Safety Tips for Women and LGBTQ+ Travelers in Colombia

What are the top things women traveling solo in Colombia should know, and how safe is it for LGBTQ+ men and women?

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Mural by Bastardilla, a street artist in Bogota, Colombia Photo © Brian Rapsey

Safety for Women Traveling Solo in Colombia

It's perfectly safe for solo female travelers to visit Colombia. However, as a visitor, you might find yourself in vulnerable situations when you’re alone, especially if you don't speak much of the local language, or if you aren’t used to destinations that might feel less safe.

Our Top Tips

  • To stay safe, be aware of your surroundings and always know your limits
  • Never accept drinks from a stranger or leave your drink unattended. Don’t drink past your capability to make responsible decisions
  • Women may find that they receive quite a bit of attention from Colombian men. Most of the time, it's just harmless flirting and you don’t need to worry. Nevertheless, take precaution (and a touch of skepticism) when approached by a stranger, especially in bars and nightclubs. If you're not interested, don’t be too friendly
  • Learn a few Spanish phrases to reject any unwanted advances – it can help you get out of an uncomfortable situation. For example,“gracias, pero estoy esperando a mis amigos” means thank you, but I am waiting for my friends. Or “gracias, pero no estoy interesada” means sorry, but I am not interested
  • Solo women are a target for street crimes such as muggings. Walking around cities and towns during the day is generally safe, with the normal precautions applicable
  • However, find out what the safest walking routes are and always take a taxi over walking late at night. Walk with confidence and purpose and never carry too many valuables with you.

LGBTQ+ Travel in Colombia

LGBTQ+ rights are among the best in all of South America here. In April 2016, same-sex marriage was legalized.

In 2011 a law against discrimination based on sexual orientation was passed, however intolerance and discrimination have been reported – especially in rural areas of the country.

With this in mind, when traveling to smaller towns and rural areas, use discretion and avoid public displays of affection.

Don’t place yourself in vulnerable or risky situations. When you arrive at a new destination, ask what the attitude is towards homosexuality in a new town or area.

Medellín is an extremely diverse city, and every June it hosts the annual Pride Parade, demonstrating the city’s support and its progression towards being a gay-friendly city.

Bogotá is home to Theatron, the biggest gay nightclub in Latin America. It's also home to more than 70 nightclubs, 50 bars and restaurants, 11 travel agents and beauty salons, and 7 accommodation facilities – all deemed as LGBTQ+ safe spaces in order to show the city's openness, acceptance, and tolerance towards the community.

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