Colombia : Safety by CityColombia - safety as a country
Bogotá is a huge Colombian city, with a population of about 8.8 million people.
La Candelaria is a 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 the admission fees.
The city is the hub of most tourism in Colombia and it is in constant growing and development.
Warnings & Dangers in Bogotá
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
According to the location score in terms of safety in Bogotá, 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 knives are seen around the city.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Once in Bogotá, make sure you call radio taxis since traveling by the unlicensed one entails many risks. There were dangerous situations 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 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 an 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 turn 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 the drug 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 is 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 of sexual assault against solo female travelers. To avoid being 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 Bogotá 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 Colombia, 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.
How Does Bogotá Compare?
|Belize City (Belize)||37|
|La Paz (Bolivia)||52|
|Sao Paulo (Brazil)||45|
- 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 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 an 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 Colombia are José María Córdova International Airport and Rafael Núñez International Airport.
- Travel Insurance - 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.
Bogotá Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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13 Reviews on Bogotá
About this review: all very honest but drug terrorism. We don’t see that since 80s and now they target specific people because of activism but never tourists. Even being like this, there hasn’t been any terrorism case since the 2000s in Bogotá
Definitely dont go out really after 5pm !! Sounds crazy..last night my son, single traveller decided to venture out at night was subsequent dragged of the street into a bar by a group of people, helped by the bouncer of the bar! Taken to the toilets where he had all his belongings taken ..they managed in get 900$ of his card and wreck up a 90 dollar bar bill.. he had to be rescued from a Columbian friend he was staying with ..
Also expierance 2 robberies in public buses within a space of 10 minutes..he says only safe travel is an UBER.. tke a normal taxi and your in trouble .. everyone seems lovely but the truth is they are just out to get as much money out of every way possible
I loved it
Bogota is awesome!
Beautiful and the locals are friendly to tourists.
Great city for parties and enjoying nature around the city. highly recommended.
Beautiful BIG City
I have gone to Bogotá twice. Both times I enjoyed my stay. Is it the safest place to travel to? No, but what major city in the world is? There is always a downside. If you are experienced with travel and you know how to protect yourself and your items, there is nothing to worry about. I will be going back in the future.
Affordable and cheap
The locals are actually friendly but be wary of the taxi drivers who want to trick you just because you are a foreigner. Not to generalize all of them, but we encountered a couple when we there, make sure the meter is turned on and be aware of the prices. Price wise, Bogota is affordable and cheap. You don’t need to break bank to enjoy what Bogota has to offer.
I had a lot of fun in Bogota
Bogota is not as unsafe as some make it out to be. We were perfectly safe here on our trip. Of course you need to pay attention to your surroundings and your belongings but that’s the case for any place. Experimental theater is one of the best attractions here and locals are friendly towards tourists.
Colombia in and of itself is not safe. No matter what city. I am not sure what you are on about. I have been all over for work and I have had a number of issues myself. I have seen women being harassed and even hit in public. Sure, the cities have beautiful places but unless you are here often enough, you will not see the bad side.
It can be a nice experience but you need to know a few things
As a tourist and keeping to the tourist path things can be nice and safe in Bogota. But if you stay here long enough and start venturing out of the regular, tourists routes then you will inevitably start to see the bad part of this city. Pickpockets are just the start. You need to protect your purse and phone at all times as these are the easiest things they will try to steal.
Muggings happen here, in some areas that you should avoid anyway and especially during the night. During the night, the city is very dangerous in non-tourist areas but I would avoid doing things alone during night time no matter the area. You might be fine if you do but bad things do tend to happen at night so why not be smart about it?
There is also counterfeit money running around and sometimes it’s hard to spot it. Taxi drivers (not all) can be aggressive in their language and even physically and will try to overcharge for most fares. Also be careful about credit card skimming as it happens here a lot. Not trying to scare you off but it’s better to know what you may encounter if you come to Bogota.
This is a beautiful place, with a lot to see but some people in it are bad and only want to steal from you. Paying close attention to your surroundings, going in groups of at least 3-4 and never with just women in the group – all of this will make things a lot safer here.
One of the first things I like to do when I get to a new place is to take a free walking tour with a guide. This lets me see the city and learn more about it from my guide. I will often ask about the good, the bad and the ugly and learn a lot and this is true for Bogota as well. This is invaluable if you ask me.
Do this in every city you visit and you will gain a wealth of knowledge about that place.
Be Very Careful in Bogots 2022
You MUST watch out in Bogota, even in “nice” residential areas. Street crime is ever-present and increasing. Robbery with knives is rampant, even during the day. If you see 2 men on a motorcycle (or even 2 motorcycles with 2 men on each like happened to us), you’re about to get robbed.
Carry a dummy wallet. Don’t wear jewelry. If you show your cellphone, you’re a target. Walk on the sidewalk facing on-coming traffic so you don’t get surprised from behind. Be vigilant. NOWHERE is safe. Walking at night is NOT recommended.
Call for taxi’s or use Uber. I’ve been coming to Bogota since 2013. The city has definitely devolved since then.
As a colombian, I must warn everyone of the dangers of Colombia. As a tourist you will always stand out, do not try to camouflage among locals, you look like a fly in milk. It is a very messy country and everyone looks out for themselves. So you must be cautious and cunning. The police are useless, and outside the hotel you are on your own. It’s real: millionaire ride in a taxi or uber, pills in the drink, robbery with scopolamine, pickpocketing with a dagger is a national sport. It is real. Attention to those who are looking for other types of “experiences” because it can be quite expensive, I mean those who asks for hallucinogenic drugs, they always are cheated with some kind of oregano grass or a drug soup that contains even caffeine, without saying that can lose (even the kidney). If you go in your plan and stick to it and go to tourist places, you will surely meet friendly and cordial people.
wow, what real ambassador Jorge. Yes, there are a lot of issues, nobody can deny it, but not every visitor will experience that level of hostility. I have traveled the world myself, I have seen a lot, I had spent years in Colombia too and definitively, I still have my two kidneys 🙂
Proceed with Caution
As a female expat who has lived here for the past two years, I would say that this is one of the more honest reviews of what Bogotá is like.
It is frustrating to read other reviews that seem to gloss over the very present dangers here. I am from the UK and have lived abroad (mostly in Asia) for the past ten years and moving here regarding being “street-smart” was a real eye-opener for me. You DO and MUST be aware here of the dangers; these can happen in the daytime (especially around Trans Milenio stations and La Candelaria) and most definitely at night and you must not walk anywhere as a female here after sundown. Sadly mugging with guns has become more of an issue and I know at least 5 people, including women coming out of the gym in the north who have been mugged this way.
The most common type of theft on the street seems to be of mobile phones and bikes. Regarding handbags you must wear a cross-body bag and you should conceal cards and larger notes – theft from restaurants is common (again this happened to me while I was living in Cedritos in the north). If you are renting an apartment here you must be aware of scams from landlords withholding substantial money for normal “wear and tear” (my landlord for example insisted on the entire apartment being repainted after I’d stayed just 6 months – also she withheld my deposit and charged for the months that I didn’t stay up to the one year). Be aware also of problems with glass shower doors – the difference in temp between the hot air created by the shower and the cold of outside can cause these doors to smash – this happened to me and I had 15 stitches, luckily in my lower leg rather than an artery – the doctor said I was the 5th person she’d treated with the same injuries or worse – and if this happens you are liable for the damage not the landlord.
I also had a burglary of my home in “upscale and safe” neighborhood of Chico and when I tried to get it investigated by the police and wanted my building to check the cctv – I found they only had one camera in the whole building above the front door which was already manned by a guard and so nothing to prevent or protect you from any crimes from within the building. My landlord had also not provided any safe for my 6 month air bnb stay. Regarding Candelaria for women planning to stay here alone – avoid it. The costs are lower for a reason. I booked a 3 week stay just around the corner to Parque los Periodistas and yes there’s lots of nice cafes in the day but likewise a huge amount of extremely shifty individuals- and after dark the roads here are dangerous.
Compared to the north where I lived there is a definite lower amount of police and drugs are consumed in the open even during the day and I have never seen a policeman intervene with them. The effects of this on people can be quite shocking if you haven’t seen this before. Regarding open areas in La Candelaria, if I was alone or with another western-looking woman I wouldn’t feel safe walking around and I order taxis from Uber/cabify directly from my building door. In cabs also when you get in be careful to check the doors are locked – I had a drug addict physically shake the doors of the taxi I was in trying to steal my handbag.
Also be aware while traveling in taxis of scams involving motorcycles “crashing” into your car – this can be a way to get rich-looking taxi clients to get out to help only to be robbed – this also happened to me with my boyfriend and luckily our driver screamed for us to get back in the car as he had experienced this just the week before. My advice is to always look confident, never take your phone out on the street, avoid if you can bad areas or go with a Colombian and never wear anything that appears flashy or makes you stand out.
If you live here it’s important not to mention where you live online and not to mention valuables that you might own – get a safe and cameras installed if you can. All this is such a shame because Bogotá is such an amazing and interesting place and the people generally are wonderful but it is important that visitors are aware of massive social inequalities here and need, remain vigilant and aware at all times. sadly, with a lack of proper information for travellers, a lot of visitors here put themselves unknowingly at great risk and the dangers here are very real and should not be tested.
I was mugged
I was on vacation with my wife when 2 men came and held a knife ordering us to hand over our phones and wallets, seriously, this place needs better police.