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Pereira Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Pereira, Colombia in 2024?

Planning a trip to Colombia raises safety concerns. Pereira, in Colombia's coffee heartland, prompts questions: Is it safe for tourists?

Tobi Miles
April 1, 2024
Pereira Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Pereira, Colombia in 2024?

The answer isn't straightforward, but don't let that deter you. Pereira offers a blend of vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. Understanding the safety landscape is key to enjoying all that this beautiful city has to offer. Let's dive into what you need to know about safety in Pereira.

Key Takeaways

  • Pereira, nestled in Colombia's coffee region, presents a complex safety landscape for tourists, where vibrant culture and hospitality contrast with fluctuating crime rates.
  • While violent crime rates have shown variance over recent years, petty thefts like pickpocketing are more prevalent, especially in tourist-concentrated areas, prompting the need for vigilance and secure practices.
  • The local government and law enforcement in Pereira are actively working on initiatives to reduce crime and enhance safety, including increased police presence and community engagement programs.
  • Travelers can significantly improve their safety by staying informed about their surroundings, securing their belongings, using secure transport options, and knowing local emergency contacts.
  • Investing in comprehensive travel insurance, practicing cultural sensitivity, and connecting with locals for advice are additional steps that enrich and secure the travel experience.
  • Key popular tourist areas in Pereira, such as Plaza de Bolivar, Zoo Matecaña, Otún Quimbaya Sanctuary, and Hacienda San Jose, offer a blend of safety features and enriching experiences, making them must-visit spots within the city.

Crime Rates in Pereira

When considering a trip to Pereira, Colombia, understanding the city's crime rates is essential. Pereira is part of the coffee region, a zone recognized for its significant contributions to Colombia's economy and culture. However, like any urban area, it faces its own set of safety challenges.

The city has experienced fluctuations in crime rates over the years. To give you a clearer picture, consider some recent figures:


Homicide Rate per 100,000







While these numbers show a somewhat volatile situation, it's important to note that crime in Pereira is not exclusively violent or targeted at tourists. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and theft are more common, especially in crowded or tourist-heavy areas.

Compared to major cities worldwide, Pereira's crime rates may seem daunting, but it's crucial to put these numbers into perspective. The local government and law enforcement agencies are actively working to reduce these rates and improve safety for both residents and visitors. Initiatives include increased police presence in key areas and community engagement programs aimed at preventing violence.

Safety Tips:

  • Always stay aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded places.
  • Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or electronics openly.
  • Use secure transport options, particularly at night.
  • Stay informed about areas of the city to avoid, based on the latest local advice.

Remember, while crime rates offer a quantifiable measure of safety, they don't capture the complete picture. Pereira's vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and the warmth of its people also play a significant part in defining your travel experience. Being cautious and well-informed will enable you to enjoy all that this Colombian gem has to offer safely.

Safety Tips for Travelers

When exploring Pereira, your safety should always come first. Despite the city's efforts to reduce crime rates, it's essential to stay vigilant. Here are practical tips to ensure your trip remains enjoyable and safe.

Stay Informed About Your Surroundings

Before you travel, research the neighborhoods and understand which areas are recommended for tourists. Pereira has vibrant local communities, but like any city, some regions might be safer than others.

  • Avoid wandering alone at night, especially in less crowded areas.
  • Stay updated with local news or advisories during your visit.

Keep Your Belongings Secure

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing are more common in crowded areas, so keeping your valuables secure is crucial.

  • Use bags with secure closures and avoid flashing expensive gadgets or jewelry.
  • Consider using a money belt or a neck wallet to keep important documents and cash out of sight.

Connect with Locals and Authorities

Locals can provide valuable insights into navigating the city safely. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice on areas to avoid or for directions.

  • Emergency numbers: It’s important to have local emergency contacts on hand.
  • Embassy information: Knowing the location and contact details of your embassy can provide an extra layer of security.

Quick Reference


Emergency Number


Tourist Police

Available in key tourist spots

Local Embassies

Check embassy websites for the most current contact information

Travel Insurance

Investing in comprehensive travel insurance can offer peace of mind. Should you encounter any health or theft issues, having insurance means you're covered.

Cultural Sensitivity

Understanding and respecting local customs and laws go a long way. Pereira locals are welcoming, and showing respect will enrich your experience.

  • Dress appropriately for the places you're visiting.
  • Learn basic Spanish phrases to better communicate with locals.

By following these safety tips, you’re setting yourself up for a memorable and secure visit to Pereira. Remember, your awareness and actions play a significant role in how you experience this beautiful Colombian city.

Emergency Contacts in Pereira

When you're exploring Pereira, knowing key emergency contacts is vital for your safety and peace of mind. In case of any emergency, quick access to this information can make a significant difference.

Important Numbers to Keep Handy

Ensure these numbers are saved in your phone before you even set foot in the city:

  • National Police: 123
  • Ambulances and Medical Emergencies: 132
  • Fire Department: 119
  • Tourist Police: +57 (6) 324 8383

These services are operational 24/7, providing assistance to both locals and tourists. Remember, response times can vary depending on your location in Pereira.

Local Authorities and Support

Engage with local authorities upon arrival. The tourist police, in particular, offer services in English and can be a great resource for navigating the city safely. They're known for their approachability and willingness to aid visitors in distress.

Consular Assistance

For international travelers, keeping your embassy's contact details can be invaluable during emergencies. Whether you lose your passport or need legal assistance, your consulate can provide crucial support. Here's a quick list for easy reference:


Contact Number

United States

+57 (1) 2752000


+57 (1) 6579800

United Kingdom

+57 (1) 3268300


+57 (1) 6578000

Embassies often have emergency hotlines for after-hours contact, so it's wise to check their respective websites for the most current information.

Staying Informed

Keep abreast of local news and updates. Apps like Alerta Pereira provide real-time notifications on safety-related incidents in and around Pereira, helping you steer clear of potentially hazardous areas.

Maintaining awareness and having the right contacts can significantly enhance your safety in Pereira.

Popular Tourist Areas in Pereira

When exploring Pereira, there are several areas that must be on your itinerary. These places not only showcase the rich culture and biodiversity of the region but are also known for their relative safety and tourist-friendly atmosphere.

Plaza de Bolivar is the heart of the city, famous for its iconic statue of a naked Simon Bolivar astride a condor. This bustling square is surrounded by historic buildings, cafes, and shops, making it a perfect spot to immerse yourself in local life. The presence of local police and security cameras adds an extra layer of safety for visitors.

Zoo Matecaña is a haven for animal lovers and families. It's one of the oldest zoos in Colombia and is dedicated to the preservation of South American species. The zoo's layout encourages lengthy visits, and the safety measures in place ensure a worry-free experience for everyone.

For those seeking natural beauty, Otún Quimbaya Fauna and Flora Sanctuary is a must-visit. This sanctuary offers a tranquil escape with its lush landscapes and the opportunity to spot unique wildlife. With guided tours available, visitors can safely explore the area's natural wonders.

If you're looking to dive deeper into the coffee culture, Hacienda San Jose is your go-to spot. This working coffee farm provides insights into the coffee production process, from bean to cup. The farm's commitment to safety and visitor education makes it an enlightening and secure experience.

Here’s a quick look at these popular areas:

Tourist Spot


Safety Features

Plaza de Bolivar

Historic landmarks, local culture

Police presence, security cameras

Zoo Matecaña

South American species

Enclosed, monitored paths

Otún Quimbaya Fauna and Flora Sanctuary

Natural beauty, wildlife

Guided tours

Hacienda San Jose

Coffee culture

Informative, controlled access

Visiting these sites, you'll not only experience the beauty and diversity of Pereira but also enjoy the peace of mind knowing you're in areas that prioritize your safety. Remember to always stay aware of your surroundings and respect local guidelines for a truly enriching visit.


Pereira stands out as a vibrant destination that marries natural beauty with cultural richness, all while keeping your safety at the forefront. By sticking to recommended spots like Plaza de Bolivar and Zoo Matecaña, you're not just immersing yourself in the essence of Colombia but doing so with peace of mind. Remember, a great trip is not just about where you go but also how safely you navigate your adventures. Pereira, with its blend of attractions and safety measures, offers just that—a memorable and secure experience. So pack your bags and get ready to explore, knowing you're in for a journey that's as safe as it is spectacular.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular tourist areas in Pereira, Colombia?

The popular tourist areas in Pereira include Plaza de Bolivar, Zoo Matecaña, Otún Quimbaya Fauna and Flora Sanctuary, and Hacienda San Jose. These locations offer a unique mix of cultural and natural attractions, ensuring visitors have a diverse and enriching experience.

How do these tourist spots ensure visitor safety?

These tourist spots in Pereira ensure visitor safety through various measures such as police presence, monitored paths, guided tours, and controlled access. These initiatives provide a secure environment for travelers to explore the attractions.

Why should I visit these locations in Pereira?

You should visit these locations in Pereira for a blend of cultural experiences and natural beauty in a secure setting. They provide opportunities to learn about the region's history, interact with flora and fauna, and enjoy scenic views, all within a framework that prioritizes your safety.

What is the importance of staying aware of my surroundings while visiting?

Staying aware of your surroundings while visiting these locations is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. It helps you avoid potential hazards, respect local guidelines, and fully engage with the attractions without unnecessary disruptions.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 1, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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