Sustainable Tourism Bogotá
Despite its history and bad reputation, Colombia is actually considered to be a very safe tourist destination. Crime in the city of Bogotá is at its lowest in 30 years, and when compared with other cities worldwide, Colombia's capital fares rather well. Current indexes show that safety in Bogotá is on par with cities such as Orlando, Florida and San José, Costa Rica.
Here are a few tips we would like to share for ensuring a more safe and pleasant stay in Bogotá:
- If you would like to blend in better with the locals, here it means not wearing flip-flops and colorful shorts. The local mountain ¨rolo¨ culture distinguishes itself from its caribean counterpart, which means not dressing like you are going to the beach.
- If you are lost and want to check your phone for directions, duck into a nearby store or coffee shop. It's best not to flash your fancy smartphone on the street while you look completely lost. Smart phones are perhaps the number 1 item that gets stolen.
- Carry your camera discreetly (don't hang it around your neck). Pull it out when you want to take a picture and then put it away.
- Don't carry unnecessary valuables with you. Only take enough cash with you that you expect to use in a day.
- Keep a close eye on bags in restaurants, coffee shops and when cramming into the transmilenio. Do not leave them unattended.
- Although 99% of the taxi drivers are honest people, few incidents have happened to people that pick up taxis on the street. Most hotels & restaurants can call you a taxi. We also recommend downloading the free APPS Easy Taxi, Tappsi and Uber. If you plan to take a taxi from the airport, consult your hotel first to find out how much the fare should be. It's not uncommon for visitors to be overcharged for airport transfers.
Safety in rural areas:
Most of the incidents you might have heard about Colombia in the news have occured in isolated pockets of the country, far from regular tourist routes. The region surrounding Bogotá, and the places we visit during our tours, are considered to be safe and welcoming to visitors. Andes EcoTours is not a newcomer to the area, with the majority of our guides having been born and raised in the regions where we work. We have invested a significant amount of time building relationships with local communities and in researching the trails, and we are as familiar with the areas as if they were our own neighborhood. If we ever feel that safety can be compromised at any of our destinations, we will immedietly stop offering tours in that area. As long as you closely follow the guidelines that we have put into place for our tours, we will have a pleasant and safe experience.