Travelling Colombia Alone
Replies: 11 - Last Post: May 19, 2012 10:44 AM Last Post By: chewittmk1
May 6, 2012 3:12 PM
Travelling Colombia AloneHello
IM going to travel in Colombia on my own around 7-25 of june.
Just wondering what the general idea is on travelling alone in this country, i have very little spanish knowledge
also wondering is someone else is going there and is keen on organising a hike in El Cocuy national park plus possibly around Leticia
I appreciate all help and tips I can get, main question if its safety wise OK to do this on my own ?
May 6, 2012 3:32 PM
Be very careful in a national park, I would not recommend doing this alone or without a guide. Two days ago myself and a friend were attacked by three men with a gun in a national park, we were dragged into the jungle assulted and robbed. It was very frightening and we were lucky it did not end up any worse than it was. We have heard of it happening to a group of two men also.
I would take a guide or be in group of at least 3 people, based on my recent experience.
I hope this is helpful, I just would hate for anyone to end up in the same situation as us.
May 6, 2012 3:41 PM
May 6, 2012 8:51 PM
3#1, please don't generalize with comments like "be very careful in a national park"... what happened to you was awful, but exceedingly rare, and it's not fair to paint the country's overwhelmingly safe and secure park system due to your experience in one particular town Cali which isn't even a national park. It's like saying "please be careful on sidewalks in the US" because you were robbed on one in New York. If the situation you described is legit (and there's no reason to think it isn't), a guide or a third person wouldn't have been of any help, anyway.
Yes, it's safe to travel on your own throughout large parts of the country, and the parts which are not will have plenty of info warning you not to. Leticia can be pricey independently but still very doable and virtually no complaints of safety problems in the last few years. Not knowing Spanish is more of a handicap than in other countries, but still doable... make sure to travel with a guide book regardless.
May 6, 2012 9:30 PM
4#1 where did this happen to you?
The more obvious reason to not go hiking without a guide is that you can easily get lost, a mist descends and you fall into a river or something. Valle de Cocora for example is actually private land and it also annoys the farmers and rangers when people go wandering solo, especially when they have to spend a couple of days looking for you
May 7, 2012 4:15 AM
5I find Colombia to be an exceeding safe country to travel in and I am making this comparison with Central America where I live and have traveled extensively. Just the overall impression of the country is positive in this respect. The bars on the windows and fortress walls around common homes. Razor wire and heavily armed guards everywhere that are an everyday sight in CA are just not that prevalent in Colombia even in Bogota. That should be a tip off right there. There is a strong military presence that is very apparent throughout the country and that could put some people off but can also be reassuring in a way.
I find the vast vast majority of people in Colombia to be honest and genuinely friendly and helpful.
May 7, 2012 5:36 AM
6I travelled alone through Colombia in Dec and Jan. I found it easy to get around and also
very safe, never did I feel any threat or did I feel there was someone around who was going to attack or rob me. Of course you have to be aware of where you are and who is around you but I would do that anywhere, especially in a country I don't know very well. Anyway I loved the place so much that I've just bought a ticket back there in Dec this year. My Spanish is pretty bad as well but it is advisable to know at least a little.
May 8, 2012 3:24 PM
May 9, 2012 7:08 AM
8I have been to Colombia four times, a total of 3.5 months, mostly on my own. Most people are incredibly honest, and friendly, theft is common but violent crime is rare. Few people speak English, so if you can learn at least some basic Spanish it would be very helpful.
May 9, 2012 2:04 PM
9I travelled to colombia solo at the end of the march and did the Cuidad Perdida. Though spanish is helpful, the people are very nice and patient. I felt prettty safe in Colombia and been in places in the Bronx during the day that i felt less secure. As long as you exersise basic travel precautions and awareness, you should have no problems.
May 9, 2012 9:26 PM
May 19, 2012 10:44 AM
11for safety it really depends on the area you go and the time, in colombia during the day the worst you will probably get is ripped off, but when the sun goes down my friends who live here recommend getting around by vehicles and thats in medellin the safest of the places.
in response to the other part of your post I am currently in colombia(medellin) and finishing at the uni here on the 6th june and i did have a friend joining but he has dropped out so i am keep on joining you for the hiking and national park or anything else as i now have 3 weeks spare and i don't fancy being a lone traveller, there are also a few others who seem to be in a similar situation so could get a party of travellers to make the journey cheaper and more interesting. contact me if you are interested or if not, good luck with your travels.
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