7 Surprising Things I Learned About Colombia

The Kairos Society Latin America Summit was held in Medellin, Colombia. It was my first time in South America and I couldn’t have found a better group to explore the beautiful country with. It was awesome to have fellow young entrepreneurs who are also some of my best friends there in Medellin with me. In the 5 days that we were there, I learned some interesting things:

  1. Medellin is truly beautiful. It’s said that the three best places to visit in South America are 1) Rio, 2) Santiago, and 3) Medellin. I can’t speak for the first two, but I can say that Medellin is a great city to spend time in. The city is situated in the valley so you have mountains all around you.
  2. Learn to speak Spanish. Most of the people that interacted with that are native Colombians did not speak English. Plan on learning Spanish before getting to Medellin.
  3. American Express is accepted everywhere. In fact, of all the places I’ve tried using Amex in, more places in Colombia accepted the credit card than took my card in the US. Even the little hole-in-the-wall cafe that we went to in Medellin took credit cards.
  4. Taxis are very cheap. The 40-minute cab ride from the airport into Medellin cost me $35. Getting to most places around Medellin only cost between $3-$10.
  5. Colombian bacon is a little taste of heaven. Called chicharron, Colombian bacon is a must-have while you’re in the country. I could have this for every single meal if I didn’t think I would die from a clogged artery from eating too much of it.
  6. Nightlife 7 days of the week. We were there from Saturday through Wednesday. Each night, there were plenty of activities, even on the days we consider to be off-days. We went to a hip bar/lounge/club on Monday night. Tuesday night, we went salsa dancing.
  7. Prostitution. We had prostitutes approach our group while we were going out in the city. We learned that prostitution is widespread in Colombia. According to the law, prostitution and brothels are legal in designated “tolerance zones.”
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