July 19, 2024
Medellin, Colombia Cracks Down On Unruly Behavior And Digital Nomad Visas

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Medellin, Colombia has undergone quite the transformation in recent years. Once known for its rough reputation, the city has become a thriving destination for digital nomads and travelers searching for an affordable place to visit. Medellin is currently implementing new regulations to attract more responsible visitors and remote workers.

Once a haven for bachelor parties and all-night debauchery, the city’s Mayor, Federico Gutiérrez is transforming the tourism experience. Medellin is looking to attract visitors seeking cultural experiences and more professional digital nomads.

Comuna 13 Medellin, ColombiaComuna 13 Medellin, Colombia

Over 1.4 million visitors arrived in Medellin last year, many of them American.

Medellin and Colombian immigration are now taking multiple steps to let bad behaving tourists know loud and clear, they are not welcome.

The Party Is Over

Famous for its nightlife, the district of El Poblado is filled with countless nightclubs and areas to let your hair down. Arriving in the area of Calle 10 which is known for the infamous Lleras Park, visitors will be greeted by dozens of police, security cameras and checkpoints to the well-known party areas.

The Mayor even went as far as setting a 1:00am temporary curfew on bars to tame the party. The curfew has since been lifted but the message is still loud and clear. “We have to recover control of this area — it is also very important for us to protect the community,”  Federico Gutiérrez explained in a statement.

Transformation of Lleras park in recent yearsTransformation of Lleras park in recent years

Security is strict everywhere including hotels, nightclubs and restaurants. The Mayor has banned all prostitution it in all popular tourism areas. Large billboards regarding sexual tourism and the exploitation of minors are posted warning tourists of the potential 25 years they could spend in prison. Signs are posted in all hotels and all guests are strictly checked for Identification.

Be Ready For Extra Questions & Background Checks On Arrival

Colombian authorities are now working with the US to catch unsavory tourists before they even enter the country. Arriving in at the International Airport just outside of Medellin, tourists are being asked extra questions about the purpose of their trip and those with criminal records could be turned back under the new ‘Angel Watch’ program.

US Government Warns Travelers To Avoid Dating Apps

Medellin, Colombia isn’t that place to go looking for the love of your life right now. Earlier this year the US government issued a warning that travelers are being targeted on dating apps, then drugged and robbed for their possessions.  Even launching Tinder in Medellin, users are greeted with a warning that meeting people could be dangerous amid recent government warnings. The same warning goes for nightclubs and bars. Unsuspecting tourists are being targeted and drugged with Scopolamine.

Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture located in Botero ParkRafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture located in Botero Park

28 tourists have died in Medellin so far in 2024. This includes homicides and natural causes.

According to Medellin Advisors, the homicide rate in Medellin in 2022 was 15 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. This represents a 3% reduction compared to previous years and is lower than the national average in Colombia, which was 23 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants as of the end of 2022.

Colombia’s Digital Nomad Visa Just Got Harder

Colombia’s Digital Nomad visa has been a huge success for the country as thousands of travelers flocked to the country for affordable living and culture. When the program first launched, digital nomads were raving about how easy it was to be approved if you could provide the following:

  • Monthly earnings above $900 US
  • Health insurance that covers your stay in Colombia
  • Permission to work abroad
View of Medellin, ColombiaView of Medellin, Colombia

Now times have changed and message boards on Facebook and Reddit are filling up with questions regarding extra paperwork that is not the easiest to obtain. The Colombian government is permitted to require any additional information they see fit when reviewing applicants and they are doing just that for almost everyone now. New forms being asked for include:

  • Criminal FBI background checks with Apostille
  • Official proof of good standing for self-owned companies along with Apostille
  • Official proof of ownership for digital nomads that operate their own companies with Apostille
  • All Forms must be dated and issued within the past 60 days
Colombian Musicians outside a colorful building in MedellinColombian Musicians outside a colorful building in Medellin

Safety In Medellin

While the city has made huge improvements to overall safety travelers are advised to stick to well known tourist areas and avoid walking alone at night. For more information on safety, read the top 7 things travelers need to know when visiting Medellin.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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