Colombia Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by tampa_shawn
  • A bag of water, chips and Colombian $
    A bag of water, chips and Colombian $
    by tampa_shawn
  • Local Customs
    by JessieLang

Colombia Local Customs

  • just fruit

    Colombia is renowned for its variety and quality of fruit for very good reason. While South America as a continent is noted for fruit I never found it to be on a par with Asia but it seems I had been to the wrong countries before venturing to Colombia. Along with the ubiquitous papaya and watermelon came a plethora of fruit many of which I had...

  • Water from bags

    the water here comes in plastic bags and without a knife it is quite interesting getting into them. You bite off the corner and the water sprays all over you and then there is no way to re-close it (hence the note to pack a binder clip next time) However, you will get the hang of it over time and if you ask many of the vendors have scissors and...

  • Con Gusto...another ex of the wonderful...

    I am totally in love with the Colombian people. They are so wonderfully friendly and helpful.It is also a very polite and even formal culture. I think this example may say it best.When ever you say thank you to someone they always reply with ¨con gusto¨ which means with pleasure. I just love that. Never your welcome...always with pleasure...what a...

  • Stopping the voilence with motercycle...

    Another interesting thing here is the motorcycle laws. Motorcycles are a primary means of transportation for many here but during the periods of violence that have overtaken the country in the past...motorcycle drivers regularly were the ones who carried out the murders, kidnappings and initiated the violence that haunted the country. So for many...


    I noticed that on Sundays, the various town councils would close several avenues and streets, or at least reduce several lanes of a major avenue and open up these free roads to cyclists, joggers and sports enthusiasts.Once in Bogota, I actually saw a whole stage being set up with a huge group of people working out aerobics routines.And the nicest...


    My friend's mother runs an internet cabin-cum-photocopy services and she keeps herself locked inside, transacting through the grilles and admitting internet users who presumably look OK.I also noticed many mom-and-pop shops have grilles at their entrances. People buy sweets, cigarettes, snacks, etc... through the grilles as well.I guess this is due...


    A common phrase used here is ‘A la orden’, which means ‘At your service’. Everytime I walked into a store, or thanked someone as I departed the store or restaurant, they would smile and say “A la orden.” Colombians indeed offer the most smiley and sincere services. Bravo!!

  • Colombian Culture

    Literature Gabriel Garcia Marquez has been the most important writer. He has known as “Gabo”. He was born in Aracataca near the Caribbean Sea. He began working for regional newspapers and he was reporter. After he moved to Bogotá and he worked for “El Espectador” and after he was corresponds in Europe. He has written very much stories about the...

  • No 'Tu' in Santander

    In the Department of Santander, which includes Barichara and San Gil, the locals always use the formal 'usted' to address someone rather than the informal 'tu.' This applies even to family members and to boyfriends/girlfriends. So if you try to befriend the locals and they keep referring to you as 'usted,' don't think that they are being distant;...

  • Donkey Love

    Warning! This tip is for adults only.I wasn't sure whether to include this and I'm sorry if it's inappropriate, but it genuinely is a local custom, and I think it would be helpful for travellers to know about it. As I was told by several Colombians in Santa Marta, it is common practice in the north of the country for adolescent boys to have sex...

  • Nativity Scenes

    Colombia is a strongly Catholic country and Christmas is cellebrated in all parts. The Streets are lit up, everyone has a tree and, most amusingly, everyone has a nativity scene.I say amusingly because, while a few are strictly traditional, In colombia, just about every figurine imaganable follows that star to Bethlaham. Baby Jesus is adored by...

  • Salsa!

    Colombians are rightfully known for their music and dancing. Salsa, Marangue, Vallenato, Cumbia. No colombian party is complete without a dance. If you plan to get anywhere with the beautifully Colombian women you better have the stamina to dance right on through the night.

  • Blessing the cars

    Driving can be rough in Colombia so the locals have turned to a higher power for help. It is possible to get your car blessed by a priest, there are shops that specialize in statues of the Virgin Mary for the dashboard and on every road there are shrines for protection. Many give offerings of headlights to gain protection for their auto. On some...

  • Colombian vs 'Spanish' Spanish

    Colombians are more polite than Spaniards in terms of how they speak to each other. The most noticeable example of this is if you ask a question and they don't hear you properly or understand what you mean. Instead of simply replying with 'Que?' (which a Colombian would regard as extremely rude) you will hear 'Senor?' or 'Senora?' - even between...

  • Speak Spanish if you can

    Not only will this be appreciated in a country where tourists are relatively rare, you will find that there may be monetary benefits for you as well if you are able to chat to the locals in their native language (you are likely to get a discount).To be honest, being able to speak (and understand, which is much harder) some Spanish is really a must,...

  • Greetings

    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...

  • Army

    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...

  • Currency: Peso ($) ...

    Currency: Peso ($)Relative Costs: 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...

  • People are friendly and...

    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...

    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...

    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...

  • THE CHOLOS INDIANS. This is a...

    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...

  • THE GUAVIANOS. This ancient...

    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.


    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...

    If you are abble to see the eyes of a child and thenyou are the same.....think for a while what are you doing in the world......

  • When we watch on TV some...

    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...

    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...


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Colombia Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Colombia local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Colombia sightseeing.
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