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Solo Female Travel In Colombia – Is It Safe?


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Rose Getz



Solo travel has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing individuals to explore the world on their terms and embrace new experiences. For women, embarking on solo trips can be especially empowering as it offers a chance for self-discovery, independence, and personal growth. Colombia, with its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history, is a destination that has captured the hearts of many adventurous female travelers.


Colombia, once plagued by a turbulent past, has transformed into a safe and welcoming country for tourists. However, safety concerns often arise when considering solo travel, particularly for women. The media tends to focus on negative aspects, perpetuating stereotypes and creating misconceptions about the actual risks. It is important to gain a deeper understanding of the situation and equip ourselves with the necessary knowledge and tools to ensure a safe journey.


This comprehensive guide aims to address the safety concerns surrounding solo female travel in Colombia, providing valuable insights and practical tips to help you navigate this beautiful country with confidence. By debunking myths and shedding light on the reality of travel safety, we hope to empower women to embrace their wanderlust and embark on unforgettable adventures in Colombia.


The Appeal of Solo Female Travel

Solo female travel offers unique opportunities for self-discovery, empowerment, and personal growth. It allows women to step out of their comfort zones, challenge themselves, and create memorable experiences that are entirely their own. Colombia, with its diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm people, is a dream destination for solo female travelers seeking adventure and new perspectives.


One of the main appeals of solo female travel is the freedom it brings. It offers the chance to set your own itinerary, explore at your own pace, and discover hidden gems off the beaten path. Whether it’s hiking through lush rainforests, dancing to traditional music in lively plazas, or indulging in local delicacies, traveling alone gives you the flexibility to fully immerse yourself in the Colombian experience.


Moreover, solo travel provides a unique opportunity for self-discovery. Being solely responsible for your journey allows you to better understand your own desires, strengths, and passions. It pushes you to step outside of your comfort zone and embrace new challenges, fostering personal growth and building resilience.


Another aspect that draws many women to solo travel is the opportunity to connect with fellow travelers and locals. Colombia has a strong backpacking culture, with vibrant hostels and communal spaces that provide a platform for meeting like-minded individuals from all over the world. Engaging in conversations, sharing stories, and making new friends can transform a solo journey into a collective adventure.


While there are several benefits to solo female travel, it’s important to acknowledge the potential challenges as well. Safety remains a key consideration, and it is essential to approach solo travel with caution, preparedness, and an understanding of the local customs and cultural nuances. By being mindful and taking necessary precautions, you can minimize risks and create a safe and fulfilling travel experience.


Safety Concerns in Colombia

When it comes to traveling, safety is a top priority for every individual, especially for solo female travelers. It’s essential to address any concerns and dispel misconceptions surrounding safety in Colombia. While Colombia has made significant progress in recent years in terms of security, it is important to understand the country’s history and the potential risks that may exist in certain areas.


One of the common misconceptions about Colombia is that it is a dangerous place to visit. This perception stems from its tumultuous past, marked by drug cartels and internal conflicts. However, Colombia has made significant strides in improving its security situation over the past decade. Tourist destinations and major cities have become much safer, with increased police presence and efforts by the government to promote tourism.


That being said, certain areas in Colombia still experience higher levels of crime and violence, especially in remote and rural regions. It is important to be informed about the specific areas to avoid and exercise caution while planning your trip. Consulting the latest travel advisories and seeking advice from locals or experienced travelers can provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions.


Pickpocketing and petty theft can occur in crowded tourist areas or public transportation, so it is essential to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions. Avoid displaying valuable items openly, keep your belongings secure, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. By staying alert and using common sense, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to opportunistic crimes.


It is also important to address concerns about sexual harassment or assault, which can unfortunately occur anywhere in the world. While Colombia is no exception, it is crucial to note that the majority of locals are friendly and welcoming. In major cities and tourist destinations, there is a growing awareness of gender equality and initiatives to combat harassment. Nevertheless, it is advisable for female travelers to take extra precautions, such as avoiding walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas and trusting their instincts in uncomfortable situations.


Understanding the safety concerns in Colombia is not meant to discourage travel, but rather to encourage preparedness and responsible tourism. By being aware of potential risks and taking necessary precautions, you can enjoy your solo travel adventure in Colombia with peace of mind and create unforgettable memories.


Violence and Crime: Understanding the Reality

When discussing safety concerns in Colombia, it’s important to address the topic of violence and crime, as it is often a primary worry for solo female travelers. While Colombia has made significant progress in improving its security situation, it does not mean that it is completely devoid of violence or crime. However, it is vital to understand the reality and context of these issues to make informed decisions and mitigate potential risks.


Colombia has a complex history of violence, primarily associated with drug cartels and armed conflict. However, it is important to note that these issues are mostly concentrated in specific regions of the country, particularly in rural areas far from popular tourist destinations. Popular cities such as Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena have seen a significant reduction in violent crime, thanks to increased security measures and government efforts.


The focus of violence in Colombia has shifted from drug-related activities to organized crime and petty theft. While violent incidents can still occur, they are often targeted and isolated rather than random acts. It is important to be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas or unfamiliar locations, and avoid displaying signs of wealth or carrying valuable belongings openly.


It’s important to note that the vast majority of locals in Colombia are friendly, hospitable, and eager to welcome visitors. They are often protective of their country’s reputation and actively work towards creating a safe environment for tourists. Engaging with locals, seeking their advice, and following their recommendations can provide valuable insights into the current safety situation in specific areas.


Another aspect to consider is the ongoing efforts of the Colombian government to enhance security and promote tourism. The increased presence of police forces and security measures in tourist areas has contributed to a safer environment for visitors. Additionally, there are initiatives focused on educating locals about the importance of tourism and the positive impact it can have on the country’s economy and image.


While it is essential to acknowledge the potential risks, it is equally important to approach travel with an open mindset and not let fear deter you from experiencing the wonders of Colombia. By staying informed, being cautious, and following local advice, you can minimize the risks and have a safe and enjoyable solo travel experience in this magnificent country.


Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers

Traveling alone as a female can be incredibly empowering and fulfilling, but it’s important to prioritize your safety. By taking precautionary measures and staying informed, you can minimize potential risks and have a worry-free solo travel experience in Colombia. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Research your destination: Before your trip, make sure to research your destination thoroughly. Understand the local customs, traditions, and laws to help you navigate the culture with respect and avoid any potential misunderstandings.
  2. Stay in reputable accommodations: Choose accommodations that have good reviews and are located in safe and well-traveled areas. Hostels or guesthouses with communal spaces can provide opportunities to meet fellow travelers and share experiences.
  3. Avoid traveling at night: While it’s tempting to explore a new destination after dark, it’s best to avoid doing so, especially in unfamiliar or poorly lit areas. Stick to well-populated and well-lit streets, and consider taking official taxis or rideshare services.
  4. Blend in with the locals: To avoid standing out as a tourist, dress modestly and adapt your clothing choices to match the local culture. This can help you blend in and reduce the chances of attracting unwanted attention.
  5. Trust your instincts: Your intuition is your best guide. If a situation or person feels unsafe or uncomfortable, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation. It’s always better to be cautious and prioritize your safety.
  6. Stay connected: Inform someone back home about your travel plans and share your itinerary with them. Stay connected through phone calls, messaging apps, or social media to ensure someone knows your whereabouts at all times.
  7. Keep important documents secure: Make copies of your passport, ID, and other important documents and keep them separate from the originals. Store them securely in your accommodation or in a separate bag while you’re out exploring.
  8. Be cautious with your belongings: Keep your belongings close to you at all times, especially in crowded areas. Use a money belt or hidden pouch to store your valuables and avoid displaying expensive items to reduce the risk of theft.
  9. Learn basic self-defense: Consider learning some basic self-defense techniques to boost your confidence and feel more prepared in case of any unexpected situations. Many cities offer self-defense classes for travelers.
  10. Connect with other travelers: One of the advantages of solo travel is the opportunity to meet fellow travelers. Connect with other solo female travelers through online communities or local meetups to share experiences and travel together when it feels safer.

Remember, while it’s important to stay vigilant and prepared, it’s equally important to enjoy your solo travel experience. By following these safety tips, you can embark on an incredible adventure in Colombia with confidence and peace of mind.


Best Places to Visit in Colombia

Colombia is a country of breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, offering a wide range of destinations to explore. Whether you’re seeking stunning natural wonders, vibrant cities, or colonial charm, here are some of the best places to visit in Colombia:

  1. Bogotá: The capital city of Colombia, Bogotá, is a vibrant metropolis that offers a perfect blend of history and modernity. Explore the historic district of La Candelaria, visit impressive museums like the Gold Museum, and marvel at the breathtaking view from the famous Monserrate Hill.
  2. Medellín: Known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” Medellín captivates visitors with its pleasant climate and innovative urban development. Explore its vibrant neighborhoods, ride the cable car to get panoramic views of the city, and learn about its transformation from a troubled past to a thriving cultural hub.
  3. Cartagena: This UNESCO World Heritage city is a gem on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Its colonial charm, colorful streets, and historic fortifications make it a must-visit destination. Explore the walled city, stroll along its charming alleys, and relax on the nearby white sandy beaches.
  4. Tayrona National Park: For nature lovers, Tayrona National Park offers a pristine coastal paradise. Explore its lush rainforests, relax on its secluded beaches, and snorkel in its crystal-clear waters. The park is also home to indigenous communities, providing an opportunity to learn about their traditions and way of life.
  5. Coffee Region: Colombia is famous for its coffee, and the Coffee Region offers a chance to immerse yourself in the country’s coffee culture. Visit charming towns like Salento and Manizales, tour coffee plantations, and hike through the breathtaking Cocora Valley, home to towering wax palm trees.
  6. San Gil: For adventure seekers, San Gil is the perfect destination. Engage in thrilling activities like paragliding, white-water rafting, and caving. The surrounding landscapes of canyons and waterfalls provide stunning backdrops for adrenaline-fueled adventures.
  7. Guatapé: Just a few hours from Medellín, Guatapé is a picturesque town known for its colorful houses and the famous El Peñol rock. Climb the 740 steps to the top of the rock for a panoramic view of the surrounding lakes and islands.
  8. Amazon Rainforest: Immerse yourself in the enchanting Amazon Rainforest, where you can encounter diverse wildlife, navigate through winding rivers, and learn about indigenous cultures. Take a guided tour to explore this ecological treasure and discover the beauty of Colombia’s natural heritage.

These are just a few highlights of the many incredible destinations Colombia has to offer. Each region has its own unique charm and attractions, ensuring that there is something for every type of traveler. With its warm hospitality and captivating landscapes, Colombia is sure to create unforgettable memories for solo female travelers.


Colombia’s Friendly Locals: A Key to Safety

One of the standout aspects of traveling in Colombia is the warmth and friendliness of its people. The locals are renowned for their hospitality and genuine care towards visitors, making it an inviting destination for solo female travelers. The friendly nature of Colombians can greatly contribute to a sense of safety and ease during your journey.


Colombians take pride in their country and are often eager to share their culture, traditions, and recommendations with travelers. They are known for their welcoming nature and willingness to help, making solo travelers feel at ease and supported. When exploring the streets of Colombia, you’ll likely encounter locals who are genuinely interested in engaging with you, striking up conversations, and offering assistance if needed.


Colombians understand the importance of tourism in their country’s growth and development. They actively promote a positive image of Colombia to visitors and are dedicated to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. This commitment is seen through initiatives aimed at creating a safer environment, such as increased police presence in tourist areas and efforts to educate locals about the importance of responsible tourism.


Interacting with locals can also enhance your cultural experience and provide valuable insights into Colombian customs and traditions. They can recommend local cuisine, hidden gems, and off-the-beaten-path attractions that may not be well-known to tourists. Building connections with locals can provide you with a deeper understanding of Colombia’s diverse culture and create long-lasting memories.


While it’s important to embrace the friendliness of locals, it’s also essential to exercise caution and use common sense. Just like in any destination, it’s advisable to be aware of your surroundings, trust your instincts, and follow basic safety precautions. Be mindful of your personal belongings, avoid isolated or unfamiliar areas at night, and rely on reliable transportation options when needed.


Engaging with locals can be an enriching part of your solo travel experience in Colombia. Embrace the opportunity to connect with the friendly people of this beautiful country, and let their warm hospitality be a key factor in ensuring your safety and enjoyment throughout your journey.


The Role of Cultural Sensitivity in Travel Safety

When it comes to solo travel, cultural sensitivity plays a vital role in ensuring both your safety and the overall well-being of the communities you visit. Understanding and respecting local customs, traditions, and norms is essential for fostering positive interactions and minimizing potential misunderstandings that could compromise your safety. Here’s why cultural sensitivity is crucial for travel safety:


First and foremost, cultural sensitivity allows you to navigate unfamiliar environments with respect and humility. By familiarizing yourself with the local customs and norms, you can avoid inadvertently offending or disrespecting locals. This not only ensures more positive interactions but also reduces the chances of attracting negative attention or potential conflicts.


Adapting your behavior to align with local expectations can also help you blend in and avoid standing out as a tourist. This can be particularly important in areas where solo female travelers may be more vulnerable to unwanted attention or harassment. Dressing modestly, understanding appropriate social behaviors, and being mindful of local sensitivities can contribute to your overall safety.


Moreover, cultural sensitivity promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation of the local culture. By engaging with locals, learning about their traditions, and embracing their way of life, you demonstrate a genuine respect for their heritage. This open-mindedness can lead to more meaningful connections and enrich your travel experience. Locals often appreciate when visitors take the time to learn about their culture, and this goodwill can provide an added layer of safety.


Respecting local customs also means being mindful of any restrictions or guidelines in certain areas. For example, some religious sites or sacred spaces may have specific dress codes or behavior requirements. By following these guidelines, you not only show respect but also enhance your own safety by avoiding unnecessary confrontations or conflicts.


Additionally, cultural sensitivity extends beyond personal interactions. It also encompasses responsible tourism practices that prioritize sustainability and the preservation of cultural heritage. Respecting the local environment, supporting local businesses, and being conscious of your impact on local communities all contribute to a safer and more sustainable travel experience overall.


When it comes to travel safety, being culturally sensitive is not only about following rules; it’s about fostering positive and respectful connections. By embracing cultural diversity, respecting local customs, and engaging with locals, you can enhance your own safety, cultivate meaningful experiences, and contribute to a more harmonious and inclusive travel environment.



Solo female travel in Colombia can be a transformative and empowering experience. While it’s important to address safety concerns, it’s equally important to dispel misconceptions and provide practical tips to ensure a safe journey. Understanding the reality of safety in Colombia, including the progress made in recent years, can help solo female travelers navigate the country with confidence.


Colombia offers a wide array of captivating destinations, from bustling cities to breathtaking natural landscapes. By practicing caution, being aware of your surroundings, and following essential safety tips, you can enjoy the wonders of Colombia while minimizing potential risks.


Colombia’s friendly locals play a significant role in enhancing safety for travelers. Their warmth, hospitality, and willingness to help create an inviting atmosphere that fosters positive experiences. Engaging with locals not only adds to the cultural richness of your journey but also provides invaluable insights and recommendations.


Cultural sensitivity is another vital aspect to consider for travel safety. Respecting local customs, traditions, and social norms allows for a more seamless integration into the local environment and reduces the chances of misunderstandings or conflicts. By embracing cultural diversity and practicing responsible tourism, you contribute to a more harmonious and inclusive travel experience.


In conclusion, while there are safety considerations that come with solo female travel, Colombia provides a remarkable setting for exploration, personal growth, and unforgettable adventures. By staying informed, being mindful, and embracing the friendly nature of the locals, you can embark on a safe and enriching journey through this captivating country.