ViaHero · October 21, 2018
Whether you’re jonesing to explore some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, take an action-packed family vacation through the Amazon, or indulge in an off-the-beaten-path coffee expedition, Colombia is the place to do it. And best of all, the vaccines you need to explore Colombia are incredibly common (spoiler: you probably already have most of them)—so staying healthy in this Latin paradise is far easier than you think. Read on to learn all about the vaccinations you need for Colombia; afterward, if you still have any questions, be sure to message us directly!
You probably have all your necessary vaccines already
Before you travel anywhere, you should make sure you’re up to date on all your routine vaccinations: MMR, tetanus, chickenpox, polio, as well as your yearly flu shot. If you’ve been to public school or worked a government job in the last 25 years, you most likely have them already. The CDC also recommends that travelers to Colombia get the common hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines as well, since these illnesses can be transmitted through food and water regardless of where you choose to stay.
If you like adventure, you may need more than just the routine inoculations
If you’re staying in one of Colombia’s major cities like Bogota, Medellin, or Cartagena, you’re fine with the routine inoculations listed above; that being said, if you plan on venturing off the beaten path, the CDC recommends getting your malaria, yellow fever, and rabies vaccines as well. Additionally, if you’re thinking of commemorating your vivacious vacation with some old-fashioned body ink, make sure to get your hepatitis B vaccine—hep B can be transmitted through needles, and as tattoo parlors are not as mainstream in Colombia as they are in the US, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Talk to your trip planner about what they have in store for you, so you know which vaccines to ask your doctor for!
Buzz off, mosquitos: Zika isn’t found above 6,500 feet
Since the Zika outbreak in 2015, the world has been watching and waiting for a cure. Colombia happens to be one of the countries at risk, and unfortunately, there is no vaccine. However, there is good news: mosquitos—and thus the virus—do not live at altitudes above 6,500 feet. This means that travelers to cities such as Bogota (8,660 feet) are, according to the CDC, at minimal risk. If you’re pregnant or may become so, be sure to check with your doctor before traveling anywhere—and don’t hesitate to read more about staying safe in Colombia!
Colombia has one of the top healthcare systems in the world
You’ll be shocked at how incredible Colombia’s healthcare system is; in fact, the WHO recently ranked it 22nd in the world—far above Canada at #30 and the USA at #37! Colombians also praise how affordable their healthcare is, so don’t worry about emptying your wallet if something unthinkable happens. And since the Colombian government recommends visitors get travel insurance that includes both health and emergency care, between your insurance and Colombia’s comprehensive healthcare system, you’re absolutely covered!