Is Bogota safe to travel?


#1

HI All!

Considering Bogota for a while but recent reporting indicates quite a few robbery related deaths and the fact that US State Dept personnel and their families are not allowed to use inter- or intra-city bus transportation, with flights mandatory between Colombian cities. Anyone have any insight as to the current reality vs such reporting?

I know they often don’t match but since our nomadlist.com rates Bogota safety as “bad”, I would greatly appreciate anyone providing a current or recent boots on the ground status report as to this effect.

Jack


#2

Not sure what you want to hear. The data on the internet almost unanimously agrees Bogota is unsafe for travel.

Why not go to Medellin instead?


#3

Thanks and great info!
Will look into Medellin a bit.

Jack


#4

I don’t think Medellin is that much safer than Bogota to be honest. Pickpocketing, robberies, and scopolamine attacks all happen frequently in Medellin too (http://latinamericacurrentevents.com/medellin-colombia-two-tourists-drugged-with-scopolamine-one-dead/39810/)

Personally speaking from my experience with Bogota, if you stick to the areas around Zona T and Parque 93 for the majority of your stay, you will be just fine. This area of Bogota is quite modern and has pretty much everything you could ask for (apartments, co-working, gyms, supermarkets, cafes (Colombian coffee is so good and cheap), good restaurants, cool bars, and all kinds of shops). I really liked Bogota a lot and didn’t experience any trouble during my 2 month stay. All the things above combined with the low cost of living, I thought the city was a bit of a hidden gem. Just my two cents.

Same best practices and tips apply in Bogota as they do in every Latin American city.

  • Keep a low profile and don’t flash a ton of wealth.
  • Don’t stay out too late at night and don’t get too drunk if you go out and party. (Most incidents with Gringos that I’ve seen in Colombia involve either late nights out and/or partying, so if you avoid these two things then you’ll be keeping yourself much safer than you otherwise would be)
  • Don’t regularly use taxis off the street (especially at night) - use Uber or a professional private taxi company.
  • Speak conversational Spanish (Very doable for native English speakers).
  • Be more suspicious of people than you normally are.

#5

Excellent comprehensive info. Thank you!


#6

I spent three weeks in Bogotá this last April walking through the city and I didn’t suffer any kind of robbery, nor I met someone who suffered one. This said, there are some places where you need to be cautious at night (La Candelaria). Keep your belongings in sight at all times and don´t move in empty areas. Talk with the local people, they will advise you wisely. The best place to stay is Chapinero Alto.


#7

Many thanks!