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Old 05-09-2018, 07:44 AM
 
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I will be going to Medellin this August. I am so excited, however I have been warned about going. I know the cartel is there, but I know the crime rate has improved over this decade. However, I would like to know what precautions I should take. Also how bad is pickpocketing there? I want to take photos there. Should I be worried or preventing from doing so? Thanks.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:31 AM
 
Location: London, UK
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Pick-pocketing is more of an issue in Bogota than in Medellin. Anywhwere in Colombia if you're unfortunate enough to be mugged, don't fight back its not worth it.

Taking pictures is fine. Using the metro and public transport is also fine. Digital Nomads that are flocking to Medellin are vlogging and taking footage like no business. However, I wouldn't be being fair to you if I didn't remind you that you would still be in Latin America where a fancy new camera can be 6 months wages to some people so I would advise you to take precautions as in be aware of your surroundings - that's the main thing.

Also I wouldn't take my latest smart phone with me, I take my old iphone6 instead just in case. Don't dress like a bum either. People take pride in their appearance, people make the mistake of dressing like bums in Medellin, the muggers can spot you from a mile away. Don't dress in designer or flashy just dress plain but nice.

Don't take your camera out too much in downtown. Botero square, Planetarium, Parque Explora and area around Botanical gardens is generally ok but the rest of downtown is sketchy.

The neighbourhoods of Poblado, Laureles and Envigado are fine as well as Sabaneta. I suggest you stay in either of the two former and visit the latter due to distance from main attractions. I wouldn't stay in downtown, maybe Prado but even then it's better to stay in the aforementioned.

You can also visit the comunas (slum areas) on your own or with a couple of people around comuna 13 (public escalators) or the cable car area upto biblioteca España. Taking pictures here is fine also but be respectful of the locals, these are peoples homes.

Finally to get your bearings do the Medellin free walking tour on your first day. They're very popular so be sure to book in advance.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:35 AM
 
Location: London, UK
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Just realised you're going in August! Be sure not to miss the Flower Festival. Medellin's biggest party.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:49 PM
 
Location: NYntarctica
11,435 posts, read 6,404,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pueblofuerte View Post
Pick-pocketing is more of an issue in Bogota than in Medellin. Anywhwere in Colombia if you're unfortunate enough to be mugged, don't fight back its not worth it.

Taking pictures is fine. Using the metro and public transport is also fine. Digital Nomads that are flocking to Medellin are vlogging and taking footage like no business. However, I wouldn't be being fair to you if I didn't remind you that you would still be in Latin America where a fancy new camera can be 6 months wages to some people so I would advise you to take precautions as in be aware of your surroundings - that's the main thing.

Also I wouldn't take my latest smart phone with me, I take my old iphone6 instead just in case. Don't dress like a bum either. People take pride in their appearance, people make the mistake of dressing like bums in Medellin, the muggers can spot you from a mile away. Don't dress in designer or flashy just dress plain but nice.
Dunno how it is in Medellin, but this goes in the parts of Latin America I've been to. Not just for safety reasons, but also for cultural reasons too. Latin Americans generally dress really well, if you go around dressed like a hippie backpacker, or a douchy fratbro straight from Cancun, you will stick out
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Fort Bend County
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Can someone offer the same advice but for Cartagena? We will be there for 3 days in July...staying at an AirB&B...I am curious about the photos. Should I just take an old camera instead of my iphone 6s?
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:03 PM
 
Location: London, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanteuse d' Opéra View Post
Can someone offer the same advice but for Cartagena? We will be there for 3 days in July...staying at an AirB&B...I am curious about the photos. Should I just take an old camera instead of my iphone 6s?
No Cartagena is very safe. Especially in the old city, getsemani area. You don't need to worry, just make sure the taxi doesn't overcharge - ask "cuanto es?" pronounced "kwanto es?" before getting into the cab. Use the regular yellow cab, don't listen to the first person who comes up to you speaking English with one of those private cars they may overcharge you.

A reference point if ever you need to use a taxi in future is "torre del reloj", the clock tower, which is the main gate to the old city. It's not unknown (although still rare) for muggings to occur whilst walking between the old city and the fort of San Felipe, so if you wish to walk this somewhat long & sweaty trajectory, keep your belongings in a hidden place. Most people just take a taxi to "Castillo San Felipe". Note I'm just giving you precautionary measures but rest in the knowledge that Cartagena is safe.

If you happen to be there on the 6th don't miss the piano concert homage to Adolfo Mejia.

Last edited by Pueblofuerte; 05-13-2018 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Medellin is now the safest big city in South America, Tourist from all over are going there. People I know that would have been scared to go ten or 15 years ago are now going to Medellin. Reggaeton artist and even rap artist are shooting videos there. A lot of sex tourist go there too. It is almost to the point where I don't think I want to go anymore. I would have rather visit in the early 90s. I heard Cali and Buenaventura are still cool.
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:12 PM
 
Location: London, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanLuis View Post
Medellin is now the safest big city in South America, Tourist from all over are going there. People I know that would have been scared to go ten or 15 years ago are now going to Medellin. Reggaeton artist and even rap artist are shooting videos there. A lot of sex tourist go there too. It is almost to the point where I don't think I want to go anymore. I would have rather visit in the early 90s. I heard Cali and Buenaventura are still cool.
You missed the "go before it changes" window. Cali looks like its beginning to head the same way, so you'd better hurry.

That being said the spirit of the Paisas is so infectious I'm sure you can still enjoy it. Just stay in a more local area like Sabaneta or Rionegro, a small satellite city and roam the nearby towns; Jardin, Jerico, Sonson, Marinilla, Guatape, Santa Fe de Antioquia, etc. You can still get a lot of local flavour avoiding the El Poblado district.
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pueblofuerte View Post
You missed the "go before it changes" window. Cali looks like its beginning to head the same way, so you'd better hurry.

That being said the spirit of the Paisas is so infectious I'm sure you can still enjoy it. Just stay in a more local area like Sabaneta or Rionegro, a small satellite city and roam the nearby towns; Jardin, Jerico, Sonson, Marinilla, Guatape, Santa Fe de Antioquia, etc. You can still get a lot of local flavour avoiding the El Poblado district.
Yes I missed it big time. Medellin is very popular now. Obviously I am happy at the positive changes it has had and I am glad Colombia continues to move forward. I know a lot of people that are going from Canada, both men and women and including entire families. Thanks for the advice, I will hopefully finally get down to Colombia this year. I have said it before I would also like to visit many places in rural Colombia, but time probably won't allow it. I will only have about one week.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:28 AM
 
24,204 posts, read 17,598,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warszawa View Post
Dunno how it is in Medellin, but this goes in the parts of Latin America I've been to. Not just for safety reasons, but also for cultural reasons too. Latin Americans generally dress really well, if you go around dressed like a hippie backpacker, or a douchy fratbro straight from Cancun, you will stick out
I have not seen such well dressed Latin Americans in Santo Domingo, in Mexico City, in Asuncion, Paraguay, or in Bogota, Colombia. You can dress with normal sneakers, normal jeans, and a normal shirt. If it's warm weather a t-shirt and shorts are fine. I even wore sandals a lot in the DR.

Really you're better off just going and having a good time and ignoring people, since you'll here a lot of BS.

Of course well dressed is subjective, but I did not seen high fashion in Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, or the Dominican Republic.
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