A colorful narrow street in Colombia

Published: 6/22/2019 June 22nd, 2019

Colombia is among the most widely used countries in South Usa for backpackers and travelers. In 2017 (the this past year there have been figures), it saw over three million visitors — three occasions as much as there have been ten years ago!

In the last couple of decades, Colombia has worked difficult to eliminate the violent image it earned because of the drug cartels that when ravaged the nation.

While Colombia still isn’t perfect, it’s come a lengthy way since our parents’ generation.

Violent crimes which were once common here, for example murder and kidnapping, aren’t everyday concerns for travelers. Kidnapping has declined 92% and homicides are lower by 50% in the last 2 decades.

Gradually but surely, conditions in Colombia are improving for locals and vacationers alike.

But many of people still ask me: is Colombia is protected?

Table of Contents

  1. My Experience of Colombia
  2. 10 Safety Strategies for Colombia
  3. Is Colombia Safe for Solo Travelers?
  4. Is Colombia Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
  5. Could it be Safe to consider taxis in Colombia?
  6. May be the Food Safe in Colombia?
  7. Are You Able To Drink the faucet Water in Colombia?
  8. In The Event You Visit Colombia?


My Experience of Colombia

Before I visited Colombia, I’d heard numerous tales of petty thievery. While there, I heard much more. A friend have been conned three occasions, the final time at gunpoint during his method to meet me for supper.

Locals and expats alike explained exactly the same factor: the rumors of petty thievery are true, however if you simply keep the wits in regards to you, stick to the rules, out on another flash your belongings, you will be OK.

There’s a local expression about this: “No dar papaya” (Don’t give papaya). Basically, this means that you simply shouldn’t have something “sweet” outside (a telephone, computer, watch, etc.) that will cause you to a target. Keep the belongings hidden, don’t wander around places you shouldn’t during the night, don’t flash money around, avoid appearing out of nightlife spots alone during the night, etc. To put it simply: don’t place yourself in a situation where people can engage in you.

I heeded such advice. I did not put on earphones in public places. I did not take my phone out unless of course I had been inside a group or perhaps a restaurant, or completely sure nobody else was around. I required sufficient cash with me during the day after i left my hostel. I cautioned buddies about putting on flashy jewellery or watches once they visited.

However the longer you’re somewhere, the greater complacent you receive.

If you notice locals on their own phones in crowded areas, vacationers toting 1000-dollar cameras, and youngsters putting on Airpods and Apple Watches, you start to consider, “OK, throughout the day, maybe it isn’t so bad.”

All of a sudden, you leave a café together with your phone out without considering it.

You’re giving papaya.

And someone really wants to go.

That is the way i wound up getting mugged and knifed. (I’m OK.)

It was also only a matter of being unlucky and never specific to Colombia. An incorrect-time-wrong-place situation. It might have became of me anywhere where I did not stick to the rules of safety which help you minimize risk.

The knowledge advised me of the reason why you can’t get complacent. I gave papaya. I shouldn’t have experienced my phone out. It didn’t matter the time. That’s the rule in Colombia. Keep the belongings hidden. (Particularly in Bogotá, which comes with a greater rate of petty crime than elsewhere in the united states.) I did not stick to the advice.

And That I got unlucky correctly. I’d been getting my phone out too frequently and, with every non-incident, I increased increasingly more relaxed. I stored shedding my guard.

What went down was unlucky, however it didn’t have to happen basically had adopted the guidelines.

For this reason people cautioned me to become careful.

So, should you stick to the rules, you’re unlikely to possess a problem. All individuals occurrences I spoken about earlier? All involved people smashing the ironclad “no dar papaya” rule and only getting something valuable out or walking alone late into the evening in places that they shouldn’t have.

I am not likely to permit this to freak incident change my look at this kind of amazing country. I’d return to Colombia exactly the same way I’d enter a vehicle following a vehicle accident. Actually, I had been terribly upset to depart. I had been getting an incredible time. I still love Bogotá. I have plans to return to Colombia.

Colombia is amazing.

Study from my mistake. Not just when ever you visit Colombia however when you travel generally.


10 Safety Strategies for Colombia

You cannot get complacent in Colombia. When you do, bad unexpected things happen. You need to stay vigilant. That will help you stay safe on your trip, listed here are a couple of tips you’ll wish to bear in mind while you travel round the country:

1. Stay somewhere with 24-hour security &#8211 You usually want someone around in situation you need further instruction. Most hostels and hotels have video security cameras or pads. Should you not feel safe somewhere, don’t hesitate to maneuver on. By doing this a person always has someone to speak to in situation something goes completely wrong.

2. Don’t flash your possessions while you’re on an outing &#8211 Keep the phone from sight, out on another put on any jewellery or watches. If you want to make use of your phone, get it done inside and never out in the pub. This is when people enter probably the most trouble. This is the way I acquired into trouble. Put everything away which means you don&#8217t stick out.

3. Don’t travel alone during the night &#8211 Attempt to day other travelers should you&#8217re heading out during the night. Should you choose intend to venture out alone or party late, take an Uber home and have someone phone you a cab. Don&#8217t walk alone really late into the evening.

4. Learn some Spanish &#8211 Simply a couple of phrases will help you in desperate situations. Download Spanish on the internet Translator so you’ve it offline too, just in situation.

5. Download an offline map from the city &#8211 Getting a roadmap is going to be useful in situation you receive lost and want to steer yourself (or perhaps a taxi driver) to the resort. If you are using your phone during the night, make sure to not utilize it in the roads.

6. Don’t do drugs &#8211 The drugs cartels have crippled the united states. Don’t support them by purchasing drugs. Locals don&#8217t enjoy it because drugs have so devasted the nation and doing the work just further cripples the nation. It&#8217s really disrespectful. Furthermore, getting associated with drugs here increases your odds of stepping into trouble. Also, doing drugs here’s illegal, and also you shouldn’t finish in a Colombian prison.

7. Keep the belongings separate &#8211 Never carry these together. When you are heading out during the day, leave some charge cards and funds in kept in the resort. This way, should you lose your bank account, you’ll have cash and cards back at the hostel. Also keep some emergency cash inside your primary backpack too, just in situation.

8. When the worst happens, give the attacker your stuff &#8211 Paying your things is way better than risking the choice (believe me). For those who have travel cover, you can get reimbursed (be sure that you save all your receipts).

9 . Download the Prey application for your phone and laptop &#8211 If either device will get stolen, for a small charge you can track it and remotely switch on the digital camera to photograph the crook (you may also wipe the information and message the crook too). The application is free of charge to download and just costs $5 USD for further support in the event you get conned.

10. Buy travel cover &#8211 If something does fail, you need to ensure you&#8217re covered and someone has the back. Travel cover will help you find treatment and provide you with money to purchase replacements for which was stolen. It&#8217s always better safe than sorry, particularly in a rustic where petty crime continues to be an issue.


So, is Colombia Safe for Solo Travelers?

Colombia is protected for solo travelers. While petty crime continues to be an issue, as lengthy while you don’t flaunt your belongings, you’ll likely not encounter any problems. When you are out, just take the thing you need during the day and then leave other belongings inside your hostel or accommodation.

If you are not feeling comfortable, attempt to meet other travelers so that you can explore together. This way you’ll not be alone and can do not be a target for pickpockets and petty crooks.

During the night, make certain you’re never traveling on your own and you have your ride home planned ahead of time. Don’t enter into sketchy cabs. Avoid wandering around non-touristy areas during the night and alone.

Irrrve never felt really unsafe in the united states throughout the day or in public areas. You will see locals with phones out and, generally, carrying out their existence. It’s really during the night you need to be cautious.


Is Colombia Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

While solo female travelers may wish to try taking some extra safeguards in Colombia, the nation should certainly be into consideration.

Whenever you can, avoid traveling on your own — especially during the night or perhaps in places that there are hardly any people. Don’t flaunt any belongings, and steer clear of taking taxis alone during the night. Also have a downloaded map and translator so that you can get where you’re going home or people for assistance if you want it.

If you take some safeguards and planning accordingly, solo female travelers can possess a rewarding time traveling Colombia. Just make certain to follow along with the tips and advice above!

Here are a handful of useful posts on safety compiled by our solo female travel experts:

  • How you can Stay Safe like a Solo Female Traveler
  • 8 Myths About Solo Female Travel Debunked
  • 10 Common Qsestions About Solo Female Travel


Could it be Safe to consider taxis in Colombia?

Taxis are secure here, but always make certain you call your taxi ahead of time. Never enter into an arbitrary vehicle. Even when it appears as though taxis, may possibly not be one. It’s usually easier to be cautious.

Get the hostel or accommodation to a cab for you personally, or download taxis application (Uber is within Medellín, Cali, and Bogotá) so that you can order your personal. Avoid taking taxis during the night too (especially like a solo female traveler).


May be the Food Safe in Colombia?

The meals in Colombia is very safe. Just make certain to prevent any food that’s been sitting out under the sun all day long. Search for places with a lot of patrons — that’s the best way to tell your meals are fresh and scrumptious.

Also, make certain any fruit you consume includes a peel to prevent it getting contaminated.

If you are a vegetarian and have other nutritional concerns, you may be challenged to locate food here, since many dishes are meat-based. Learn some fundamental phrases (or download Google Translate) that will help you inquire and discover foods appropriate for the diet.

Lastly, always wash both hands before you decide to eat. That’s the easiest method to don’t get sick!


Are You Able To Drink the faucet Water in Colombia?

While enhancements in water treatment are coming along, you cannot really drink water outdoors of Bogotá and Medellín.

I’d suggest you travel having a Lifestraw or Steripen so that you can purify water wherever you’re. That may help you cut costs and lower your reliance upon single-use plastic. Double win!


In The Event You Visit Colombia?

So, is Colombia safe?


While petty thievery is really a growing concern, the nation has a lot to give the smart traveler. There’s amazing nature, vibrant metropolitan areas, an enjoyable nightlife, along with a growing community of entrepreneurs and digital nomads who call Colombia home.

It’s easy and cheap to navigate, so that as lengthy while you follow your instincts and employ good sense, you’ll avoid trouble.

Even when you’re a solo female traveler, Colombia still offers quite a bit to provide.

So, while my own experience of Colombia didn’t finish well, I’m certainly thinking about returning.

Because it’s too amazing a location to not visit.

Be sure that you get travel cover just in situation something goes completely wrong. Yesteryear isn’t prologue and also you always wish to be cautious. Travel cover was there after i lost my bag, broke my camera, and also got knifed in Colombia. Irrrve never expected individuals items to happen and it was glad I’d insurance! You should use the widget below to find information about the travel insurance plan that fits your needs (or click this link to visit the website directly):


Book Your Vacation to Colombia: Logistical Tips and Methods

Book Your Flight

Look for a cheap flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favorite search engines like google simply because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know nothing remains unturned.

Book The Resort

You are able to book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to stay somewhere apart from a hostel, use Booking.com because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and economical hotels. I personally use them constantly.

Don&#8217t Forget Travel Cover

Travel cover will safeguard you from illness, injuries, thievery, and cancellations. It&#8217s comprehensive protection in situation anything goes completely wrong. Irrrve never use a trip without them when i&#8217ve had for doing things many occasions previously. I&#8217ve used World Nomads for 10 years. My personal favorite firms that provide the best service and cost are:

  • World Nomads (for everybody below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for individuals over 70)

Searching to find the best companies to save cash with?

Take a look at my resource page to find the best companies to make use of whenever you travel! I list all of the ones I personally use to save cash after i travel &#8211 and i believe can help you too!

Searching for additional info on visiting Colombia?

Take a look at my in-depth destination help guide to Colombia with increased tips about things to see, do, costs, methods to save, and far, a lot more!

The publish Is Colombia Safe to go to? made an appearance first on Nomadic Matt&#039s Travel Site.

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