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Tips & Tricks for a great time in the beautiful Colombia

Food

- Colombia's greatest kitchen hangs in trees. Try to eat fruit as much as possible, the flavors and juiciness of this country's natural ingredients are something that Jef Colruyt and Trader Joe can only dream of. 

- Arepas are the bread of Colombia and comes in many forms. The coast (Cartagena) is famous for its "Arepa de huevo", a fried arepa with egg inside. An absolute must for a hearty breakfast.

- Guaroooo! The Colombian liquor "Aguardiente" is a "somewhat lighter" version of Ouzo (anise taste), which is drank ice cold as a shot. Don't worry, we'll make sure you try it at the wedding.

Walking the streets: In general, you'll be charmed by the warm and friendly people of Colombia. Everyone is willing to help. However, just be aware that Colombia is still a Latin American country in all its beauty, but also with its couple of points of attention:

- Preferably, stay in the touristy areas. In case of doubt, just take a taxi (inside the walled city, things are fine). Avoid taking shortcuts via the big street right outside the walled city (Avenida Venezuela), unless to go to the puerta of the boats see map below. It's not pretty and it breathes a different vibe.

- iPhones are very popular in Colombia, make sure you keep yours ;-) Don't leave them open on your dining table or when having lunch outside. 

- Keep handbags closed and put your stuff  in your front pockets. Given everyone is so extremely friendly, it might give you the impression that nobody would ever try to steal something from you. But, just as you wouldn't showcase your cash on the Ramblas in Barcelona or leave your laptop in the car in Brussels, just keep your belongings with you in Colombia as well. It's the greatest way of a worry-free exploration of the city.

- Given Cartagena is pretty touristy, it attracts many street vendors. This is the way these people try to survive, but admittedly they can be very annoying. Just say "No Gracias" and don't pay further attention to them. They're very friendly, but they'll want to be your friends for 3 streets long if you give them the idea you're interested :-D 

Other cultural habits:

- Tipping: Often, waiters will ask "Incluyo Servicio", which we strongly advice you to do. Typically in restauratn and bars, a tip of 10% is greatly appreciated.

Enjoy. Stay safe, but indulge yourself in the unique culture of Colombia. We can't wait to welcome you!

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