Colombia is a beautiful country with gorgeous natural scenery, sunny weather, and delicious food, but there is no denying its history. It has seen some dark days at the hands of the drug cartels and the war they raged with the Colombian government, in addition to the presence of paramilitary groups in the country. While those days might be mostly in the past, it’s still not the safest nation in the world to pay a visit to. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go, you 100% should. But keep the following in mind:
Be Aware of Robberies
Kidnappings aren’t as common as they used to be in Colombia, but for both tourists and locals, robberies are commonplace. As a solo traveler you will stand out like a target, so make sure you do not venture off the beaten path during your travels through the country. Stay in populated areas and make sure that the hotel you are staying in has a good reputation.
Colombia is a Spanish speaking nation. And although a lot of the population speak good English, there are some rural communities that still don’t speak any English at all. It’s a good idea to learn some basic Spanish before you travel, so make an effort and check out BaseLang’s school for learning Spanish.
Even just a few basic phrases will make your time in Colombia much easier and could get you out of a sticky situation.
Contemplate Hiring a Guide
It may go against the notion of traveling solo, but if you want to see absolutely stunning locations in isolated areas, and do all that while being safe, you could hire a guide for the day.
They know which areas are safe and which are not, and be able to show you the highlights in the area which could save you time and money in the long run.
Leave Valuables at Home
One of the best measures you can take against being robbed is to carry nothing of value. Leave your watch, expensive jewelry and large amounts of cash at the hotel. Another tip is to carry expired credit cards which you can offer up to prospective thieves instead of your valid ones.
Forget the camera too. Walking around with a camera around your neck in a dangerous neighborhood is asking for trouble!
If you keep your wits about you and stay within safe areas, you won’t experience any problems in Colombia!