Having been to Colombia, I could tell you all sorts about what I experienced, especially in Medellin, however it's not really a case of whether it's safe to go because you could leave your home town and something could happen to you. You have to be weary wherever you go. However there are definitely UN resolved problems in Colombia that the people there and government are trying to solve. It's a beautiful country with a remarkable culture so it is worth a visit. Don't expect it to be a place were you are welcomed as a tourist because you won't be. Unless you have lots of money, danger is everywhere it's just upto you whether to pay attention to such business. Don't expect Medellin to be like a town in Europe or Asia. 3 months agoAnswered by Polly via WorldNomads.com
I totally disagree with Polly. I found the people in Colombia to be incredibly welcoming, warm and friendly. Even more so than any other country I visited in South America. The country is stunningly beautiful and in the main areas it is no more dangerous than any other country anywhere in the world. Obviously it still has its problems but here are not the kinds of problems you notice on a day to day basis on the streets in any of the towns or cities that anyone would visit!! It is a wonderful country and should be embraced!! 3 months ago
I found Medellin incredibly safe. Just stay on the tourist trail at night time. The National Guard is heavily present across the country. It seems many of the issues are now isolated to the less travelled highland regions. I found Medellin to be very safe as many of the Colombian cities seem to be. Some areas of Bogotá can be a little sketchy, but once again tourist areas are fine. I found Barranquilla, Cartagena and Santa Marta all safe places to be. 3 months agoAnswered by Michelle via WorldNomads.com
I have spent time in Medellin both in a group and as a solo traveller. I think that it is much safer than the reputation than it has and I felt the same walking around Medellin as I would a major city like Sydney, Aus or San Fransisco, US. There are upper class neighborhoods like El Poblado which are very expat friendly and cosmopolitan which is where I imagine most tourists would be staying. Use your wits the same way you would anywhere by not walking alone at night, keeping your belongings safe and drinking mindfully. :) 3 months ago
I also disagree with Polly. The people in Medellin were incredibly warm and friendly. However, you must speak at least conversational Spanish. if you can communicate, even poorly, everyone will welcome you and be happy to help. Medellin is beautiful, has perfect weather every day, and has many amazing sites to see. I stayed in a hostel in a slightly more touristy area, but I traveled all over. Don't be stupid and walk around with your wallet and camera hanging out, but that is advice for every city in the world, not just Medellin or Colombia. As long as you're savvy, you'll have a great time! Also, if you're adventurous, take a taxi up into the mountains surrounding the city, and go paragliding. There are not many places in the world with the proper wind currents for paragliding, but in Medellin, it is perfect and the views are breathtaking. 3 months agoAnswered by Loc via WorldNomads.com
I also disagree with Polly. We spent 26 days in Medellín and surrounding areas this year. The people there are remarkably friendly and the tourist areas are comfortable. I can't speak to late night activities because we were always home by 11. Every taxi we used was also friendly (even though some taxis don't seem to know their own city well... addresses are confusing). We loved it there and will be returning. Loc is right too, if you know even a little Spanish you will have a much better experience. 3 months agoAnswered by Daniel via WorldNomads.com
Sure, medellin is safe. Turn off your tv and stop believing in soap óperas or sensacionalista media when they still speak about cocaine and war. There is war in everywhere, that is natural to capitalism. So, come to visit all colombia and enjoy the tropic and its diversity. Do not forget my friend, that tropics do not mean that the weather is warm and sunny permanently. We have different thermal floors. So research a little before going a place wearing shorts. 3 months agoAnswered by andres via WorldNomads.com
I was in Medellin as a solo female traveller in 2010 and didn't have any problems. I didn't go out at night so can't speak to that. I stayed in El Poblado (an upscale neighbourhood) and visited around there as well as downtown, which are the places most travellers go. Up the sides of the hills are poorer neighbourhoods and I took the teleferico up to one of these one day (mostly to try out the teleferico). I got off into this very ramshackle place where I was the only tourist and instantly felt uncomfortable, so I didn't venture very far and came back down. I speak some Spanish and I'm sure that helped. 3 months agoAnswered by Marie via WorldNomads.com
Yes. I did a walking tour and learned that it was the most dangerous city in the world, in the 80's or 90's. Now, people want peace. And the people are beautiful and kind. 3 months agoAnswered by Diesel via WorldNomads.com
Medellin, the city of eternal spring. How could you not ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!
I first arrived to Colombia, a 23 year old, non spanish speaking backpacker.
Four year later and I'm still here!
I love this city. The people are friendly, the views are beautiful, the nightlife is on point and the Spanish Programs are great and in Poblado ( the tourist neighbourhood) , you really don't need Spanish.
But I'm also not going to pretend that its a walk in the park. No One can deny that there is an internal war in Colombia but it really doesn't affect the major cities and shouldn't be something that keeps you away anyway.
Medellin is definitely my pick of where to live in Colombia. The city's history is pretty dark but its like the people said "Fuck this, We have hit rock bottom and we can't go any further, so let's use it"
The city is innovative, creative, fun and inviting. The restaurants and bars are amazing and the culture is rich!
My advice: Don't be an idiot. Be smart! Dont walk into a dark alleyway with all your valuables, dont go to extremely remote areas, if you haven't done your research and dont go prancing around the City Centre with your new smart phone in hand. Like they say here "Don't give Papaya"
I translate it to mean - dont give someone the opportunity. Dont leave yourself vulnerable. 3 months ago
As long as you use your brain (as you should when traveling in any city on any continent) you'll be fine. Colombians are overwhelmingly hospitable and friendly. They also tend to be fond of Americans. Keep your phone and camera away and in a safe place while walking.
The most important advice I can give is to download one of the local taxi apps like EasyTaxi and use it religiously! If you aren't able to use internet locally (I do always recommend a local sim card) then request the taxi using wifi from your hotel or a restaurant. The taxi will be marked and you can match up the license plate as with Uber in the U.S. Alternatively, have your hotel call them for you. There are certain smaller cities (like Manizales) where I'm comfortable with hailing a cab but in general even the locals are using the apps for added security.
My other recommendation would be to get out of Medellin and explore the smaller towns in the region! Jardin and Tamesis are two I am familiar with that are not too far from Medellin and definitely worthwhile. They are great for adventure/ecotourism if that's your thing. I went rappelling in Tamesis and horseback riding in Jardin to a cave with a waterfall and both were wonderful. If you make it to Jardin, sit at one of the tables in the square nearby. The bars will come and serve you in the square and you can watch the locals ride their Paso Fino horses around. 3 months agoAnswered by Adri via WorldNomads.com
I'm Colombian. I might be biased, but I prefer to say I am not. Medellin is as safe as any other big city in the world. As many people have said in here, just be cautious with your belongings when you walk on the streets, try to keep your self inside the tourist areas, unless you want to explore the outside exciting areas, but of course as long as you are with a local person with whom you have already investigated how risky it is to go to these places. There are for sure many other wonderful sites not known by foreigners that are so much worth it to give it a try, and I strongly recommend you to let your self be amazed by these uncommon places. Just be cautious and open-minded!.
Please never ever try any drugs there. Colombia has gone through very tough times trying to get rid off of it, therefore, keep yourself out of these bad things first... not to support the bad businesses and second, because you take so many risks by doing this there. You never know who might want to take advantage of you as a drugged person not capable of controlling herself. So please NO DRUGS.
Lastly, Colombia is like a virgin in terms of tourism, each day more and more places are newly being opened and exploited(in good terms) for green and/or ecotourism, let your self be amazed by these new discoveries. People there know that foreigners have more acquisition capabilities than locals, so, expect to be charged a bit more than normal, unless beforehand you always ask a local friend for prices... mainly if you travel to the north coast areas of the country. BUT in general, Colombians will be happy always to have you there and show you the good face of our culture! :).
BTW... it is ColOmbia not ColUmbia. 3 months agoAnswered by Carlos via WorldNomads.com