“You went to Colombia?” “Isn’t it dangerous?” “Are you missing an organ now?” “Did you make any deals with a drug cartel?” – says almost everyone who heard that I am traveling to Colombia.
I’ve come across many different people during my travels this year; interacted with both fellow travelers and locals alike. And I’ve picked up on a fairly common theme. A mere mention of Colombia immediately stirs up the stereotypical fear of drug infested, unlawful country that has nothing to offer but cheap drugs and sex. Is Medellin safe for travelers?
Nothing could be further from the truth. Though when a country goes through such a dramatic period in history, filled with drug overlords flaunting extravagant luxury, and sophisticated drug supply chains with the power to control the lives of everyday Colombians, it’s understandably hard to remove that negative image from people’s minds.
Two decades after Pablo Escobar was killed, Medellin is now moving on and reinventing what was once known as the world’s most dangerous and murderous city. It is no longer the epicentre of the global drug war. It is no longer a city which is unsafe for travelers. There has been a sharp decline of homicides in Medellin since the mid 90’s, and the city has been completely transformed. Is it safe to travel solo to Colombia?
Today Medellin is the most vibrant and innovative city in South America. From the mountains that surround the capital of Antioquia you can see how the Medellín River runs parallel to the Metro, which connects various parts of the city. There are an abundance of parks, libraries, museums and public spaces where many Cultural events take place. Flowers have their own fair and in the surrounding villages life is simple with relaxing landscapes and nature reserves. And for international travelers and Digital Nomads, the city is cheap.