I'm traveling from the USA to Cali, Colombia. I'm looking at flights and wanted a little advice. For the choices of flights I'll be arriving in Bogotá, Colombia from the US about 6am on a Saturday and then getting a connection to Cali, Colombia. There are lots of options for the last leg with layovers anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours, running every 30 minutes.

I assume I will have to go through customs in Bogotá (and not Cali). Assuming that is correct, is there a good recommendation on how long I should plan for? I'd rather get to the gate early than stress out and have to rush to make my connection. Is 2 hours plenty of time to get through customs and make it to the next gate or will it likely take longer?

2 Answers 2


2 hours are more than enough. Customs and immigration in Colombia are efficient, I fly regularly using this connection and never had problems with this connection. You'll be in your gate in less than 45 minutes.


I thought I'd post my actual experience now that my trip is over.

It turns out that going from the USA to Cali, via Bogotá is fairly simple and quick. After exiting the plane in Bogotá (with a filled out customs form in hand), you head to the customs area and wait in line (which is pretty short at 6am on a Saturday). The customs agent does the usual of scanning your passport and checking your customs form. Once done there, you exit the international part of the terminal and head to the domestic part (a short enough walk) and go to the connecting gate.

That's it. You don't do anything with checked in luggage. It is automatically checked through to the destination.

As Julian stated in their answer, it was about 45 minutes from landing to getting to the next gate.

My friend and I had one issue that added about 10 minutes to the process. We didn't know the name of the hotel we were staying in for our trip and this is something you are supposed to write on the customs form. I didn't have an issue but the customs agent stopped my friend because of this. Eventually, after several of the agents talked, they let us through without the name of the hotel. So be sure you always fill out everything on the form.

  • Did you fly from Bogota to Cali on the same airline? I was wondering about the checked luggage part.
    – user51516
    Jan 13, 2018 at 4:51
  • 1
    @aris It was a single United Airlines flight from the States to Cali with 3 legs. I'm pretty sure the flight from Houston to Bogotá was an actual United flight while the leg to Cali was some partner flight. But I didn't need to do anything in Bogotá regarding bags. Just picked them up in Cali. But if your flight is really separate flights to Bogotá then to Cali, I would imagine you would need to deal with getting and rechecking your bags in Bogotá. The flight home is more complicated. Arriving in Houston not only required going through customs but I also needed to get and recheck bags.
    – rmaddy
    Jan 13, 2018 at 4:58
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    @aris BTW - I did this same trip again in January of 2017 as well and it was all the same both times.
    – rmaddy
    Jan 13, 2018 at 5:00

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