COLOMBIA - travel guide (for solo female travelers)

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Almost three decades ago when I used to do Public Relations for the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia, part of my job was putting together a press map with articles published on Colombia in Germany. Believe me, besides one or two short notes on Gabriel García Márquez and Fernando Botero, this was not pretty: whether FARC, whether the cartels, the government or the paramilitaries - kidnapping and bloodshed everywhere. And this is the stigma the country is still suffering from. Over the years the country changed for the better a lot, but in the heads of most of us it's still this dark place where you cannot take a bus without ending up in a dark hole somewhere in the jungle while your relatives are collecting money for your ransom.

Treasures at the Gold Museum in Bogotà - not Colombia's only treasure...

Well, let me tell you, it's not like that any more. I travelled in April 2017 to a dozen places and felt perfectly safe.

I don't know whether it's because people are still suffering from the stigma of the past or because they are simply super-friendly, but I was impressed again and again how they try to help and support you instead of tricking and cheating and taking advantage (which I experienced a lot in other countries where people are also very pleasant - cheating with a friendly smile). Colombian people are grateful that you 'dare' to visit their country that has so much to offer. It's very touching when an old lady in the streets of Cali greets you "Bienvenida en Colombia". So if you wanna go, go. And go now, before flocks of travellers' spoil the people's warm and welcoming attitude.

Colombia has a population of about 49 million people and a size of 1,138 million sq km (approx. 440,000 sq mi). Due to the different altitudes the climate is very varied, mostly tropical and subtropical. People speak obviously Spanish (you might brush up yours on babbel) and pay with pesos (that you can convert e. g. on XE).

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Colombian Diary

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  1. I was in Colombia few weeks ago and I agree that Colombia is very safe to visit. I cannot remember how many times I was greeted with "Bienvenida en Colombia'. It surely made my heart melt and makes me want to stay longer. Colombia deserves good press. I wish more people will read this post and learn more of the good parts about Colombia than just kidnapping, drug cartel and bloodshed.

  2. Muchisimas gracias, Julie, I'm glad that you also had the same wonderful experiences in Colombia as we did. I'll definitely be back. Happy - and safe - travels, Renata


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