When the Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen went to Columbia for vacation after his supposed drug sobriety therapy, was questioned and made fun by critics, while others asked is Bogota safe for tourists in 2018? The actor was and is infamous for his drug abuse encounter and aberrant attitude. One can often wonder, what is about Columbia that is directly associated with black market drugs, mafia and gangsters?
First thing first, is Columbia a safe place for tourists? Yes, definitely. In this article we will tell you why and help you how to stay safe too!
Is Colombia Dangerous In 2018?
Columbia has been always synonymous with drugs. Illegal, black market and outlawed drugs has always been pictured out if the country “Columbia” comes up in a conversation. Usually the country has been darkened by the image that one can imagine drugs can be bought anywhere in the streets of Columbia, where rich and famous drug cartel owners and heartless killers run their society. But things have gotten better making Colombia safe in 2018.
Well, we should blame the movies for the bad name. Although reports of local and tourists intimidated, mugged, robbed, pick pocketed, swindled, issues in human trafficking / prostitution, and unjustly treated in some parts and regions in Columbia have surfaced the news in the past.
People should stop generalizing the whole country with which incidents that happened in one area should be left isolated and one should realized; this does not speak and describe the whole country, thus Bogota is safe in 2018 for those that respect it and take precautions.
To name a few from its many wonderful places in Columbia are Bogota, Deillin, Mompox, Santander, and La Gujira. The country has so much more to offer. With the magnificent nature and as well great culture, one must visit Columbia.
People must realize that anywhere in the world, every time you travel, one must take extra care. Unwanted incidents, delays and other inconveniences must be expected and tourist must be ready and vigilant at all time. This is a reminder not only in Columbia – but everywhere.
Security wise, there are cities and areas in Columbia have adequate police patrol cars, and a number of help desks for tourist’s assistance, especially in Bogota.
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United States Travel Advisory In Columbia
What so unlikely, is the consular warning of USA Department of State to American tourists to take heed in traveling to the country of Columbia. But everyone must also remember that embassy travel warnings should not cause a general public alarm. This does not mean if there is a safety and security concern in a particular city of a country, this does not reflect and happens to the whole region nor whole country.
In 2018, US government believes that Columbia can still be a dangerous place for Americans to travel. This is in relation to Columbia having 3 cities included in the top 100 most dangerous cities in the world of the lists released by World Atlas. These are Cali in top 13, Palmira in # 8, and Pereira in top 45. But unfortunately, US have cities included in the infamous top record. Statistic shows that US have 4 dangerous cities included in the list – St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, and New Orleans; top 15, 19, 28 and 32 respectively.
That made the Department State warn their citizen to (as much as possible) refrain from traveling to Columbia, or if one really insists to take the risk – travelers must be extra careful to make Colombia safe for tourists in 2018.
If one would base the frequency of murders in Columbia transpired this year to equate to be considered as dangerous country, well why can’t other countries have also deemed US as dangerous too? Basically, the security risk advisory of the US embassy to Columbian territory has often misunderstood and wrongly generalized the whole country.
We would like to reiterate, that the country of Columbia is as safe as and as chaotic as North America as well. There should be no bad name calling and stigmatic branding. Columbia is a country from South America which a mix Spanish – Latin – American history, tradition and culture.
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Practical Tips On How To Survive Your Columbian Tour
Now, that we lessen (if not really erased totally) the hesitations and bad reputation you knew about Columbia, we will give you important tips on how to stay safe and secured when you travel there.
Everyone must consider that Columbia have also records of violence, crimes (ranging from petty to heavy crimes), and chaotic atmosphere. But that all depends on the area in Columbia you are traveling and it can be possible that Bogota is not safe in 2018 if you don’t follow respectable rules and common sense.
Although there are cities like Bogota in Columbia, is one of many places you must visit and discover. Latin and American culture is quite well practice until now. There are building structures, lifestyles of locals, and as well as traditions reflect the city. The district of Bogota is the capital of Columbia. It is also the largest city in the country. Despite of being the center of business in the country, Bogota is a safe place for locals and travelers. Without further ado, here are the practical tips how to safe vacation in Bogota, Columbia.
Book On Secured Hotels And Inns
Make sure you are going to stay in secured and reliable hotels. Although it is a little bit expensive compared to other rented apartments, popular and trust – worthy accommodation rooms are safer because they provide security personnel who are able to monitor people who are getting in and out of the hotel area to make your trip to Colombia safe in 2018.
These hotels are also able to hire responsible and pre-evaluated staffs that are most likely trained and background checked.
Identify Safe Zone Places
To lessen risk of getting caught in a gang war or being swindled by street scammers is to make sure you stay in an area where it is always safe. Before you book your flight and hotel going to Columbia, make sure you have researched well if the vicinity where you are taking a vacation is safe or not.
It is always wise to listen and read feedback of people who have actually been to places you wanted to visit in Columbia.
If you are around Bogota, you can rely on hotels and restaurants under these places: Chapinero alto, Parque 93 and Zona T. The community and atmosphere around this area is safer compared to all other areas around Bogota.
The ones who always get to trouble are those conceited and arrogant tourists. Why? Because you do not want any alien to your city project as if they are too important to be treated special. If you act humbly and friendly, you will then be treated really well, like a family. Columbian have a strong family ties. They will treat you one if you are able to gain their trust.
Also, dress modestly. Since Bogota and other cities in Columbia are of warm temperature, a pair of pants and flat shoes may be best worn during your trip to the country. Do not wear obviously expensive jewelries or watches. You would not want to catch the eyes of pick pockets and swindlers that can make Colombia not safe in 2018.
Be One Of The Locals
Try to learn Spanish. Be friendly. Be humble. You would not want to be treated badly, so act as if you are one of the locals. Appreciate their culture, respect local regulations and laws, try their food, and never speak ill of the country.
If you are able to speak even a little bit of Spanish, you may gain friends. You will also be surprised you may get great discounts and complimentary meal on your sight -seeing.
Stay Away From Drugs
If your primary purpose to visit Columbia is because you think you can easily get drugs and indulge in prostitution, please stop. Using that mindset will make you a target for trouble.
You should visit Columbia because of its tourist attraction, food, culture and history. Besides that goal, you have the change to get into a lot of trouble. There a lot of foreign tourists who were jailed in Columbia (either framed or guilty) because of drug related problem. One should be reminded, jails in Columbia is unfriendly and a nightmare. So stay away from unscrupulous activities and transactions.
And also, stay away from friends or people whom you have a gut feeling that won’t do any good to you.
If you are a well – seasoned traveller, you probably know that it is always safe to be vigilant at all times. Making sure you never forget your things elsewhere. If you left your wallet in a restaurant full of people, expect the chances are you won’t be able to get it back. But of course, there are still good Samaritans somehow who might possibly return what is yours. Never easily accept invitations or have a long talk to strangers (be friendly but never give personal details that you might caught off guard). Never entrust your expensive items, credit card, and other valuables to complete strangers (even police officers – especially if you are not sure if they are really police).
When speaking with locals and other tourists as well, remember: “If it is too good to be true, it is probably it isn’t.”
The best thing to do in Columbia is to enjoy every moment. Positive thinking and happy thoughts attract favorable situations.