Safest Places in Colombia for Solo Female Travel

Located in the northwest of South America, Colombia is a mesmerizing blend of vibrant culture, architectural grandeur, immense biodiversity, and striking landscapes. Known for its vast coffee plantations that produce some of the finest brews in the world, it also presents a rich cultural tapestry of music and dance, particularly Salsa. Colombian emerald mines, believed to produce the highest quality gems in the world, add a sparkling allure to its reputation. Its history echoes through colonial structures, intriguing archaeological sites as the Lost City of Teyuna, and pre-Hispanic cultures evident in the Gold Museum. For nature lovers, the Amazon rainforest, pristine beaches of Cartagena, snow-capped Andean peaks, and the unique flora and fauna promise an unforgettable encounter with Mother Nature.
Cartagena

1, Cartagena

Cartagena, located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is considerably one of South America's most mesmerizing colonial destinations. Renowned for its remarkable Spanish architecture and the age-old city walls encasing the historic Old Town, the city is a living relic of the 16th century. The cobblestone streets, colorful balconies draped with bougainvillea, and bustling plazas featuring outdoor cafes are vivid scenes perfect for leisurely exploration. Cartagena is also known for its sensational Near Shore Islands that provide beautiful beaches and exceptional diving experiences. All these attributes, combined with the city's rich culture and pulsating nightlife, make it a truly captivating destination.

Medellín

2, Medellín

Nestled in the Aburrá Valley of the Andes Mountains in northwestern Colombia, Medellín is a cosmopolitan city brimming with charm and pulsating energy. Known as the "City of Eternal Spring" due to its idyllic climate, Medellín is recognized for its ceaseless efforts to reinvent itself following turbulent times. Today, it offers a juxtaposition of urban life amid lush green hills. Known for its colorful Paisa culture, delectable gastronomy, and world-renowned coffee, it's also a cradle of innovation and creativity, offering an array of cultural attractions including the Museo de Antioquia, housing works by famed artist Fernando Botero. Not to forget, the joyous Feria de Las Flores (Flower Festival) and the stunning Christmas lighting display, are both a testament to Medellín's vibrant heart and transformative spirit.

Bogotá

3, Bogotá

Bogotá, the captivating capital city of Colombia, nestled high in the Andes at 2,640 meters above sea level, is renowned for its rich blend of historical allure and contemporary culture. Known for its pleasing mixture of old-world charm and modern conveniences, Bogotá showcases diverse cultural attractions and gorgeous architectural displays, from the quaint, cobblestoned streets of the La Candelaria district to significant landmarks such as the stunning Gold Museum housing nearly 34,000 gold pieces from pre-Hispanic cultures and the awe-inspiring Monserrate Hill that offers spectacular views of the city. A gastronomic hotspot, Bogotá also touts a food scene that is a compelling blend of traditional Colombian fare and modern cuisine, earning it a top spot on the foodie world map. It's a city of vibrant contrasts that thrums with energy yet possesses a laid-back charm, truly a must-visit destination full of cultural richness and natural beauty.

Providencia

4, Providencia

Located roughly 800 kilometers off the coast of Colombia in the Caribbean, Providencia is a hidden gem boasting of untouched beauty and preserving the charismatic old-world Caribbean charm. The island is celebrated for its vibrant coral reefs, cited as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which offer an alluring hotspot for snorkeling and scuba diving. It's also famous for its stunning beaches such as the Manzanillo and South West Bay, and the captivating McBean Lagoon National Natural Park. The island's culture is deeply rooted in African and British traditions, which reflects vibrantly in its music, cuisine, and the Creole-speaking locals, offering tourists a rich and unique cultural experience.

Santa Marta

5, Santa Marta

Nestled along the Caribbean coastline of Colombia, Santa Marta is a unique blend of beautiful beaches, historical heritage, and abundant nature. Renowned as South America's oldest surviving city, it boasts enchanting colonial architecture and a vibrant culinary scene that consistently entices travellers. From here, you can venture into the lush mountains of the Sierra Nevada range, visit the indigenous Kogi tribe, or explore the biodiversity of the nearby Tayrona National Park. Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a beach lover, Santa Marta perfectly caters to your travel desires.

Guatapé

6, Guatapé

Nestled in the province of Antioquia, Colombia, Guatapé is renowned for its vibrant, candy-colored houses adorned with Zócalos, which are striking, sculpted boards on the lower parts of the buildings. Only two hours from Medellín, this charming Andean resort town offers a cornucopia of activities for visitors. Guatapé is famous for La Piedra Del Peñol, a gigantic granite monolith where you can climb 649 steps to relish panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The town is also known for the idyllic Guatapé reservoir, ideal for boating excursions, and its cobblestone streets lined with shops selling unique artisanal goods.

Salento

7, Salento

Nestled in the heart of the Andean mountains in Colombia, Salento is a small vibrant town known for its colorful colonial architecture, artisanal shops, traditional eateries, and the friendliness of its inhabitants. It's a unique paradise for travelers, embodying a perfect atmosphere for relaxation and cultural immersion. Salento's prime location serves as a gateway to the magnificent Cocora Valley, home to the towering wax palm trees that create a breathtakingly beautiful scenario. Coffee enthusiasts will also be delighted as the region is renowned for its coffee plantations, offering visitors a chance to learn about the coffee-making process and taste some of the world's finest coffee.

Uribia

8, Uribia

Uribia, located in the heart of the Guajira Peninsula in northern Colombia, is a fascinating destination brimming with indigenous Wayuu culture. Known as the "Indigenous Capital of Colombia," this vibrant town is particularly renowned for its annual Wayuu Culture Festival where you can witness the spectacle of traditional song, dance, and craftmanship. Visitors here are drawn to the sprawling, rustic landscapes, which range from sun-drenched semi-desert terrain to picturesque Caribbean beaches. Uribia is a unique place to fully immerse oneself in Colombia's rich native ancestry and experience an untouched part of the world.

Riohacha

9, Riohacha

Riohacha is a vibrant, tropical city located in the northernmost part of Colombia, along the Caribbean Sea. Known as the "Pearl of the Caribbean", this unique destination encapsulates the allure of Colombian culture with a captivating blend of indigenous heritage and modern allure. It is famous for its stunning sun-kissed beaches, exotic wildlife in the surrounding desert, and bustling artisan markets. The city's charm is amplified by its colorful colonial architecture, mouthwatering local seafood cuisine, and the friendly warmth of its people. Whether you're on a quest for adventure or relaxation, Riohacha is a captivating vacation spot that offers a little slice of paradise for every traveler.

Calabazo

10, Calabazo

Calabazo is a rustic and charming village located on the northern coast of Colombia. It sits nestled in the lush footprint of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. Renowned as a gateway to the iconic Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, this quaint settlement hosts travelers from around the world. Its verdant surroundings offer countless opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore diverse flora and fauna. Combine this with a trip to the idyllic local beaches or a hike to the ancient indigenous town of Pueblito, and Calabazo becomes an intriguing ecosystem that offers a delightful blend of culture, history, and nature waiting to be discovered.

Cucuta

11, Cucuta

Cucuta is a vibrant city situated on the northeastern edge of Colombia, sharing its borders with Venezuela. Known as the gateway between the two countries, there's an interesting blend of cultures which reflects in its food, music, and architecture. Surrounded by lush green mountains and scenic landscapes, the city is famous for its historical significance, being the birthplace of the Colombian Constitution. Cucuta serves as a commercial and manufacturing hub thriving on its textile and clothing industry. It offers a unique mixture of historical sights such as the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, iconic bridges like Simon Bolivar, and natural beauties like the Zulia River. The city truly comes alive during the Carnaval Internacional de Cucuta, an annual festival filled with parades, music, dance and colorful costumes, reflecting Colombia’s rich cultural heritage.

Bucaramanga

12, Bucaramanga

Bucaramanga, nestled within the majestic Andean region of northeastern Colombia, boasts an attractive blend of natural beauty and urban charm. Known as "La Ciudad De Los Parques" or the "City of Parks", this vibrant city is home to over 160 parks, teeming with diverse fauna and flora. The historical architecture merges seamlessly with the modern urban designs, creating a unique backdrop for exploration. Bucaramanga is infamous for its thriving tannery industry, making it the top destination for those seeking high-quality leather goods. Adventure seekers can immerse themselves in thrilling activities like paragliding at the Chicamocha Canyon, while food lovers can indulge in traditional gastronomic delights, such as 'hormigas culonas,' or 'large-bottomed ants,' a local delicacy.

Ciénaga

13, Ciénaga

Ciénaga is a charming coastal town nestled in the gorgeous Caribbean region of Colombia. It is renowned for its rich culture, tradition, and spectacular biodiversity. A prominent highlight is the iconic Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, one of the largest coastal wetlands in Latin America, which is a UNESCO-declared Biosphere Reserve known for its stunning landscapes and diverse fauna. Ciénaga is also steeped in history; it's famously associated with Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magical realism literature, with many landmarks from his novels prominently displayed. This town with its breathtaking beaches, unraveled wildlife, and unique culture offers an authentic taste of Caribbean Colombia that beguiles every traveler.

Valledupar

14, Valledupar

Valledupar, located in the northeastern part of Colombia, is a majestic city filled with the warmth of its people, enchanting folklore, and natural wonders. Renowned as the capital of the Cesar Department, it's nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, home to vast biodiversity. Valledupar is globally recognized as the birthplace of Vallenato music, showcasing this intoxicating style in the annual Vallenato Legend Festival and the world’s largest Vallenato accordion event. The city's remarkable past is reflected in historical sites like the Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Didactic Museum Padilla House, while the scenic Guatapurí River and Vallenato Park offer lush, green escapes for nature aficionados. The grandeur of Valledupar enthralls its visitors with a rich blend of music, culture, and nature.

Soledad

15, Soledad

Soledad, a charming, vibrant city, is located in the Atlántico Department, Northern Colombia, known as a part of the metropolitan area of Barranquilla. With a rich history dating back to the Pre-Columbian era, this city warmly greets visitors with its architectural wealth and cultural diversity. It's recognized for its famous churches, notably the Saint Thomas Church, dating back to the 18th century. Nature lovers find tranquility in The Botanical and Zoological Foundation of Barranquilla, a sanctuary for the region's exotic flora and fauna. The city is ideally known for its annual Carnival of Barranquilla, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, where the locals will charm you with their rhythm, color, and joy.

Barranquilla

16, Barranquilla

Barranquilla, a vibrant and bustling city nestled at the mouth of the Magdalena River on the northern coast of Colombia, is a must-visit destination for cultural enthusiasts and city explorers alike. It's notable for its rich amalgamation of cultures and architectural beauty that echoes its colonial past, with modern skyscrapers blending seamlessly with traditional structures. Known worldwide for its electrifying Carnaval de Barranquilla, one of the biggest and most colorful festivals in the world, the city is teeming with lively dance, pulsing music, and lively parades that showcase its multi-cultural heritage. Beyond the energetic festivities, Barranquilla is also famed for its mouth-watering gastronomy, breath-taking river views, and its vibrant art scene, synonymous with Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, truly making this city a vibrant tapestry of experiences awaiting discovery.

Monteria

17, Monteria

Monteria, the vibrant capital city of the Cordoba Department, is a hidden gem nestled amidst the scenic landscapes of northern Colombia. Boasting a unique blend of enthralling nature and rich cultural heritage, it is beautifully veined by the Sinú River that creates an enchanting, serene backdrop. Monteria is renowned for its biodiversity, housing Reserva Natural Sanguare, a nature reserve with endless mangroves and exotic wildlife. The city's gastronomic delights, particularly mouth-watering local beef, draw both food enthusiasts and curious travellers alike. Moreover, it is globally recognised as the "City of Eternal Summer", punishable by its warm, tropical climate that brightly persists all year round. From horse riding across its rural plains to exploring its colonial architecture, Monteria beautifully combines the authenticity of Colombian culture with the charm of untouched nature.

Barichara

18, Barichara

Barichara, a jewel nestled in the lush hills of Santander, Colombia, has been widely celebrated as one of the country's most beautiful small towns. Recognized nationally as a cultural heritage site, this charming village exudes an ambiance of tranquility and timeless elegance that is reflected in its perfectly preserved cobblestone streets and whitewashed colonial-era buildings. It is recognized for its thriving arts scene, with artisan workshops and art galleries scattered throughout town. Walking along the Camino Real, a historic trail meandering through stunning landscapes and leading to the nearby village of Guane, is an experience not to be missed by outdoor enthusiasts. The delightful culinary scene, specializing in traditional Colombian cuisine and the local delicacy called hormigas culonas (large ants), is another of Barichara's many attractions.

San Gil

19, San Gil

Nestled in the Santander Department of north-eastern Colombia, San Gil is a captivating gem known as the adventure capital of the country. This picturesque town, adorned with cobbled streets, colonial architecture, and tranquil parks, is highlighted by the natural beauty of its surrounding landscapes, including the majestic Suarez River and Chicamocha Canyon. San Gil is famed for offering thrilling outdoor activities such as rafting, caving, bungee jumping, and hiking. Visitors here can also explore the historic town center, discover regional foods at the local market, or marvel at the breathtaking views at the nearby Juan Curi waterfall.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the safest places in Colombia for solo female travellers?

The safest places in Colombia for solo female travellers are:

What is the ranking methodology?

The ranking is based on over 5000 reviews from verified female travelers. Five crucial rating factors are taken into account: overall experience, food, safety, affordability, and things to do.