Hi. Can anyone tell me if it's now safe travel to the south of Colombia; specially for Pasto, Popayan, and Cali? Many thanks!
I would be traveling (currently alone, unless I meet some companions later on) in Colombia between December 2012 and January 2013. I am very interested in the Carnaval de Blancos y Negros between 12/28-1/6 in Pasto; therefore, I really want to know if the southern area now safe?
What's the boarder condition between Ecuador and Colombia?
Last but not least- Is there any Colombia official updates on safety which I can check from time to time for the latest information?
Thank you all very much!!
Gwen, I wanted to get you the best answer I could so I went to my friends at the online news site Colombiareports.com (a great source of independent news from Colombia). One of their reporters, Adriaan Alsema replied with this:
"The security situation in southern Colombia is messy, because very particular areas are extremely unsafe. Other areas are perfectly fine.
Cali, Pasto and Popayan at this moment have good security. Cali, being a big city, does have a serious urban crime problem. Whenever there is a festival in any of these cities, authorities send extra police to make sure nothing weird happens and one can go about doing his thing without compromising personal safety or even feeling insecure.
The border is different and I would not recommend you go there. Most violence in the Cauca and Nariño departments are concentrated in the indigenous territories in the north of Cauca with spill-overs to the area south of Cali (Yamundi), the Pacific coast of both departments, the Ecuadorean border (minus Ipiales which is well-protected because of its importance for trade) and the border between Nariño and the Putumayo department.
I do recommend air travel between the cities to eliminate all risk. There have not been highway attacks over the past few months but you never know when this becomes an issue again, especially traveling between Cali, Popayan, Pasto and Ipiales.
There exist no official security updates and if they did exist I wouldn't believe them :-)
We are currently monitoring violence in Colombia and did the following report on July. We are expanding this report for August including all kinds of violent acts or combat situations. It may prove useful for you to keep an eye on how the security situation is evolving."
Hope that helps, Phil at the safety hub about 5 years ago