Round trip in Colombia, advices etc?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Sep 29, 2013 10:34 AM Last Post By: dieblomster
Aug 12, 2013 3:13 PM
Round trip in Colombia, advices etc?Hey guys!
I am traveling in September to Colombia, and planning stay at there in December. I have never been in Colombia, only central America two times so i have lots of questions about Colombia... And i know that most of my questions maybe had been in here, but i still had to do this. I have been read really much about this fascinating country but still need some advice and have to ask same questions by myself to get my brain lose thinking about these things all the time :D
So i am young women travelling alone as backpacker, is it safety? What areas should avoid? Im going first in to Bogota, can somebody tell some safe cheap hostels/hotels in there? Does anybody know any good places to meet new people, other travellers etc? Or maybe some site in internet to get travelbuddies? I know that lot's of people don't speak good English (me neither), and i speak only little bit of Spanish, so is it gonna be too hard? Humm... I got so many questions about this country. I would hope that someone out there who has been traveled there would tell a bit of their own experiences, where should to go and where not, what you should particularly look out for / think, good hotel / restaurant / bar tips etc! Anything what gets in to your mind. It would be so helpfull. Thanks!
Aug 13, 2013 4:12 PM
colombia is as safe as other latin american countries...u need to be care but not exagerating being stressfull!
in the cities(medellin, bogota, cartagena etc..) avoid the city centres which are as usual very unsafe after dark and u can walk around during a day and it is enough!
in medellin I suggest casa kiwi which ois well located and nice..just the kitchen is very tiny but is ok!
an alternative might be budda hostel which is not very well located but I was told is the best one in town!
in bogota I would avoid candelaria staying in the north part of chapinero....kozii hostel and fulano backpackers are both very close and well located in an amazing area beautiful and close to everything!
in cartagena el viajero is a good option or u can go to getesemani and find another one.....el viajero is ok!
in cali lapinta casa badoo is good........
try always to take a normal care and u ll have the best trip in your life, colombia is a special country with special people,
is my favourite in south america!
Aug 14, 2013 9:03 AM
Aug 15, 2013 2:20 AM
If you use your common sense and avoid to walk, alone, around at night (mainly in central parts of the main cities as mentioned above), you will have a wonderful travel in Colombia.
You have a lot to see and to do for months. Try to read a guidebook (Footprint is a good one) to have your own advice on places you want to visit.
gabri6681 give some good advices but you have so much nice places that it's impossible to list them all.
Have a good trip.
Aug 15, 2013 6:06 AM
4I totally disagree with Gabri6681, staying in La Candelaria might mean a little more awareness at night but not as bad as to avoid it. Those hotels suggested by him in north Bogota are nice but have in mind many of you are not travelling half way around the world to stay in a neighborhood that looks like you are in London.
Also very little in terms of culture around that area unless you want to spend NYC prices in the restaurants and bars in G Zone or surrounding areas. If you are interested in upmarket nightlife then this could be your area, if your are here to see historic Bogota and middle class life then avoid it.
The closest cheaper areas are the dodgy and characterless Chapinero district and 13th Street (Carrera 13).
Same goes for Medellin, staying near Parque Lleras is nice and upmarket, interesting if you are into partying or meeting young wealthy colombians. Buddha is much nicer, much more character and you can go into Envigado which has an old town feel to it.
Avoiding downtown Cartagena as suggested is ridiculous, both El Centro and Getsemani are full of character and there is where you should stay.
Aug 16, 2013 3:10 AM
I can only speak for Cartagena. And the city center (including Getsemaní) is safe, also at nighttime!! And it´s lovely at nighttime.
You should always be careful everywhere but in Cartagena´s center it´s more the police than anybody else that stops and bother you sometimes ;). Have always some document with you. I haven´t felt more save in another city in South America and I have been to a few.
Cartagena is so incredible beautiful and you shouldn´t miss it.
Here you can find more information about the city.
I also travelled around in Colombia and I felt save travelling alone as a woman. Stay at the backpacker´s itinerary and avoid the dangerous regions. In the cities always be aware especially during the nights but not tooo scared - enjoy being there! Actually it´s just the police that sometimes made me feel unsafe. Weired but true.
Aug 19, 2013 10:38 AM
6Try to spend most of your time in small towns such as Salento, Finlandia, Salamina, Marsella, Jardin, Jerico, Guatapé, Santa Fe de Antioquia and there are many more small towns to see in Colombia. All mentioned towns are in an area around Medellin and in the so called Coffee triangle south of Medellin consisting of the cities Manizales, Pereira and Armenia. All these towns are very very safe and have very few tourists if any at all. However Guatapé have some backpackers but is still safe midweeks.
Try to spend less time in bigger cities. The bigger cities are far more expensive and also more dangerous, but don´t be paranoid! If you go to Bogotá stay in La Candelaria don’t avoid it due to safety reasons. But choose your hotel wisely and don´t stroll around during the night. There is so much to see in La Candelaria so you can spend several days in this area.
Aug 23, 2013 5:08 PM
7Hey thanks for your answers! :)
Everybody says that avoid moving during the night, so Im concerned about going out like nightclubs?
I don't normally drink myself to drunk, and know how to take care of myself, but is it at all safe to go to the clubs?
And yet the language barrier... I speak little bit spanish, but people who for example works at hostels, do they speak english at all?
Whoa i know, got some stupid questions but need to convince myself that im gonna make it lol.
Aug 24, 2013 4:30 PM
Sep 3, 2013 9:52 AM
9this post reminds me so much of me when I arrived to Colombia... I am 20, and I have been living in the heart of La Candelaria for 8 months. I go out sometimes at night. When I arrived my Spanish was very limited too. I the hostels here you will most the time find English speaking people, and with guarantee you will find english speaking people inside the hostels to go out with.
If you need anything in your stay in Bogotà, just ask :)
Sep 29, 2013 10:34 AM
10Well i just want to give my opinion about Bogota, where i am from and also from my experience backpacking around the world. To be honest Candelaria is the most popular place to stay in Bogota but few years ago its security has been dramatically decreasing, more during the nights. Unfortunately the Latinamerican downtowns are not like the Europeans or Australians which are top area in the city. Here in Bogota its just a part of our culture and history, full of interesting spots to meet and live. But to stay, there are other options that gives better location, alternatives and security for your staying and specifically take an advantage during the nightlife.
I agree with Gabri6681, in the way that he suggests the north part of the city specifically North Champinero, its well located to reach downtown by transmilenio (15min) where you can spend all the day walking arround calendaria where is one day or two days enough. Another advantage of North Chapinero is the approximation to the best areas for the nightlife for all kind of budget (zona rosa /pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs, shopping/ - 10min walking) (Zona G /restaurants, bars, coffeeshops/ - 3min Walking) or Macarena (5min by taxi 3USD /bars, clubs, restaurants).
More over, is valid the opinion of Diego67 about why to stay in Candelaria, but in my honest opinion it does not matter where are you staying, how it looks like the neighborhood, if its london (for me looks more like manchester) but why stay in a place which is not safe during the nights and even some areas during the day? just because used to be the only alternative, so its the most popular? why stay in a place where have the most local attractions if there is more things to see and live in the city when there is a transport system (transmilenio) that it permits to reach with just 10 or 15 min to the popular areas and you do not have to return in late hours back to the hostel and spend 10 or 15usd for a taxi?. Finally, its more important to have a look over the reviews of the backpackers and the hostel rates in the Hostel browsers.
In brief, i highly recomend to stay in the north chapinero, where you will best located, with better security during the day and night and different alternatives for your budget thinking to eat, have fun or just stay. Try to find a place closer to transmilenio so you can reach Candelaria easly and airport aswell. Even the buses to conect Zipaquira (Salt Cathedral) Guatavita (Guatavita lagoon) Suesca (Rock Climbing) Villa de Leyva (Hispanic town) and much more.
Finally, i recommend get hostelworld and check the rates and reviews of the other backpackers and follow the expericence of them you will take the best choice!
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