2020 Updated Information about Safety in Cartagena. Find out the best neighborhoods to stay in and the places that are best avoided.

Cartagena in Colombia is a quaint city with a hip character that draws many tourists to its streets every year. Its cobbled alleys are dotted with historic buildings, massive cathedrals, and museums. The beaches are lined with palm trees and water sport enthusiasts. In short, Cartagena is just like any other coastal city – breezy, chill, and safe.

Yet, it is easy to have doubts about traveling here. After all, Cartagena and Colombia have had a long reputation of drugs which may have been worsened by Narcos. It is important to remember that happened 25 years ago and the city has come a long way after that. Although, just like any other city, it does not guarantee 100% safety and has its own black sheep neighborhoods.

All it needs is for you to be street smart and aware of the surroundings to be safe. There are some know-hows you can follow to ensure a good time in Cartagena.

things to do in cartagena- old town

Safe Neighborhoods of Cartagena

When it comes to traveling in a place you have never been before, it is best to take help from the locals. According to them, the following are the safest neighborhoods in the city:


Neighborhoods of Cartagena that are Best Left Avoided

Every big city has certain avoidable areas known for mischiefs and crime. Cartagena also has neighborhoods that you should generally sidestep. According to the locals, the farther you wander away from the Old Town, the closer you get to an unsafe area. The good news is that by shirking these bad neighborhoods, you won’t be missing out on anything.

Should You Worry About Visiting Cartagena?


Any violent crimes towards tourists are nonexistent in the city, making it easy for you to explore it without hesitation. While Colombia gets a Level 2 advisory from the State Government, Cartagena is not included in either Level 3 or 4 regions. If you are wondering whether Level 2 advisory is safe enough, remember that France had the same travel level advisory.

Almost all of the potential safety concerns in traveling Cartagena can be easily avoided by following common sense and basic travel etiquette.

In short, is Cartagena safe? Yes, it is. Check out some of the best things to do in Cartagena while you are here!

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