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Common Misconceptions about Colombia

People enjoying a Colombian festival.
Gone are the days of drugs and war. Say hello to colorful festivals and fun-loving locals when you visit Colombia.

When you think about Colombia, what are the first things that come to mind?

Drug cartels and gang wars?

The violent setting of that critically acclaimed Netflix show Narcos?

If these are the images that this South American country evokes in you, then you’re in for an awakening.

While they might have been true of the place some decades ago, a lot of things have changed, and the country has transformed itself from being the playground of drug lords and gangs into one of the most modern and innovative places on Earth.

Read up on the many common misconceptions about Colombia and how a lot of them don’t even mirror the present state of things in this beautiful country.

It’s a dangerous and lawless place.

Once upon a time — well, more like two decades ago — this was true.

Medellin itself was once named by Time magazine as the “most dangerous city in the world.”

It’s also true that Pablo Escobar and feuding gangs used to lord over the place, giving rise to great levels of violence and lawlessness. But that was then, and over the years, a lot of things have changed.

Thanks to efforts by the Colombian government to engage in peace talks with the guerilla groups responsible for the kidnappings, cases of abduction have fallen by as much as 90 percent at present. And since the death of Escobar in the early ‘90s, the country has amped up its war on drugs.

Nowadays, Colombia has been more of a haven for tourists looking to have a good time, meet beautiful Latinas, or just explore the unique culture and rich biodiversity.

With innovative infrastructure and efficient public transport systems, the country has made it easier for tourists to get around and really discover what Colombia has to offer.

Everyone does drugs there.

If there’s one thing you must NOT do when you visit Colombia, it’s to ask any local person you meet if they do drugs.

Not even as a joke.

Well, you can try, but for sure, you’ll either be slapped or punched in the face.

Many Colombians dislike that their country is associated so much with the drug trade, and they’ve been working so hard to overturn this image.

While it may be true that drugs are still produced in the country and they’re easily bought cheap there, it’s wrong to conclude that every person who lives there is a coke addict or a drug pusher.

As a matter of fact, over 90 percent of the cocaine produced in the country is exported to the United States.

It’s always hot there.

The state of the weather can vary, depending on which part of the country you’re in.

There are some places that have hotter temperatures than others.

For instance, places like Cali and Santa Marta are always blazing hot at any time of the year. But in places like Bogota, the temperatures average around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and you rarely get days warmer than 70 degrees.

Medellin, also called “the City of Eternal Spring,” is described by locals as having the best weather all year round, with temperatures averaging around the low 80s almost every day.

If you want to know the best time to visit Colombia, we say it would ultimately depend on the region of the country you’re traveling to.

People walking in the streets of Colombia
With everything Colombia has to offer, you’ll never have a dull moment, even when you’re just strolling in the streets.

It doesn’t attract many tourists.

You’d think with the kind of negative image Colombia has had over the years it would have trouble attracting tourists.

Apparently, that’s not the case.

Even back when it was not the tourist hotspot that it is now, lots of backpackers would find their way to the valleys, coasts, and mountains of this Latin American country.

It seems that it was considered a thrill among the backpacking community to travel to Colombia, which was considered a no-go zone back then.

Nowadays, the country presents a much friendlier face to casual tourists and hardcore backpackers alike. It offers regular tour packages to various destinations, where you can engage in all sorts of outdoor activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and the like.

Travelers also have a variety of options when it comes to accommodations, dining spots, and nightlife. The country has transformed its infrastructure and public transportation so tourists can get from place to place in a faster and more comfortable manner.

If you’re interested in seeing what attractions are in Colombia, there’s nothing stopping you from booking a flight to this country, even in the midst of a pandemic.

Colombia travel requirements are fairly easy to accomplish as long as you’re able to present a negative PCR test and other necessary documents.

The food isn’t delicious.

Colombian food might not be as famous as other globally renowned cuisines like Japanese, Chinese, and Italian food, but that doesn’t mean it’s less delicious.

When you sit down to a local meal, you’ll be surprised to find out that their meat is mostly organic and isn’t packed with preservatives and other chemicals, unlike in other countries.

Open air markets are also a thing there, and it’s where you can buy cheap produce and eat the local fare at nearby small restaurants and food stands.

Although the menu might not be the sort that you’re used to, it won’t disappoint your palate for sure.

Visiting a Beautiful Country

Is Colombia safe to travel to today?

Judging from the points above, it’s nothing like most outsiders claim it to be. But even though there are lots of people at present that still believe Colombia is dangerous, at least you know better now.

Now that you’ve learned about the common misconceptions about Colombia, you might be raring to pack a suitcase and book tickets to this interesting country.

Take care that you do the most important thing first — planning your itinerary.

Try to check up on local news from Colombia every now and then as well.

You’d also want to look into having a local guide to take you around your destinations. That gorgeous, charming Colombiana you’ve been getting to know online for a while now might be the perfect choice.

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