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Colombia Visa, Passport & Money Advice

Colourful streets of Colombia

When travelling to Colombia it’s important to have the latest information relating to money matters, visa and passport requirements. We have compiled the most important information to help you plan your exciting adventure.

Visa and passports

As long as you hold a valid British passport and are staying in Colombia for no longer than 90 days, you won’t require a visa to travel. All travellers (including children and infants) must have an individual machine-readable passport and it must be valid for six months beyond your intended return date. You will be required to show an onward or return flight ticket.

Between 24 hours and 1 hour before departure of your flight to Colombia, you must fill out the ‘Check-Mig’ form, available on the Migración Colombia website. You will receive a confirmation email that you will need to present upon arrival in Colombia.

You can check the latest requirements via the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website.

Colombia colourful streets
Colombia Bogota

Flying via the USA?

If you’re flying to Colombia via the USA and want to use the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), you will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System Travel Authorization) in advance. All travellers using UK passports (including children and infants) must have an individual machine-readable passport and must complete an ESTA prior to departure. Without an approved ESTA, you could be denied entry into the US and therefore denied boarding for your flight(s). It’s worth also checking the US embassy ESTA for current customs regulations, as they change frequently.

Money in Colombia

The currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso, which is indicated by the ₱ sign or by the abbreviation COP. There are banknotes of ₱1,000, ₱2,000, ₱.5000, ₱10,000, ₱20,000, ₱50,000 and ₱100,000. The following units apply to the coins: 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos. You can withdraw money at Bogotá airport, but you will also find ATMs in larger towns and cities throughout Colombia. You can also pay in US dollars in some places. 

Credit and debit card use is becoming more accepted in Colombia. However, if you want to pay by card in a restaurant, shop or hotel, you will typically need to use a credit card, not debit. 

Colombia Bogota graffiti tours
Tourist in Colombia with local vendor

Tips and haggling

Tipping in Colombia is very common and often expected. Keep in mind that in some restaurants a 10% service charge is already added to the bill, in which case it is not necessary to leave extra. 

Bargaining in Colombia is commonplace in markets, but not in shops where the prices are clearly displayed. Keep haggling light-hearted and fun, where both parties end with a win-win outcome.