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Is Bogota Safe? Here's What to Know

Updated September 1, 2022

Generally, Bogota 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: COVID-19 in Bogota

Colombia’s capital city has felt the impact of the pandemic with local cases and death, like much of the world. However, by taking a few simple steps it is possible to travel to Bogota in 2022. 

COVID safety requirements in Bogota, Colombia:

Bogota locals can help you navigate the rules and also recommend the best art museums, brunch spots, and green spaces in the city. 

Violent crime is incredibly rare

The violent crime rate in Bogota is actually lower than that of many American cities—like Indianapolis and Miami.

In addition, kidnappings in the capital have dropped by a massive 92% over the past two decades.

And just like in any American city, these crimes almost always occur in outlying neighborhoods that most travelers would never enter, anyway.


Worried about safety in Colombia? Feel free to reach out to one of our Colombian trip planners.


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It's easy to avoid scams

Locals tell us that there are some scams to watch out for in Bogota. Use local advice to keep safe—our trip planners gave us these tips:

  • Don’t flash valuables or use expensive electronics in public—especially in areas popular with travelers.
  • A common Bogota scam involves a “police officer” asking to “inspect your money for counterfeits”. Don’t give it to them—even if they show you a badge. Real police do not do this! Instead, simply ask the “officer” to bring you to the closest police station.
  • Make sure to spread your cash around different pockets or, better yet, carry a dummy wallet. Remember: muggings are rare, but it’s always good to be prepared.
  • Don't take drinks from strangers! And this isn’t just a PSA for women either; men are considered just as—if not more—likely to be targeted with spiked drinks.

If you’re still concerned about petty crime and scams in Bogota, however, feel free to read more about safety in Colombia

You probably have all the necessary vaccines already

While you should still consult your doctor before traveling, you probably have all your necessary vaccines for Colombia already—MMR, polio, hepatitis A, and the like.

However, the CDC recommends the COVID vaccine for all travelers and certain additional vaccines for travelers going far off the beaten path.

Zika, malaria, and yellow fever

Due to the city’s extremely high elevation (over 8,500 feet above sea level), mosquitos are physically unable to live in Bogota.

This means Zika, malaria, and yellow fever are almost nonexistent in Bogota!

That being said, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still suggests you visit your doctor 4-6 weeks before traveling to ask what precautions you should take.

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.

You can drink the water

It’s a common misconception that drinking tap water in Colombia will give make you sick. In actuality, the tap water in Bogota is perfectly safe to drink.

Solo female travelers love it

Woman in Bogota | Michael Baron/Unsplash

Due to its huge population of young people and students, Bogota is known for being a good spot for solo travelers.

Locals tell us that they generally feel safe while out on their own. However, benefit from this local tip—our trip planners told us that given Bogota's elevation, the effects of alcohol can be more extreme. So take your time! 

Women traveling alone may encounter catcalls. Do what you'd do at home: ignore it. 

"How did I ever not travel like this?! Ana’s local insight & planning was a game changer. It’s like having a digital concierge, travel agent, and local fixer all rolled into one!"
Sierra, recent ViaHero traveler to Portugal
Sierra, recent ViaHero traveler to Portugal

There are great options for safe transportation

Locals tell us that there are plenty of safe transportation options in Bogota.

The Transmilenio (Bogota’s Bus Rapid Transit System) and busetas (local buses) are cheap and reliable.

Or, they let us know that yellow cabs are inexpensive and ubiquitous. If you do end up hailing a cab off the street, either decide on a flat rate beforehand or be aware that la tarifa, the tariff, is listed in the back of the cab to show how much you should be paying per distance. Some drivers—as is the case all around the world—will overcharge those unfamiliar with the city.

And you can always call an Uber.

It can be overwhelming to navigate in a new place. When you work with a local to plan your trip, they'll provide detailed transit instructions. 

As not seen on TV: Colombia is a country at peace

For decades, Colombia has been getting safer.

Widespread shifts to a modern coffee-and-tourism-based economy and massive crackdowns on illegal activity have brought Colombia an unprecedented period of tranquility.

Moreover, ever since the conclusion of its long civil war with the 2016 FARC peace accord, Colombia has been actively reinventing itself as a traveler’s paradise—complete with modern infrastructure, tourist police, and an emphasis on safe travel.

Emergency numbers everyone should know

  • National Emergency Number: 123
  • Tourist Police: (1) 3374413
  • Information: 113
  • U.S. Embassy in Colombia: (+57) (1) 275-2000

In addition, you can always call your local trip planner if you run into any issues.

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.

Looking for more info?

And for more on Colombia travel, check out: