Written by Kieran Proctor

Safest Suburbs In Bogotá For American And Canadian Tourists

As the Colombian capital, Bogotá is a bustling city that offers a rich blend of history, culture and modern amenities. ...

As the Colombian capital, Bogotá is a bustling city that offers a rich blend of history, culture and modern amenities. Yet the question that often arises, especially among American tourists, is – Is it safe for Americans to visit Bogotá?

The city’s past reputation, marked by drug cartels and high crime rates, has often overshadowed its present state. Today’s Bogotá is a vibrant city that has taken significant strides towards ensuring safety and security for its visitors.

However, it’s essential to know which neighborhoods are the safest to stay and explore, especially for solo travelers and first-time visitors. But you should also make yourself aware of the tourist scams. This article will guide you through the city’s safest suburbs, offering you a secure and memorable visit to Bogotá.

Understanding Bogotá: An Overview

Located in the heart of the country and nestled high in the Andean peaks, Bogotá is the third-highest capital city globally. With a population of over 10 million, Bogotá’s cultural variety is immense. And its public transit system is top-notch, making it easy to get around the city’s diverse neighborhoods.

Bogotá now boasts a great infrastructure for tourists, featuring safe accommodation options, a higher police presence, secure transport systems and tourism operators helping visitors explore the city. The city’s murder rate is far lower than the national average, indicating a significant improvement in safety conditions over the years.

However, like any other large city, Bogotá still experiences petty crimes such as pickpocketing and muggings. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay vigilant, plan your routes and avoid venturing too far off the beaten path.

Travel Tip: During the daylight hours, when there are large groups of people around, most of Bogotá is safe. Criminals are more active at night. And they’re drawn to lost tourists, who are walking around with big glowing phones in their hands.

Is Bogota Safe For American or Canadians?
Murals in Bogotá

Usaquen: A Blend of Charm And Convenience

Usaquen, located in the northern part of Bogotá, is a charming neighborhood known for its colonial architecture and bustling Sunday flea market. The area is home to an array of amazing restaurants, making it an ideal spot for food lovers. It’s also close to the epicenter of Bogotá’s craft beer scene.

I’m buying real estate in Bogotá. And around Usaquén is where I’m targeting a large part of my search efforts. Particularly in the area surrounding Unicentro. Because it’s a great area to live long-term in Bogotá.

The neighborhood offers quick access to the Zona Rosa, a popular entertainment area. However, it might be a bit far from the historic center for sightseeing as they are located on opposite ends of the city. If you decide to stay here, consider booking accommodations like W Bogotá or Biohotel.

Parque 93: Modern, Safe And Quiet

Parque 93 is closer to the center of Bogotá and offers a safe, quiet, modern and polished neighborhood experience. It’s home to many restaurants and bars, making it a great choice for those seeking a lively culinary scene.

The location is superb as it’s just a short ride away from the Zona Rosa entertainment area. Some of the top hotels in this neighborhood are the Click Clack Hotel, Salvio, and Selina Parque 93.

Parque Virrey: Resilience And Recreational Fun

Parque Virrey is another great location in Bogotá, known for its safety, tranquility and proximity to the lively Zona Rosa. The park is an excellent spot for morning runs or grabbing fresh fruit from local vendors.

One of the best places to stay here in Parque Virrey is the Cite Hotel.

La Candelaria: The Historical Heart Of Bogotá

The neighborhood of La Candelaria is the historical heart of Bogotá. Its narrow cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings transport you back in time, offering a unique charm. The area houses important government buildings and the highest density of museums and art galleries in Bogotá.

La Candelaria is a popular destination for tourists, making it a convenient base if you’d like to soak in as much of the city’s history as possible. Or take walking tours to see Bogotá’s world famous murals. However, it’s advisable to stick to the main streets at night to ensure safety.

Quinta Camacho: A Tourist Favorite

Quinta Camacho, a small area in Chapinero, comes highly recommended as the best area for tourists. With its strategic location and excellent accessibility, it offers a perfect blend of urban convenience and cultural richness.

Here, you’ll find a mix of local and international restaurants, trendy boutiques, cultural centers and a vibrant nightlife scene. Safe and centrally located, Quinta Camacho is an ideal base for exploring the city.

Zona Rosa: The Epicenter Of Entertainment

Zona Rosa, also known as Zona T, is the epicenter of Bogotá’s nightlife. With high-end shopping centers, hot nightclubs and a wide range of dining options, it attracts a lively crowd after sunset.

Although Zona Rosa is one of the city’s more affluent areas, it’s considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Bogotá. It’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for a dynamic, upscale experience during your stay.

Chapinero: A Trendy Haven For Digital Nomads

Chapinero is Bogotá’s trendiest district, offering a cool vibe, fantastic nightlife and an array of great restaurants. It’s a bit more expensive than La Candelaria but offers a unique experience that makes the extra cost worthwhile.

Chapinero is an ideal area for digital nomads, with many co-working spaces and cafes, and a vibrant expat community. Chapinero is also home to the largest LGBTQ+ nightclub in Latin America.

Travel Tip: The newer buildings surrounding ‘Hippies Park’ (Parque de los Hippies) has become very popular with tourists. And there’s a slew of new accommodation options in the area.

My Own Final Thoughts On Bogotá

Visiting Bogotá can be a truly rewarding experience, offering a unique blend of history, culture and modern amenities. When it comes to safety, Bogotá has made significant strides over the years, but like any other large city, certain precautions should be taken. And in particular, you should make yourself aware of the tourist scams in Bogotá and how to avoid them.

Staying in the city’s safest neighborhoods, being vigilant and planning your routes can ensure a secure, enjoyable visit to this vibrant Colombian capital. And, like me, you might end up loving it so much, that you stay!

Safe Travels!

Where Can I Get More Information On Bogotá?

If you’re planning to visit Bogotá on your next vacation, or you’re simply interested in Colombia in general, you should read my Bogotá City Guide.

My Bogotá City Guide is updated regularly. And it seeks to answer all of your questions regarding Bogotá and Colombia in one place. Read my Complete Bogotá City Guide.