Dear Agency Partners,
Colombia opened its borders on September 21 with clear requirements on bio protocols. I have some new logistics to share with you about that but, first, let me show you this really cool video. The Spirit of Big Five Foundation has been helping Cartagena Unida feed 30,000 families in the areas around Cartagena, but now our next step is helping those citizens find work in tourism to become self-sustaining.
The revamped catamaran experience is part of that and it begins with the garbage. You read that right. We collect red mangrove seeds that are discarded, wash them and take them out to the islands, allowing the seeds to dry in the tropical sun along the way. These seeds are planted in the islands where mangroves are required to rehabilitate the fertile ground. The process involves hiring local fishermen and deck hands from islands that our foundation has been delivering groceries to, like Bocachica and Tierra Bomba, so they can earn a fair wage through tourism to provide for their families without help from Cartagena Unida. This is what sailing with a purpose looks like. This unique experience can be added to any visit to Cartagena. Any catamaran experience already booked will automatically include this experience.
Now for the logistics. Initially, a Covid PCR negative test was required to enter along with registration on the local immigration site for entry and exit. In early November that changed with the PCR requirement being dropped. That means to enter Colombia now, a Covid test is no longer required. However, you must register on the immigration website prior to check in. This is available up to 24 hours before your flight. It’s a good idea to do it then as it asks for your flight information, passport info, contact number, and, most importantly, where you are staying. This is checked prior to checking in at the airport, so make sure you have available a screen shot of the acknowledgement or the email receipt after completion. This will be checked prior to check in, at check in, before boarding, and on arrival at immigration. When you depart Colombia it’s the same form, this time for exit, also done, we recommend, 24 hours prior to flying. Just like your arrival, this is checked before even entering the airport, at check in, and again at boarding. Here is the link to the immigration website. Please bookmark this for your convenience – https://apps.migracioncolombia.gov.co/pre-registro/public/preregistro.jsf
While in country, masks are required. As a WTTC Safe Travel certified company, we have all our hygiene protocol in place including alcohol sprays for your hands, shoes, and even your luggage. The experience in Cartagena, which is the most prepared city in Colombia right now, is quite good.
The city limits entry for locals is based on the end of their ID numbers. At each place, including all hotel and restaurant entrances, it is not only your temperature but also your ID number that is recorded. This protocol is in place to only record anyone with a high temp, and also as a procedure that allows contact tracing.
I know this sounds like a lot but it’s worth it to come back to Colombia, your home.