Travel Advisory January 4, 2023
Colombia – Level 3: Reconsider Travel Reissued with updates to high-risk areas.
Reconsider travel due to crime and terrorism. Exercise increased caution due to civil unrest and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do Not Travel to:
- Arauca, Cauca (excluding Popayán), and Norte de Santander departments due to crime and terrorism.
- The Colombia-Venezuela border region due to crime, kidnapping, and risk of detention when crossing into Venezuela from Colombia.
Country Summary: Violent crime, such as homicide, assault, and armed robbery, is widespread. Organized criminal activities, such as extortion, robbery, and kidnapping, are common in some areas.
The National Liberation Army (ELN), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP), and Segunda Marquetalia terrorist organizations continue operating and launching attacks in Colombia. They may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, police stations, military facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. While terrorists have not specifically targeted U.S. citizens, the attacks could result in unintended victims.
Demonstrations occur regularly throughout the country. Large public demonstrations can take place for a variety of political and economic issues. Demonstrations can shutdown roads and major highways, often without prior notice or estimated reopening timelines. Road closures may significantly reduce access to public transportation and may disrupt travel both within and between cities. Nationwide protests in 2021 resulted in fatalities and injuries.
U.S. government employees must adhere to the noted restrictions:
- U.S. government employees are not permitted to travel by road between most major cities.
- Colombia’s land border areas are off-limits to U.S. government personnel unless specifically authorized.
- U.S. government employees may not use motorcycles
- U.S. government employees may not hail street taxis or use public transportation.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Colombia.
If you decide to travel to Colombia:
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
- Avoid protest areas and crowds.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Keep a low profile.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Country Security Report for Colombia.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Violent crime, including armed robbery and homicide, is widespread.
Terrorist groups are active in some parts.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government-personnel travel to these areas is severely restricted due to security concerns.
Colombia – Venezuela Border – Level 4: Do Not Travel U.S. citizens are advised not to travel to the border of Colombia and Venezuela. U.S. citizens are at risk of detention when crossing into Venezuela from Colombia. The Colombia-Venezuela border is not clearly marked, and U.S. citizens should not go near the border due to the risk of crossing into Venezuela accidentally. U.S. citizens attempting to enter Venezuela without a visa have been charged with terrorism and other serious crimes and detained for long periods. For more information, see the Venezuela Travel Advisory.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.