Review travel advisories through your government's foreign office website. They contain a great amount of good advice. If this is your first visit to Colombia, there is no need to be overly paranoid if you will be staying in the larger cities. However, to avoid problems, you need to take the same precautions you would in any large city anywhere in the world.

  • Don't travel alone, if possible. This is even more important at night or in the southern parts of Bogota, for example.
  • Don't carry large amounts of cash.
  • Avoid wearing fancy or expensive jewelry.
  • Wear ordinary clothes - bluejeans or slacks, tennis shoes, etc.
  • If you need a taxi, have the hotel call for one rather than flag one down in the street.
  • Never get in a taxi that is already occupied.
  • You will encounter few people begging for money, however, if you do, do NOT give money to anyone. That will only make you a target for others.
  • If you need to travel from one city in Colombia to another, fly. Do not take a bus or private car.
  • Travel inside of Bogota is best by private car or taxi. If you appear North American or European, you should avoid the city busses unless you are with a local person.
  • Take only one credit card. Make sure you have told your credit card company of your travel plans and dates. Leave a photocopy of the front and back of your card with someone back home.
  • Place photocopies of your passport in each piece of luggage you take on your trip. Leave your passport locked in a safe at your hotel and carry only a photocopy with you for identification when shopping.