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Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Go To Cali

Updated August 2, 2021

Generally, Cali 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 coronavirus

Like most places around the world, Colombia has cases of coronavirus. However, it is possible to travel to Colombia. 

Here's the latest: 

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans can enter Colombia.

Travelers can find limited flights to Bogota, Cartagena, Medellin, and Cali. As of June 2021, international travelers no longer need to present a negative PCR test to enter the country. 


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

Know where to avoid—and where to party!

Cali is one city where it’s not a bad idea to stay on the beaten path—neighborhoods like Ciudad Jardin and Barrio El Peñon are traveler-friendly with Instagram-worthy photo ops worthy of the best cities in Colombia. San Antonio is home to salsa clubs on every corner, with thumping beats pouring into the streets. Normandia is a great place to stay, with plenty of Airbnbs and hotels for travelers of all types. Like any city, however, Cali has a few places to steer clear of. For instance, you likely won’t want to be wandering around Siloe, Aguablanca, or Terron Colorado.To ensure you won’t accidentally wander into a neighborhood you shouldn’t, choose one of our Colombian travel planners to build you a custom offline map for your smartphone!

Uber is always a safe bet

Uber is a great way to get around Colombia, and Cali is no exception. Some travelers report being overcharged or having communication issues with regular cab drivers, so Uber can help avoid this hassle altogether, and can help you stay safe on your Colombian adventure.

Safety starts where you stay

When you stay in Cali, you might want to consider staying somewhere with a doorman or a front desk area. Options like hotels, hostels, and nicer apartment buildings will likely have someone to greet you before you enter your room. This ensures no one is entering your building who shouldn’t be—thus keeping you safe on your Colombian sojourn!

Most crimes are those of opportunity

Petty crime is by far the largest issue in Cali, and petty crime relies largely on opportunity. Fortunately, the best deterrent comes down to education and awareness! By following the same advice you would take in any large foreign city, you can be sure you’ll be safe while you explore Colombia. Don’t give thieves the opportunity to ruin your trip: lock up your windows, doors, and valuables. Make sure your camera and phone are stored safely, especially when you’re out in Cali’s famous salsa clubs! Another tip on staying safe, especially for solo female travelers, is to carefully watch your drink—you never know who could be up to no good! Our Colombian travel experts can give you more insight into common scams and issues faced by travelers to Cali.

Learn the local lingo

Want to know an awesome way to ensure your safety, get where you’re going, and make new friends? Learn some Spanish! When you’re hitting the dance floor in one of Cali’s salsa clubs, you’re going to want to know your derecha from your izquierda. Here are some great phrases to know:

  • “Where is …”→“¿Dónde está …”
  • “How much is …”→“¿Cuánto es …”
  • “I need help”→“Necesito ayuda
  • “Hello”→“Hola”
  • “Thank you”→“Gracias”
  • “Where is the bathroom”→“¿Dónde está el baño?”
  • “Do you speak English?”→“¿Habla usted Inglés?”


Ready to plan your own Cali adventure? Reach out to one of our local travel experts or message us directly to create your own personalized travel itinerary. And before your trip, make sure to check out:


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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