Have you ever wondered whether Bogota is safe for tourists this year of 2018? Well, you might have seen in the news that Charlie Sheen went to Colombia for a drug sobriety therapy. This decision by Sheen has been laughed about by his constant critics claiming that Columbia is a notorious place for mafias, drug marketers, and gangsters.
If that’s the case, shall you still consider going to Colombia? Can Bogota still be a safe place for your family’s vacation?
Trust us. Bogota is such a wonderful location where you can have some of the happiest memories in your life. Let me tell you the reasons for coming to Bogota.
2018 Bogota Travel Safety
We all surely have seen one movie that features drug menace and crimes being set in Colombia. The stereotype has been so established that Colombia has been regarded as a haven for drug traffickers and big crime groups. The film industry has seemed to take pleasure in making Colombia an infamous setting in order to create a vile picture of the place and cause a greater impact in their movies. Films, news, stories, and even casual conversations would talk about Colombia as a paradise for those who are in the black market of prostitution, crime, drugs, and more.
However, you have to know that 2018 has seen significant changes in Bogota as a travel destination. Yes, there are news about some local people who are being victimized by pickpockets and swindlers, but such news are also present in other destinations, right? Why should we even single out Bogota or Colombia for that matter?
We should stop creating stereotypes about certain places just because of some incidents that transpire separately. Because once we continue with the habit of making ugly generalizations, then we start to lose the chance to discover the beauty in them.
It is now time to start acknowledging the beauty of Colombia as a country. It is definitely not just crimes and drugs, but it also features a magnificent culture, beautiful architecture, stunning nature landscapes, and so much more. Bogota is definitely safe to be your tourist destination in 2018. You must never miss the chance to come to this country and experience the fascination that may come only once in your life.
Some of the best places to visit in the country are Bogota, Deillin, Mompox, Santander, and La Gujira. These are the widely visited areas of Colombia and tourists have never failed to appreciate their beauty.
However, let me remind you that certain care must also be exercise when visiting Bogota or any other place around the world for that matter. You cannot just trust anyone around you fully, right? It is but wise to make the necessary precautionary measures in order to make all your travels safe, sound, and worth-remembering. Do not be afraid of visiting Bogota because the government has installed a lot of security forces in the area. You will find police cars patrolling the streets and police centers are definitely visible in certain locations. Be confident because Bogota will surely be a wonderful experience for you, your friends, and your family members.
US Travel Advisory For Colombia Tours
You may have heard that the US government has issued a travel warning against going to Colombia. The USA Department of State has indeed issues such a warning but that must not be a reason for you to be afraid of even coming to the country. The government has since issued a lot of travel warnings to different countries across the globe because of isolated incidents. The solution to this dilemma is finding the real cause of the issuance of the travel warning and taking the necessary steps in order not to be in danger. Certainly, not all parts of Colombia could be dangerous for you. Just choose the best and safest parts for your travel.
Although the US government still has the same stand concerning the travel warning, you have to know that such a stance is only because of three Colombian cities namely Palmira, Pereira, and Cali. These three cities have been included in the top 100 most dangerous places in the world as determined by the World Atlas. Does Colombia now sound scary for you? What if you start to discover that even the United States has its own share in the most dangerous places in the world? Yup, even US cities such as Detroit, New Orleans, and Baltimore are included in the record. But why do tourists still flock the US?
If you are just simply basing your travel decisions based on travel warnings, government policies, and media news, then you are definitely losing a big chunk of an adventure. You will have to make your own decision, weight the pros and cons, and start making in-depth research about the places you’d like to go to. You cannot continue to be restricted by such remarks because at the end of the day, you can still manage to make yourself safe for as long as you take the necessary precautionary measures.
Colombia is generally safe for tourists in 2018. The murder rates in Colombia do not even go far from the murder incidents in the United States. The travel warning is definitely unfair and unreasonable coming from a country that has almost the same record of murders in a year.
The Best Tips To Be Safe In Colombia
Why do I recommend that you go to Colombia? It’s simply because I also want you to experience the same wonderful memories that I’ve had when I came here. To remove your worries, let me tell you that I haven’t experienced any harm from the locals of this country. If you follow my safety tips, then I am sure that you will also have the greatest time of your life in Colombia.
You will have to remember that each place has its own culture, tradition, and community practices. You will have to be aware of these in order not to offend certain groups of people and to make yourself as safe as possible.
The district of Bogota is basically characterized by Latin and American cultures. You will notice that the architecture surrounding the place is very Latin-inspired with some modern American touches. It would be nice to visit Bogota because it is the capital of Bogota. Being the biggest city in the country, you will be finding a lot of interesting stuff in the locality. Businesses thrive in the city. Entertainment abounds in the area. Fun is a sure thing in Bogota.
Here Are Practical Tips To Follow When Visiting Bogota:
Identify The Safe Zones
Know that there are only certain parts of Bogota where gang wars transpire. You will have to identify where pickpockets thrive and where street gangsters usually hang out. Once you have identified these places, then you will need to have the willingness to refrain from visiting them. Do not be excessively adventurous and try visiting the danger zones.
It would also be a wise thing to heed the advice of your travel agents or the local people you encounter. If you have hired a taxi driver and he has uttered certain remarks about a certain place as being dangerous, might as well listen to him.
Once you have arrived in Bogota, I suggest that you book your accommodations at the hotels in Chapinero Alto, Parque 93, and Zona T. These areas are among the safest places in the city with a lot of establishments for your shopping and dining needs.
Blend With The Locals
The best thing that you can do to experience an extremely fun and safe travel to Bogota is by blending in with the locals. It is nice if you know a few of Spanish words. Do not ever try to question their local practices or even their religion. Be respectful of every aspect of their culture, their worship centers, and their local laws most especially. Never utter harsh words against anyone or against their institutions even in a foreign language. If you want to have new Colombian friends and get instant discounts on meals from dining establishments, then you will have to practice your Spanish accent.
Take Extra Care
Vigilance is key to having the safest travels anywhere in the world. Always keep your things beside you. Do not leave your bags on a restaurant table or in a train. Make sure that your belongings are well taken care of. It is definitely impossible to get back whatever you have lost.
Although you will have to be respectful to the locals, still practice extra caution when conversing with strangers. Do not make your conversations long most especially when you have met such person only for the first time. Never ever let other people hold your wallets and valuable items. Do not ever believe anyone who promises to offer you something so great in value. Be extra cautious when traveling to Bogota or to any other destination.
Drugs Are Definitely A No-No
Are you lured into thinking that you can get the best drug deals in Colombia? Start removing the thought from your mind since you can only be endangering yourself. Even when you think that tourists are exempt from prevailing laws against drugs, you may be wrong about that. There have already been accounts when foreign tourists have been jailed and deported because of drug deals.
Start having a more appreciative perspective of Colombia because of its culinary heritage, tradition, history, and natural wonders. Drugs is definitely not a beautiful aspect of Colombia and you shall never be part of it.
Remember to choose the people whom you interact with. Do not trust anyone fully because you’ll never know the real intentions in their mind.
Be A Humble Traveler
Are you among the travelers who consider yourselves so highly? Then you might just put yourself in danger for being too proud. If I were you, I will practice a little bit of modesty when coming to Bogota. You cannot show arrogance to the locals and provoke them. Be a humble traveler who knows how to appreciate every person coming from all races and all walks of life. Colombians have a very close-knit family tradition. They value respect, trust, and loyalty. Once you show these values, then you can expect to be treated like a family in a foreign place.
Remember also to put on modest clothing. Although the entire Colombian country has a warm climate, you must prevent yourself from wearing extremely daring clothing. You can simply get on a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a shirt. Please do not attempt to be showing off your diamonds or golds during your Bogota travels. You surely do not want to attract robbers, right?