Jan 10th, 2024

Safety in Medellin - Is Medellin Safe in 2024?

Is Medellin Colombia safe for Travel in 2024?

Short answer is yes. If you have recently been to New Orleans/Chicago or any large city in the United States, you realize that Medellin is safe.

Medellin was dangerous — actually considered the most dangerous city in the world at one point. However, it has been 30 years since the death of Pablo Escobar and the 180 degree turnaround in crime statistics has been impressive.

Colombia has experienced significant improvements in safety over the last 25 years.

Medellín has undergone a remarkable transformation and has been a popular destination for tourists in recent years. The city has invested heavily in infrastructure, education, and community programs, which has led to a decline in violence and crime. With this transformation, tourism has exploded. In 2022, Medellin saw 1,400,000 international visitors, up significantly from the previous years following the Pandemic. According to the Ministry of Commerce of Colombia, in the first quarter 2023, there has been a 49% increase in travelers over the same period in 2022.

However, like any major city, there are areas of Medellín that are safer than others. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're considering a visit:

  • Research Neighborhoods: Some neighborhoods are safer and more tourist-friendly than others. Popular areas like El Poblado and Laureles are generally considered safe, but always be aware of your surroundings. The two most popular areas for tourists are Provenza and Parque Lleras.
  • Avoid Risky Areas: There are still areas of the city, particularly some comunas (neighborhoods), where tourists are advised not to go, especially after dark.
  • Stay Vigilant: Petty crimes like pickpocketing can occur in crowded areas or on public transportation. Always keep an eye on your belongings, avoid displaying valuables, and be cautious when withdrawing money from ATMs.
  • Travel in Groups: Traveling with others, especially at night, can deter potential criminals.
  • The #1 rule in Medellin: Do not wear your nice watches and jewelry and keep your phone in your front right pocket and your wallet in your front left pocket. There is a saying here in Medellin “NO DAR PAPAYA”. Don't give away your papaya or think of it this way, your papaya is your phone, jewelry, watches and valuables.

    If you are traveling to Medellin and plan to use TINDER (not recommended), applications for sex, any form of prostitution, or you plan to buy illegal substances; this comes with a WARNING label.

    Gringo Search does not recommend these activities because they add a layer of danger and that is why this site specifically chooses not to participate in promoting, showing, searching, recommending or listing these sites on the webpage, search engine or application.

    When going out by yourself or with a group, especially at night, it is important to take extra precautions.

    1. Watch your drinks, always.
    2. Meet in Public: Choose a busy public place for your first meeting.
    3. Tell Someone: Let a friend or family member know your plans.
    4. Stay Sober: Limit alcohol consumption to maintain your judgment.
    5. Use Your Own Transportation: You get the UBER! Don't get in a car you did not request.
    6. Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off, trust your gut and prioritize your safety.

    In conclusion, while Medellín has made significant strides in improving safety, it's essential to take precautions, stay informed, and use common sense, just as you would in any other major city around the world.

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