Security and health

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Colombia. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.

It is also recommended that Australian travellers register your travel and contact details, before travelling, on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.

Security

In Colombia security levels vary depending on the urbanisation of the area. Major cities tend to pose a lower security risk to visitors with crime characterised by petty theft and drug trafficking. Armed violence is more prevalent in areas outside the major cities. While major transit routes have been secured, there are many areas that should not be visited.

It is essential that all visitors take precautions and act responsibly to avoid risking their personal safety and security. Do not put up resistance or take physical risks to defend your property or money if being targeted in a robbery. The best course of action is to follow the instructions of your assailant and end the assault as quickly as possible. You should also avoid entering into a criminal attack or assault on others.

Health

For information about vaccinations and keeping healthy while in Colombia, follow this external link http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/colombia.

Some countries (including Australia) demand a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate from people who have recently been in Colombia.

Altitude Sickness

As Bogota is at an altitude of 2625m, many visitors experience effects related to the altitude that may include headaches, nausea, fatigue and breathlessness. Visitors are recommended to take it easy when they arrive in Bogota, avoid alcohol, walk slowly and to drink plenty of water. If you are following an exercise regime, you should allow for your body to acclimatise before doing a hard workout. If you experience more serious or continued symptoms, you should see a doctor.