Showing posts from March, 2014

Colombia: a holiday destination?

We had our doubts before traveling to Colombia. Is this country really safe enough for tourists? Do you notice the activities of paramilitary groups and the FARC? How about criminality in the city centers? The available information provides rather contradictory signals. On the one hand the travel guides, like the Lonely Planet, tried to convince us that Colombia is really safe and on its way of becoming a normal tourist destination. This information emphasizes the friendly character of the Colombians, the modernization of the country and the success of anti-terrorism policies under Uribe and Santos. The quality of long-distance travel is often emphasized – buses and domestic airlines – and growing safety of the cities, although tourist are still advised to be careful.

The available statistics speak another language, though. I calculated that living in Colombia for three weeks is probably as dangerous as living in the Netherlands for more than a year, in terms of the probability of bei…