Overland Test page Travel
Pan American Highway > Test page
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Visiting Test page
Colombia is a beautiful country which is now much safer than it's reputation. Many Overlanders wish they could stay longer. Borders are easy.
Pan American Highway > Test page asdf
Entering Test page with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: April 2014
(To check if you need a travel Visa for Test page, application instructions and fees see: Test page Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)
- Passport of registered owner (original and one copy)
- Vehicle registration (original and one copy)
- Drivers license (original and one copy) asdf
- Direccion De Investigacion Judicial (original and one copy) from office in Panama City. (If coming from Panama)
Entering via Ferry Xpress
Cost USD for two passengers and a Sprinter based RV (size 6 meters long, 3.4 tall, weight 8,550 lbs). Cabin: $57.00 USD Vehicle: $350.00 USD Base Fare: $118.00 USD. Taxes: $248.00 USD Total: $783.00 USD
- NOTE: This was written after the initial voyage on 10/27/2014 and may change.
- Purchase tickets for Ferry, online or at the office in Panama City. Website http://www.ferryxpress.net/.
- Call to make reservation for the size of the car, number of passengers and the optional cabin
- Operator emails a Word Document authorizing credit card payment. Doc includes description of service provided.
- Email the completed word doc with pictures of front and back of credit card and the buyers passport.
- Operator return emails a scanned copy of credit card charge and a ticket. 1 page ticket listing ticket holders name, # passengers and vehicle
- Paperwork 1) DIJ certification in Panama City. Location in iOverlander. Arrive before 9:00 am, they inspect VIN, take copy of title, drivers passport and customs paperwork. At 2:00 pm walk across street to Secretary General's office, give them a copy of the same paperwork and pick up certification. Make 3 copies of the certification in kiosk across street.
- In Colon, use Port named Colon 2000. Customs office on the right, just after the gate. Provide DIJ, Import Permit, Insurance and passport. They will stamp driver's passport "salida" for the car.
- Drive to the departure gate for Safety and Dog inspections. Safety inspection: Provide the port workers with copy of DIJ, passport, insurance. They will check for triangles, fire extinguisher, spare tire and check the lights. Dog inspection: open everything, stand to the side and two dogs will check car. Remove your carry on bag for the ferry trip.
- Check in a Ferry Xpress desk in the departure building using your printed ticket confirmation.
- Exit Immigration all passengers at the same desk to your right. Show passport, yellow customs card and ferry ticket.
- Drivers will return to vehicle to drive onto the Ferry after one more inspection. There was some confusion about the requirement to empty the vehicles of all cargo or luggage. We did not empty the vehicle, the police conducted a quick visual inspection. Again this may change after initial trip.
- Passengers will scan carry on bags and walk to the ferry
- If you haven't purchased insurance, you will be required to buy it on the Ferry after it departs from the dock. They will not allow the vehicle off the ferry until you buy or provide proof of insurance.
Process at border
- The owner of the vehicle gains entry at Immigration (Migración), including a stamp in their Passport.
- The owner must show the new passport stamp, original vehicle registration and original Drivers license to Customs (Aduana). Aduana may ask you for photocopies of your Vehicle Registration, Drivers Licence, Passport and Entry Stamp.
- The owner is issued a temporary import permit for the vehicle.
Import at Santa Marta Harbour (juli 2014)
- Antwerp - Santa Marta (weekly)
- Antwerp export compagny: Levaco price: €1,550.00 EUR (fiat ducato)
- shipping line Compagnia Logistica Colombiana
- import in Santa Marta: Granandino cel: 318-2662318
- 3 days process time in harbour seems to be minimum
- Total cost Granandino $800,000.00 COP
Cost of entry
Permitted length of stay
Many nationalities are allowed entry for 60 days. US citizens receive 90 days per calendar year resetting Jan 1st. The temporary import permit for the vehicle will match the duration of the owners entry. UK citizens are given 90 days. Swiss citizens are given 90 days upon entry which can be extended for another 90 days per calender year, resetting on January 1st.
==Extension of stay==ads The following extension process was done in Santa Marta, after originally shipping the van from Panama to Colombia, 89 days previously. To extend the temporary importation permit for another 90 days a written letter requesting additional time is required. This letter can be a very simple handwritten letter in Spanish. Take this letter and a photo copy of the letter to the Dian office (CRA 5, Calle 17) to obtain the required stamps. In Santa Marta you then take these papers with the newly acquired stamps to the other nearby Dian Office at the Sociedad Portuaria (CRA 1 Calle 10). Here they will complete the required paperwork and need to inspect the vehicle, then giving your vehicle an additional 90 days, at no cost. Sample letter requesting additional time provided below.
"Santa Marta, Febrero 18 de 2013
Dian-division de gestion de la operation aduanera la ciudad Importacion temporal de vehicle de tourista.
Por medio de la presente solicito a ustedes prorroga de la autorizacion inicia no XXXXX (Number and date found on your original import paperwork) de Nov. 21 de 2012, expedida en la direccion seccional de aduanas de Cartagena, para el vehiculo Chevy Astro con numero de chasis XXXXXXXXXXX (for American vehicles insert your VIN number here) de color beige y ano de fabricacion 2004.
La autorization inicial vencera el XX/XX/XXXX (date your original importation expires) por consipuiente solicitio a ustedes una pronta repuesta a esta peticion.
Passport No. XXXXXX"
The following documentation package was created in early 2014 explaining how to extend your personal visa and vehicle permit in Medellin http://www.pawsontour.com/iea/DOWNLOADS/Grenzuebergang/Immigration_Visum_Colombia.zip
Beware (Medellin sept 2014): Temporary import can never be longer than the time allowed in your pasport (mostly 90 days after your entry). Medellin immigration refuses to renew your 90 days if your original stamp is still valid for more than 8 days. So we couldn't renew our temporary import because our immigration stamp was still valid for another 20 days. We left the country without our car and will have to pay $550,000.00 COP for every month of overstay.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Storing vehicle and leaving country is possible.
At Renacer Hostal in Villa the Leyva vehicles can be stored at $150,000.00 COP per month.
Exiting with a vehicle
- The registered owner presents the temporary import paper to customs.
- The registered owner is stamped out of Colombia at immigration.
See Crossing The Darien Gap for details.
Driving in Test page
Recommended books for Overlanding in Test page
- Colombia Facil Travel Book - Very small, but really good and very cheap guide book with tons of information! You can get them at many hostels.
- For a great overview, see: Driving in Colombia - fromAtoB.org
Travel insurance for Test page
Vehicle insurance requirements
Insurance is mandatory in Colombia, and Police will most likely ask to see it. Like many South American countries, the insurance is called SOAT (Seguro Obligatorio Automóviles Transito).
Cost of insurance
Varies with the size of vehicle and size of the motor. Around $82.00 USD for two months for a 4x4.
Land Rover Defender 300Tdi 4x4 SOAT purchased in Ipiales was $75,000.00 COP in May 2013
1 month for approx. $80,000.00 COP for a 4 cylinder 2.5l van in Feb 2014 - you might need to check multiple insurance vendors to get 1 month insurance and/or possibly "modify" you temporary import permit to show less days allowed in Colombia. Otherwise the insurance company may claim they will only insure for the full length of the temporary permit. The police do NOT mind seeing insurance for 1 month and temporary permit for 3 months - they are usually surprised you have insurance at all.
Where to purchase insurance
Insurance brokers are common in even the small towns and and usually affiliated with banks. Ask around for "SOAT". You can find one on the 2nd floor of the white building found between Old Town and Getsemani in Cartagena - N10 25’30.6” W75 32’52.8”
Another place in Cartegena that sells short-term (one month) is close to the old town. It can be found at Avenida Carlos Escallon, in the building of Banco Bogota, marked as "Comfamiliar" (large metal doors), in the 8th floor (elevator goes only to 7th). GPS roughly 10.423875 -75.54865. Santa Marta: Lyberties , plazuela 23, calle 23. Ask for Tatiana. Minimum 3 months.
Technically an International Driving Permit is required.
In reality, showing a license from anywhere in the world seems to be good enough.
Driving side of road
Right hand drive vehicles are permitted without problem.
Mandatory items in vehicle
General Road quality
Roads in Colombia are generally sealed and good quality. If you venture into the interior, expect gravel roads that may be impassable in the wet season. Minor roads in the mountains have a lot of "hundiamentos"; half of the road disappearing or with important prolapses. After heavy storms a lot of stones on the road.
January 2020 20150902140744