We provide a detailed guide to how to make international phone calls in Colombia, including how to call to and from the United States and Canada. We also look at how to call between fixed lines and cell phones in Colombia.

We have a comprehensive guide to buying and using cell phones in Colombia. But several readers have asked additional questions about how make international phone calls in Colombia, how to call between fixed lines and cell phones in Colombia and how to call from fixed lines to fixed lines in other cities.

I have seen several guides on the Internet about making phone calls in Colombia. But they all seem to be incomplete or out-of-date. So, we are providing this guide to how make international phone calls in Colombia. Also, we look at calling between different types of phones in Colombia.

In the photo above are an Apple MacBook with Skype, a Colombian cell phone with WhatsApp and Skype and a Colombian fixed line phone. I use all of these in Colombia to communicate with friends and family.

Samsung cell phone, photo by Danny Choo

Samsung cell phone, photo by Danny Choo

Calling the United States from Colombia

Making international phone calls from Colombia to the United States or Canada is relatively easy. For Colombian cell phones, how to do this depends on the provider as follows:

  • Claro: 00444 + 1 + area code + phone number
  • Movistar: 009 + 1 + area code + phone number
  • Tigo-UNE: 00414 + 1 + area code + phone number

To call other countries, change the country code of “1” of the United State or Canada to the country code you are calling.

For example, here are a few common country codes:

  • Australia – 61
  • Brazil – 55
  • China – 86
  • France – 33
  • India – 91
  • Germany – 49
  • Mexico – 52
  • Russia – 7
  • Spain – 34
  • United Kingdom – 44

And for a complete list of country codes you can look on the Countrycode.org website.  Also, your Colombian cell phone will need to be configured to make international phone calls.

For Colombia fixed lines (fijo lines) to call the United States or Canada the format also depends on the provider.

  • Claro: 00456 + 1 + area code + phone number
  • Movistar: 009 + 1 + area code + phone number
  • Tigo-UNE: 00414 + 1 + area code + phone number

Also, to call other countries, change the country code of “1” of the United State or Canada to the country code you are calling.

Calling a Colombia Fixed Line Phone from the United States or Canada

First you use the exit code ‘011’ required to make international phone calls from the United States or Canada and add the ‘57’ country code for calling to Colombia. Use the following format to call a Colombia fixed line phone:

011 + 57 + area code in Colombia + 7-digit fixed line number

The Colombia area codes for major cities in Colombia are:

  • Armenia – 6
  • Barranquilla – 5
  • Bogotá – 1
  • Bucaramanga – 7
  • Cali – 2
  • Cartagena – 5
  • Manizales – 6
  • Medellín – 4
  • Pereira – 6
  • Santa Marta – 5

Note that in Colombia a fijo phone means a fixed line phone, also known as a land line phone in the U.S.

Cell phones are very popular in Colombia

Cell phones are very popular in Colombia

Calling a Colombia Cell Phone from the United States or Canada

First you use the exit code ‘011’ required to make international phone calls from the United States or Canada and add the ‘57’ country code for calling to Colombia. Use the following format:

011 + 57 + 10-digit cellular number

Calling a Colombia Cell Phone from a Colombia Fixed Line

This is easy, just use ’03’ before the cell phone number in this format:

03 + 10-digit cellular number

Note that calling a cell phone from a fixed line in Colombia can be expensive. And it is possible to disable the ability to call cell phones from fixed numbers.

Calling a Colombia Fixed Line from a Colombia Cell Phone

This is also easy, just use ’03’ and the Colombia area code before the fixed line phone number in this format:

03 + area code in Colombia + 7-digit fixed line number

(use the Colombia city area codes above)

Calling a Colombia Fixed Line from a Colombia Fixed Line (Same Area Code)

This is very easy, just dial the number in this format with no prefix numbers:

7-digit landline number

Calling a Colombia Fixed Line from a Colombia Fixed Line (Different Area Code)

Similar to calling an international number there are codes to use when calling from a Colombia fixed line to a Colombia fixed line in a different area code.

  • Claro: 0456 + area code in Colombia + 7-digit fixed line number
  • Movistar: 09 + area code in Colombia + 7-digit fixed line number
  • Tigo-UNE: 05 + area code in Colombia + 7-digit fixed line number

(use the Colombia city area codes above).

WhatsApp App, courtesy of WhatsApp

WhatsApp App, courtesy of WhatsApp

Calling for Free with WhatsApp and Skype

Many Colombians use the WhatsApp mobile app on their cell phones to make calls for free. We included WhatsApp is our list of the 20 best mobile apps to use in Medellín and Colombia.

WhatsApp is the most popular mobile app used in Colombia. Almost everyone with a smartphone in Colombia uses WhatsApp.

With this app there is no cost to message and call friends. So, you can stay in touch with your friends and family. And you don’t even need to have a Colombian cell phone number to use this app. But you need WiFi or data to use WhatsApp.

Skype is another popular mobile app that permits you to send messages, make voice calls or video calls. And this is free regardless of what device they use Skype on.

Skype to Skype is free. So, you can use Skype to keep in touch with your family and friends back home without any long-distance charges or other fees.

Also, with Skype you can make conference calls and also video calls. In addition, you can call mobile phone and landlines at low rates.

Using Voice Over IP to Call the United States

I also use a voice over IP (VoIP) device to make calls to the U.S.  I have a VoIP device with an Ethernet port and a phone port. I plug this into a router and plug in a phone and have a U.S. phone number.

So, friends and family can call me in Medellín with a U.S. phone number. Also, I can call phone numbers in the U.S. just like when I was in the U.S. And I have found the quality of phone calls is excellent with VoIP.

There are several VoIP providers with plans that typically include free phone calls in the U.S. such as 1-VoIP, Vonage, Phone Power and Ooma. I have a VoIP plan that provides unlimited phone calls in the U.S.

Taking selfies with cell phones is common in Colombia

Taking selfies with cell phones is common in Colombia

The Bottom Line: How to Make International Phone Calls in Colombia

Once you know the codes to use it is very easy to make international phones calls in Colombia from cell phones or fixed lines.

Also, it’s very easy to call from cell phones to fixed lines in Colombia, fixed lines to cell phones and fixed lines to fixed lines. You just need to know the codes for your provider. But you can save money on calls by using apps like WhatsApp and Skype.

I use an Apple MacBook with Skype, a Colombian cell phone with WhatsApp and Skype and a Colombian fixed line phone. In addition, I use a VoIP device that provides me with a U.S. phone number in Colombia.

Furthermore, we have a comprehensive guide to buying and using cell phones in Colombia.

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