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How safe is Colombia for tourists?

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
943 posts
53 reviews
How safe is Colombia for tourists?

My husband and I are planning a tour of Colombia with Gate 1 Travel. We will be starting in Bogata going on to Manizales, Medellin, and Cartagena. How safe is it for a US tourist - or any tourist - in these areas? I read there is a travel warning issued by the US Passports and International Travel Agency. Thanks for any information.

40 replies to this topic
London, United...
Level Contributor
284 posts
1. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

Colombia is a safe country to travel so long visitors stay on a tourists trail and stick to certain unwritten rules such as not flashing valuables or not wondering streets in big cities late at night.

I spent 6 weeks criss-crossing the country last year and never felt even remotely threatened.

On top of it, if you are visiting with a tour company, its even safer as your guides will keep you out of trouble.

Colombia is a lot fun - you will enjoy it.

London, United...
Level Contributor
284 posts
2. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

By the way, it is well known that US travel advice in any country is excessive and overly cautious. If people listened to it, nobody would be going anywhere. However, it is always advised to get safety information from several sources to get better picture.

Manizales, Colombia
Level Contributor
313 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

If you are seasoned travellers you will have no problems where you intend to go.

If you have not travelled a lot you need to follow several common-sense rules:

Do not carry or be seen with valuable jewellery, cameras, cellphones

Keep your bags and pockets safe from pick-pockets

Wear the clothes the locals are wearing: no shorts and sandals except on the beaches

Stay away from darker areas of towns at night

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
943 posts
53 reviews
4. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

Thank you. I found the no shorts or sandals information interesting. Can men wear long shorts? Is it OK for a woman to wear knee length skirts? Are the athletic sandals that cover most of the foot (like Keen) considered sandals?

Manizales, Colombia
Level Contributor
313 posts
7 reviews
5. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

The problem with shorts and sandals is that few Colombians wear them and apart from making you look silly, it makes you an obvious target for thieves and swindlers.

You should always watch what the locals are wearing where you are and follow suit.

Cartagena is more relaxed because of the heat.

Manizales and Bogota are too cold for beach-wear, especially in the evenings.

Have umbrellas ready for those tropical showers!

Manizales, Colombia
Level Contributor
313 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

Athletic sandals that cover most of the foot are OK, but always worn with socks.

Not if you are going to expensive restaurants.

London, United...
Level Contributor
284 posts
7. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

Shorts are fine, but uncommon in Bogota or Manizales - these aren't very hot cities - actually can be cold at night. In Cartagena you can wear what you like as it is super touristy and every tourist wears shorts. Its very safe comparing to the rest of Colombia.

Actually, I found Colombia much safer than Brazil, for example.

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Medellin
Level Contributor
4,024 posts
99 reviews
8. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

Seeing that you are from Minnesota - shorts or no shorts - you aren't going to blend in as a local - no worries just watch out for scammers - you can find them in any large city in the world. Bogota is cool so you would probably not wear shorts anyway - Cartagena - shorts no problem, really not that big of a deal no matter what city - during the day - just don;t wear shorts at night - for a guy I would stay away from sandals /flopflops unless you are at the beach.

I wear shorts on the weekends in Medellin, along with many locals - again just not at night. I would never wear sandals at anytime - not my thing.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
943 posts
53 reviews
9. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

Thank you! It is so interesting to learn what is acceptable dress in different parts of the world.

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Medellin
Level Contributor
4,024 posts
99 reviews
10. Re: How safe is Colombia for tourists?

I would say things are changing in Colombia - 10 years ago - I almost never saw shorts - now it is very common in Medellin especially by the younger crowd - again not at night though - women have it much tougher than us guys in Medellin, they will not go out unless fully made up - its not like the States where they will put on a pair of sweats a tee shirt and head to Walmart- hair has to be done and makeup on before you set foot outside - even if heading to the gym.

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