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Colombia Vaccine Requirements: Do I need a vaccine to travel to Colombia?
4 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Colombia beckons travelers with its colorful culture and diverse landscapes, but before you pack your bags, it’s crucial to understand the health requirements for entry.

This guide offers a concise overview of Colombia’s vaccine mandates and the latest health advisories, ensuring you are well-prepared for a safe and enjoyable visit.

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Recommended vaccines for traveling to Colombia

When traveling to Colombia, there are no mandatory vaccines currently however, several vaccinations are recommended by health authorities such as the CDC and WHO to ensure your safety. Here are the key vaccines you should consider:

  1. Routine Vaccines: Ensure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines like measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and your yearly flu shot.

  2. Travel Vaccines:

    • Hepatitis A and B: Recommended due to the potential of contracting these diseases through contaminated food, water, or bodily fluids.
    • Typhoid: Advised for most travelers, especially if visiting smaller cities or rural areas, due to typhoid risks from contaminated food and water.
    • Yellow Fever: Although not mandatory for all areas, it is recommended for travelers aged 9 months and older visiting regions outside major urban centers and below 2,300 meters in elevation. It's essential if coming from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
    • Rabies: Consider this vaccine if you plan to be involved with animals, are going to remote areas, or if your activities put you at risk of animal bites.

Important notes about the Yellow Fever Vaccine: The yellow fever vaccine is particularly important for those traveling to certain parts of Colombia. The vaccine provides life-long protection for most people and should be administered at least 10 days before your travel.

This vaccine is not recommended for travel limited to higher altitude areas (above 2,300 meters), including Bogotá, or major cities like Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellín. If traveling from a country with a risk of yellow fever or transiting through such a country for over 12 hours, the vaccine becomes mandatory.

These recommendations are designed to protect your health during your travels and minimize the risk of acquiring serious diseases.

For more detailed and specific information, you can visit the World Health Organization (WHO) International Travel and Health page and the CDC Travelers' Health: Colombia which provide comprehensive guidelines and updates on health recommendations and requirements for travelers.

Other health considerations

When traveling to Colombia, apart from the usual vaccination considerations, there are other health-related factors to keep in mind: Here’s a more concise version of the health considerations for travelers to Colombia:

Malaria Prophylaxis: If visiting rural low-altitude areas, consider antimalarial medication, as advised by healthcare providers. Start the regimen before traveling and continue as prescribed afterward.

Altitude Sickness: High-altitude areas like Bogotá can cause altitude sickness. Symptoms include headaches and dizziness. Prevent this by acclimatizing slowly and staying hydrated. Medication for prevention is available.

Waterborne Diseases: Avoid tap water, ice made from tap water, and raw fruits and vegetables washed in tap water. Opt for bottled or treated water to prevent diseases like cholera and leptospirosis.

Health Insurance and Medical Services: Ensure you have comprehensive travel health insurance that includes medical evacuation. Medical facilities are adequate in major cities but may be limited in remote areas.

Colombia’s entry requirements related to health

As of the latest update, Colombia has streamlined its entry requirements for travelers. The Colombian government no longer mandates COVID-19 vaccinations or testing for entry, making travel to the country more accessible.

However, all travelers are required to complete the CheckMig form. This form must be filled out at most 72 hours before departure to Colombia and up to one hour before, facilitating a smoother entry process by preloading travel information that helps expedite immigration control.

For the most current and detailed entry requirements, always consult the Migración Colombia website directly before traveling.

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Practical tips for staying healthy in Colombia

Here are some practical tips for staying healthy while traveling in Colombia:

Personal Hygiene and Safety Measures:

  • Hand hygiene: Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and when you return to your accommodations. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your face: Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.

  • Use insect repellent: Apply insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing to protect against mosquito and other insect bites. Look for products containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

  • Be cautious with animals: Avoid touching animals, including wild animals and pets, to prevent bites and potential exposure to rabies and other diseases.

Finding and Consuming Safe Food and Water:

  • Drink safe water: Drink bottled water or water that has been boiled or treated with a reliable purifier. Avoid ice in drinks unless you are sure it is made from treated water.

  • Eat Safely: Only eat food that is cooked and served hot. Avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits unless you can peel them yourself. Be cautious with street food—choose vendors that look clean and have a high turnover of food.

  • Dine Wisely: Prefer eating in well-established restaurants or places recommended by trustworthy sources. Check online reviews or ask locals for safe dining suggestions.

Need information

If you have any questions about the Colombia Check Mig form or visas, please contact our customer service team, who are ready assist you.

  • iVisa is NOT affiliated with any government agency. This site does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. None of our customer service representatives are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. We are a private, internet-based travel and immigration consultancy provider dedicated to helping individuals travel around the world. You may apply by yourself directly on the various government websites. The source of information: https://www.migracioncolombia.gov.co/
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