This beautiful music symbol, highlighted by the streaks of the setting sun, is a part of the bay side walkway near the old town of Cartagena, Colombia. Colombia has a bad reputation for being a dangerous place because of drug trafficking. I am sure that there is merit to this, but I would think Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and many other U.S. cities should probably be considered just as dangerous. That being said I found the city of Cartagena to be beautiful and inviting.
The taxi drivers do seem to try to take advantage of those whom they single out as being U.S. citizens, and as such easy marks, but they are in no way threatening. If you do your homework and know what something should cost then they will take you where you need to go for a fair price.
I think fear of a new place is irrational, but believe you should always be cautious when traveling. Be aware of your surroundings, know where you are going, and keep your valuables close (or better yet, leave them at home) and you should be fine. Is a life lived in fear any life at all?