Colombians generally greet eachother by kissing on eachothers cheek once. It's actually not proper kissing but more like just tpuching the other person't cheek with your cheek, usually the right one... Depending on the degree of familiarity this may be accompanied by a hug or just a pat on the back. Depending on the occasion this kind of greeting is alos used when two people are intoduced. The alternative on more formal occasions is a hand-shake.
So don't be afraid that the people are trying to sexually harrass you or hit on you, just go with the flow and you'll soon learn to like this custom :)
In Colombia it's common to see Army in many places. From the streets of Bogotá to a small village...
Travelling on the road not only the Guerrilla might stop you, but also the Army searching for terrorists.
One day on a road there is an army roadstop every 10 km, the next one you won't find any soldier there.
Unfortunately there might also be roadstops of the AUC (Paramilitaries) or the FARC, ELN (Guerrilla) which would be less funny...
Currency: Peso ($)
Budget meal: US$2-5
Moderate restaurant meal: US$5-10
Top-end restaurant meal: US$10++
Budget room: US$5-10
Moderate hotel: US$10-15
Top-end hotel: US$15++
Colombia is not an expensive country. Budget
travelers can get by on around US$10 per day;
while those staying in more comfortable hotels
and eating at restaurants will spend around
US$20-30 per day. Splurgers should budget
on US$50-70 a day.
Some banks change cash and/or travelers' checks,
but others don't. Some branches of a bank will
change your money while other branches of the
same bank will refuse. This seems to vary from
bank to bank, city to city, day today, and can be
further complicated by a myriad of local factors,
eg the bank may have reached its daily limit of
foreign exchange. On top of that, the banks usually offer
foreign exchange services within limited hours, which may
mean only one or two hours daily; your best chances are in
You can change cash dollars on the street, but it's not
recommended. The only street money markets worth
considering are those at the borders, where there may
be simply no alternative. You can use credit cards (Visa is
the most widely accepted) for car rental, air tickets and
in most top-end hotels and restaurants. Plastic money is
also becoming popular for purchasing goods and payment
for services in many other commercial establishments.
There are an increasing number of cajeros automáticos
(automatic teller machines) which accept Visa and
MasterCard, and will pay you pesos.
People are friendly and welcoming, but if you doesnt speak ANY spanish, there will be problems, because very few people do speak english. I dont, but my crazy mixture of portuegiese and spanish worked out just fine. As long as you're trying they'll help you along. So just relax and have a great time. Dont rush anything. Mañana amigo!
Cartagena is a must for visitors to Colombia. No doubt Cartagena is the most beautiful city in Colombia. Stroll down the narrow cobblestone streets lined with balconies of old Spanish mansions such as Bodegón de la Candelaria and Casa del Marques de Valdehoyos. The city was built within thick walls in 1533 along a beautiful Caribbean harbor.
In addition to its numerous museums, Santa Fe de Bogotá enjoys cultural activities such as shows, concerts, art exhibitions and conferences throughout the year. The Modern Art Museum, the National Museum and the Luis Angel Arango Library, have exhibition rooms where there is always something worth seeing.
Numerous art galleries display and sell the works of both Colombian and international contemporary artists. Concerts are held in theater halls such as Teatro Colón, Colsubsidio, Camarín del Carmen, Teatro Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, or in specialized rooms such as in the Luis Angel Arango Library and the Léon de Grieff hall at the Universidad Nacional. Their programs include the presentation of symphony orchestras and chamber groups, both Colombian and from abroad, as well as ballet, opera and shows with internationally renowned artists.
Several theater groups are based in Bogotá and present both classical and modern works. The principal groups include the Teatro Popular de Bogotá, Teatro Libre, Teatro Nacional, La Castellana, and La Candelaria. In addition every other year during Easter the Ibero American Theater Festival is celebrated in the capital.
The pre-Columbian Art left in the country real master-pieces that can be see in the gold Museums of Bogotá, Cartagena and Armenia. Important architectural examples, from colonial period are found in Bogotá, Cartagena, Popayan, Villa de Leyva and Tunja. Art Galleries located in the most important cities, show permanently the work of the most famous outstanding painters. Music and theater life is very active all over the country.
THE CHOLOS INDIANS. This is a tribe that lives on the pacific coast, where the River San Juan dies on the ocean. The indians are not wild or anything like that, in fact they are nice people with a hard working live which have lived from centuries in the jungle. The handcraft things made by them are unique and beautiful. Many years ago, the used topless dresses, but with the invations of tourist, they started to cover up themselves with tshirts that were exchanged by their handcraft (WHAT A SHAME).
THE GUAVIANOS. This ancient tribe located on the Department of Cauca, about 2 hours from the city of Cali. Their cultural life is colorfull and rich in traditions. The handcraft are well know, specially the wool and leathers goods. Their main markets are on tuesdays and sundays.
When we watch on TV some people lying in the street, we always think than they are not working hard as here, in the Old Europe....well, try to work with the temperature they have during some hours every day....
Perhaps we too would look for some tree...
The City is busy, but if you are in a store or something, they will be patient with you. The countryside is more laid back and they are generous people. some of the farmers will not pay much attention to you because you're a tourist, but it's still pleasant. The beach is very resort-like and people are eager to help you out. There are usually many other tourist around so you can meet others and share experiences.
Overall, very nice people who want you to enjoy their country.
GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ: Novel prize winner for literature. His most famous book Novel is 100 AÑOS DE SOLEDAD (100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE. The writer lives in Spain.
If you are abble to see the eyes of a child and then
you are the same.....think for a while what are you doing in the world......
More Regions in Colombia