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Colombia

MedicalTourism colombia

Colombia Medical Tourism

Colombia Medical Tourism

Located in northwestern South America, Colombia is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean, to the northwest by Panama, to the north by the Caribbean Sea, to the south by Ecuador and Peru, and to the east by Brazil and Venezuela. The country is also a former colony of Spain that gained its independence in 1819. However, Spain has left its mark on the country in terms of architecture and culture. Colombia is a diverse country with significant populations of Mestizo (European and Amerindian), European, Mulatto (European and African), African, Middle Eastern, Amerindian, and Zambo (African and Amerindian) cultures. This diverse tapestry of ethnicities translates to varied cuisines, cultural practices, and some of the most beautiful people in the world. Also, Colombia’s geographical diversity matches that of its ethnic diversity in that the country is home to part of the Andes Mountain Range, the Amazon Rainforest, tropical grasslands, and the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. In terms of ecology, Colombia is in the top four of the world’s 18 mega diverse countries as labeled by the United Nations Environment Program.

Although Colombia has had a tumultuous and violent past, the murder rate is almost half of what it was in the 1990’s. The FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army) and other guerrilla groups have lost control of many areas and are often relegated to the wilderness, far from major cities, highways, and tourist sites. However, it is strongly advised that tourists not wander into isolated forests because kidnappings, although rare, do happen. Also, use caution especially in Bogota, because robberies do still happen.

Colombia Medical Tourism Fame

Known for its beautiful people, Colombia is home to some of the best cosmetic surgeons in the world. Even though the salaries of Colombian doctors are a fraction of those in the U.S., they are required to have to same level of internationally recognized education and job skills. Aside from the skills of the doctors themselves, the Colombian government has invested a considerable amount of money into improving the country’s medical infrastructure in order to provide a safe and tourist friendly environment for health travelers. Bogota is the location of many of the country’s best hospitals and specialty medical centers, however there are world class medical facilities in Medellin, San Fernando, and the coastal town of Cartagena that cater to medical tourists.

Popular procedures sought in Colombia are cosmetic, gynecology, stem cell therapy, addiction treatments, neurology, endocrinology, otolaryngology (ENT), dental, eye, laser treatments, cardiology, transplants, medical checkups, and fertility treatments.

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Language

The official language of Colombia is Spanish, however English is understood in tourist areas.

Climate

Because of Colombia’s complex geographical and altitudinal factors, there is no universal pattern of seasons. However, because the country lies close to the equator, the average temperature varies little during the year, but it does vary with altitude. The general rule is that temperatures fall about 11oF (6oC) with every 3,280 feet (1,000 meters). For example, the average temperature in Bogota, which is 8,359 feet (2,548 meters) above sea level, ranges from 54oF to 56oF (12oC to 13oC) year round. The average temperature in Medellin, which is 4,917 feet (1,499 meters) above sea level, ranges from 71oF to 76oF (22oC to 24oC). Also, the climate is split into two seasons: the summer dry season and the winter wet season and depending on the location, the wet and dry seasons fall on different months. 

Visa / Entrance Requirements

U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days in Colombia, however a valid passport is required. You must ask for the maximum of 90 days at immigration otherwise they will stamp 30 or 60 days on your passport. Also, visitors are allowed one (1) 30 day extension for $25, which can be obtained at the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS). Be sure that you receive both an entry and an exit stamp, otherwise if you try to depart the country without an entry stamp you will have to pay a $60 fine and get a salvoconducto (safe conduct) clearance from the DAS office, and if you return to the country with no exit stamp you will have similar problems at immigration.

Airlines Servicing this Destination

Colombia has many airports, but the ones most pertinent for medical tourists are:

  • > Bogota-El Dorado International Airport (BOG)
  • Medellin-Olaya Herrera (MDE)
  • Cartagena-Rafael Nuñez (CTG)

The following airlines have flights to Colombia:

  • Jet Blue
  • Spirit Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Avianca Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • Delta
  • Mexicana
  • COPA
  • AeroMexico
  • LACSA
  • Air Canada
  • US Airways
  • United

Hotels

A room in a budget hotel, hostel, or a guesthouse usually costs no more than $15 USD per person per night, but some are more expensive and can be as high as $30 USD per person per night. In Bogota, a room in a 3 star hotel costs between $90 and $180 USD per night for a double occupancy room. Hotels in Medellin are cheaper than Bogota while hotels in Cartagena are more expensive. In recent years, luxury dwellings have sprouted up throughout Colombia that offer spectacular views of the ocean, city skyline, and/or mountains. A highly ranked 5 star hotel starts at $120 USD per night.

Currency

The currency of Colombia is the Peso (COP).

The exchange rate of U.S. dollars to Colombian pesos is $1 USD to 2,020 COP (exchange rate subject to change).

Communicating Home

The international access code for Colombia is 57.

Area codes in Colombia include:

Armenia

6

Cartagena

5

Neiva

8

Barranquilla

5

Cucuta

7

Palmira

2

Bogota

1

Ibague

8

Pereira

6

Bucaramanga

7

Manizales

6

Santa Marta

5

Cali

2

Medellin

4

Villavicencio

8

In order to call Colombia from the U.S. or Canada you must dial 011 (exit code), then 57 (country code for Colombia), then the area code (one digit), and then the phone number (seven digits).

To call a cell phone in Colombia from the U.S. or Canada you must dial 011 + 57 + area code (three digits, begins with the number 3) + phone number (7 digits).

In order to call the U.S. or Canada from Colombia you must dial 00X* + 1 + area code + phone number.

*X is the carrier code and can be: 444 (Comcel), 5 (Orbitel), 7 (ETB), 9 (Telefonica). For example dialing from Colombia using carrier Telefonica: 00X = 009.

Cyber-cafes are widely available in major cities and towns. Many hotels and private hospitals throughout the country offer Broadband Internet connection.

Emergency Telephone Numbers

U.S. Embassy in Bogota: (1)315-0811

Sightseeing

Culturally and ecologically speaking, Colombia’s diversity is unmatched by many and the country has a variety of cultural and green-friendly activities for the whole family. The naturalist will enjoy the Tatacoa Desert, which is the second largest dry area in the country and has one of Colombia’s most attractive natural landscapes. Also, Colombia has many natural parks scattered throughout the country including Amacayacu and El Tuparro in the Amazon region; Los Flamencos and Sierra Nevada in the Caribbean region; Gorgona and Malpelo in the Pacific region; and Chingaza and Iguaque in the Andean (mountain) region. There are a wide range of natural activities to be explored including bird watching, diving, cave tours, and, with over 1,181 miles (1,900 km) of coastline, basking in the sun on one of Colombia’s over 300 beaches. Cartegena, Choco, Providencia Island, and Santa Marta are popular beach destinations for tourists and natives alike. Colombia is also home to many archeological parks that house the remnants of pre-Hispanic cultures, both living and extinct. Tierradentro, San Agustin, Facatativa, and Alto de los Idolos are popular archeological parks.

For those who prefer the hustle and bustle of city life as opposed to the tranquility and solitude of the countryside will find Colombia quite satisfying. Of course the capital city of Bogota has much to offer from European-influenced colonial edifices and contemporary skyscrapers to posh cafes and entertainment venues. Barrio La Candelaria is the city’s oldest district and is home to museums, a university, and churches. Parque de la 93 is the most exclusive neighborhoods in the city, and Centro Internacional is an important trading and shopping area. El Salitre is characterized by many parks and greenery, and is the location of an interactive science center and the botanical garden. Avenida Chile is one of the main business sectors, and El Campin is an important place for entertainment and sports.

Shopping

Shopaholics will be delighted to hear that there are over 70 large shopping centers scattered throughout Bogota that sell a variety of goods at a variety of prices; from indigenous pieces to high end western brand clothing and electronics. For all of you jewelry lovers, note that Colombia is the largest producer of emeralds in the world. You can buy one for as little as $20 USD or as much as $1 million. It is advised that you buy only from reputable dealers in stores unless you are an expert because there are many unscrupulous dealers standing on corners waiting to sell you an emerald that they made to look better than it actually is (some scammers even polish glass with green dye). Also, it is just not safe to make such a transaction on the street. In terms of cost, Bogota has the most competitive prices for emeralds unlike Cartagena, which is generally 2 to 3 times more expensive. Other popular items sold in Colombia include coffee, gold, pottery, textiles, baskets, hammocks, antiques, and ceramics.

Nightlife and the Arts

In Bogota, Zona Rosa is considered the liveliest place for nightlife with La Calera coming in at a close second. In tourist resorts such as Cartagena and Medellin, there is also a thriving nightlife rife with casinos, clubs, and bars. In locations such as Zona Rosa with clubs practically on top of each other, all you have to do is walk around and you will find a place that fits your musical and ambient tastes (and your budget). Note that the party starts early because it ends early. Bars and clubs usually are closed by 1am.

Bogota is home to many museums, some common and some that feature not so common displays. On the common side of the coin, there is a plethora of art museums including the Museum of Colonial Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Church Museum of Santa Clara, the Bank of the Republic, and the National Museum of Colombia, which along with art also features, archeology, ethnography, and history. On the not so common side of the coin there is a Museum of Gold; and for families traveling with small children, there is a Children’s museum that gives lessons on science, technology, culture, and the arts.

There are many English language online news sources for Colombia including:

  • Colombia Reports
  • ColombiaNews.tv
  • 1st Headlines
  • Colombia Times
  • EIN News
  • Index Mundi
  • Inside America
  • MSN
  • News Now
  • One World
  • Topix

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Locations
  • Antioquia
  • atlantico
  • Bogota
  • Bogotá D.C.
  • Bolivar
  • Risaralda
  • Valle
Listed here are the popular providers in this destination. We have many other providers for the same destination. Please submit a quote request to get more information about the same.
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Alan González Cirugía Plástica y Tratamientos Estéticos

Location: Bogota, Colombia  
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Dermatologia

Location: Risaralda, Colombia  
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Estetica dental avanzada

Location: Valle, Colombia  
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Gastropak

Location: Bolivar, Colombia  
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International Smiles

Location: Antioquia, Colombia  
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International Smiles

Location: antioquia, Colombia  
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International Smiles

Location: Antioquia, Colombia  
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La Misericordia Clinica Internacional (LMCI)

Location: atlantico, Colombia  
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MARIA CONSTANZA RODRIGUEZ M.D.

Location: Bogotá D.C., Colombia  
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Rafael H. Arias

Location: Valle, Colombia  
Specialties: BARIATRIC SURGERY, ... more  

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