I was born in Medellin Colombia but was raised in Bogota until the age of 10. I am currently 20 and reside in the US. We have visited Colombia twice since we have moved here and have felt like strangers at times for being absent for so long. I love my country but in certain areas at certain times it can be very dangerous.
It helps if you visit and are with someone that is from the area.... The thing that helped my mom and I was our black hair and "Hispanic" look. Ladies, men, wear your purses or bags in front of you, preferably one that has a long strap. Place it in front and place cellphones, camaras or cash on an inside pocket ,not the outside.
My grandma sews, so she made me this tiny little purse where I was able to keep my money and ID (android phone was too big unfortunately), and I worse this inside a bra.
Do not be too flashy with camaras, jewelry or money... there is unfortunately a lot of poverty and people might go after those things. Obviously as a tourist youll want to take pictures, but always be aware.
I would recomment that you call taxis from your hotel room, take a notice of the license plate and text it, send it to someone you know just in case. A majority of people are nice, will want to talk, but safety always comes first. Make sure you familiarize yourself with major roads and how to get from your hotel room to wherever your destination may be, study areas well.
If a homeless person asks for money and seems intimidating, something my mom taught me was to instead, buy them food. A soda and chicken pastry, is rather cheap! the person will definitely accept it and not bother you any further.
hope this has helped! of course, have US embassy, police station and other friends in Colombia's phone numbers handy with you.
Always when out and about here beware of theives and pickpockets. You will automatically be singled out for attention if you have light skin and/or have cameras etc. Poverty is rife and what you have is very attractive for people that have little..So, be careful..
Always Be aware of your surroundings..
Be extremely vigilant when in crowds.IE: Markets , crowded streets, railway and bus stations are a " red flag"..as these are extremely targeted as travellers are focused on other things. I know I got ripped off at a railway station.
Try and carry any bag with valuables in front of you..not just over your shoulder but around your neck..
Do not put your / any bag down without some form of personal restraint...it will be gone in a minute!!
Always have a back up card and cash in a "stash" on your body..maybe a body belt..
Beware of friendly hugs by strangers..it happens before you realise !!!
ALWAYS BE CAREFUL...THESE PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO...THEY DO IT FOR A LIVING.!
Although it has been sometime since l was in Bogota, l do remember that someone tried to pull my earrings out of my ear lobs and robbed my necklace. My watch was taken from me whilst my elbow was sticking out of the car. Don't wear Jewellery or show your camera. You can't exactly mingle if your not Colombian or have dark skin. Your a target for theives so be aware...
There are busy places full of street vendors and lots of people not to mention full buses and marketplaces including flea markets. Of course no matter where you go at any time especially where there are lotza people be careful for thieves. Keep your stuff to yourself, or your bag in front of you. One thing that I also didn't do was pull out my camera in a place I felt I shouldn't and/or mi amiga recommended that I did not ~ kept away from spelling myself out as 'tourist'. For those places I sometimes used a disposable camera instead of my good one.