Is Cartagena Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Cartagena is moderately safe for solo female travelers. Most of the tourist areas are well-policed and are generally safe during the day. However, like any city, care should be taken especially at night. There can be cases of petty crime and scams targeted at tourists. It's always recommended to stay in populated areas, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid displaying expensive jewelleries or gadgets. Taking city-approved taxis or rideshares, rather than hailing one off the street, is also advised for added safety.

Safety rating

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How safe is Cartagena?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Moderate

Cartagena is generally safe, especially in touristic areas like the Old City and Bocagrande. However, solo female travelers should exercise caution particularly at night. As public transportation is not reliable, using Uber or a taxi ordered from a reliable source is recommended. Additionally, it's always important to stay in well-lit, busy streets and avoid deserted areas. Keep in mind that local assistance is available should you feel unsafe.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Moderate

Public transportation in Cartagena has its pros and cons. Buses and taxis are generally safe during daylight hours but caution must be exercised especially at night. Things can be chaotic due to the city's congested traffic. Always make sure to use licensed taxis, preferably ones booked through your hotel or a reliable app. For a more secure experience, using a trusted ride-hailing service like Uber is advisable.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Low

Cartagena is generally a safe city with friendly locals. However, while street harassment isn't rampant, it does happen occasionally, mainly in the form of catcalling or persistent vendors. Always stay vigilant, especially in crowded and touristy areas.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:Moderate

Cartagena, like any other major city, has its share of petty crimes. Common ones include pickpocketing and bag snatching, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots. It is generally safe, however, reasonable precaution like keeping your belongings close and avoiding deserted areas, especially at night, will help keeping such incidences at bay.
Tap water:

Tap water:Unsafe

Tap water in Cartagena is generally not recommended for tourists to drink. While it's treated, locals are accustomed to the bacteria it may contain but tourists are usually not. While the risk isn't extremely high, bottled or purified water is the safer choice to avoid stomach issues.

Is Cartagena safe to travel?

4.3 /5

Based on 17 experiences

Solo travel experience

I traveled alone to Cartagena and had a wonderful time there, I encountered no problems. I used common sense and walked through well-lighted areas, main streets, etc., but really, I did not feel unsafe. There were plenty of tourists, and the locals were very nice. I stayed in a great Airbnb in Getsemani neighborhood, and the owners were very helpful. I ate out in town alone every night and no one bothered me. The only thing that I did not feel comfortable doing alone was dancing in the evenings. I missed that a bit, but I thought that I would probably attract a lot of attention.

Posted: October 13, 2023
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Solo travel experience

Everyone was super nice, everything was cheap, and the food was amazing. The only drawbacks were that no one spoke English and it was humid. I never felt unsafe.

Posted: October 11, 2023
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Solo travel experience

All the time while I was in Cartagena and its surroundings, I felt very safe. However, I was approached by local sellers to buy things, but I simply ignored them and went on.

Posted: August 13, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I went on my first solo trip to Cartagena for my birthday. I had an amazing time from horseback riding, taking mud baths in a volcano, going to Palenque, exploring the city and partying. I had an amazing time and felt safe.

Posted: August 8, 2023
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Is Cartagena safe right now?

Before your visit to Cartagena, it's essential to check travel advisories for Colombia, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.

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 exercising a high degree of caution in Colombia, due to the high levels of crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: May 6, 2024

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Colombia due to the threats of violent crime and terrorism. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: April 5, 2024

Is Cartagena worth visiting?

Overall rating

4 /5

based on 17 experiences


Ki (33)


Couple travel experience

It's NOT a recommended place for women to be alone, men are EXTREMELY harassing to the point of being scary. If possible, it is recommended to rent a car or go on a tour everywhere, always verifying that the agency is trustworthy. Important tip: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you go to Baru alone, it is extremely dangerous for tourists. Go with a tour agency, on an excursion.

Posted: March 21, 2024Experienced: March, 2024
Things to do: 3/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 1/5
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Solo travel experience

Recently, I traveled alone to Cartagena and I recommend staying in the GetsemanĂ­ district. It's quite lively here, with good nightlife and dining options, as well as very close to the Historical Center. Before ordering a service or making a purchase, ask for the price in advance, as sometimes they may overcharge you.

Posted: September 4, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Safety in Colombia