Expat Travel Blog, Cartagena and Barranquilla, Colombia
Expat Travel Blog, Cartagena and Barranquilla, Colombia

Is Dating in Cartagena Safe? (How-to Guide)


Date posted: Jul, 03, 2023

Key Takeaways:

Yes, it is safe if you follow my points below

After over one (1) year of dating in Colombia, I never had a problem (from 2020 to 2023)

I never date anonymous girls from bars (I only use the apps)

My Cartagena-specific experience is very recent: 2023


I don’t meet girls in bars or parties, ever (20yrs ago, however, I did go to bars a lot I will admit). All the Colombian women I date can ALWAYS be linked to at least two or more of: a) phone number, b) photos, c) dating app profile, d) phone number account in whatsapp, and finally often also e) ID
at entrance of building. Thus, I have never been the victim of theft or robbery in dating overseas, ever.  I have over one (1) full year of dating experience in Colombia: Barranquilla (9 months), Cartagena (4 months), Medellin (1 month). And this does not count the years spent in Brazil and the Dominican Republic and other countries.

It is true that there is a danger in Colombia of being drugged with scopolamine by a woman who wants to steal your money. However, if you follow the tactics I present below you should avoid this risk nearly altogether.

Tactic#1: Convey that You Are a Difficult Target

Talk to her about the fact that you are so happy to share her great and beautiful photo with one of your friends. If a would be criminal knows that you have a clear photo of them being circulated, it will lead them to consider that they could be tracked down at a later date.

Explain, before you actually go to your apartment or hotel, that you sure hope she has her government ID card with her because they make a photocopy of it before allowing people into the building. Say this even if it is not the case, because it will lead them to believe, once again, that the chance of them getting near you alone unidentified is slim. This may "scare off" any would be scammers. If you're not going to be an easy target, they may just go on to the next one.

Tactic #2: Don't Meet Girls in Bars or at Parties

You may immediately chafe at this suggestion. I will fully admit that there are great benefits to meeting women in an environment in which all parties are having a few drinks. If your own dating strategy relies heavily on this, skip to tactic #3 below. 

When you meet girls in anonymous situations like bars there is a far greater chance that they will be nasty types or out to scam or rob you. You are not able to do any of your normal "self-help" vetting in the form of viewing social media profiles (which presumably have linked them to a phone number). You want the opportunity to view their pictures through a whatsapp connection and perhaps store them or even send them to a freind. 

Tactic #3: Try to Establish Where They Work Before You Meet Them in Non-public Places

There was one girl I dated in Cartagena who worked at a Motorcycle dealership. Her whatsapp account had links and pictures related to it. That situation is ideal: she had sent me photos of where she worked as well and the logos matched. Even if she was a photoshop master, it would take a bit of work to pull it off.  

What I usually do is meet the girl the first time at a large centrally located shopping mall, or even one that is simply closer to her home or work. I meet with her during lunch or shortly after the close of business (ie 5:00 or so), or on a weekend. I don't expect to go home with her that very day/night, although sometimes it happens. There is usually a period of days between when I initially get her whatsapp message and when we actually meet face to face. During that time I normally will have occassion to get more information from her. 

Tactic #4: Most Young Women in Colombia Have Rather Active

Social Media Profiles: Look Carefully at Them

Nearly all the girls I have dated in Colombia have either or both Facebook and Instagram accounts. They often post videos of themselves in various contexts which would be hard to fake. I look through the pictures where they are in social situations with others. It should come naturally to you to look for anything strange or out of the ordinary. Save some of the pictures and/or send to friends of yours. You don't need to overdo it, just a few so she would be traceable or trackable by authorities. 

Rob in Colombia Expat Blog Bocagrande/Cielo Mar Cartagena, Colombia 130002