What about safety in Colombia?

TRAVEL TIP:  As an explorer, use caution and common sense by visiting safe cities and places. Keep a low profile and don’t flash your money or valuables. Ask your local host to help with safety suggestions on getting around. Research and stay up to date on your travel vaccinations..

Dear Venturer,

Everyone’s comfort zone around security is different. And, our upcoming trip to Colombia has certainly raised a few eyebrows, knowing its history of crime, kidnapping, and violence. So, it’s reasonable to ask the question “Is Colombia safe? Why are thousands of tourists flocking there each year?"

For any trip, we recommend to check out the US Smart Traveler Program to review any travel warnings. Also, read other travelers experiences on travel forums such as World Nomads, Trip Advisor, and more.

With the good and bad being discussed, you can assess for yourself if the details of your travel destination are in your comfort zone as a traveler. 

On our upcoming trip in February, we will visit Cartagena, Santa Marta and Tayrona National Park. With research, you will find thousands of US and European tourists visiting these areas each year. In 2010, the French government deemed these areas safe for tourists and a recent US Travel Advisory gives further insight to road safety along the Caribbean coast to Santa Marta. And, tourists rave about Colombia on travel forums. It is beautiful, the people are friendly and there is a charm to the culture. Some even say it’s safer than other parts of South America. But yes, there are a few safety guidelines for travel to follow:

General Safety
• Use caution and common sense. Visit safe and touristed places.
• Avoid walking around alone at night. Bring a travel buddy.
• Keep a low profile. Don’t flash your money or valuables. Pickpockets and muggings can happen.
• Ask locals or other travelers, which areas to avoid and how to best get around.
• Don’t take illegal taxi’s in cities. Ask your hotel to call for one.
• Public buses in rural areas should be avoided.

Health Safety
• Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For Tayrona National Park, you may want a yellow fever shot and malaria pills, along with your standard traveler vaccines. Educate yourself about what vaccinations are needed, along with updates about the Zika virus in Colombia.

New trip dates are set for February 2017, over President's Day weekend – with the added bonus to practice yoga in Colombia with yoga retreat hosts, Audrey Schwegel and Maria Spanos. So grab your mat for an adventure and the chance to practice and meditate in some of the most beautiful locations in Colombia. 

Happy Travels,
Lesley Ames
Chief Venturer, BonViage