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ColombiaColombia

Colombia

Colombia is located in South America and has a population of 45 million people. Colombia has had a bad reputation in the past, but now has a growing middle class and some say the best universities and healthcare in South America. Colombia has an abundance of natural beauty to offer with mountains, coastline and jungle to explore. It is also home to a rich history with a number of archaeological sites. Colombia has become a leading attraction for both American and European medical tourists. The official language is Spanish, however some English, French, German and Italian are also spoken, more so in the tourist areas.

Medical tourism

Colombia offers a range of service providers with the most popular procedures being in the Cosmetic and Laser Eye surgery. They also have a large number of facilities that cater to Dental, Hair transplants Obesity treatments and Orthopedic procedures. See the box to the right to view a full list of available treatment areas.

Best time to travel

Colombia's tropical climate varies very little throughout the year, with two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season. These vary depending on the part of the country you are in, but generally the rainy season lasts from May through to November. The best time to visit Colombia is between December and March or July through to August. Prices may rise in the busier periods from late December to mid-January and mid-June through to mid-July.

Money and costs

The currency in Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP, symbol Col$) and can generally go a long way when travelling on the USA dollar, Euro or UK pound. Find up-to-date exchange rates and conversion through a currency conversion tool. Once in Colombia, the USA dollar is the easiest to exchange. A mid-range traveller can expect to spend 58,300COP and above per day. Also, the resort areas of Colombia are said to offer great package deals.

Visas

Travellers from most countries can enter Colombia for up to 180 days. If you wish to extend your stay, you can apply for a 30-day extension from the DAS (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad).

Getting there

While the main airport for Colombia is El Dorado airport in Bogota, international flights also fly to/from Cartagena, Barranquilla, Medellin and Cali. Visitors can get direct flights to Colombia from the USA, Canada and Europe. Those travelling from Australia and Asia will have to change flights either in North, South or Central America. Air France, British Airways, Continental, American Airlines, Coppa and KLM are just a few of the airlines that service Colombia.

Dialling codes

To call Colombia, the country dialling code is +57.

Useful links

Find more in-depth information on Colombia at:

Lonely Planet - www.lonelyplanet.com/​colombia

Columbia Tourism - www.colombia.travel/​en

Columbia Embassy in the USA - www.colombiaemb.org

Columbia Embassy in the UK - colombia.embassyhomepage.com

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Page last updated: Friday, 2nd September 2011