Backpacking Brazil and Colombia - Solo female
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 11, 2012 7:14 PM Last Post By: kariserceg
Sep 27, 2012 12:26 PM
I am planning a trip in November and December for 5 weeks. I'd like to go to Brazil and spend 2.5 weeks in Rio and surrounding cities and then fly up to Bogota and do another 2.5 weeks in Colombia.
For those who have done these countries before, does this sound like a reasonable amount of time?
As background, I backpacked South America last year for 3 months (Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru) and had no problems. However, I've heard Brazil and Colombia, especially Brazil is more dangerous. Can anyone provide some advice as to whether or not I should listen to these concerns? Even some Brazilians have told me not to go to their own country because of kidnappings, shootings, etc.
Thanks for your advice,
Sep 27, 2012 3:06 PM
1Living in Colombia, I can confirm it is much more safe and quiet than what one would think listening to the news outside the country. It is obviously not Disneyland though, but applying basic precautions should keep you out of troubles (watch your luggage, don't stay in empty places at night, phone-call a taxi to bring you to your hotel at night if far away, that kind of things).
2 weeks and a half is fine, but you'd better focus on 2-3 regions unless you plan to take planes: the country is pretty big travelling by bus. For instance Caribean+Boyacá/Santander+Eje cafetero or Medellin (my subjective opinion is that Bogotá is not worth more than 2-3 days)
Can't tell about Brazil as I haven't been there, but what I heard from people who travelled/lived there gives me the impression Colombia is quite safer.
Edited by: kanka: I'm no guru :)
Sep 27, 2012 3:40 PM
2It may well be that your Brazilian friends are either
a) The type that live outside the country and haven't kept in touch with current conditions
b) Do live in Brazil and live on a diet of paranoia gleaned from excessive viewing of such programs as Na Mira or its various regional permutations ( not uncommon)
c) They are excessively concerned for your welfare (very common).
d) They have a fairly low opinion of your level of common sense.
It may be a combination of two or more of the above.
If you have been elsewhere on the continent then you will find Brazil is comparable in terms of personal security. For a tourist you should not be unduly concerned. Enjoy your trip.
Sep 27, 2012 3:57 PM
Sep 27, 2012 4:14 PM
Sep 27, 2012 5:15 PM
Sep 27, 2012 7:28 PM
Sep 27, 2012 9:01 PM
Sep 29, 2012 10:39 AM
8The regions I gave you in #1 are ok: they are among the "standard" places to visit in Colombia.
*Bogotá and Medellin are not particularly unsafe, provided you observe standard precautions and stay in the touristic parts (you could get into troubles quite quickly if you go to poor neighbourhoods, but why would you go there?). The bus network of Bogotá is pretty badly done for foreigners in the sense that the routes are not published: you got to know the city beforehand to guess which bus to take. As a general rule, call for a taxi (or ask your hotel to do it) to get you around and do not waive one in the street, especially at night: that's what locals do here.
*The Boyacá/Santander region is relaxed, with nice Andean colonial villages scattered around
- The Caribbean is Colombia's most touristic region. It is quite extended, but the main spots are Cartagena and the islands around (Islas del rosario) on the west side, and Santa Marta, Parque Tayrona and Ciudad Perdida on the east side.
I do not know about the numbers #6 is referring to. But Colombia has changed very much in the latest years (the situation was quite different 10 years ago). Furthermore, you got to understand that the troubled regions where nasty things happened (which might contribute significantly to homicide rates) are located in quite remote areas, and nowhere near the ones I mentioned.
Oct 11, 2012 7:14 PM
9I am doing Brazil and Colombia at pretty much the same time for 5 weeks also. Send me a msg if u would like to meet up :)
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