Colombia Travel or elsewhere?

Discussion in 'Salser@s Anonymous' started by Marcos, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Marcos

    Marcos Son Montuno

    Anybody gone to Colombia?

    I am planning my next vacation and Colombia was my top pick for destination. But after checking the travel warnings on the US State Department, British Foreign travel, and Government of Canada travel advice websites I'm reconsidering.

    As much as I'm interested in visiting the Salsa Capital of the World, I'm more interested in being able to travel around freely in the country to which I go to and coming back alive and in one piece to these forums to tell you about my travel's salsa experiences.

    Thoughts? Alternate spots I should consider around that region?
  2. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    If I checked and took seriously the travel warnings on such sites I would have visited a fraction of the 91 countries I have been to, and missed out on some wonderful experiences and places. Just before I went to Colombia (in 1999), such sites were bursting with warnings about Colombia because there had just been an earthquake in the village of Armenia (which I actually ended up passing through on a bus anyway). I absolutely loved the country, and of course there were no issues anywhere else.

    Right now the only place I wouldn't go in SA is Venezuela (although I've already travelled and danced there :)). Sure, there are plenty of places which would not be advisable to visit right now, but such sites are understandably overly cautious. Governments don't want to risk hassles with their nationals anywhere. Talk with travellers who have actually been to places recently and suss out the situation on the ground. I was hanging out with a Colombian pilot in Tana (Madagascar) recently; I can just hear him laughing out loud about such a warning.

    Do not miss Colombia :) I'm heading for Bolivia in a few months myself - the only country I haven't been to in South America. So looking forward to it :) I'm not sure what if any salsa there will be, but hopefully...
    Marcos likes this.
  3. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    There's definitely salsa in La Paz, Bolivia (or at least there was not long ago); I've a friend from there who mentioned to me that she'd been to a weekly salsa night there (although she's not a salsera so I don't know any details). I can ask her for info if necessary.

    I've not been to Colombia but I've done a lot of research on it recently and I think the majority of the country is safe. There is one area that should be avoided though (helpfully I can't remember which area it is).
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
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  4. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, please :) I'm planning to start in La Paz then overland to Potosi, Sucre, then to Paraguay.
  5. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    When will you be there? (PM me if you prefer.)
  6. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    (i.e. what month and for how long?)
  7. sunsoul

    sunsoul Shine Officer

    Colombia is fine as long as you keep your wits about you. There are some rough areas in certain parts of any city. Always take a taxi late at night and don't walk home alone in areas you don't know much about. One of my Colombian friends in Cali never used a taxi as he believed it was his right to be able to walk home if he wanted to (he didn't have a lot of money). He got robbed about once a month.

    I never had any problems as I shared taxis and just walked around areas near my hotel at night.
    bailar y tocar and Marcos like this.
  8. Marcos

    Marcos Son Montuno

    Actually the warnings are more severe for the rural areas of the country than for the cities.

    I want to thank you all, I've decided to contact the US embassy in Bogota directly and get more information before making a decision, though I'm afraid I might not have enough lead time to get the time off with my job to make it for the Cali World Salsa Festival at the end of September. In which case I'll have to figure out a time where I could catch a concert by La-33 or Maxima 79.
  9. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

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  10. matty

    matty Shine Officer

    i might have written a similar post to yourself in about 2007 after researching online about colombia.:rofl:

    and as a consequence of that i started a trip around south america from ecuador (skipping colombia) , which turned out to be way more dangerous (but i dont regret my visit at all )
    so, based on overwhelmingly positive stories from fellow travellers and recommendations from other south americans i decided to change my plans and head back to colombia. i wasnt dissapointed.

    if you like salsa then: hell yea ! simply no place like it.
    is there danger there? yea... but thats south america for you. all of the countries have some crime problems, but in relative terms i found colombia to be not too bad , i know its subjective, but that was my experience in going there about 7 times now. (and counting)

    as with anywhere in south america :do listen to advice from the locals, listen to anecdotal stories from fellow travellers, and dont do stupid stuff like hiking in the jungle looking for trouble :rofl:
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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  11. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks very much, Yuca! I've only just confirmed my dates: arriving Dec 27th in La Paz, so I should be able to catch the Friday party, assuming it will be running around the New Year period. I'll have a month to get back to Santiago; will probably spend most of it in Bolivia and a little in Paraguay (Ascuncion).
    DJ Yuca likes this.
  12. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    I live in my own house in Cali Colombia for about 5 months every year. (the winter months). Colombia is not Switzerland, or Norway, but it is not that dangerous if one is sensible and travel smart.

    There are 3-4 tourist hostels close to my house and it drives me crazy that a lot of stupid tourists wander by with cellphone in hand, surfing the web. Please DON'T do that anywhere in South America. The people who do that make the streets unsafe as it attracts opportunity robbers on motorcycles.

    I have not had any problems myself but I don't take anything for granted either.

    The salsa scene in Cali is awesome. I cannot wait to get back in November and check out Mauricio Diaz new gig "Cimarron" in El PeƱon. He DJs "Salsa Magistral" on the web.
    Marcos and azana like this.
  13. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    To continue my hijacking of this thread... :)

    Would anyone happen to have any salsa information for Asuncion, Paraguay (18-20 Jan) and/or Santiago, Chile (21-24 Jan)? Thanks!

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