Colombian traveling is safe for U.S. Citizens as long as they know what they are doing. It is true that traveling to Colombia can be dangerous, but I question whether or not this is more so for American Citizens. Many argue that it is. The main reason for this is because usually Americans bring U.S. Dollars, a well paid currency in Colombian pesos.
The economic factor will always be a strong one. However, this will be true even if we are talking about traveling to Europe or any other place in the world outside the continental U.S. U.S. citizens that are interested in doing some Colombian traveling usually ask me if they are a target not because of the dollars but because of political reasons, after all Colombia’s war with guerrillas and paramilitary groups are highly advertised.
However, the incidence of kidnappings in Colombia of U.S. citizen is very low. This is mainly because there are safe places for Americans to visit. Colombia’s big cities (Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Cartagena, Pereira, Ibague, Manizales, etc.) are cities with enhanced security. Much of the military is stationed here, making these cities a great destination.
There are other localities not too far from Bogota that allow a great safe cultural visit. One of them is the locality (small city) of Mariquita, in the department of Tolima. Mariquita is about three hours north of Bogota. The highway is safe as it is highly guarded by the Colombian military. This road is one of the main for Colombian commerce so it is kept open.
Mariquita is a great spot for tourist. The natural sceneries of Mariquita are simply gorgeous. This is probably why Mariquita was the center of the Botanic Expedition. The weather is warm – hot, and it is great for some drinks, swimming, sun, and fun. If you are planning to visit Mariquita, you should check local hotels that have swimming pools and air conditioning. My favorite spot is http://www.VillaDeLosCaballeros.com/ it translates to the knight’s village. They have a local restaurant that offers local fruits, ice creams, drinks, and foods. They have all the amenities that you would find in an American hotel.
Mariquita is a great place for U.S. tourist if they are looking to see the more cultural aspects of Colombia. It is a safe place as there is a Colombian air force based located there.
If you are planning to travel to Colombia, put Mariquita on the map. If you are looking for bigger cities, Bogota, Medellin, and Cali are your best options.