COLombia ISSUED WITH LEVEL 3 TRAVEL ADVISORY BY U.S STATE DEPARTMENT
Colombia, a country located in South America famous for its rich culture, friendly people, and beautiful scenery, has been issued with a Level 3 travel advisory by the United States State Department. While many tourists flock to the bustling capital city of Bogota and the trendy city of Medellin, the entire country, including popular tourist areas, have been given the warning.
The latest advisory is not due to infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar’s wild hippos running rampant but because of the recent uptick in “crime and terrorism.” Colombia was issued with a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel advisory, sandwiched between Level 4 – Do Not Travel, and Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution.
Travelers should be aware of the following things to stay safe in Colombia:
1. Safety in Bogota and Medellin.
2. Public transport.
3. Activism and public gatherings.
4. The drug trade and robberies.
5. Road blocks and checkpoints.
Safety in Bogota and Medellin
While Bogota is one of the largest cities in South America with a rich cultural history, it has neighborhoods that are considered high-risk areas for crime. Travelers are advised to stick to well-lit areas and avoid using public transportation such as “colectivo” and minibus taxis. Medellin, known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” is one of the safest cities in Colombia, but the same risks apply and travelers are urged to be vigilant.
In Colombia, public transportation is known to be the site of frequent robberies and crimes. Be vigilant when using public transportation, especially for city buses, colectivos, and minibus taxis. Additionally, while the Metro in Medellin is known to be safe, travelers are advised to be cautious and to be aware of pickpockets and thieves.
Activism and public gatherings
Political protests and social demonstrations in Colombia are known to be frequent. These events can take place anywhere and at any time, often with little notice. As a result, travelers are advised to avoid these events and remain aware of their surroundings when in areas with gatherings or protests.
The drug trade and robberies
Colombia’s history of drug trafficking is well-known, and this illegal trade affects both the locals and foreigners alike. As a result, drug trafficking and the sale of illegal drugs are considered serious crimes in Colombia. Travelers should be vigilant and avoid areas where drug trafficking is known to be prevalent. Common scams include fake police officers, so travelers are advised to ask for identification before giving personal information or following instructions.
Road blocks and checkpoints
Road blocks and checkpoints are common, especially in rural areas. These are often used by armed groups to collect “protection payments” or to carry out robberies. Travelers are advised to keep identification papers and passports on their person at all times when traveling through these areas.
While Colombia is an incredible destination that is worth visiting, travelers should be aware of the potential dangers. The advisory by the United States State Department is a reminder to travelers to exercise caution and to remain vigilant when traveling in the country.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is Colombia safe for tourism?
A1. While Colombia has made strides in recent years to improve its safety and security, travelers should remain vigilant when traveling in the country. The country has been issued with a Level 3 travel advisory due to the recent uptick in “crime and terrorism.”
Q2. What should I avoid in Colombia?
A2. In Colombia, travelers should avoid using public transportation such as “colectivo” and minibus taxis. Travelers should also avoid areas where drug trafficking is known to be prevalent. Additionally, travelers should avoid political protests and social demonstrations.
Q3. What is the most dangerous city in Colombia?
A3. While there are high-risk areas in Bogota, Cali is considered the most dangerous city in Colombia.
Q4. What is the best time to visit Colombia?
A4. The best time to visit Colombia is in the dry season, from December to March and July to August.
Q5. What is the safest city in Colombia?
A5. According to the Global Peace Index, Medellin is considered one of the safest cities in Colombia.