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Travel

10 Things to Know When Traveling to Colombia!

Colombia is a country that is well worth discovering. The diversity of its landscapes and the kindness of its people will make your trip unforgettable. Here are my top 10 tips:

  1. When you arrive, you should already have some Colombian Pesos. Do not bring US dollars. 
  2. Ideally, arrive with more 10 000 and 5 000 bills because some smaller stores will not be able to give you the change back for small purchases like water bottles.
  3. Try to do group tours outside of the typical tourist attractions. 
  4. When you need to use a taxi, you should use Uber or call a renowned cab company for your security.
  5. Most of the time, even if you are staying at an all-included hotel, the beach is not the hotel property. Be aware that a lot of scammers will try to make you believe it is part of the package and will then charge you after. For example, they will offer a massage while you relax on the beach.
  6. Be careful not to leave your drinks unattended if you go out in bars. Always go out in locations that have a good reputation.
  7. Average costs :
    Regular Meals : 15 000-30 000 pesos
    Beer : 3000-5000 pesos
    Visit of a tourist site: 50 000 pesos
  8. Tipping is not required and is not popular. The only place people will tip is in highly rated locations. The average tipping in those places will vary between 15 and 20%.
  9. You should carry more cash than relying on cards as the debit and credit cards will not be accepted everywhere. Especially in street markets and small villages.
  10. All prices are negotiable in markets. It is part of the culture. Make sure to remember that they might charge you more at the beginning, as they know, that you are a tourist. Do not be afraid to negotiate low.

To conclude, I would recommend you make sure you drink some Aguardiente, you eat a bandeja paisa with arepas and you go to Juan Valdez to drink a coffee at least once during your trip to Colombia. I wish you a very beautiful trip and do not worry, as we say: "The only risk is wanting to stay.”

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Jose Ricardo Robayo Quintana Jose Ricardo Robayo Quintana

Passionate by the financial domain, Jose is of Colombian origins and is currently completing his Master’s degree in Business administration at Université Laval. He joined the ICE family in 2017 and works mostly at the Jean Lesage International airport in Quebec. His experience in the domain and his cultural assets make him a professional of the currency exchange business.