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Bienvenido: Why Colombia is one of the easiest places to travel right now

Nov. 15, 2021
6 min read
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If you are looking for an international destination you can visit right now with ease, I highly recommend Colombia. I just arrived Thursday night, and Colombia has some the easiest entry rules you will find.

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Colombia entry requirements

Current requirements only call for all visitors to complete the online pre-travel registration form "Check-Mig" within one to 24 hours before their flight departure time, wear a mask at all times in public and wash their hands on a consistent basis.

You may be able to fill out the forms as early as 48 hours before your flight, but I'd wait to 24 hours just to be safe.

Further details are available here.

Related: Country-by-country guide to coronavirus reopening

Booking

(Screenshot courtesy government of Colombia)

Colombia is one of my favorite countries in the world. I've been to Medellin several times over the years because one of my best friends is half Colombian, and I've spent weeks with her and her family there. Yet, I'd still never been to Bogota or Cartagena. When a deal popped up to fly to Bogota in Delta One Suites during the height of the pandemic for November 2021, I jumped on it.

Related: The best times to visit Colombia

At the time, I thought that I'd surely be back in New York by the time of the flight — ha. In the months since the trip was booked from New York, it became clear I'd have to position from my temporary home base in Montana to make it happen. Fortunately, doing that offered me the chance to visit our reopened TPG New York offices, so I decided to keep the trip.

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Registering 24 hours before your flight

(Screenshot courtesy government of Colombia)

The process to register before your flight is pretty simple, but here are the step-by-step directions. You simply go to "colombia.travel/en/covid-19-information" and click on the "migracioncolombia.gov.co" link.

Then, click on the "Check-Mig" banner and follow the screens. You can see the process below.

(Screenshot courtesy Colombian government)
(Screenshots courtesy government of Colombia)

It's pretty self-explanatory. The only thing that tripped me up for a moment was that I couldn't find United States in the drop-down menu. Be aware it shows up in Spanish as "Estados Unidos."

You will get a printed copy of the form, but I never needed to show that document.

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Checking in

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Talk about drama-free. I was able to check-in for my flight the day before with zero issues. When I got to the Sky Priority check-in area at Terminal 4 at JFK, the agent told me I didn't even need to check in with an agent.

I showed my boarding pass as normal at the Clear lane and was through security in about 15 minutes without even having to take out my passport.

Frankly, it made me nervous how easy it was, so I went to the service desk in the Delta lounge. The agent verified I was good to go with no document checks necessary.

At the gate

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

There were no document checks at the gate, either. When I double-checked with the agent at the gate, I was told she didn't need to see anything more from me.

Interestingly, there were also no document checks (or even any information given out about entry requirements) on the flight.

Related: A review of the W Bogota

Arrival into Colombia

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

I expected a cursory interview about COVID-19 when I arrived, but my experience was more like pre-COVID-19 times when you just walked up to immigration and showed your passport.

The immigration agent asked me where I was staying and for how long — that was it. My passport was stamped, and I was welcomed to Colombia. I even asked her if she wanted to see the form I had filled out, but she said she didn't need it.

Related: Reasons Bogota should be on your bucket list

Customs did ask if I had anything to declare, but when I said no, I was free to leave the terminal.

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

There were no other hoops. It was so easy and totally drama-free.

Bottom line

Related: What it's like visiting French Polynesia right now

If you'd like to visit a country where you don't need to worry about COVID-19 entry requirements, then Colombia is the one for you. Traveling there was easier than visiting some states I've been to during the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: Best South American cities to use your points

Sunset in Colombia in November 2021. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Do note, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Colombia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Featured image by (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees