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Still the best-kept secret in the world… but not for long

October 2, 2015
Bogota, Colombia

Growing up in the US I heard the same stories as everyone else about Colombia.

Corruption. Drugs. Kidnapping and ransom. Narcoterrorists. Pablo Escobar.

From the ivory towers in our suburban enclave, it seemed ludicrous why any sane individual would risk life and limb to visit such a dangerous place.

Hollywood drove the point home every chance they had.

When Harrison Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)'s character from the 1994 film Clear and Present Danger went to Colombia, for example, it was a nonstop onslaught of death and destruction.

And maybe that really was the way things were 25+ years ago. But the Colombia of today is totally different.

It's astonishingly safe. Stable. Civilized. Extremely pleasant. It's gotten noticeably better each time I've visited over the last 7+ years.

I don't want to sell you a line of bull and pretend that Colombia is devoid of challenges.

Violent crime still exists, and paramilitary groups still operate in limited capacity in rural areas.

A tourist was killed recently as well… though this strikes me as a hollow criticism given that hardly a month goes by anymore in the US without a mass shooting.

The country risk in Colombia is clearly not zero. But the risk is nowhere near what it used to be… or what people still believe it to be.

Yet even though things are so much better now, the Hollywood reputation from a quarter of a century ago still lingers, which means that the...