official notification via email from the US department of state today.
First commercial flights from US to Colombia will be September 19th with regular commercial service resuming 21 September.
Land and Sea borders will remain closed until  at least October 1st.
All passengers inbound to Colombia require a negative  PCR/Covid19 test result wiithin 96 hours of departure and complete a Migracion Colombia Check MIG-online form no more than 24 hours before departing for Colombia

Thanks for the information from the State Department, Marquezdl.

Was there any mention of a quarantine for arriving passengers?

cccmedia

If you comply with the above requirements, and download and use the Mobile App CoronApp to assist with contact tracing while in Colombia, then self quarantine will not be required

I live here and have been travelling around several Departments in the last  few weeks. Not as much as normal, and avoid public buses (for health reasons) , only using private cars.

No more dangerous than normal.

As far as COVID, way safer in rural areas than in crowded cities.
Trick is just avoid crowds.

Of course getting into the country is pretty difficut now, and travel will still be, for quite a while be a bit bureaucratic and daunting for someone who has not lived here a while and doesnt know the country

If I was someone intersted in tourism in Colombia, even if you have been here a few times before, I would wait until Next Year, at the earliest.

nico peligro :

No more dangerous than normal....

If I was someone intersted in tourism in Colombia, even if you have been here a few times before, I would wait until Next Year, at the earliest.

We should point out that even in "normal" times, travel between Colombian cities at night is risky.

I learned this the hard way several years ago when two bad actors on motos chased me and my car south of Popayán, throwing rocks at the car till they saw me spin out on the highway and then left me alone.

Avoid night travel outside the cities and if you cannot avoid it, get off the roads at as early an hour as possible.

cccmedia

You cannot apply your experience in Cauca as a blanket statement applicable to all of Colombia.

I have gone by bus from Cali to Popayan a couple of times,and yes , I was recommended not to go at night. And there were some times , it was recommended not to go at all.

I am quite caiutious and if something makes me remotely uncomfortable, I ask a lot of questions and do a lot of research before doing it. Maybe that is why, in 8 years living in Colombia, and 16 years travelling here, I hav never had an experience like yours.

Not saying I havent done some  pretty dumb things , but the 2 or 3 times I did , I got lucky and nothing happened.


Of course, as well. a foreigner in a private car with foreighn plates is an obvious target.

Parts of Cauca and Narino and other departments are still under Guerilla or para-military control.

The same reasoning doesnt apply in the Eje Cafetero, most of Antioquia, Santander, most of the Caribbean coast.

In Santander for instance, I have gone on bus trips with hiking groups on the back roads to small villages , we meat  at 3 AM and came back at midnight the same day.

Travelling at night  in Colombia all depends on where, when,  with whom , and how.

Peligro is thy name.

Gambling is thy game.

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