Written by Kieran Proctor

Santa Fe Tolerance Zone Bogotá – The ‘No Go’ Zone

Now, before I start this article I need to first preference it with how you dress, act and treat others ...

Now, before I start this article I need to first preference it with how you dress, act and treat others will vary this advice. When I say that the Santa Fe Tolerance Zone isn’t dangerous, I don’t act like a drunken frat boy who’s seeing breasts for the first time.

If you’re going to act like a drunken fool, disrespect the ladies or take cameras into Santa Fe, you will have problems. And those problems could send you to hospital.

It may be called the tolerance zone but its workers and inhabitants won’t tolerate aggressive, disrespectful or drunken foreigners. And nor should they need to put up with drunken or disrespectful tourists in their home. Yet, with that said, here’s what you need to know about the Santa Fe ‘Tolerance Zone’ in Bogotá

What Is The Tolerance Zone In Bogota?

The Tolerance Zone or Zone Of Tolerance is several blocks of nightclubs and bars, strip clubs, brothels, prostitutes and casinos. It’s a place where all vices are legal.

The tolerance zone is several city blocks in size. And it operates like Bogotá’s take on Amsterdams red light district. Beautiful ladies line the streets in attire that is all too skimpy for Bogotá’s atrocious weather.

For those that care to enquire, you’ll find that a large number of the ladies working in Santa Fe are from Venezuela. And indeed most of the inhabitants of Santa Fe are Venezuelan.

Now, the beautiful ladies you see lining every street, aren’t there of their own volition. They’re working the best paying and sometimes only jobs, that they can find. If given the choice between freezing their beautiful a$$es off in Santa Fe or working a real job, likely all of them would choose the latter.

They’re doing what they need to do to survive. They’re working to make ends meet, pay their rent and save for the future.

The ladies of Santa Fe are some of the most beautiful, smart, strong and driven women you could meet. And if you were to meet them anywhere else, you may even want to date them. So, you shouldn’t judge people that you don’t know and haven’t yet met. Particularly, if you’re going to visit Santa Fe.

Heck, you might even find the love of your life in Santa Fe. Don’t judge a suburb or it’s inhabitants until you’ve met them. 

Where Is The Santa Fe Tolerance Zone?

The Santa Fe tolerance zone is located approximately 600 meters from the Hotel Tequendama. It’s south of Avenida Caracas. And it extends from Calle 24 to Calle 22 between Avenida Caracas and Carrera 17.

North of Calle 22 are the female workers and south of Calle 22 and along Carrera 17 are the transgender workers. The bars and nightclubs, casinos and food spots, are all spread throughout the zone.

Which Hotel Is Best If You Are Visiting Santa Fe?

The Hotel Tequendama is the best hotel to stay in, if you’re visiting the Santa Fe tolerance zone or nearby La Candelaria. The Hotel Tequendama is Bogotá‘s oldest 5 star hotel.

Hotel Tequendama is only a 5 minute, 600 meter walk to the Santa Fe Tolerance Zone. Hotel Tequendama has 24 hour security and is ‘guest friendly’. It also has one of the best buffet breakfasts in Bogotá.

What Are The Hand Signals Flashed In Santa Fe?

The ladies (and ladyboys) flashing hand signals, are telling you the prices for short time sex. They’re not flipping gang signs at you. Don’t panic if you see a lady (or ladyboy) flashing hand signals at you.

They’re telling you that the price for short time sex with them is 50,000COP. Or roughly $13 USD at today’s exchange rate.

Is The Santa Fe Tolerance Zone Dangerous?

The tolerance zone in Santa Fe is not dangerous. Provided that you exercise common sense. It may be called the tolerance zone and all maybe legal, but not everything is accepted or tolerated. There are rules to follow in Santa Fe. And Santa Fe has law and order. Both official and unofficial.

Now, like I mentioned above, the inhabitants and workers of Santa Fe are mostly Venezuelan. And Venezuelans have their own version of karma.

How you treat a Venezuelan is returned in kind. If you’re polite, respectful and kind to a Venezuelan, they will treat you the same. If you’re not then just remember, karma comes back tenfold.

What Not To Do In The Santa Fe Tolerance Zone!

For those people that choose not to follow the rules in Santa Fe and who seek to profit from its inhabitants by taking in cameras for YouTube or elsewhere you should be warned, you will be noticed. And everyone in Santa Fe will object to being filmed.

The people working in Santa Fe are there to earn money to get themselves out of situations that aren’t of their own making. They’re not standing around in Bogotás freezing weather in their underwear, for you to gawk at or film.

If you aren’t contributing towards their goals and putting money in their pockets, you should move on. If you’re going in there with a high and mighty attitude to look down on the ladies working in Santa Fe, you too should think again.

You should instead stay out of Santa Fe. You should stay at home and think about just how far you’d go to make ends meet. And to pay your rent and survive. Wouldn’t you do all that it takes to rebuild your life or put food on the table for your family?

When I said that the ladies of Santa Fe are some of the most beautiful, smart, strong and driven women, I meant it. They’re using their beauty to make ends meet and to achieve their goals. They’re working to get themselves out of situations that aren’t of their own making.

The ladies of Santa Fe are doing what they need to do in order to get where they want to be in life. Don’t be someone who goes into Santa Fe to judge or disrespect its inhabitants and workers.

If you’re still unsure about visiting the tolerance zone, take a tour. The below tours go through the tolerance zone and give you a glimpse of life in Santa Fe. Or book a private guide at the bottom of this page.

The Santa Fe Zone Of Tolerance Is Not Dangerous!

If you don’t act like a drunken fool or disrespect the inhabitants and workers of Santa Fe, you will have no problems. Santa Fe won’t be ‘dangerous’ for you.

If you choose to act like a drunken fool, disrespect the ladies or take cameras into Santa Fe you will have problems. And those problems could send you to hospital. Don’t visit Santa Fe without travel medical insurance.

Note: I’ve never had a problem in Santa Fe, but I have had to deal with problems in other more touristic parts of Bogotá. And I would never travel to Bogotá without insurance.

Is Santa Fe Tolerance Zone More Dangerous At Night?

The Tolerance Zone has 24/7 video surveillance and a large police presence both day and night. It’s not necessarily more dangerous than other parts of Bogotá at night.

Provided you act with respect and follow both the written and unwritten rules of Santa Fe, you won’t have problems. But still, I won’t wander into Santa Fe or anywhere else in Bogotá without travel medical insurance.

With that said, I do regularly wander in there in the early hours to get food. Because it’s the only place in the area where you can get empanadas, cachapas, kebabs and all types of fried foods at any time of the day or night.

Whether it’s 2am or 2pm, your safety in the Santa Fe tolerance zone is dependent on you exercising commonsense. And acting in the appropriate manner. The Tolerance Zone is safe both in the daylight and at night. If you blend in and follow the rules. 

Note: There are occasional shootings and stabbings in Santa Fe. These occur late at night. If you don’t know how to react when these things occur, book a guide (below).

Also Note: After 2am and through to about 8am, Calle 16a between Calle 23 and Calle 24 is the busy zone. And between 3am and 6am, Fercho’s is the only place to be.

Are There Drugs In Santa Fe?

I’m sure if you went looking for drugs you’d probably find them. It is South America after all. Yet, you won’t often have people randomly walking up to you on the street trying to sell you drugs, like in other Latin American cities.

You will also notice if you look carefully, that most of the ladies don’t drink. Contrary to popular opinion on the internet, the ladies of Santa Fe aren’t drug addicts or victims of organised crime.

Not only are the ladies not doing drugs, you’ll rarely see them drinking alcohol. More often than not they’re sipping on coffee and trying not to freeze in their skimpy attire.

Some of them are even ardent gym bunnies. And they’re either alcohol free, or rarely drink at all. Some are very carful of what they eat, because they take fitness seriously.

See, if you’re expecting a drug riddled barrio full of addicts and victims of organized crime, you have the wrong perception of Santa Fe. Most inhabitants and workers in Santa Fe are victims of communism and populist politics. Not drugs and crime.

Always Respect The Ladies!

I can’t harp on this enough. Always respect the ladies of Santa Fe. Because the ladies working in Santa Fe are worthy of your respect. They aren’t like Cuban women, that I’ve written about before.

A Cuban woman will sleep with anybody for money to spend on junk, like nights out so they can take selfies for Instagram. In contrast, the Colombian and Venezuelan women working in Santa Fe are there to get money to make ends meet.

Colombian and Venezuelan women are not only some of the most beautiful women in the world, they’re smart, loyal, hard working and driven. They really are, very cool ladies to hang out with.

So, if you are going to visit the Tolerance Zone, do respect the ladies. If you do respect the ladies, I’m certain that you will be safe in the ‘tolerance zone’.

Venezuelan Woman

Are There Other Tolerance Zones In Bogotá?

Bogotá is a sprawling metropolis. And there are other smaller tolerance zones that are spread throughout the city. The 7 de Agosto ‘tolerance zone’ is located on Calle 67, between Carrera 21 and 22. It’s similar to Santa Fe, but much smaller.

Is There A Tour Of The Santa Fe Tolerance Zone?

For those of you who want to visit the Santa Fe tolerance zone, but don’t want to walk into the Bogotá red-light district alone, there are tours and guides who can be booked. I have two local guides, whom I’ve known for a couple of years. Both guides are reliable and well respected in Santa Fe.

They can walk you around Santa Fe and introduce you to the ladies and the various establishments, while ensuring your safety. To take you around the red-light zone and introduce you to all the nice ladies in the best hotels and clubs, they charge $25USD per person, payable in cash in Colombian pesos (100,000 pesos) at the start of the tour.

If you want either guide to stick with you all day or all night and chase away the problem individuals before they get to you (thieves, scammers, drink spikers, beggars), you should mention that to them and ask them for a price. If you want them to find something for you, or get you into VIP somewhere, you should also ask them via WhatsApp for a price.

Now, the differences between the two guides are their levels of English and what they do.

The first guide has only basic English, but he’s an expert when it comes to dealing with the clubs and the establishments in the 4 main blocks of Santa Fe. He’ll use his translator app for any complex information. Which is good because the clubs are so loud that you wouldn’t be able to hear him anyway. For this first guide, you should book 12 hours or more in advance.

The second guide speaks good English and he can find literally anything you want. He provides protection outside if you need it, but he will rarely enter the clubs. He’ll take you wherever you want to go in Santa Fe and he is available on short notice of 1 hour or less.

To get in touch with my guides, click the links to their WhatsApp accounts below:

WhatsApp contact for guide number one

WhatsApp contact for guide number two

Note: Both guides will tell you if something is dangerous in Santa Fe. For example, if the girl you like is going to rob you, they will tell you. If you don’t heed that warning, or you don’t take their advice, that’s on you.

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.