No des papaya is a saying in Colombia which literally translates to “don’t give papaya”. It means don’t leave yourself vulnerable to be taken advantage of. Like walking around with your phone out or your wallet in your back pocket.
Try arepas ! But be picky because if you eat a lot of shit ones then you won’t want to keep trying them. I met a lot of travelers who refused to eat anymore arepas because they didn’t like them. Well if you eat a shitty hamburger you can’t say they’re all bad you just have to find the good places. It takes a little time but it’s worth it.
The turn around Colombia has made in the last 20 years has been phenomenal. Not to say I was there before but after all the lingering rumors I’ve heard from friends and family it seemed like Colombia was going to be dangerous if I wasn’t careful. I found Colombia to be very safe and actually my favorite country on my visit. There were times where I didn’t feel safe but they passed and I made it out unharmed because I acted smart. Traveling safe anywhere is all about acessing your situation. Do I really want to walk home at night in this neighborhood? Should I tell these people what hostel I’m staying at? Should I take my whole wallet with me or should I just take money I need for the day? Things like that will help.
I always like marking my hostel on my maps.me before I enter a town. Also keeping that shit fully charged. Having a dead phone in a strange town in the middle of the night sucks hard. Luckily I have experienced nothing but hospitable people. People to give me rides, help me find buses and to let me know if I left something behind at a restaurant. Experiencing the kindness of a people is truly one of the best things while traveling.
A la orden a saying they use in Colombia a lot which means at your service.
The bus system in Bogotá is so crazy you probably don’t want to bother getting a bus card. You probably just want to split an Uber or cab.
There is a lot of history in the big cities. They are different in all parts of the city so take time to walk around and see it. People only spend 3 days in Bogotá or like 4 days in Medellín but those cities have so much to offer. You won’t regret staying a few days longer.