Safest Places in Colombia for Solo Female Travel


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.


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.


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.

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4, 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.


5, 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

6, 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.


7, 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.


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.


9, 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.


10, 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.


11, Palomino

Nestled on the stunning Caribbean coast of Colombia, Palomino is an enchanting paradise, blessed with golden sandy beaches, lush verdant mountains, and a serene river, attracting nature enthusiasts from around the world. Located in the tropical La Guajira region, Palomino remains largely undiscovered, offering a tranquil retreat from the bustling urban landscapes. It is famous for its extraordinary ecotourism, perfect for tubing down the Palomino River, trekking in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, and indulging in its pristine beaches. The place also offers a delightful opportunity to explore Colombian culture with its indigenous ethnic groups and local cuisine. Palomino is truly an off-the-beaten-path gem with its unrivaled natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.


12, Minca

Nestled high in the lush Sierra Nevada mountains of Santa Marta in Northern Colombia, Minca is a charming, little-known paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Known for its cool climate, contrasting to Colombia’s Caribbean coast, this place is a sanctuary of nature with panoramic views, waterfalls, and abundant birdlife. As the heart of Colombia's burgeoning coffee industry, it provides opportunities for visitors to enjoy coffee farm tours, where you can learn about the growing process and taste some of the world's best organic coffee. With its dense forests, shimmering rivers, stunning waterfalls, and a burgeoning ecotourism scene, Minca serves as the perfect destination for those looking for tranquillity and a close encounter with nature.


13, 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.


14, 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.


15, 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

16, 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.

Villa de Leyva

17, Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is an enchanting and historical town perched in the highlands of the Boyacá department in Colombia, just a few hours drive away from Bogotá. Known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and the immense Plaza Mayor, which is one of the largest town squares in South America, Villa de Leyva is a beloved destination for tourists seeking a taste of the past. The town is also famous for its Paleontological Research Center, which showcases a trove of dinosaur fossils found in the region. Steeped in history and imbued with a tranquil, timeless ambiance, Villa de Leyva offers an idyllic retreat into a bygone era.


18, Marinilla

Marinilla, a charming small town nestled within the bountiful region of Antioquia, Colombia, is just an exciting one-hour drive from the city of Medellin. Famous as "The Town of the Caciques", Marinilla radiates local culture and tradition, prominently through its captivating historical center which is beautifully preserved with traditional houses, cultural centers like the Municipal Band School, and church-filled squares. A key point of interest is the vibrant La Ceja Del Tambo, renowned for an array of colorful flora. Visitors drawn to this town are captivated by its unique blend of natural beauty, architectural marvels, and its distinct tradition of music and folk dances.


19, Yopal

Situated in the eastern region of Colombia, Yopal serves as the capital of the department of Casanare. Known for its splendid biodiversity and beautiful landscapes, Yopal is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. It's located on the eastern foothills of the Colombian Andes, boasting an array of natural attractions, from the sprawling Llanos Orientales savannahs to the stunning Serrania de la Macarena. The visitors are greeted with sights of wildlife, including capybaras and jaguars, blending into the spectacular view of sunrise and sunset. Cultural richness is evident in its traditional music, dances, and cowboy culture, which is deeply rooted in its inhabitants’ lifestyle. With its vibrant festivals, such as the International Folkloric Festival, Yopal presents a perfect blend of nature and culture.


20, Chia

Nestled in the verdant slopes and valleys of the Andes, Chia is a charming town located in the Cundinamarca Department of Colombia, just a short distance north of Bogotá. Known as the “City of the Moon” in homage to the pre-Columbian lunar deity worshipped by the Muisca people, Chia is steeped in history and cultural significance. There is no shortage of attractions for travelers, from the stunning architecture of the city's colonial-era churches to its lively marketplace bursting with vibrant colors, scents, and flavors of indigenous produce. The town is particularly renowned for hosting one of South America's largest shopping malls, the Centro Chia, a regional culinary hotspot, and numerous recreational sites, perfect for picnicking, walking, and exploring.

Frequently asked questions

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

The safest places in Colombia for solo female travellers are: