Overland Colombia Travel
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Entering Colombia with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: March 2010
- Passport of registered owner (original and one copy)
- Vehicle registration (original and one copy)
- Drivers license (original and one copy)
Process at border
(For people, see Colombia Visa and Passport requirements at the World Travel Guide)
- 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).
- The owner is issued a temporary import permit for the vehicle.
Cost of entry
Permitted length of stay
Many nationalities are allowed entry for 60 days. The temporary import permit for the vehicle will match the duration of the owners entry.
Extension of stay
Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.
Exiting with a vehicle
By land to Ecuador
- The registered owner presents the temporary import paper to customs.
- The registered owner is stamped out of Colombia at immigration.
By ship, probably to Panama
See Crossing The Darien Gap for details.
Driving in Colombia
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. Around $82.00 USD for two months for a 4x4.
Where to purchase insurance
Insurance brokers are common in even the small towns and and usually affiliated with banks. Ask around for "SOAT"
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.
Road signs are common on highways and in towns. It's usually not too difficult to find signage to get where you are going.
All bigger highways are tolled in Colombia. Expect to pay roughly $5.00 USD every 100km or so.
Bribery in Colombia
Police bribery is common in Colombia, where the military might try to intimidate you a little.
See the bribery tips page for advice.
Police and Military checkpoints are common in Colombia. You will be asked to present your Passport, Vehicle registration, drivers license, the temporary import permit you were issued at the border and your SOAT insurance. Driving without the required SOAT insurance is a sure-fire way to encounter bribery.
Traveling with pets
List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.
Gas and Diesel price in Colombia
Last updated: April 2010
Currency and unit to display:
|Regular||€0.78 EUR per Liter|
|Diesel||$0.72 USD per Liter|
- Price Information: gasoline-germany.com - International Gas / Petrol / Diesel prices - Colombia
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Gas stations are extremely common in Colombia, and shortages are not common.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Gasoline and Diesel are generally thought of as good quality. The sulfur content of diesel is unknown.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night is not recommended, due to increased safety concerns.
Parking vehicles on the street in smaller towns during the day is typically OK. Find a secure parking lot in big cities and at night. Cost is something like $1.00 USD to $2.00 USD per night.
Special driving considerations
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Colombia - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Colombia
Camping is not common or popular in Colombia, and very few hostels in touristy areas have camping to cater for backpackers. A few of the larger parks and reserves allow camping for a nominal fee. Choose roadside camping sites carefully.
Camping guide books
Tap water in Colombia is generally not safe to drink.
For a high quality road map, buy before you get to Colombia.
GPS Maps of Colombia
- Open Street Map: Appears to have good coverage.
- Garmin: Lists "Detailled" converage.
- TomTom: No map of Colombia. 
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Colombia
- Camping Sites: Colombia - Detailed list of campsites and propane filling with description, directions and GPS co-ordinates. Some at hotels (lists facilities and price), some roadside and free.
- Campsite Listing - South America | PanAm Notes - List of campsites, with directions and GPS co-ordinates. Some at hotels (lists facilities and price), some roadside and free.
- Andes Expedition camping Locations - List of campsites, with basic directions and GPS co-ordinates. Mostly free sites.
- Camping Log 2: South America - List of campsites, shopping, fuel, propane and border crossings with excellent descriptions and GPS co-ordinates.
- Hackney Travel SA Waypoints - Raw GPS data (in gdb or gpx format) for waypoints (including campsites, fuel, repairs, propane and more)
- The Silk Road Motocaravan Network - Raw GPS data for waypoints (camping, gas, propane, points of interest and more)
Special Overland Travel interests
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Colombia
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
- ↑ gasoline-germany.com - International Gas / Petrol / Diesel prices - Colombia
- ↑ fuel price - anybody ? - The HUBB
- ↑ OpenStreetMap Colombia
- ↑ Garmin coverage map
- ↑ TomTom Map availability
- Colombia: Visa and Passport requirements | World Travel Guide
- Health Information for Travelers to Colombia - Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Colombia travel guides at wikivoyage
- Colombia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Colombia Overland | Overland Sphere Overland travelers currently in Colombia