March 2007

In small restaurants, some people tip 1000 pesos or less (about $ .50 US); A few tip 2000 pesos (about $1 US). Most Colombians tip very little or not at all. In the finer restaurants, wealthy people tip more, about 10%. Increasingly the better restaurants spare you the dilemma by adding upto 15% onto the bill as service charge/tip (propina) - you must read your check/bill or you may end up doubling the tip, and most waitresses/waiters will say nothing. Rarely does anyone tip taxi drivers. Some tourists tip if they hire or use the same driver regularly. Most hotel guests tip the Maid, Doorman, or other hotel services, depending on the service provided.

The manners and etiquette in Colombia are about the same as everywhere else in the world. However, you will find most Colombians to be more courteous than what you will find in the U.S., for example. The dress code in Colombia, wear what you normally do. Not many places have a dress code. But be sure not to overdress or wear fancy jewelry.

 Minor Scam:  Some beachside restaurants tell you they have everything on their menu (eg lobster) and once you've sat down, ordered a couple of drinks, the waiter will come back and tell you unfortunately it's off today or already finished. Double check before you go ordering drinks is the best way to go.