Cartagena Travel Requirements & Updates | COVID-19 Information

Posted by Ruben Sanchez on
Last Updated AUG/2021

For entry to Colombia 🇨🇴 It is not necessary show a negative PCR test for Covid-19. Check if your country of origin is requesting a NEGATIVE Test for your return trip.

Despite the health crisis brought by COVID-19, Cartagena has been gradually reactivated thanks to the efforts of the city's unions and, although it has not been an easy task, La Heroica is already showing tourism figures at the year's levels 2019 (pre-COVID). This is the result of the demanding filters and biosafety barriers that exist throughout the city, starting at the air terminal and during the travelers' stay.

Therefore, we continue to maintain biosecurity measures at the national and regional level, which protect Colombians and tourists from health risks. So, these are the measures in Cartagena that are in effect at this time (August 2021):

Curfew between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. with the exception of people who arrive in the city during those hours and those who work in special services

Mandatory use of surgical mask at the airport

Mandatory use of masks in public spaces, restaurants, common areas of hotels, public transport, convention centers, shops, among others.

Beach hours between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (This applies to public beaches, measurements on private beaches may vary) Currently, it is not necessary to present any type of COVID test to enter Cartagena, this applies for national and international flights, as well as the vaccination card (it is not a requirement to travel to Cartagena de Indias).


Although we have always defined suggested arrival times for our travelers, since 2020 with the arrival of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection put in force the resolution 777 of 2021 which stipulates that the time of arrival at the airport is as follows:

If you have a domestic flight from Cartagena, you must present yourself only 2 hours in advance at the Airport, not before. For international flights departing from Rafael Núñez, you must arrive at the airport a maximum of 3 hours before. For international flights arriving to Cartagena, travelers must register at Check-Mig and the only requirement in force as of August 2021 to enter Colombia, is the mandatory use of surgical masks or N-95, the use of cloth masks is not allowed. For travelers going to an international destination from Cartagena, these are the requirements:

United States: PCR or Antigens test with negative result even if you are vaccinated, make your registration in Check-Mig
Panama: all travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of arrival in Panama. Affidavit of Health ( registration here and Check-Mig.
Amsterdam: all passengers traveling to, from or through Schiphol airport are required by the Dutch government to fill out a health affidavit during check-in. Pre-boarding antigen test and RT-PCR valid for less than 72 hours.

Travelers and locals have the obligation to comply with all the measures keeping Cartagena as a Biosecure Paradise.

The new ruling additionally added two new measures that travelers need to know.

Any traveler that shows signs of respiratory illness or fever will not be able to board a flight to Colombia

Travelers that did not fill out the Check-Mig form between 1-24 hours before the flight will not be allowed to board.

“In any case, passengers with fever or respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19 and those who have not previously completed the Check-Mig application will not be allowed to board,” said the Ministry of Health.

Happiness is the word that summarizes the feeling of the passengers who arrived in Cartagena this morning on a flight from Bogotá. (Read here: A commercial flight with more than 100 passengers lands in Cartagena) More than 100 people arrived in the city to visit family members, do business or take a vacation after five months of lockdown.

Here’s where you can quickly get a COVID-19 PCR test for travel in Cartagena

If you need a coronavirus test for travel back from Cartagena, you might be wondering where you can get one, what type of test you’ll need to take, how long it will take to get an appointment (and wait for results) and what it will cost. The PCR test price is around usd$83 and they provide results in 24 hours. Make an appointment one day in advance.

Laboratorio Continental
Laboratorio de la Universidad de Cartagena UNIMOL Phone number +57 322 8579772
Laboratorio Yamile Bajaire Cartagena Airport - Hours: Monday to Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays hotel delivery under prior scheduling.

Allowed Activities in Cartagena after first stage of reopening

The arrival of tourists also brings into question what activities travellers can take part in, taking into account that there are still mobility restrictions. However, as María Claudia Peña, the District of Cartagena’s reactivation advisor, points out, visitors can move freely throughout the city as long as they carry with them a ticket, reservation or any other document that shows their arrival to the city. This means that the pico y cédula, specified times when residents of the city can leave their homes, does not apply. “Our historic city centre is prepared to welcome tourists. Visitors can travel along the coast, go to restaurants and of course to hotels in the city, which are prepared to welcome them.

Entrance to the Castillo de San Felipe will be open The Castillo de San Felipe already has a reopening date. Locals, nationals and foreigners will be able to visit it as of October 2 of this year, maintaining the biosafety protocols to avoid contagion by COVID-19.

Attendees must buy tickets through the website and comply with the protocols. In the next few days, the entity attached to the Mayor's Office of Cartagena will publish the steps that people must follow to buy tickets and schedule their visit through the website of 'Fortificaciones de Cartagena', to avoid crowds to the entrance of the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas.

Cartagena will be the first city restarting commercial flights in Sep 21st, after nearly six months of a complete shutdown

Peña also assured that sights such as the Castillo San Felipe will open in October 1st. Additionally, the squares in the historic city centre are open, but the consumption of alcohol is permitted in . 

Regarding the beaches, it will be allowed to swim from the second stage of reopening that begins in October first Initially, two important city beaches will be reopened. One in Bocagrande, starting from the Hotel Caribe and going towards the center that will have more or less about 700 linear meters and the other pilot beach is in La Boquilla - Playa Azul.“Our hope is that as new flights arrive we can begin to open other tourist attractions across the city. We cannot return to the same normality that we had before, with many crowds and no ability to social distance. These changes are focused on how we can adapt the biosecurity standards to our daily lives.” she said. 

Where do I make the reservation for the open Cartagena beaches?

You can make your reservation for the beaches of Cartagena that are open at the following link where you can book to go to the beaches of Cartagena. People who want to go to the beach and bathe in the sea should enter the website, where they will find all the information about the enabled beaches, the modules and schedules available A maximum of six people can be in each socio-family module.

Due to the biosecurity protocols, the authorized places at the Rosario Islands are working at a lower capacity, book here your beach day at least 36 hours in advance.

  Once there, choose which of the two Cartagena beaches that have opened you want to reserve for, then you’ll be able to choose your date and reservation window before entering the information for each member of your group. The reservation has no cost.

After making your reservation, you will receive an email with a link to confirm your reservation (don’t forget to confirm it!) as well as a reservation code and QR code that they scan when you arrive, so be sure to bring it with you.

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