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Safety in Colombia

Before continuing

We highly recommend reading the State Department’s Country Specific Information about Colombia, and enrolling in the Smart Traveler program before leaving.

Below, we have a brief summary of their report, and contact information for the U.S. Embassy. Please also feel free to contact us directly with any safety questions or concerns: info@keteka.com.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Ambulancia / Ambulance: 123
  • Bomberos / Fire Department: 123
  • Carabineros / Police Department:  123
  • US Embassy: +(57) (1) 275-2000

The U.S. State Department on Safety in Colombia

Civil Unrest: Protests and demonstrations occur throughout Colombia’s cities, most commonly in Bogota. They can become violent, so avoiding them is advised.

Road Safety: While the safety of taking night buses has improved significantly, it is still recommended to take them during the day instead. Roads aren’t well maintained and highways are often poorly marked, making travel on the roads dangerous. Away from cities there is also a lack of crosswalks, which can makes roads unsafe for pedestrians.

Crime: Drug trafficking issues throughout the late 1900’s has left Colombia with quite a dangerous reputation. However, in recent years they have been making huge strides of improvement. Now, as long as travelers mostly stick to the beaten path, it is quite easy to visit Colombia without issue. Straying to less-trekked areas can increase the threat to your safety.

Petty crime such as pickpocketing is the most prevalent threat to travelers. However, firearms are prevalent, meaning robberies can often become violent. In the event of a robbery, do not resist. Give up your wallet and you will most likely not be harmed. You are at greatest risk of being robbed after withdrawing money from an ATM, so be sure to do so in more secure locations such as shopping malls.

Do not hail taxis off the street. Call for one or ask your hotel to do so.

The most common scams involve people masquerading as police officers. Do not trust plainclothes officers. If someone posing as one tries to bother you, refuse to cooperate until a uniformed officer is present.

Embassy Information