One of the main reasons why traveling is a unique experience, is because you have the possibility to explore and experience the different customs of each destination you go. Colombia is an incredibly diverse country where particularities are all around, so imagine the diversity in Colombian traditions!
In its vast territory Colombia has five natural regions, each one inhabits different people and communities with their own characteristics. Can you imagine the amount of traditions in terms of music, gastronomy, worldviews and celebrations?
They are innumerable, but there are certain customs that are common to almost all Colombians. Here we will tell you about some Colombian tradition you should know about before you spend your holidays in Colombia.
Tinto is how Colombians call their dark coffee. Translated ´tinto´would mean ´ink´, and that is exactly how it looks like. In some regions they would add some canela to it, but it really is supposed to be drunk black.
In every city you visit, you’ll see how Colombians drink tinto all day. For breakfast, lunch, or a meal in the street, there is no discrimination towards when you should or shouldn’t drink it.
Colombians drinking tinto is not surprising for those who know that this country is the fourth producer of coffee in the world. However, do not expect a tinto to be a a cup of coffee of high quality. It is the most basic, and to be honest not great, way of drinking coffee.
Nevertheless, Colombians love it and that is why drinking tinto can be considered a very important Colombian tradition.
Rumba is how Colombians call ´having a good party´ or ´Fiesta!´. Any reason is good to meet with family and friends, have some drinks and dance until dawn.
And dance you will! Colombians can not have a party or rumba without dancing. Everybody does it, from children to farmers, to the elite, and even the grandparents.
Furthermore, prepare to drink. We are not talking about soft drinks, but we are talking about the real stuff. “Aguardiente” or “Firewater” is incredibly popular to have while having a rumba. You can decline, of course, but Colombians themselves will seldom do so.
By the way, Colombian rumbas are usually very loud. The music will blast at full volume and you will have to shout to be heard. Another reason to reduce the talking and dance instead!
In Colombia, each region specializes in preparing their own kind of arepa, a kind of circular corn cakes. However, all arepas share some characteristics. They are made with corn and are consumed at any time of the day.
Arepas is the best food for Colombians to accompany any meal and even to eat between meals to calm the hunger. Some of them are plain and white and purely meant as a filler. Other arepas are big and come filled with cheese, which is delicious for breakfast!
When visiting the coast, you definitely have to try the Arepa de Huevo. This is a fried arepa that comes with an egg inside. Add some sour cream and indulge in this Colombian delicacy.
You can easily state that arepas are some of Colombia´s most typical food.
Colombia´s Christmas season starts around December 16 when all the houses, parks and shopping centers, and even local airports, are fully decorated.
I told you everything is a reason to celebrate, remember? Well, Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate with family and friends. Some of the Colombian traditions for Christmas include typical food that is meant for this time of the year like buñuelos – fried dough balls, and natilla- a kind of custard.
Futhermore, it is typical for families to gather a couple of times before Christmas day itself and sing Christmas carols with tambourines and maracas.
Colombia is not a country with a great cheese tradition. However, you will be surprised by how much cheese they eat here. We are not talking about old and blue cheeses, but about white plain ´farmer´s cheese´.
Colombians like to combine their cheese especially with sweet dishes. One of the weirdest combinations must be a hot chocolate with cheese in it. To those who come from another country, this custom seems strange to them. However, for Colombians it is a completely common and delicious way of drinking chocolate.
Additonally, don´t be surprised if you order a fruit salad and it comes with cheese sprinkled on top of it! In some regions they will also add cheese to fried bananas and any type of bread preparations.
Colombian people are happy people. They like to talk, get to know new people, and they receive everyone as if they were part of their family.
Because of the years of conflicht, which are luckily behind us now, Colombians are feeling so grateful to be living in peace. It is a pleasure for them to see that tourists are coming back. They can´t wait to show you around and take you to all the amazing places of interest.
Colombians, due to their past, always had the need to be creative and entrepreneurial. They can make something out of absolutely nothing and they always do it with a big smile on their face.
This is one of the most interesting facts about Colombia, for sure you’ll love their people.
The way Colombians feel about their country is hard to describe. They absolutely love their country and are not afraid to show it and speak about it.
In Colombia you will always hear people talking about the amazing things of their traditions, cities and diversity. It is not weird at all to see people walk around in the country´s colors, with bracelets and/or hats that show the Colombian flag.
Even more, whenever Colombia is playing football, you will notice that almost everyone is wearing the Colombian jersey, even business men.
“Friend, what about the ñapa?” This is an expression used when buying certain food, such as bread or salpicon (drink that mixes many different types of fruits), and you want a little extra with it.
Although in some countries it is not customary to bargain or ask for extra things as a gift when you buy something, in Colombia they consider that one more bread in the bag or perhaps one more glass of salpicón will not be a problemfor the shopkeeper.
Furthermore, you might notice that when you are buying a lot of fruits and vegetables at the market, they will give you something extra. This also counts for buying flowers, or basically anything in bigger quantities from the market.
These are just some of the many and incredible Colombian traditions you should know about before having the most unforgettable holidays in this country. Keeping these interesting facts about Colombia in mind, will help you know a little bit more and feel a bit closer to its people.
If you need help or guidance with the planning process of your trip to Colombia, don´t hesitate to contact us. We have a team of travel experts looking forward to help you have the best holiday of your life.