ATMs/Banks: Colombian and international banks with currency-exchange bureaus and ATMs are plentiful throughout Bogotá, especially in El Centro and the northern neighborhoods such as Chapinero and El Retiro, which are full of malls, hotels, and restaurants.
Doctors & Hospitals: As prices tend to be inexpensive compared with North America and Europe, an increasing number of travelers are coming to Colombia specifically for surgeries and dental work. The U.S. and British embassies provide lists of English-speaking doctors, dentists, and other healthcare personnel in Bogotá. English-speaking medical personnel and 24-hour emergency services are available at the following hospitals and clinics: Hospital Universatario, Carrera 7 #117-15 (www.fsfb.org.co; tel. 1/603-0303), Clinica del Country (Carrera 16 no. 82–57; www.clinicadelcountry.com; tel. 1/530-0470), or the Marly Clinic, Calle 50 no. 9–57, Chapinero (www.marly.com.co; tel. 1/343-6600).
Emergencies: In Bogotá, the police emergency number is 112. Another emergency number that works throughout the country is 123. Other good emergency numbers to know: the Security Police (DAS; tel. 153/0180-0091-9622); the Tourist Police (tel. 1/337-4413 or 1/243-1175); and the police station in Bogotá (tel. 156). The fire department can be reached by calling 119, and information can be reached by dialing 113.
Internet Access: Public Wi-Fi has overtaken Internet cabinas (booths) and cybercafes as the most common form of Internet access in Bogotá. There is free Wi-Fi access almost everywhere if you have a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. You’ll find it in shopping centers, public parks, restaurants, cafes, and nearly every hotel in the city.
Mail & Postage: You can send mail from the post office 4–72 (www.4-72.com.co; tel. 1/770-0380), at Av. 6 no. 34A–45. The DHL and Western Union offices all over town are a more secure option.
Pharmacies: There are a number of pharmacy chains in Bogotá, most with 24-hour locations, including Droguerias Olimpica and Farmacity. Ask at your hotel for the most convenient location.
Safety: Most areas of Bogotá that tourists frequent are as safe as average North American cities. However, in downtown, La Candelaria, and some of the city’s residential areas, the risk of street crime remains, particularly late at night. Although carjackings, assaults, and armed robberies are not routine, they’re not unheard of either. Armed attacks at ATMs have also occurred. Use ATMs during the day, with other people present. Most thefts occur on public transportation, such as buses and the Transmilenio. Be very careful with your belongings; leave your passport and other valuables in the hotel safe, and use a money belt. Public street markets are also frequented by thieves, as are parks (especially at night).
Telephone: Bogotá’s area code is 1. It need not be dialed when making local calls within the city, but it must be dialed when calling Bogotá from another city.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.