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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Wilson, Wyo.
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    4,230

    anyone been to cartagena recently?

    is it safe?

    i've always wanted to visit colombia, but i've bailed on a few trips over the years for safety concerns.

    i've been particularly interested in cali.

    now, the wife wants to go to cartagena. anyone have recent beta?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    river city
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    2,203
    Joan Wilder?

    DEEEE JOAN WILDER????

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Stuck in perpetual Meh
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    35,267
    Goddamn. First reply. GREAT work, Lexibell!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    EC
    Posts
    1,193
    I know a guy in the State Department who has been living in Bogota and he can't wait to get out of that country.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Le Lavancher pour le weekend
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    3,336
    my buddy at the dod says that it's actually probably better than it has been in a long time...but that still makes it worse than just about any hood in the usa.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    STL
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    11,341
    My buddy just got back from some Peace Corps type work in Cali. Says it was perfectly safe, but then again he is from the south side of Chicago.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Summit County
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    5,058
    Quote Originally Posted by Lexi-Bell
    Joan Wilder?

    DEEEE JOAN WILDER????
    heh, that was just on the other night.



    u.a.n., I think all of columbia could cool off considerably before taking the wifey down there.
    "The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money" --Margaret Thatcher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Teton Village
    Posts
    2,679
    I was there in 2000- I was concerned. There were kidnappings going on, gun fights in the city, and fresh bullet holes hot far from where I was staying.

    When I saw the fresh bullet holes, I asked if they were from the civil war- "in the 1940's...or was in in the 20's...?"

    The lady answered from the civil war last week...

    I'd been all through central america- slums in Mexico City, El Salvardor, CR & Backwoods along the Panama border and always felt pretty safe. Not so in Columbia- I always felt like I was going to be somebody's meal ticket.

    There are great places to go in SA- Argentina & Chile!!!! IN a NY minute!!!
    Ski Shop - Basement of the Hostel



    Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish.

    Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wilson, Wyo.
    Posts
    4,230
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_gyptian
    heh, that was just on the other night.



    u.a.n., I think all of columbia could cool off considerably before taking the wifey down there.
    thanks...funny thing is *she* is the one who really wants to go, and i've been the one saying it isn't safe (yet).

    for me to back off from going someplace is pretty significant, and i've backed off a couple times before (cali).

    wifey's thinking cartagena, though, is safe. sounds like a negative....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wilson, Wyo.
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    4,230
    Quote Originally Posted by skiing-in-jackson
    I'd been all through central america- slums in Mexico City, El Salvardor, CR & Backwoods along the Panama border and always felt pretty safe. Not so in Columbia- I always felt like I was going to be somebody's meal ticket.

    There are great places to go in SA- Argentina & Chile!!!! IN a NY minute!!!
    thanks, s-i-j...

    yeah...argentina & uruguay were a breeze...even argentina during the turmoil they had a few years back was nothin'....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    North Coast
    Posts
    2,615
    Two of my best friends-- single women-- just went to Colombia. Spent a week in Cali and a week in Cartagena. I didn't go because I was worried about safety, but they came back raving about it and said they felt less safe in Portugal when they went last year.

    Long story short- I didn't go because I was worried about safety and really wish I had. If I got a chance to go back, I think I would.

    edit: They have fantastic pictures. It's gorgeous down there!
    It's idomatic, beatch.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    LV-426
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    16-year bump! Anyone been more recently?

    We're going for a few days on the way to Ecuador.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    SLC
    Posts
    1,462

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    2,122
    Itís been 5-6 years but plenty safe. Also went to Bogota, Manizales, Salento, Santa Marta. Loved it all.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    473
    I went in 2018 and loved it. Felt plenty safe but it wouldnít be hard to find trouble if you were looking. I think Iíd happily live in Bogata.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The west - various spots
    Posts
    438
    Iíve been but not recently. Actually this wouldíve been more useful to the OP. I went to Cartagena and area in 2005 for a couple of weeks and it was an absolute highlight of several months travelling around S America

    At the time, Cartagena and the surrounding Caribbean coast was the one area in Colombia that the Canadian Govít didnít explicitly recommend avoiding altogether.

    We didnít have any issues but tried to take the usual precautions. We camped near the beach in a national park, slept in hammocks on another beach closer to the city, and just hung out and enjoyed the city of Cartagena itself. It was so hot and the ocean was so warm that it didnít provide any relief from the heat. Beautiful country. If the security situation hasnít worsened, would highly recommend!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    give'er eh!
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    2,012
    I travelled all over Columbia for over a month up until March 2019. Itís perfectly safe. Use common sense just like anywhere. Every corner of that country is amazing!!! Air travel is super cheap-once you are there. Easy to get around. Private taxi is reasonable as well.

    If your only doing Cartagena- see Tayrones national park/ Palomina and spend some nights on the beach in Baru. If flying someplace else is an option go Salento, Jardin, Meddellin, Guatape

    If your balling Take ur lady to eat at La Cevecheria In Cartagena In the walled city!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
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    26,937
    i got a buddy who organized road bike tours to columbia, he said roads were good & no traffic, it was cheap to rent a villa but he had the hot columbian wife to run intereference
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  19. #19
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    Sep 2004
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    We're just going to be in Cartagena, for four nights, then fly to Quito and have a tour in Ecuador for about 7 days.

    Figured we'd explore the old walled city, walk around, spend some time on the beach. We're staying in the Bocagrande area next to the beach.

    Anyone done a snorkel day trip from there? Rosario Islands comes up a lot on searches.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    2,516
    On my list.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    give'er eh!
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    We're just going to be in Cartagena, for four nights, then fly to Quito and have a tour in Ecuador for about 7 days.

    Figured we'd explore the old walled city, walk around, spend some time on the beach. We're staying in the Bocagrande area next to the beach.

    Anyone done a snorkel day trip from there? Rosario Islands comes up a lot on searches.

    Bocagrande = Miami Beach
    Day trip to Rosario is worth the views, beach time and cocktails. Good luck snorkeling- the winds get way to strong by noon....You can book right on site at the dock the day before for best price. Seemed like online price was almost double when I was there.

    Quito-acclimatize! If u downhill bike the gondola in town is killer! Get a bike guide-see lots-fast! Spend a night at Pappalacta if u can. It’s closer to the airport than the city....

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
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    2,122
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    We're just going to be in Cartagena, for four nights, then fly to Quito and have a tour in Ecuador for about 7 days.

    Figured we'd explore the old walled city, walk around, spend some time on the beach. We're staying in the Bocagrande area next to the beach.

    Anyone done a snorkel day trip from there? Rosario Islands comes up a lot on searches.

    We went north to Tayrona and did that; didn't do any beach or snorkeling around Cartagena.

    Great restaurants inside the old city. We ate at a bunch of ceviche places, Peruana, and some others. Everything was killer.

  23. #23
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    Sep 2004
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    LV-426
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    Thanks everyone - good info.

    Our Ecuador trip starts with a day hike in Cotopaxi National Park around 13,000'. We have two full days in Quito before, so we're going to feel the elevation. We live at just under 6000', but still...
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    2,122
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Thanks everyone - good info.

    Our Ecuador trip starts with a day hike in Cotopaxi National Park around 13,000'. We have two full days in Quito before, so we're going to feel the elevation. We live at just under 6000', but still...
    In Quito, around town, it shouldn't be too bad; we were coming from 8000', but friends were from sea level. We went up the TelefťriQo on day 2 and definitely felt 13,000' hiking around. We backpacked the Quilotoa Loop the next day and everything was good, since the major gain and elevation is at the end. It all worked out that my wife and our friends climbed Cotopaxi the next week and everyone felt good.

    We did Quito/Quilotoa/Amazon (via Coca on the Rio Napo)/ Cotopaxi (I had to fly home for work). Kinda jumbled, but it was a great trip.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,185
    Some recent articles from various news sources about the upcoming election in Columbia.. Sounds like there could be some trouble.. As in the right wingers trying to murder the leading candidate from the left wing side who seems to have the best chance of winning.. If the voting is not corrupted.. Definitely some potential for widespread riots depending on the outcome... As for Ecuador.. I loved it there and hope to go back... High altitude towns as well as beach towns were all great!
    what's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

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