The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risk of travel to Colombia. U.S. citizens should exercise caution, as violence linked to domestic insurgency, narco-trafficking, crime, and kidnapping occur in some rural and urban areas. This replaces the previous travel warning dated April 5, 2016.
Organized political and criminal armed groups are active throughout much of the country and their methods include the use of explosives and bomb threats in public spaces. Violence associated with the armed groups occurs in rural areas as well as Colombia's major cities, including in the capital. These groups are heavily involved in the drug trade, extortion, kidnapping, and robbery. On November 30, 2016, the Colombian government approved a peace accord with the largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The peace agreement is in the process of being implemented and does not include other active armed groups.
Violent crime is a threat throughout Colombia. Kidnapping remains a threat, although U.S. citizens are not specifically targeted. Violent political groups and other criminal organizations occasionally kidnap and hold civilians, including foreigners, for ransom.
U.S. government officials and their families are generally permitted to travel to major cities only by air. They may not use inter- or intra-city bus transportation or travel by road outside urban areas at night. During daylight, they are permitted to use only the following routes:
- Main highways between Bogota and Bucaramanga, and between Bogota and Ibague.
- Highways between Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia and within the “coffee country” departments of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío.
- Highway 90 from Cartagena, through Barranquilla to Santa Marta.
All other travel by U.S. government personnel and their families requires a security review and specific authorization.
If you do travel to Colombia, review your personal security plans, remain alert to your surroundings, and learn more about staying safe on our Country Specific Information page for Colombia. U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have contingency plans for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
For further information:
- See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Colombia.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, located at Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50 Bogota, D.C., Colombia, at (+57-1) 275-2000, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is (+57-1) 275-2701.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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