I want to know what the deal is with Columbia. I am going to SA and really want to go to Columbia. I am not one to be scared by what people say, but I do here a lot of mixed reviews about Columbia and want to know if it is safe and a worth while vist. By the way I plan on traveling by bus.
I was in Colombia around 1 month ago, but I did not bus it anywhere as I was warned against it. I flew between cities. Definitely go to Cartagena and try to see Santa Marta as well. Cartagena is very safe especially around Bocagrande and the Old City. Barranquilla is nice too, but not as good as Cartagena.
I found Colombians to be helpful, friendly and very open people.
I'm not too sure about the bus situation there as I did not travel on any. I used taxis and planes.
I was in Cartegena and Bogota this year and they where two of the most friendist places I had been on my Travels.
People who write these stories have NEVER left their offices,they have to write something so they go along with the rest of the officewallahs.
Dont go home and say I WISH as then its too late,you will be lots of more dangerous places than Columbia on your travels and when I say dangerous its not dangerous for tourist.
Bus's in Columbia for longdistance are very good so good luck and enjoy your travels.
al de bes
Go and if you fly into Bogota purchase an onward ticket to Cartagena/Santa Marta before your departure or vice versa..Colombians are dynamic and friendly people, eager to help you get around. There are many yet undiscovered (by travelers) natural wonders throughout the country and except for weekends and holidays, the same as so called 'dangerous' El Salvador where I live, you'll have that beach, forest preserve, lakefront or national park just about to yourself.
The Caribbean island of San Andres, off the Central American coast belongs to Colombia and there are frequent flights there to Cartegena and Bogota.
I am from the UK but currently living in Bogota.
Colombia is fairly safe provided you heed advice. I have only seen one incident so far (which I wont describe) and have now been here for 5 months.
Approximately 1/3 - 1/2 of the country is guerilla controlled - generally the east and parts of the south west - DO NOT go there. There are many beautiful areas that are not in guerilla controlled regions - Cartagena and Santa Marta in the North, the canyon near Bucaramanga, the 3 fingers of the Andes including vegetation of every shade of green imaginable.
According to locals, the only fully safe bus journey is between Bogota and Bucaramanga and I have been advised to take the plane for any other city to city visit. I have been on bus to Bucaramanga - the buses are fantastic - seats fully recline and lessons could be learnt in the UK.
My general advice would be to not believe all of the hype about danger, but just be a lot more careful than you would normally.