Pilgrim Passport

The Pilgrim Passport, or “credencial,” is a document produced by an official pilgrim body, which is stamped at each of your overnight stays, as well as at churches, museums, restaurants and other attractions. The document serves both as a souvenir and as proof that you have done the route on foot. You must show your stamped credencial at the pilgrim office in Santiago in order to receive official recognition of your pilgrimage (a document called the Compostela available to those who have walked at least 100km or biked 200km to Santiago).

You may either apply for a credencial ahead of time via a Camino organization in your home country, or pick one up at any of the larger cities along the Camino at the pilgrim office or main albergue. As of April 2016, there is a new requirement to use an official credencial issued by the pilgrim office in Santiago or an affiliated organization, such as the American Pilgrims on the Camino, in order to receive the Compostela.


Provided you have walked at least the last 100km of the camino (or 200km by bicycle) you are eligible to receive an official Compostela, written in Latin, as proof of completing the pilgrimage. Present yourself at the pilgrim office along with your credential (there is often a long line).  You will be asked whether the motive of your journey was religious. If you say yes, you receive the full compostela, if you say no you receive an alternate certificate of completion. Additional certificates are awarded for pilgrims completing the journey to Finisterre (Fisterrana) and Muxía (Muxíana).

“The Cathedral’s Office of the Pilgrim presents travelers who journey in a spirit of faith (“with a religious/Christian motivation,” as the Cathedral’s 1999 Jubilee Year Compostelan brochure notes,) at least 100 kilometers (about 60 miles) on foot or horseback or at least 200 kilometers (about 120 miles) by bicycle with a Compostela, a replica of an eleventh-century document verifying the completion of their pilgrimage.”

The translation of the Latin text of the Compostela reads:

“The Chapter of this Holy Apostolic Metropolitan Cathedral of St. James, custodian of the seal of St. James’ Altar, to all faithful and pilgrims who come from everywhere over the world as an act of devotion, under vow or promise to the Apostle’s Tomb, our Patron and Protector of Spain, witnesses in the sight of all who read this document, that: Mr…………………has visited devoutly this Sacred Church in a religious sense (pietatis causa).

Witness whereof I hand this document over to him, authenticated by the seal of this Sacred Church.

Given in St. James de Compostela on the (day)……(month)……A.D. ………

Chapter Secretary”