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Is Barranquilla Safe? Here's What to Know

Updated August 31, 2022

Generally, Barranquilla is a safe place to travel (with a little know-how!). But like elsewhere in the world, Colombia has seen cases of coronavirus. 

Check out our update below.

UPDATE: What to know about the pandemic in Colombia

Like most of the world, Barranquilla has experienced cases of COVID-19. However, you can still travel to Barranquilla, Colombia by taking a few simple precautions. 

Here’s what you need to know about COVID safety in Colombia:

  • If you are vaccinated, proof of vaccination is required to enter Colombia. 
  • If you are not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated, you need negative COVID-19 test results to enter Colombia. 
  • Face masks are required in certain municipalities. A local in Colombia can help you make sure you know the rules during your trip. 
  • The Check-Mig registration form is required for all travelers and must be completed 24 hours prior to travel. 


Read our full update about travel and coronavirus HERE. Or, send a message to a local in Colombia.

Theft and scams are the most common safety issues—here's how to avoid them

Locals tell us that travelers tend to stick out in Barranquilla—the city is less visited than Bogota or Medellin. Benefit from local insights to stay safe and to avoid sticking out. Our trip planners gave this safety advice for travelers to Barranquilla: 

  • Travel in groups: Unlike many other destinations in Colombia, Barranquilla is not the ideal spot for solo exploration. This will not only help you to avoid petty theft and scam, but larger safely issues as well.
  • Don't carry all your cash in one place: Enjoy Barranquilla’s nightlife scene to the fullest by separating your cash and valuable into different pockets. This way you can dance and party without the risk of having all of your stuff stolen.
  • Blend in. Act confident as you navigate the city, don't dress like a tourist (leave the sneakers at home!), and get cultural cues from locals. Our trip planners can give tips on how to blend in. 
  • Follow your instincts: If something makes you uncomfortable, leave. Our trip planners are available via phone if you run into any issues

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Be cautious when it comes to cabs

The reputation of taxis in Barranquilla is not great, so it’s a good idea to try and avoid them.

For a long time, Uber was a solid alternative to taxis—however, the company has recently left Colombia.

Read all about the Uber situation (and alternate forms of transportation) HERE. Or, get transportation advice from the people that know best. Our trip planners can let you know how they get around Barranquilla, and they'll create a guidebook with detailed transit instructions. 

Carnival is *the* experience to be had in Barranquilla, but be sure to celebrate safely

Carnival—the four-day, no-holds-barred public festival leading up to Lent—is when Barranquilla shines the brightest.

Second only to Rio de Janeiro's celebration in size, Barranquilla’s festivities date all the way back to the 19th century. During the revelry, the entire city transforms from an industrial hub into one giant celebration, exploding in bright colors, lively music, flamboyant costumes, and non-stop events. But while the festival guarantees a never-forget experience, it doesn’t guarantee a worry-free one.

During Carnival, petty crime is at its peak due to the large influx of outsiders. To that end, locals say it's important to never set down your drink or accept a drink from someone you don’t know. It's also a good idea to pack light and to keep a close eye on what you do bring (leave anything of value at home!).

Using caution and common sense, Barranquilla can be just as safe as Colombia as a whole. And if you're worried, see what locals say about staying safe during the biggest party of the year. 

What kind of traveler are you?
Let’s face it. People want different things when they travel. Rather than spending hours sifting through blogs and top 10 lists written by people who may have totally different interests than you, why not start by sharing a little about what’s important to you when exploring a new destination?
Select your travel preferences below and let a local travel planner with ViaHero take it from there. Your personalized Colombia recommendations, itinerary, and maps are just a few clicks away.

So, is Barranquilla safe?

The answer is really up to what kind of traveler you are. If you prefer a more cookie-cutter vacation spot, then Barranquilla may not be your ideal vacation. But if you like to take the road less traveled and are looking for a lively destination (or the party of a lifetime), then Barranquilla may just be the spot for you! 

Otherwise, get personalized advice about where in Colombia you should go. Our trip planners will design a guidebook based on your travel style, which might mean island-hopping in Cartagena or spending three days exploring Medellin.

Emergency numbers to have on hand

For further peace of mind, it’s a great idea to save these numbers to your phone before your trip to Colombia!

  • National Emergency Number: 123
  • Tourist Police: (1) 3374413
  • Information: 113
  • US Embassy in Colombia: (+57) (1) 275-2000
Still have questions about travel to Colombia?
Why not ask someone who lives there? ViaHero connects you with a local to help plan your trip. They’ll create a guidebook based on your personal travel style.
You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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And for more on Colombia travel, check out: