IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Colombia

Colombia: At a glance

Capital: Bogota

Population: 49.07 million

Official language: Spanish

Time zone: Colombia Standard Time

Emergency #: 123

Vaccinations required: Yes

Risk of malaria: Yes

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Colombia: Travel Health Information

Colombia is known for its diverse natural landscapes, vibrant cities, history, and culture. Travellers can visit the lost city of Ciudad Perdida or the bustling, colourful city of Medellin. Colombia’s west coast has become a paradise for bird watchers and hikers alike, while the Amazon is also home to an array of animal and plant species.

Healthcare

The standards for patient care and medical services in Colombia may differ from your home country. Colombia has a public healthcare system as well as a private sector. There is high quality care in major cities but healthcare is limited in the rest of the country and may not be delivered according to international standards. While most doctors in Colombia will speak at least some English, most other hospital staff, such as nurses and administrative staff, may only speak Spanish.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals and private practitioners in Colombia typically require upfront payment, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Evacuation may be required for complex medical emergencies. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Colombia.

Pharmacies and medications

Pharmacies are generally available in most towns in Colombia and many medications are available over-the-counter. Pharmacists in Colombia are trained to an international standard and are authorized to recommend medications. It is always advisable to consult a healthcare practitioner before starting a new medication or making changes to an existing medication.

If you are travelling with medication, check with Colombia’s embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review the Colombia’s regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.

Road safety

Due to many years of conflict, road infrastructure in Colombia has not always been well maintained.While many major roads are now kept in good condition, road quality varies by region. Seat belts are required for drivers and front seat passengers in cars at all times. However, all passengers of a vehicle should wear a seat belt for safety. Helmets must be worn by motorcycle drivers and passengers at all times.



Colombia: At a glance

Capital: Bogota

Population: 49.07 million

Official language: Spanish

Time zone: Colombia Standard Time

Emergency #: 123

Vaccinations required: Yes

Risk of malaria: Yes

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