Safety In Medellin, Colombia
Worried about safety in Medellin, Colombia? Medellin has come a very long way since the days of Pablo Escobar, when it was considered to be one of the most violent cities in the world through the 1980's. Since those days, crime has slowly decreased in Medellin and it is now considered a safe place to visit (depending on what part of town and the hour you are there, just like most cities). In fact, it is now considered on of the safest big cities in Latin America. The poorer neighborhoods in the north-east and north-west of the city should be avoided at both day and night to avoid trouble. The inner city and tourist areas are very heavily policed. If you use the same common sense as you would when visiting any city as a tourist, you shouldn't have any trouble.
- Don't travel alone after dark, especially leaving clubs after having been drinking. If you must, travel with a few friends, and at night call a taxi instead of walking.
- As in most large cities, pick-pockets can be a problem. Avoid carrying a wallet and to keep varying amounts of cash in several pockets. Only carry what you will need for the day. However, at most tourist sites, the police have a very heavy presence, so you can feel safe taking pictures and walking around during the day.
- Avoid parks, muggers with knives wait for tourists in parks near hotels in the affluent areas of the city, such as El Poblado.
- Carry a color copy of your passport rather than the real thing.
- Avoid accepting drinks from strangers, as would be the case in any city.
- Do not flaunt large amounts of money around.
- When using an ATM it is wise to use machines in a mall, one of the large superstores or grocery stores, then walk around a bit. Don't rush out the door. If someone is watching people at the ATM, they will wait for you to leave, and possibly rob you on the street down the road.
- Don't use street ATM's.
- Stay away from drugs! It is just asking for trouble.....
- Don't wear expensive jewelry.
Medellin is a safe city for tourists. Colombia has done a hell of a lot to not only improve it's image internationally, but to also take steps to ensure the safety of it's people and tourists. Medellin (once considered the most violent city on earth) is now considered to be one of the safest places in Colombia to visit. Just use the same common sense as you would when visiting any foreign country and you shouldn't have a problem. I have friends that have been mugged in Paris because they didn't take precautions. My best advice is to talk to the locals or other tourists, they will be able to tell you where the safest areas are and the areas to avoid.