Bogota is a huge Columbian city, with a population of about 8.8 million people.
La Candelaria is the well-known district where many important historical events took place regarding the Colombian and South American independence. Some most significant sights are La Catedral, Plaza de Bolivar, Palacio de Nariño, Iglesia del Carmen, among others. The interesting fact is that in most of the museums you do not need to pay admission fee.
The city is the hub of the most of tourism in Columbia and it is in constant growing and development.
Warnings & Dangers in Bogota
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
According to the location score in terms of safety in Bogota, it can be said that standard safety precautions are a necessity. Even though there are no reports of violent crimes against travelers, you should always remain vigilant. There have been a few robberies involving violence and muggers with knifes are seen around the city.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Once in Bogota, make sure you call radio taxis, since traveling by the unlicensed one entails many risks. There were dangerous situations in relation with the taxi drivers, when they assaulted the passengers, took their valuables and money. If you realize that you are overcharged, try to get your money back, but do not force them too much, because they tend to become aggressive.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
The crime rate shows that crime is widespread in Bogotá. Street crime including pickpocketing and purse snatching are common on crowded buses and on the TransMilenio. Armed robbery is frequent in known tourist areas, like La Candelaria, and they should be avoided after dark. If you're aware of the threat, you will be unwelcoming target for the lawbreakers.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Bogotá has an increased risk of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Heavy rains may lead to flooding and landslides, which in turns affects the daily flow of transport.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Muggings are on a constant rise in Bogotá, and the often include violence and armory. People who happen to be alone after dark in urban areas are often the targets. Kidnappings o also occur and the usual strategy is to catch the victim in the taxis. If you happen to be the prey of muggers or kidnappers, the most advisable thing to do is to give them money and electronics, since the confrontation may lead to more serious consequences.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Organized crime, like drugs trade, and the attempts of the authorities to stop it, is one of the major triggers which can lead to attacks. This means that everyone can become a victim, even though tourists are not the direct target, since the attacks usually occur in crowded areas.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Taking into account the fact that taxi drivers always try to trick foreigners and overcharge them, tourists need to practice common sense. Counterfeit money and credit card skimming are also frequent types of scams. There were reports when thieves even acted as police officers.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Even though most of the women that visited Bogotá enjoyed their stay without any problems, there are reports on sexual assault against solo female travelers. In order to avoid being an easy prey, women should not wear designer labels and attractive jewelry or expensive camera. They should never look disoriented, even if they are, because the lost tourist is a perfect target for thieves.
So... How Safe Is Bogota Really?
For most of the vigilant and attentive tourists, this beautiful city is a safe place to visit.
Nevertheless, there is a street crime like theft, pickpocketing and purse snatching as in any major city. While in certain areas like Ciudad Bolivar, El Codito, Kennedy and Soacha and Monserrate be aware of the possibility of mugging and theft and try to limit your activities to the daytime.
Considering the fact that Bogotá has become a great tourist destination and one of the most visited cities in Columbia, authorities tend to make Bogotá an even safer and better city for tourist, so the introduction of police patrols during the night and the transport development enable travelers to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and culture in Bogotá without worrying about their safety.
- Visas - The only documentation that you need when visiting Bogotá for less than 90 days is the valid passport. However, there are countries whose citizens must apply for a visa at the Colombian consulate in their home country. To find out whether you need a visa or not, you can visit certain websites and get all the necessary information.
- Currency - The official currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso and tourists can easily exchange money in the exchange offices in Bogotá. Bear in mind that most banks do not exchange money. ATMs are available throughout the city, but it is advisable to use those ones in shopping centers or inside banks rather than those in the street.
- Weather - Bogotá has a subtropical highland climate because it is located on a high plateau in the Northern Andes Mountains. This means that it is cool during the day with the average temperature from 6 to 19 °C on sunny days. The rainy season is from May to November.
- Airports - The major and busiest airport in Bogotá is El Dorado International Airport which is 20 minutes away from the city center by taxi. Other alternative airports when coming to Columbia are José María Córdova International Airport and Rafael Núñez International Airport.
- Travel Insurance - A travel insurance that covers illness or injury, theft and other accidents that may occur during your travels is necessary when traveling abroad. Since coverage depends on the type of insurance that you buy, you should always ask for details when buying it.