“Tips to Avoid Overcharging as a Foreign Visitor in Colombia”


Hey foreign visitor, you’ve probably considered visiting Colombia, whether it’s for its landscapes, its beautiful people, or perhaps for an adventure of extreme sports and survival. Has it piqued your curiosity?

But… you’ve also seen news that as a foreigner, you’ll be charged more. They say you’ll have to pay ten times more for a Coca-Cola than the locals, or twenty times more for a meal just because you have dollars and they want to take your money. Well, we have good news and bad news for you. First, the bad news: it’s true that you might be overcharged. The good news is that you can avoid this extortion practice by Colombians to a great extent.

How to avoid being overcharged in Colombia as a foreigner?

1. Go to an authorized currency exchange like Western Union and convert all your money to Colombian pesos.
2. Buy food and drinks from trusted places, such as Juan Valdez coffee shops or supermarkets like Éxito, Jumbo, Ara, and D1.
3. Do your shopping at shopping malls instead of looking for street markets.
4. If you want to buy handicrafts, look for authorized places with a website.
5. Purchase local tours online and make sure they have an official website.
6. Pay cash for smaller expenses, transportation, and street food.
7. Don’t be persuaded by street vendors offering questionable tourist tours.
8. Before buying anything from unauthorized places, ask about the price.
9. Get information about prices from local people who are not sellers.
10. Avoid showing dollars as people may get overly excited about them.
11. When visiting remote or isolated areas, try to bring your own food, as locals often take advantage of being the only option for miles around.

We hope these tips help you avoid being overcharged in Colombia. Remember that most Colombians are friendly and honest, and with a little caution, you can fully enjoy your experience in this beautiful country. Welcome to Colombia!

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