Is Cartagena a Secure Travel Destination?



When selecting a travel destination, safety is often the foremost concern for any traveler. Cartagena, situated on Colombia’s northern coast, is celebrated for its historical significance, lively culture, and captivating Caribbean beaches. It is cartagena safe Nevertheless, like many cities worldwide, questions regarding safety in Cartagena frequently arise. This article delves into Cartagena’s security landscape to offer you an all-encompassing insight into the safety aspects of this charming city.


Broadly speaking, Cartagena is deemed a secure location for travelers. A considerable number of visitors have enjoyed their time in the city without encountering any issues. However, akin to urban centers globally, minor crimes such as pickpocketing can transpire, particularly in crowded areas and popular tourist hubs. To minimize the risk of theft, it is recommended to remain vigilant regarding your possessions, refrain from ostentatiously displaying valuable items, and exercise caution in crowded settings.

Neighborhoods Cities

Cartagena is a city with diverse neighborhoods, each possessing its unique character and safety profile. Ciudad Vieja, the Old City, is renowned among tourists for its well-preserved colonial architecture. By and large, it is regarded as a safe area, although, like any tourist-centric location, it can attract pickpockets. Bocagrande, a more contemporary part of the city, is also considered a secure area and accommodates numerous hotels, restaurants, and shops.

Nevertheless, when venturing into neighborhoods that see fewer tourists, it is judicious to be circumspect as safety conditions can diverge. Conducting research on specific areas or seeking safety recommendations from local authorities or your accommodation is a prudent approach.

Transportation Local

Public transportation in Cartagena is generally dependable. Taxis are readily available and are perceived as a secure means of getting around the city. It is imperative to ensure that you avail licensed and registered taxis, which are typically yellow and prominently marked. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Didi are also accessible within the city.

While using public transportation, it is advisable to be mindful of your belongings to prevent theft. Additionally, when walking within the city, be cautious of traffic, as some areas may lack well-defined pedestrian pathways.

Health and cleanliness

Cartagena, like many tropical destinations, necessitates travelers to adopt specific health precautions. Staying adequately hydrated, using sunscreen, and exercising prudence when indulging in street food, which may not consistently adhere to the highest hygiene standards, are essential.


While English speakers can be found in tourist areas, having a basic understanding of Spanish or carrying a translation app can be highly advantageous for communicating with locals.

Emergency Services

Cartagena has a network of emergency services in place, including medical facilities and law enforcement agencies. In Colombia, the emergency number for police and other services is 123. In case of requiring medical assistance, you can dial 125.

Safety Tips

Here are some fundamental safety tips for a trouble-free stay in Cartagena:

1. Remain in Well-Populated Areas: It is advisable to stay within well-populated and tourist-friendly regions, particularly during the evening.

2. Stay Attentive to Your Surroundings: Maintaining awareness of your surroundings and the security of your belongings is paramount.

3. Utilize Licensed Taxis: Exclusive use of licensed and registered taxis for transportation is encouraged.

4. Maintain Hydration: Given the tropical climate, staying adequately hydrated by consuming sufficient water is crucial.

5. Respect Local Traditions: Acquaint yourself with the local culture and customs, and adopt modest attire when visiting religious sites.


Cartagena is an alluring destination that seamlessly combines historical sites and picturesque beaches. Although concerns about safety should not deter you from visiting, it is indispensable to exercise caution and stay alert to your surroundings. By adhering to common-sense safety practices, you can relish your time in Cartagena and explore the plethora of captivating experiences this city offers.