Can I Drink Tap Water in Colombia?

Colombian Flag overlooking Cartagena

Yes, throughout most of Colombia, you can safely drink tap water. However, there are some locations where you should avoid it. Along the Caribbean Coast and in smaller, rural communities, there is no guarantee of clean water because the sources aren’t as clean and the purification processes aren’t as good. But in Colombia’s large cities and mountainous regions, tap water is generally safe to consume! 

If in doubt, ask at your accommodation – even in areas without safe drinking water, they may have filtered water available! 

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Water in Colombia 

Can I Brush My Teeth With Tap Water in Colombia?

Yes, you can brush your teeth with tap water in Colombia! If you’re visiting the Caribbean Coast, or are in very rural areas, be careful not to swallow any but in larger cities or mountainous areas, you’re safe to swallow to your heart’s content!

Can I Wash My Face With Tap Water in Colombia?

Yes, you can wash your face with tap water no matter where you are in Colombia.

Running tap water in South America
You can safely wash your face with tap water in Colombia!

Do Locals in Colombia Drink Tap Water?

Yes, Colombians drink tap water in most places throughout the country. The only time bottled water is preferred is along the Caribbean Coast. Often, if you see large 5-litre bottles or bags of water for sale in most shops, this is an indication people prefer to drink bottled water! 

Is Ice in Colombia Safe?

Ice in Colombia is usually safe but it depends on where you are. If you’re in an area with bad tap water, ice may not be safe. But, in most tourist locations, bars and restaurants will either buy ice in or use filtered water to create their own – after all sipping a cocktail on the beach without ice just isn’t the same!

How to Ask for No Ice:

In Spanish: “Sin hielo por favor”
Ice in Colombia is generally safe to consume!

Bottled Water in Colombia

Bottled water is available throughout Colombia at very good prices. Expect to pay around 6,000COP (approx $1.50USD) for 1.5 litres. 

Larger bottles and bags of water – 5-20 litres – can be bought for around the same price, so if you’re staying in one place for a few days, consider this to save money and reduce your plastic footprint. It’s also possible to get these larger bottles delivered by Rappi (Colombia’s answer to Uber Eats and Post Mates) for a small delivery fee if you’re in a big town or city. 

Can I Use a Filtered Water Bottle in Colombia?

Yes, you can use a filtered water bottle in Colombia. It’s the best way to get clean drinking water if you’re in an area with unsafe tap water! We recommend using a purifier like the Grayl UltraPress or one of the Grayl alternatives

Tap Water in Colombia – Is It Drinkable?

Tap water in Colombia is potable throughout most of the country. However, if you’re visiting the Caribbean Coast, or are in very rural areas, it’s best to stick to bottled, filtered or boiled water. Water in Santa Marta, Tayrona, Palomino and Minca should be avoided but in most of Colombia’s other popular towns and cities, it’s safe to drink. Ask at your accommodation to be sure!

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