Bogota Warnings and Dangers
Known for fascinating colonial landmarks including a neoclassical performance hall, several museums and a church built in the 17th century, Bogota is an intriguing city to visit. When traveling in Bogota, follow these guidelines to protect yourself from potentially dangerous situations.
Stay on Guard Against Professional Pickpockets
Although you want to have fun when you are visiting Bogotá, the city is filled with pickpockets who know the tricks of the trade. The thieves excel at the craft and make their livings picking pockets. Beware of strangers who want to hug you as they may just want to pick your pockets. Protect your valuable items by keeping them in view.
Do not wear bags behind you. Instead, wear all items in the front. Buy pants or a jacket featuring an inside pocket in which to store your wallet, cell phone, camera, and extra cash, and keep valuables at home. Avoid wearing expensive necklaces and earrings in public. Do not give money to homeless people. Offer to buy them meals or nonalcoholic beverages, instead.
A Few Tips on How to Protect Your Health
Do not purchase food or a beverage from a street vendor. Vendors typically sell items that are not safe to eat or drink. Avoid drinking beverages containing ice because the ice is not made from bottled water. Never touch any animals because they may have not been vaccinated against rabies.
Before you travel to Bogotá, ask your doctor about getting the right vaccinations. Wash your vegetables and fruit with bottled water. When eating out, choose quality restaurants even if you need to pay more money for your meals. Note that it is difficult to locate doctors in Bogotá.
Refrain from Walking Without a Companion
If you plan to visit Bogotá, consider your option of bringing a friend or loved one with you. You are much safer when you walk with another trusted person.
Beware of Taxi Drivers who Want to Steal Your Money
If you want to take a taxi, call the company from your hotel room. Ask the hotel clerk for names of reputable taxi companies. Some illegitimate drivers will pick you up and try to rob you.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas to avoid in Bogotá.