• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Social Life in Colombia

WARNING: Drug trafficking violence is a risk in Colombia, please read this travel warning before going!


The Colombians are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the doctrines of the Catholic Church. However, there is also great variety in the way the Colombians behave as the country is quite diverse culturally and geographically.

As a visitor to Colombia try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Colombia Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.


The traditional dress in Colombia is called ruanas, but today this is rarely worn by the Colombians. This consists primarily of a large cloth that covers a person's entire body and was almost always brown, although over time colors were added and changed. Women also often wore panolones, which are shawls and polleras, which are skirts. Men also traditionally wore hats called sumbrero vueltiao.

Today these traditional clothes have essentially disappeared in favor of more modern western-styled clothing. Most people in Colombia today dress no differently than that of Europe or North America, with a few exceptions. Both men and women tend to dress rather nicely when in a business setting or when going out for dinner, drinks, or dancing. Additionally, men rarely wear shorts and still wear the sumbrero vueltiao.

As a visitor to Colombia try to dress somewhat conservatively as revealing too much skin can be viewed as a bad thing, although tight fitting dresses on women don't seem to cause any offense. Generally, the Colombians are fairly stylish and bringing your best is a good thing, but wearing expensive watches or jewelry should be avoided.

This page was last updated: November, 2013