Is Colombia Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Colombia offers a rich cultural experience with its vibrant cities, charming towns, and beautiful landscapes. However, safety can vary greatly depending on the region. While it's not uncommon for solo female travelers to journey safely through Colombia, it's important to be cautious. Certain areas in large cities are not advisable to visit, especially at night. Also, common issues like pickpocketing and theft can occur. Always stay alert and aware of your surroundings, avoid displaying flashy valuables, and use trusted transportation. Don't hesitate to ask locals about the safety of certain areas.

Safety index

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How safe is Colombia?

Safety at nightUnsafe

While many parts of Colombia are generally safe to travel, it may not be highly recommended to walk alone at night, especially in unfamiliar or unlit areas. Crime rates can be higher after dark and it is not uncommon for foreign travelers to be targeted. Always stay vigilant and use trusted transportation means such as ordering a taxi through a reliable app or using an official taxi from a reputable company. Make sure to inform someone of your whereabouts whenever you venture out at night. Needless to say, it's advisable to avoid isolated areas or quiet streets. Being on the safe side, sticking to well-populated and brightly lit areas is advisable.

Public transportationModerate

Public transportation in Colombia like buses and taxis is relatively safe but certain precautions should be observed. It's common practice to call a taxi rather than hailing one. Buses are often crowded and are more commonly frequented by pickpockets, especially in larger cities like Bogota and Medellin. Quality varies depending on the region. Be extra careful at night and avoid unnecessary travel when it's dark. Like in any location, vigilance and awareness can greatly enhance safety.

Street harassmentModerate

While Colombia is known for its warmth and sociability, it does have instances of street harassment, especially in larger cities and busy areas. These may manifest as catcalls, lewd comments, or nonviolent but undesirable attention. However, the frequency and intensity of such incidents can be influenced by factors such as time of day, your location, and how well you blend into the local culture. As a female traveler, it is advisable to be cautious, avoid displaying valuable possessions, and use trusted transportation services.

Petty crimesModerate

Colombia is an amazing country to explore, but it has its share of petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and minor scams, especially in crowded and touristy areas. Situational awareness and precautionary measures like not flashing expensive items, using safe transportation options, and avoiding isolated areas can significantly reduce the risk.

Tap waterUnsafe

While tap water is generally considered safe to drink in major cities such as Bogota and Medellin, it's not recommended to consume in rural areas due to potential differences in sanitation standards. Regardless, to avoid potential risks of illnesses like traveler's diarrhea, it's advisable for visitors to opt for bottled or purified water wherever possible.

Is Colombia safe right now?

Travelers planning to visit Colombia are advised to exercise a high degree of caution due to potential risks of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. There are certain areas with higher risk, hence it's necessary to stay alert and informed about the area's safety status. Both the U.S and Australian governments highlight a significant risk of violent crime and terrorism, while the Canadian government stresses high crime levels. It's recommended to reconsider travel plans, stay vigilant, maintain a low profile, and monitor local news sources for updates.
🇺🇸

United States Travel AdvisoryReconsider your need to travel

The United States Government advises reconsidering travel due to crime and terrorism. It suggests exercising increased caution due to civil unrest and kidnapping. Certain areas possess a higher risk. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: January 2, 2024
🇨🇦

Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian Government advises to exercise a high degree of caution in Colombia due to high levels of crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: February 19, 2024
🇦🇺

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Colombia overall due to the threat of violent crime and terrorism. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: February 8, 2024

Travel safety

Overall rating

Rating summary

Things to do

4.8/5

Safety

4.4/5

Food

4.8/5

Budget-friendly

4.4/5

Solo travel experience

Colombia was my dream country. I spent 3 weeks solo there and was able to visit Cartagena, Santa Marta, Salento, and Medellin. I felt safe and was able to do all the things I wanted to do when visiting Colombia. I met so many amazing people and made memories of a lifetime.

Posted: February 11, 2024
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Solo travel experience

I solo traveled to Colombia for 5 weeks in March last year but ended up doing most of the trip with another girl and we never really felt unsafe and had such an incredible time.

Posted: February 8, 2024
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Solo travel experience

Colombia is such an amazing country with a beautiful, diverse climate, friendly people, and delicious food. I spent 12 days there alone and never felt unsafe as a woman travelling alone. I encourage everyone to go there. My itinerary: Bogota - 1 day, El Cocuy National Park - 4 days, trekking Salento - 3 days, Medellin - 3 days with a one-day trip to Guatapé.

Posted: December 26, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I traveled to Colombia as a solo traveler who does not speak Spanish. It was safe, but I only stayed in tourist areas. I used Uber everywhere, it was cheap for short trips around the city. I visited Medellin and Cartagena. Cartagena is more fun and beautiful. Overall, it was a good experience, but I didn't like that too many street vendors harassed me wherever I went.

Posted: November 7, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I visited Medellín, Cartagena, and Barranquilla. I flew from Cancún to Medellín, then from Medellín to Cartagena, then from Cartagena to Barranquilla, and finally, from Barranquilla I returned home. As for transportation, I used airplanes for all my trips. I paid for almost everything with a card, and the currency exchange rate was favorable. In Medellín, I stayed in Provenza and honestly, I found a super cheap Airbnb there. I visited Guatape, it's beautiful there and one should not miss this place. The food is delicious, especially the cheese and chocolate. I once returned at 4 in the morning and honestly, I felt safe there. In Cartagena, I stayed in Morros City, where I had a spectacular view. Everything was close to me, except for the city center, which was not too far, but I preferred to use a taxi or Uber. You can use Uber without any issues, it's very cheap, as are taxis, but you should ask how much all the services will cost. As for safety in Cartagena, you should be more careful, especially at night, and avoid walks in the early morning hours, that's all.

Posted: September 19, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I spent 14 days in Colombia, having a very low budget. It was my first time on a plane, and I visited Santa Marta and Cartagena, where I felt very safe. I met nice and helpful people along the way. I was quite scared, but now I feel that I can handle anything. I highly recommend Parque Tayrona if you love nature. It's a real paradise.

Posted: September 4, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I went on my first solo trip to Colombia in my life. I spent an amazing time on the coast. I visited Cartagena, Santa Marta, Minca, Tayrona National Park, Palomino, Cabo de la Vela, San Andres. I felt extremely safe all the time. I strongly encourage visiting this beautiful country.

Posted: August 11, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I traveled from south to north. I started in Cali (a salsa center), and then headed north. I went to Cali, Salento (for hiking and seeing huge palm trees), Medellin (I did a walking tour in Comuna 13), Guatape (to climb the hill and see the views of the lakes), Cartagena, Santa Marta (a nice seaside town), Minca (mountains), and Parque Tayrona (a coastal national park). I travelled alone, using public buses, and I felt safe.

Posted: August 9, 2023
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Solo travel experience

Colombia is one of my favorite countries because it is naturally beautiful, but the people and culture additionally highlight this. It's a country that still has a bit of a bad reputation (drugs, crime, Escobar etc.), but I always felt safe and welcome.

Posted: July 31, 2023
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Solo travel experience

Colombia is super safe. Easily one of my favorite countries I have ever visited. I was there for a month: I carried a camera, phone, etc. with me, I walked around at night. I'm blonde and don't speak Spanish very well. I never had any problems nor did I feel out of place.

Posted: May 26, 2023
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Local experiences

Meet locals in Colombia

Eunice

Eunice

About Me

Hello ladies, I am Eunice Lopez. I am 33 years old and I’ll start a world trip on Jan 10th,2024. Will spend the whole year in South, Central America and the Caribbean. Looking forward to connecting with you!

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Jessica

Jessica

About Me

Hi! I am a scientist from America and I love seeing new cities.

Speaking

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Stay with locals in Colombia

Marie

Marie

Cali

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hello! M’y name is Marie, im half french and half spanish, I work in the field of defense of womens rigths, I graduate as a political scientist in both countries. Im currently living and working in Cali, colombia after living for 6 months in Buenos Aires Argentina.

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Solimar

Solimar

Bogotá

Can host for:

7 days

About me

Hi, My name is Solimar and I'm interested in animals, art, camping, culture, cinema, dancing, fashion, food & cuisine, history, photography, solo travel, swimming and writing

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Amy

Amy

Bucaramanga

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hello, My name is Amy and I'm interested in animals, business, culture, cinema, dancing, digital nomad, food & cuisine, events & social, hiking, history, live music, nature, nightlife, running, sightseeing, swimming, trekking, technology and solo travel

Speaking

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Karen-Eliana

Karen-Eliana

Bogotá

Can host for:

1 day

About me

Hello, My name is Karen-Eliana and I'm interested in animals, cinema, photography, writing, languages and food & cuisine

Speaking

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Mariel

Mariel

Medellín

Can host for:

6 days

About me

I m a senior lady i travel to AMÉRICA I LVE TO KNOW PEOPLE AND TO SHARE EXPERIENCES ABOUT

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Alejandra

Alejandra

Bogotá

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hello! I’m Alejandra Abella. I love theater and music. Currently, I am learning programming. I love animals, I have 5 animals at home. My favorite food is sushi. I love talking with a lot of people. I practice swimming. I work as a ICT teacher. Usually I’m really full with all activities. I love with my parents and brother. I would be pleasure to be in touch with you.

Speaking

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Sara

Sara

Colombia

Can host for:

3 days

About me

hello my name is Sara, I am a medical student and I love traveling and learning about new cultures Now I'm getting to know the European Union

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Jeannette

Jeannette

Bogotá

Can host for:

3 days

About me

I'm a translator from French and English and I like to meet and know people from other cultures. I lived 4 years in Belgium and 5 in France studying. I like cinema, jazz music and literature. I also love pets.

Speaking

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Manu

Manu

Medellín

Can host for:

2 days

About me

Hi, in a colombian girl following the dopamine and wanting to make a big step and become a traveler of a long trip without finish date. Im a pshycologist and filmmaker and my dream is to experience to be a digital nomad and make videos all around the world while also healing. I want to get to know people from different cultures and countrys and be able to have deep and meaningful conections. Also wanna have fun and as many new experiences as posible.

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Monica

Monica

Medellín

Can host for:

7 days

About me

Hello! I’m Monica. I live in Medellin, Colombia, a great spot for digital nomads or people who love travelling. I travel a lot to the UK since my fiancé is from England. I love cooking, dancing and learning languages.

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Upcoming visitors to Colombia

Chrissy

Chrissy

About Me

Hello I’m Chrissy and I work in Veterinary Medicine I’m a nurse. On my free time I enjoy traveling and amusement parks.

Speaking

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Summer

Summer

About Me

Hi! I’m Palestinian, Muslim, single, no kids, focused on traveling around the world as much as possible with work and other obligations to work around. I love exploring cities, history and culture.

Speaking

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Safety in Colombia