Free Yellow Fever Vaccine at Bogota Airport

Yellow Fever vaccination certificate

Before COVID-19 forced countries to close borders and only allowed the entry of citizens and residents, I just arrived in Colombia for a 12-day trip without a Yellow Fever vaccine. Don’t get me wrong, I had it planned way ahead and the confirmed cases were only few then. And in retrospect, I barely talked to anyone and constantly sanitized my hands from time to time. #defensive

I will not lie though that the moment I stepped into the airport, the sense of guilt, stupidity, and paranoia struck me like no other. Now, enough of that and let’s get down to it.

I flew in from Costa Rica and it was also where I was exiting to after. It’s among those countries that require a Certificate of Vaccination when coming from a country with a risk of Yellow Fever transmission (most of South America are at risk, including Colombia). I could’ve gotten a Yellow Fever vaccine while I was still in the Central American country but it cost around $100. Compared to the price in the US which I heard was twice or even thrice, it’s definitely cheaper. But man, it’s still a hundred bucks.

After doing my assignment and learning that you can get it for FREE at El Dorado International Airport, it was the first order of business without question. Whip out some Spanish to ask where Hospital de Fontibon is. As of this writing, the clinic is on the second floor and is open everyday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Hospital de Fontibon at Bogota Airport

Get your priority number as soon as you get inside. I came in 20 minutes past one and was third (or fourth?) in line.

Hospital de Fontibon at Bogota Airport

You’ll be asked to read the contraindications of Yellow Fever and to fill up a form with your basic information (labels are in Spanish so if you don’t have a translator app, the information from other people on the list will be your guide).

Hospital de Fontibon at Bogota Airport

In 20 minutes I was out and about and just saved a hundred dollars. Do note that the Yellow Fever vaccine certificate only becomes valid 10 days after it was issued. Formerly valid for only 10 years, it now has a lifetime validity so make sure to make it as an extension of your passport.


View posts by Nelson
An outdated software engineer with the attention span of a fruit fly. Follow me on Instagram if you can!


  1. Hi Nelson!

    This was extremely useful advice, I had been really struggling to find any information on this. Can I ask if they provided any other vaccinations at the airport? Do you suggest getting any others for travelling around South America? I have read a lot of information online but it’s all very confusing.

    Thank you again! 🙂

    1. Hello Katie!

      I had to check my photos when I was at the clinic but unfortunately I couldn’t find any that would indicate that they offer other vaccinations. I also don’t actually remember reading about them while there, honestly.

      For me the yellow fever vaccine is the most important one when traveling around South America since some countries would ask (at least back then, AFAIK) for proof of vaccination when coming back from that region.

      I hope I was of any help there!

  2. Hi! Thanks so much for posting this advice 🙂 in the UK it costs £75 so I think it makes sense for me to get the vaccine free at the airport!! I was wondering whether you felt any side effects after it? I’m off on my trip to Colombia mid March and still slightly hesitant about what to do!

    1. Hello Maisy!

      I didn’t feel any side affects at all. Still, as with any other vaccine, it might not be the case for other people. The clinic staff (and yourself!) should be able to determine if you’re fit to receive the vaccine or not.

  3. Thanks for posting! I have a 6 and 8 year old. Are children allowed to get the yellow fever vaccines at Bogota Airport?

  4. Hey,

    If I put it on the airport 07 of june, it will be valid 17 of june, right? I have flight back to Costa Rica 22 of june, so they will consider my certification as a valid (more than 10 days), because I’m in costa rica at the momment but as a tourist. I have flight to Peru the same day, and will be there for 15 days. Do I have to do the passport control to get to this vaccination station in the airport? I really hope that this works because in CR the vaccine is now 160 euros! Thanks for your informations!

    1. Hi Milan!

      Yes, that would be correct. By the time you fly back to Costa Rica the vaccine is already valid. But please note that you do need to pass through passport control in order to get to this vaccination station/clinic.

      Hopefully you have enough layover to make it because indeed a free vaccine is way, way better than having to pay for it for a high price!

  5. Everything is true about the free Yellow Fever Vaccine at the BOG airport.But they absolutely won’t give it to you if you have reached 60 years old. Not sure but they might give it to an older person if they had a Colombian doctor give them a letter stating the need for the vaccine. I’m going to Africa and most visa applications seem to have the vaccine as a requirement…so you can’t even land and get the shot at that time.

    1. I wasn’t aware of this at all but a quick search landing on the CDC website points out that it may still be possible.

      People aged ≥ 60 years may be at increased risk for serious adverse events (serious disease or, very rarely, death) following vaccination, compared with younger persons. This is particularly true if they are receiving their first yellow fever vaccination. Travelers aged ≥ 60 years should discuss with their healthcare provider the risks and benefits of the vaccine given their travel plans.

    2. Hello Shar,

      I suppose that would be the case for ages 60 and above; it’s best to consult with a doctor prior to receiving the vaccine.

  6. Hi, is this at the airport directly (you mentorn the second floor) or at the Hospital De Fontibon, which is 4,5km away from the airport according to Google?
    Thanks for this!!

  7. Love the advice and the guide on getting to the hospital! I’m About to travel to colombia in a few weeks, Were you asked for the Yellow Fever vaccination as you left the airport? and did they have an issue if it wasn’t completed within 10 days?

    1. No, I wasn’t asked for it on my way out of the country. But I do remember that I actually didn’t make it to the 10-day requirement and that I already had a reason in my mind in case they’d stop me from leaving.

      Hopefully I helped somehow. Have an awesome trip!

Leave a Reply