When researching about Colombia, it is hard to ignore the extensive history of the drug war. Even the locals you meet along the way advise you to watch your belongings, not wander in certain places at night, and be extra vigilant. The recommendation from the locals is not to flag taxis off the road and to keep expensive gadgets tucked away (hence the very few photos in Colombia in comparison). As with all cities, take the regular precautions and Colombia can be a pleasant country to visit. We did not have any incidents in Colombia throughout our one and a half weeks, and the locals we met were more than eager to present a clean image of the city.
The Colombians are the most friendly of all in Latin America. The minute we asked for directions, we ended up with helpful answers from every single person on the local bus. When on arrival the manager was uncontactable and we were stranded outside our hostel in Bogota, the Colombians who were guests there let us store our bags in their room and brought us out for dinner. On the day of the world cup qualifiers against Ecuador, the entire city in Santa Marta was out in their blue and gold jerseys, and the spirit in the air was just wonderful. Apparently when some tourists got robbed in Minca, the group of motorcycle taxis chased the robbers down the mountains and throttled them. They were always smiling no matter how hot and crowded it was.
We travelled by plane to the coast from Bogota with the budget airline Viva Colombia, but if you could start from the coast it might be more efficient to go overland by bus all the way down south via Bucaramanga and Antioquia.