How Safe is it Travel to Cartagena, Colombia?

Many Americans are afraid to vacation in Cartagena, Colombia. After all, Colombia is still perceived as Drugs Republic of South America with revolutionary groups, drug cartels, and kidnappers on every corner of the street. Well deserved as this image was a decade ago, the situation as drastically changed.


In 2012 the Colombian government negotiated peace with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or FARC). As part of the peace treaty FARC disarmed and became a peaceful political party. While there are still several smaller revolutionary groups in the country (and some organized crime) the systematic crimes perpetrated against Western travelers for their political value have, for the most part, ceased with exception in the isolated coastal area of Choco and parts of the Amazon region, where a group of ex FARC members went into the drugs business.


Why consider booking our Colombia National Parks Tour? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL places for which Colombia is famous, and on top of that, you get to see 7 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a naturalist guide. There is nothing similar on the market. As Colombia can be combined with other countries, we organize tours in modules: Bogota and surrounding Andes, Caribbean Coast and the Amazon of Ecuador; the latter for the Colombian Amazon still not being recommended for foreign visitors. Colombia is a very large country, so you need to fly. To do so at hardly any additional costs, you need to book both Bogota and Cartagena - and Quito if you want to include the Amazon module - in your international ticket.

Destinations Overview:  Bogota old town, Cartagena, Villa de Leyva Zipaguira Salt Mine Church, Chingaza Reserve, Iguaque National Park, Flamencos Reserve, Cienega Mangroves Reserve, Lake Fuquene, Tayrona National Park, Manaure Salt Flats.


Everywhere else the tourist locations and staying in well-traveled areas in the city and the San Filipe Castle is perfectly safe. Cartagena has become one of the tourism hotspots in the entire Caribbean. Tourism police is everywhere watching over the safety in Cartagena, Colombia. But you know what? These guys and galls are bored to death. Why??? They have nothing to do because there are no criminals to be found. So if you have a question (and speak Spanish) ask them for help or information because they are most happy to help you, as it gives them something to do.

Even ask them to go on a picture with you! This also applies to old town Bogot?/a>, Villa de Leyva and other touristy places in the big cities of Colombia.


In fact, in Cartagena is the second-most popular tourist destination in Colombia after Bogota and has seen to digit increase in foreign vacationers in the past 5 years!


In fact, even The United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security (which is in charge of assessing threat levels for American citizens and bureaucrats) says that ?crime levels in the major tourist areas of Cartagena, including the historical center (El Centro, San Diego) and neighborhoods of Getsemani, Bocagrande, El Laguito, and Castillogrande, are considerably lower . . . .? That is the USA authority that brands many places around the world as unsafe, while it ignores that the US capital Washington DC, New York City and Chicago have murder rates of 100 - 500 per day! If they consider Cartagena safe, it must be a place you can visit without worrying. In fact, Cartagena is now officially the safest city in Colombia. The Colombian tourist slogan that more and more holidaymakers that come to our beautiful and magical city can testify to: "THE ONLY RISK OF CARTAGENA IS THAT YOU WANT TO STAY"


Having said that, Don?t Paint Yourself a Target. Here are some suggestions to stay out of trouble:

  1. To keep yourself safe you should always minimize displays of wealth. No expensive jewelry, cameras, or other items that can quickly and easily be snatched away.

  2. Don?t carry a lot of cash with you. Always have some cash but not too much, so that if you get pickpocketed you don't lose a lot. In stead, carry a credit card (just 1). If that gets lost, you just need to cancel it. The credit card supplier will re-reimburse any abuse above $50 for USA cards.

  3. Don?t leave bags and suitcases out of your site EVER for just a second. I lost a suitcase long ago in Africa while going back inside the hotel lobby to get the other one.

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA, SAFETY: Tourism police officerCARTAGENA, COLOMBIA, SAFETY: tourism police force.

Tourism police officer at the Clock tower, Cartagena, Colombia.

The tourism police force in Colombia.



What makes us different from so many other tour operators?

Just look at the quality of our high resolution pictures. We took them all ourselves. We have thousands of high resolution pictures on this website, that you can see enlarged by clicking on them. These pictures show that we have been everywhere in the country of your interest and really know the details. We are professional explorers and biologists with MSc and PhD.


National Parks Tours Worldwide, a social responsibility and conservation company, is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA.


Phone USA:

(++)(1) 304 - 581 - 7740





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