Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

The Ultimate Cruisers' Planning Tool


You are here: Home / Countries / Colombia
By No owner — last modified Feb 22, 2018 12:22 PM

 Colombia - General Info

Time Zone

UTC -5 (daytime saving -4)

Yachting Essentials

Voltage: 110 V

Frequency: 60 Hz


Peso (COP) of 100 centavos. A maximum of 500 pesos can be exported and not more than 60 COP exchanged on departure.

The Peso varies its exchange rate with the US dollar. For example, in late 2009 it was 2350 peso's to the dollar. In 2012 1820 peso's to the dollar. So, if you agree on having work done on your boat here, it's advisable to somehow lock in the final price.

Travellers' cheques are difficult to change – and as of late-2017, may not be accepted anymore – as reportedly there are many forged American Express travellers' cheques in circulation. It is also difficult to change pounds sterling: US dollars are preferred, particularly smaller notes such as US$20 bills. The exchange rate on actual dollars, however, is quite poor (also, a steep fee may be added) so you may want to either arrange for a bank transfer or get your money out of the ATM's.

Use great care when banking here, especially outside of the centro area. Perhaps use a taxi for return trips to your boat if handling large amounts of cash, or use ATM’s and work with smaller sums of money. ATM's are extremely common. In a bank others may see you counting out large sums or you may be marked as a good target.

It is perhaps a good idea to have more than one credit card in case of emergencies and to have copies of your passport.

Cash is necessary in some areas because credit cards may not be accepted.


International Dialing code for Colombia is +57.

RangeRoamer provides short-term cell phone service for international travelers. Buy, Rent, or use your own cell phone.

Northwest Caribbean Net, 1400 UTC 6209 USB, alternates 6212 and 6516, 7 days/wk. Generally covers Providencia north to Mexico on the Carib side, including Providencia, San Andreas, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and the Caymans. They often follow boats all the way home to Key West through Galveston on the US coast, and sometimes boats heading south will continue to check in down to Panama, but not often.

Diplomatic Missions


Emergencies - 119


IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for users via World Cruising Club

Colombia to Rio Dulce Cruising Guide
Authors: Amaia Agirre & Frank Virgintino (May 2016)
Available free at
Covers the coast of Colombia, The San Blas Islands, the off lying islands of
Colombia (San Andres and Providencia), the Moskito coast, the Cape at Gracias a Dios and the Hobbies, the islands of Honduras and finally the Rio Dulce River (Guatemala).

Sailing the Caribbean Coast of Colombia
By Constance Elson of SV Tashtego (compiled in 2011)
See report here for further details. Also includes an information guide to Santa Marta.

A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South - the Many Facets of Caribbean Cruising
Author: Frank Virgintino
Published by Lulu: September 2013
ISBN 9781304133847
Roughly 200 pages long, the Guide addresses everything North American sailors need to know to get to the Caribbean safely through a discussion of various routes from North America to the Caribbean as well as a discussion of the entire Caribbean – which the author breaks down into four quadrants.
Available at Kindle as well as all other EPub bookstores
Now available as Free download at:
See Noonsite reviews here

Pacific Coast of Colombia - A Guide to the Lesser Known Coast
By Eric Baicy & Sherrell Watson (Jan 2011)
A free, online publication, to this part of the coast.

Cruising Guide to Colombia (2012)
Researched, written, and assembled by Omar Bechara and his daughter Samantha Bechara.
Produced by the government and distributed free via marinas, bookstores and other nautical venues. Contains nautical charts of most Colombian waters, including San Andres and Providencia. Includes information regarding new marinas in Santa Marta and Barranquilla, as well as information on other marinas like Club Nautico and Club de Pesca in Cartagena. 271 page guide in Spanish and English.
This guide is not available to download as it is so large. A more permanent solution as to where to host the guide online is being investigated, however in the meantime contact Miguel Angel Franco Hossain of the Tourism office for a copy.

Colombia Tourist Information
Colombia's Official Travel Guide

Sailing to Columbia from Jamaica
By Trimaran Naga

Sailing the Caribbean Coast of Colombia
By Constance Elson for the Caribbean Compass - September 2011

Colombian Nautical Tourist Guide
Published online by the Colombian Government (2014)
In Spanish only, but contains some very useful large scale charts.

Jacaranda Journey
Chuck Houlihan & Linda Edeiken left San Diego in 2005 and spent 7 years cruising Mexico. In 2013 they headed south and have since explored Central America and South America with plans to explore Chile in 2015. Their blog has excellent passage notes and trip reports, including lots of information for Colombia.

Update History

December 2017: All Caribbean Coast ports checked and updated per Frank V.
April 2017: Clearance section and some marinas updated.
March 2017: Security section updated once more following violent attack on cruising boat - reported by CSSN.
November 2015: Security section updated following incident in Taganga Bay, Santa Marta.
June 2015: Publications checked.
March 2015: New ruling re. TIP application and owner permission passed on by Felipe Trauttmansdor.
February 2015: Formalities and Fees updated with assistance from Marina Santa Marta and ProColombia.
November 2012: Further formalities update from Sue & Andy Warman of SY Spruce
July 2012: Added link to detailed report from Sue & Andy Warman of SY Spruce
May 2012: Updated Clearance, Customs and Regulations with information from Pedro Faria.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.

Please E-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Feb 22, 2018 12:22 PM

Report from Mary Bock

Regarding TIP.
We are using an agent, that is OK with us.
However, it is costing 1700.00. USD
Something to do with this being the second year our boat is here.

Lizevans says:
Jan 05, 2018 02:19 AM

I would like to advise cruisers who need to receive spares into Santa Marta not to use DHL as they do not acknowledge the 'Vessel in Transit' status and charge the import duty and local VAT which are 29% in total plus high currency uplift.
Advice is to use FedEx and keep the value of shipment under US$1000.00.
Have the package delivered c/o Marina Santa Marta and ask the friendly office staff to point out to the FedEx delivery person the 'Vessel in Transit' status of the shipment, to avoid paying the import taxes.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 26, 2016 03:10 PM

Posted on behalf of Evan Gatehouse & Diane Selkirk (Canadian Cruisers):

We got a surprise when visiting Cartagena recently. Because Canada's government charges a fee to Colombias for a biometric identity check when they apply for a visa, Columbia charges Canadians a "reciprocity" visa fee. It's 171,000 pesos (about $85 CDN) each and we got a nice official sticker in our passports to prove it. Otherwise we loved Cartagena.

More details in this older news report.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 31, 2016 02:07 PM

Posted on behalf of Javier Palacios Fenech:

1 - Stolen Caribe dinghy with Yamaha motor in Islas del Rosario, Isla grande. Thieves from Baru go at the weekends to Rosario Islands. Many related events there in the last few weeks. Thefts on the rise.
2 - Bureaucracy getting worse and more expensive for boaters in Colombia. Get ready to pay 200 Euros to enter the country for import permits and so many more permits to feed the agent and Colombia bureaucracy.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 26, 2016 08:25 PM

Posted by Scuppers under San Andres:
I used Julian Watson from Agenport as my clearance agent. I cannot say enough great things about Julian. He speaks great English, answers all e-mails quickly, he met me at the wharf on arrival to sort the clearance and even showed me around town on his scooter to get my bearings. He was always on time and never kept me waiting. He also organised good tradesmen for work that I required onboard and even stayed for translation as my Spanish is minimum. He is professional and does all this with a big smile on his face. Thanks Julian, we couldn't have achieved what we did without you. I would highly recommend Julian and will definately be using him again.
E-mail: [email protected]
Ph: 3204899772
VHF: 16

Keith Pomeroy
Keith Pomeroy says:
Oct 09, 2015 07:11 PM

Recently entered Colombia at Santa Marta, we would like to give a big recommendation to Dino of csc-shipping agency. [email protected] Dion is prompt efficient and wealth of knowledge. Santa Marta is an excellent stop with major hiking opportunities and travel. Email him before you com or ask for him when you arrive.

eaudree96 says:
Oct 21, 2017 12:32 PM

I did the opertation with the PNH coast guard that day. I worked for the UN. The women on the boat had no ID plus crew did not check in with immigration. THATS THE REAL STORY

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 14, 2015 06:58 PM

Posted on behalf of Frank VIrgintino from Marina Zarpar, DR:
13 February 2015
We have received a few boats, the most recent today, Canadian flagged, that sailed directly from Cartagena to Ile a Vache Haiti. I have never heard of boats being boarded by the authorities in Haiti, but in this case, the Haitian Coast Guard assisted by what appears to be United Nations military or police, boarded the boat and retained the owner and crew a number of days while the boat endured extensive checking.
I would recommend that boats coming from Colombia to Haiti, clear first at Jamaica at Port Antonio before proceeding east to Haiti.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 05, 2015 01:36 PM

Colombia Cruising Guide: A PDF copy of the Colombia Cruising Guide in Spanish and English can be downloaded from the following link: - note this is a large file (300MB).

Gerard  Van der Horst
Gerard Van der Horst says:
Jan 20, 2015 03:31 AM

Prices has gone up for "clearance" in januari 2015 due to transportcosts of the officials to visit the harbour or your yacht to be payed by the yachtowner(new 1/1/2015). And there is an Ebola check now so also ICA (ministery of agriculture) is involved now. Totalprice (up to 2 month stay) has gone up to us$280-$350 ( jan 2015) Agent costs are just about $100. It really is a lot of work.(23 forms) White Light agency (Manfred +57 311 400 6394) in Cartagena did his work well. You have to show up several times( different days) to sign papers If you are with a group of several yachts you can negotiate as "travelcost" and " propinia" can be shared.
We sailed from Aruba with next port of call "Cartagena". We stopped 4 to 5 times in Colombia and even were visited by the coastguard for " inspection" No trouble at all". Do not say "your motor broke down" or they order a mechanic for repairs. Only the captain can decide or he is too tired or it is blowing too hard) We were 3 weeks on route to Cartagena. We did not stop in Santa Marta but just anchored in Taganga 2 miles north and went by public bus. If you cleare in in Santa Marta (Marina is also Agency to clear you in now) you have to pay again in Cartagena only for the Port registry and Agent fee in Cartagena).(Cartagena portcontrol have an AIS receiver and sent you a request to contact them) . Nb The port captain legally only deal with agents. Other officials can be done by yourselves but i certainly do NOT recommend this as is see how time consuming this is (days) even for a proffesional as your agent
!!! White light Acency gave us a sound bill with all costs specified). Nb the noonsit info " New Fees" dates from november 2011 so is not up to date anymore!)

wiphepfer says:
Jul 20, 2014 11:45 PM

contractor recommendation
we had recently 3 month refit of a 85 ft motor yacht, all new paintsyainless steelwork , new teak decks , hydraulic piping , anchor and chain galvanizing
work was very satisfactory done by " Cartagena Caribbean Boat Repair",
[email protected]
tel0057 318 272 2458
Alvaro is an american trained manager , fluent in english, always on time , and gets the impossible done , reliable and honest
i was there 3 years ago and got already some good work done
all prices are app. one third of the USA standard
300ton new travel lift available
wip hepfer
m/y contina

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 07, 2014 02:06 PM

Just to let you know we are now hosting both the Colombia Tourism's Cruising Guide Book as well as our Pacific Lesser Known Coast of Colombia cruising guides on our website:
The tourism's book is a massive 300Mb so we encourage only people who really plan on cruising there to download it. Otherwise it costs us a lot to host such a big file.
Eric & Sherrell - SV Sarana

kairos48 says:
May 02, 2014 10:05 PM

When arriving in Colombia you must use an agent to clear in and out. You cannot do this on your own. I cleared in at Providencia and I would like to take the opportunity to recommend Bernardo from the "Bush Agency" email: [email protected] or go directly to his office in town after you anchor in the bay. He is easy to find, from the dingy dock (next to the commercial dock) turn right and go to the only intersection, make a left and walk a couple of hundred yards...his office is above his store on the right side of the street. Mr. Bush provided me with a friendly, professional and easy clearances. Not only did he handle my entry into Colombia and my exit for San Andreas but he was most helpful with my Temporary Import Permit. He did not charge me for the TIP and made arrangements for me to pick it up in San Andreas with Mr. Rene who was also quite helpful. Mr. Bush speaks English excellently and his fees were totally transparent. Mr Bush does a great job and gets it done quickly. The reports of long waiting times were not what I experienced at all. If you go to Provedencia, Mr. Bush is the agent to see.

peterdstokes says:
Feb 17, 2014 02:25 PM

Arrived at IGY marina in Santa Marta on Nov 1st 2013 and stayed until mid January 2014 whilst we travelled extensively in Columbia and Ecuador. We had the marina highly recommended to us and we also had our agent Dino also highly recommended and both were absolutely right. The staff at the marina were courteous, friendly and very helpful at all times, and facilities were excellent with showers, laundry, lounge and clean toilets.
Dino was superb. He handled all the customs and immigration requirements efficiently and effectively, keeping us informed throughout, and even attempted to teach us Spanish! Sorry we weren't such good pupils Dino!
Santa Marta is a great base to travel from in this corner of SA. Cartegena is one of the prettiest cities you could imagine, but make sure to stay in the old town. Bogota is a 'must', very cosmopolitan, with many museums (particularly the Gold Museum), opera house and much more - get a guide, it's a good investment.
Barichara is a short flight and taxi ride from Bogota but is another 'must see' place. Stay in one of the fabulous little boutique guest houses, and do the walk from there to Guane - fantastic!
We moved on to Ecuador to do Quito, Cotopaxi, and a week in the Yasuni National Park experiencing pristine Amazonian rainforest - stupendous! Then easy trip back to Santa Marta via Bogota.

Peter and Helen
S/V Common Crossing
Tatyana 48cc

Mainland - Caribbean Coast
Mainland - Pacific Coast
Off Lying Islands Caribbean
Off Lying Islands Pacific
Main Ports
Local Customs
Clearance Agents
General Info
Time Zone
Yachting Essentials
Opening Hours
Diplomatic Missions
Update History
American Samoa
Antigua & Barbuda
Ascension Island
BIOT (Chagos)
British Virgin Islands
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
El Salvador
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Hong Kong
Ivory Coast
Juan Fernandez Islands
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Myanmar (Burma)
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Palau (Belau)
Papua New Guinea
Pitcairn Island
Puerto Rico
Reunion Island
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone
Sint Maarten
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Turks & Caicos
US Virgin Islands
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Wallis and Futuna
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Related Reports
Report Icon

Colombia, Cartagena: Outboard & fuel tank theft - February 2018 (28 Feb 2018)

Cartagena - Reports from Cruisers

Cartagena - Reports from Cruisers (23 Jan 2018)

Report Icon

Honduras/Nicaragua border: Piracy - October 2017 (31 Oct 2017)

Colombia, Caribbean Coast, Santa Marta: Feedback from Cruisers

Colombia, Caribbean Coast, Santa Marta: Feedback from Cruisers (15 Apr 2017)

Report Icon

Colombia, Isla Baru : Armed Boarding & Robbery - March 2017 (16 Mar 2017)

Report Icon

Honduras: Offshore Piracy, 20 miles off Gordo Bank - January 2017 (20 Jan 2017)

Report Icon

Colombia, Islas del Rossario, Isla Grande: Boarded & Attacked - July 2016 (14 Jul 2016)

Report Icon

Nicaragua, north of Isla Providencia (Colombia): Attempted Boarding - January 2016 (31 Jan 2016)

Report Icon

Colombia, Santa Marta, Taganga Bay: Armed Boarding and Robbery - November 2015 (28 Nov 2015)

Report Icon

Colombia, Islas del Rossario: Dutch yacht boarded and crew member killed - September 2015 (20 Sep 2015)

Report Icon

Colombia, Cartagena: Attempted Dingy Theft - March 2015 (23 Mar 2015)

Report Icon

Colombia, Islas del Rossario, Isla Grande: Outboard theft - December 2014 (23 Dec 2014)

Cartagena	 de Indias: Leaving a boat for a long period of time

Cartagena de Indias: Leaving a boat for a long period of time (19 Jun 2014)

Report Icon

Sailing Advisory North West Coast of Caribbean Colombia (10 Jun 2014)

Caribbean Coast, nr Barranquilla: New Marina at Puerto Velero

Caribbean Coast, nr Barranquilla: New Marina at Puerto Velero (19 Sep 2013)

Cartagena, Club Nautico: An update on renovations

Cartagena, Club Nautico: An update on renovations (15 Aug 2013)

Report Icon

Colombia, Catalina on Isla Providencia: Cruisers' Experiences (05 Aug 2013)

Report Icon

Colombia, Cienaga de Cholon: Attempted dinghy theft - July 2013 (28 Jul 2013)

Four weeks cruising Providencia, San Andres and Cayo Albuquerque

Four weeks cruising Providencia, San Andres and Cayo Albuquerque (11 Jun 2013)

Report Icon

Colombia Cruising Notes (29 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

Colombian Formalities and Procedures - Our Understanding after 10 weeks Cruising (12 Nov 2012)

Report Icon

Colombia, Santa Marta, Taganga Bay: Armed Boarding and Robbery - September 2012 (01 Oct 2012)

Report Icon

Cruising the Magdalena Region of Colombia – Santa Marta, Taganga Bay and Tayrona Park (28 May 2012)

Report Icon

Selden Mast Recall - Our Experience (04 May 2012)

Report Icon

Five Bays - a restricted anchorage (05 Apr 2012)

Report Icon

Caribbean Colombia: Cruisers Own Guide (02 Feb 2012)

Report Icon

Santa Marta Updates (16 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

New Fees for Formalities in Colombia (20 Nov 2011)

Report Icon

Planning to Cruise Central America? (11 Sep 2011)

Report Icon

Cruising Colombia West Coast (22 Aug 2011)

Report Icon

New Free Caribbean Cruising Guide - A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South (23 Jul 2011)

Report Icon

Lessons we learnt in Colombia (18 Apr 2011)

Report Icon

Sailing the Northern Colombia Coast (18 Feb 2011)

Report Icon

Update to the Warning Regarding the Entrance to Boca Grande Channel, Cartagena, Colombia (16 Jan 2011)

Report Icon

Colombia: Cartagena - Security Update October 2010 (22 Oct 2010)

Report Icon

Colombia: Cartagena - Dinghy and Outboard Thefts 2010 Plus a Suggestion (17 Oct 2010)

Report Icon

Spanish for Cruisers - 2nd Edition (03 Jun 2010)

Report Icon

Colombia: Bahia Guyraca - Armed Attack & Robbery (03 Jun 2010)

Report Icon

Colombia: Cartagena - Dinghy and Outboard Theft (19 Apr 2010)

Report Icon

Colombia: Cartagena - Yacht Burgled at Anchor (19 Apr 2010)

Report Icon

Providencia - a Hidden Treasure (25 Feb 2010)

Report Icon

Cartagena - Owner of Restaurant La Carreta Killed (20 Feb 2010)

Report Icon

Venezuela to Canada (15 Sep 2009)

Report Icon

Free Cruising Guide for Colombia (03 Sep 2009)

Report Icon

Providencia Island at June 2009 (12 Aug 2009)

Report Icon

New charges and Fees in Colombia (11 Jun 2009)

Report Icon

Guide To Cruising the Colombia Coast (22 May 2009)

Report Icon

Doing Work On Your Boat In Cartagena (01 Nov 2007)

Report Icon

Cruising the coast of Colombia: Further Coastguard Security Information (14 Feb 2007)

Report Icon

Cruising Report on Sapzurro (15 Jan 2007)

Report Icon

Approaches To Cartagena Update (09 Oct 2006)

Report Icon

Cruising Bocas Del Toro to Cartagena (05 Aug 2005)

Report Icon

Approaches to Cartagena (16 Apr 2003)

Related News
Caribbean Safety & Security Net Launches Zoom-Tap, Know and Go

Caribbean Safety & Security Net Launches Zoom-Tap, Know and Go  (12 Jan 2018)

New year brings new adventures for World ARC rally circumnavigators

New year brings new adventures for World ARC rally circumnavigators  (08 Jan 2018)

CSSN Annual Report 2016 Reported Yacht Crime – Caribbean

CSSN Annual Report 2016 Reported Yacht Crime – Caribbean  (23 Feb 2017)

Sea Kidnappings Rise Despite Plummeting Global Piracy

Sea Kidnappings Rise Despite Plummeting Global Piracy   (06 Feb 2017)

Report Icon

Honduras: Three separate pirate attacks on cruising vessels in the past week  (22 Jan 2017)

Mexico/Central America: Pacific Weather Resource Update

Mexico/Central America: Pacific Weather Resource Update  (16 Oct 2016)

Colombia, Isla de San Andres: Dutch couple found dead; their yacht found upturned

Colombia, Isla de San Andres: Dutch couple found dead; their yacht found upturned  (04 Apr 2016)

2015 Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Forecast

2015 Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Forecast  (12 Apr 2015)

New NOAA East Pacific Experimental Forecasts now available

New NOAA East Pacific Experimental Forecasts now available  (27 Mar 2014)

Eastern Caribbean and now the Pacific: The Coconut Telegraph SSB Net extends its reach

Eastern Caribbean and now the Pacific: The Coconut Telegraph SSB Net extends its reach  (28 Feb 2014)

Pan Pacific Net needs Net Controllers

Pan Pacific Net needs Net Controllers  (24 Oct 2013)

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted  (23 May 2013)

The Caribbean Directory of Marine Services and Vendors launched this week

The Caribbean Directory of Marine Services and Vendors launched this week  (15 May 2013)

Report Icon

Colombia to Aruba: Missing Dutch Sailor on SY Jeri  (21 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

Colombia, Santa Marta, Taganga Bay: Armed Boarding and Robbery  (01 Oct 2012)

Report Icon

Caribbean Free Cruising Guides - New Editions  (04 Apr 2012)

Report Icon

Colombia, Cartagena - Fuel Problems  (29 Jul 2010)

Report Icon

Colombia, Cartagena - Spate of Dinghy & Outboard Thefts  (23 Feb 2010)

Report Icon

Cartagena, Colombia: Yacht Attacked by Pirates (Update)  (07 Dec 2009)

Report Icon

Cruising Yacht Kersti sinks on route to Cartagena  (03 Dec 2009)

Report Icon

New Fees for Colombia - Updated  (18 Jun 2009)

Report Icon

Ecuador’s Puerto Lucia Provides A Perfect Base En Route to the South Seas  (05 Sep 2003)

Report Icon

Updated advice for boats sailing through piracy areas  (19 Aug 2002)