Emergency #’s | Safety bog
Bogota is dedicated to providing its citizens and international guests top notch emergency services. The first thing USA citizens need to remember is that 911 does not exist in Colombia. The central emergency number here is 123 and can be dialed free from your cell phone. *Remember that your exact address will be necessary.
- If you are staying for an extended period of time it is recommended to bring your cell phone and buy a local service chip from one of the many cellular providers including Movistar, Comcel & Tigo. Alot of Colombians buy chips (or phones) for all three providers as it can be cheaper in the long run due to proprietary calling plans that exist between the carriers.
- If you plan on staying an extended period of time in Colombia, it is recommended to get to know a group of good friends that you make contact with daily or weekly. I also recommend joining an online support group or forum dedicated to Colombia. Poorbuthappy.com was a long running forum (10+ years) that recently shut down. However, there are others that exist including our new DiscoverColombia.com forum here. I have personally seen alot of people get help in Colombia from other foreigners they have met through online communities.
- Get yourself a good map and begin to learn your way around the city. As in any big city, become aware of which neighborhoods are safe and which neighborhoods are not.
- Walking around at night by yourself is not recommended. Even if you are going a few blocks, it is advised to take a taxi if you are by yourself.
- SCAMS EXIST IN BOGOTA! Do not hand over money or your documents to people in the street who claim to be police officers, security or government officials. Request to do this at the police station if you are approached and questioned. Crooks and scam artists will not want to follow you to the police station if requested.
- DO NOT ACCEPT FOOD OR DRINKS FROM STRANGERS! Druggings are known to occur in Colombia and especially Bogota. Do not be paranoid, just be precautious!
- Write your hotel or apartment address on a piece of paper and carry it with you at all times in case you get lost or confused.
- Carry a color copy of your passport vs. the passport itself. Keep your passport in a safe or secure place.
- Leave your expensive jewelry at home. Be aware of your surroundings while using your cameras and video cameras.
- We recommend that you only carry enough cash with you for the day’s activities. Leave your wallet, ATM and credit cards behind in a safe place. If you wish to use your credit card, alert your credit card company and let them know you will be out of the country. They will monitor the card for multiple charges over a short period. If you pay with your credit card, do not let it out of your site (club, bar, restaurant). Cloning of credit cards is on the rise in Colombia.
- Use ATM’s in secure locations only such as a mall or bank itself with a guard on duty.
- It is safer to have your hotel call for a taxi until your become more familiar with the city. Only use designated and marked taxis in Bogota.
Emergency Contact #’s for Bogota
1. Tourist Police
Carrera 13 No. 26-62
337-4413 / 243-1175
2. Emergencies: 123
3. Firefighters: 119 (Phone Number 217-5300 / 235-5166)
4. Red Cross/Ambulance/Emergencies (24 Hours): 132 (Phone Number 428-0111)
5. Civil Defense Brigade (24 hours): 144 (Phone Number 640-0090)
6. DAS – Administrative Security Department: 153 (Phone Nuumber 01 8000 919 622)
7. DIJIN – Central Directorate of the Judicial Police: 157
8. GAULA (Anti-Kidnapping squad): 165
9. Citizen Service Line: 195
10. Legal Medicine: 289-0677 / 333-4817
11. National Police: 112 – 428 0677-428 2272
12. National Police CAI (Immediate Attention Center): 156
13. SIJIN (Judicial Police Section): 286-0088
14. Traffic and accidents (24 hours): 127 (Phone Number 360-0111)
15. Health emergencies (24 hours): 125
16. Official procedures and other services: 195