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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.

Expat Guide: How to Make International Phone Calls in Colombia – Update 2023

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 But they all seem to be incomplete or out-of-date.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.

Editor note: on September 1, 2021, Colombia has changed to a 10-digit fixed line numbers using a 3-digit area code. So, we have updated this article with new information.

Using a cell phone

Using a cell phone

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: 005 + 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: 005 + 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: Use the 57 Country Code

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 + 3 digit area code in Colombia + 7-digit fixed line number – fixed lines are now 10 digits in Colombia.

The Colombia area codes for major cities in Colombia changed on September 1, 2021:

  • Armenia – 606
  • Barranquilla – 604
  • Bogotá – 601
  • Cali – 602
  • Cartagena – 605
  • Manizales – 606
  • Medellín –604
  • Pereira – 606
  • Santa Marta – 605

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: Use the 57 Country Code

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, previously needed ’03’ before the cell phone number in this format but no longer:

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:

area code in Colombia + 7-digit fixed line number

The Colombia area codes for major cities in Colombia changed on September 1, 2021:

  • Armenia – 606
  • Barranquilla – 604
  • Bogotá – 601
  • Cali – 602
  • Cartagena – 605
  • Manizales – 606
  • Medellín –604
  • Pereira – 606
  • Santa Marta – 605

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:

area code in Colombia + 7-digit fixed line number

For example: if you need to call to Medellín, is just about: 604 (area code)  + 1234567 (the number).

The Colombia area codes for major cities in Colombia changed on September 1, 2021:

  • Armenia – 606
  • Barranquilla – 604
  • Bogotá – 601
  • Cali – 602
  • Cartagena – 605
  • Manizales – 606
  • Medellín –604
  • Pereira – 606
  • Santa Marta – 605
WhatssApp is usefull too

WhatsApp is useful too

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 22 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.

Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.

Editor note: updated on September 5, 2021 with new fixed line area codes in Colombia.

Editor note: updated on June 22, 2023 with some changes in the Tigo codes and examples to make the calls easier.

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16 thoughts on “Expat Guide: How to Make International Phone Calls in Colombia – Update 2023”

    1. WhatsApp has been amazing. I’ve talked for hours and hours on all sides of the world for free. For a long time the fly in the ointment was when the people I wanted to call in the States did not use WhatsApp. Cell phone plans there include nation-wide calls at no extra charge so WhatsApp isn’t as well known as it is here in Colombia and many other countries.
      Then, a few years ago, Tigo told me that I get free calls to the States. You can’t talk as long as you want without limit but the minutes they include typically last me the entire month. I imagine that the other carriers here will also give you the same deal.
      Long distance calls used to be a very expensive big deal but not any more.

    2. Ok you missed one type of call. I have a us T-Mobile phone and a US AT&T phone ( personal and Work). I need to call the US how do you call the USA from a USA cell phone in Colombia??? Note that both phones have WiFi calling enabled. Have yet to make a successful call.

    3. John F. Ward January 23, 2020

      Thank you. I accessed the same instructions and they are incorrect.. I get a recording in Spanish that says the call cannot be completed. It appears to be impossible to dial out of Colombia without an exit code. And I cannot find a general exit code nor can I find a code for Verizon. There has to be an answer to this but I can’t find it.

    4. John F. Ward January 22, 2020

      Jeff, I am in Medellin with a US cell phone. I cannot use any of the Colombian provider codes. How do I call the US from Medellin using my Verizon mobile phone?

    5. Does anyone know if you can dial +1 in place of the cell carrier exit code?

      For example instead of Tigo’s 004141 to call the US, can you just use +1?

      In other words, instead of 004141610555555 can you dial +16105555555?

      No one in the Tigo knew what the company would charge me for not using 00414

      • You have dial the carrier exit code to call internationally from Colombia. +1 by itself won’t work.

    6. There is one option that is not mentioned for VoIP, it is called Magic Jack. It is cheap and works well.

    7. David Bingham December 20, 2018

      Can you provide some more information regarding VoIP, can you get that here in Colombia and do you need a standard phone to use with it. Can you leave it connected continuously without interrupting your WI-Fi

      • For VoIP, I use a VoIP provider in the U.S. I had it in the U.S. and brought the VoIP device with me to Colombia. And the VoIP providers listed in the article are from the U.S. I use a standard phone and the VoIP device is connected with Ethernet to my Internet router – it doesn’t use Wi-Fi and it’s on all the time.

    8. Great article! It has taken me 5 years to figure some of this out! I wish I had seen this post years ago.

      I’ve used the codes to call the US from my cell phone. Is there a limit on the number of minutes per month? I seem to recall one month I couldn’t make any more calls so I thought perhaps I had used up my minutes for the month.

      Also, I use Google Hangouts from my cell phone (free app you can download) to call the US for free.

    9. Thanks this is a helpful and detailed guide. I always wondered how to call Bogota with my fijo in Medellin. Also that is helpful information about VoIP that I need to look into as I call the US a lot.

      • Hi Richard, happy to find out this guide helped. Several readers had questions about making calls. So, provided this guide.

      • I need help! I can’t figure out how to call the states from my land line the provider is Etb

    10. Henk Koornstra December 14, 2018

      Jeff, thanks for the phone number description. I figured out some, but now I know all details.
      I would like to mention one other way of calling USA phones. Skype has a subscription service for $2.99 per month and all phones can be called for free as long as you keep up with the monthly subscription. I believe all 800 numbers are for free on Skype regardless if you have the subscription.
      I have received many good tips from your site. Thanks very much for making life in Colombia even more enjoyable.

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