As the Colombian capital, Bogota 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 Bogota?
The city’s past reputation, marked by drug cartels and high crime rates, has often overshadowed its present state. Today’s Bogota 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 lodge and explore, especially for solo travelers and first-time visitors. This article will guide you through the city’s safest suburbs, offering you a secure and memorable visit to Bogota.
Is Bogota Safe For American or Canadians? Yes
1. Understanding Bogota: An Overview
Located in the heart of the country and nestled high in the Andean peaks, Bogota is the third-highest capital city globally. With a population of over 10 million, Bogota’s cultural variety is immense. And its public transit system is top-notch, making it easy to get around the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
Bogota 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, Bogota 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.
2. Usaquen: A Blend of Charm and Convenience
Usaquen, located in the northern part of Bogota, 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 epicentre 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. 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 Bogota or Biohotel.
3. Parque 93: Modern, Safe and Quiet
Parque 93 is closer to the center of Bogota 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.
4. Parque Virrey: Resilience and Recreational Fun
Parque Virrey is another great location in Bogota, 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.
5. La Candelaria: The Historical Heart
The neighborhood of La Candelaria is the historical heart of Bogota. 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 Bogota’s world famous murals. However, it’s advisable to stick to the main streets at night to ensure safety.
6. 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.
7. Zona Rosa: The Epicenter of Entertainment
Zona Rosa, also known as Zona T, is the epicenter of Bogota’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 Bogota. It’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for a dynamic, upscale experience during your stay.
8. Chapinero: A Trendy Haven for Digital Nomads
Chapinero is Bogota’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 coworking spaces and cafes, and a vibrant expat community. Chapinero is also home to the largest LGBTQ+ nightclub in Latin America.
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 city, certain precautions should be taken.
Staying in the city’s safest neighborhoods, being vigilant and planning your routes can ensure a secure, enjoyable visit to this vibrant Colombian capital!
Where Can I Get More Information On Bogotá?
I’ve made my Bogotá Colombia City Guide available on this website. And I would strongly recommend you read it before traveling to Colombia. It will help you navigate Bogotá and Colombian society.
My Bogotá Colombia City Guide will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Colombia. Colombia is not the sort of destination in which you can just arrive unprepared.
Read the Bogotá Colombia City Guide here.