Living in Colombia

Driving in Colombia 4

Driving in Colombia – Part 4

Driving in Colombia – Part 4 – The Road ”Test” A colleague of mine recently published an article in one of the Colombian English ”webpapers” that he found the drivers in Medellin to be courteous but I stand 180 degrees diametrically opposed to this statement. I say that driving in Colombia is far from it ! It will not only be a test of your driving skills but of... »

driving in Colombia 3

Driving in Colombia – Part 3

Driving in Colombia – Part 3 – Taxes and Insurance There are a series of costs associated with owning/driving a vehicle in Colombia. The first is called SOAT or Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes de Tránsito. This is a mandatory, annual insurance required for all vehicles traveling within Colombia. The cost is relative to the type of vehicle (motorcycle, car, SUV) as well as the model an... »

driving in Colombia 2

Driving in Colombia – Part 2 RUNT

Driving in Colombia – Part 2 – What is a RUNT ?     If you drive in Colombia with a Colombia driver´s license you must register for a RUNT.  The  RUNT is a unified information management system with 11 categories that is used to manage data about the driver and their driving history. These details are provided by the Transit  offices throughout all of Colombia. The RUNT is a tool to record f... »

Driving in Colombia 1

Driving in Colombia – Part 1

Driving in Colombia – Part 1 As a tourist, it is possible to drive in Colombia with a current driver´s license from your country, state or province however you must have your passport with you at all times. De acuerdo con el Código Nacional de Tránsito, “licencias de conducción expedidas en otro país que se encuentren vigentes y sean utilizadas por turistas o personas en tránsito en el terri... »


Ajiaco Soup

Ajiaco soup is a dish that is typically associated with Bogota. The Cubans have their own version which is substantially different. In Colombia, ajiaco is made typically with chicken, corn, three different types of potatoes and an herb called guascas. In the United States this is considered a weed and is called quickweed or galinsoga. To be technically correct it is called the Galinsoga Parviflora... »

Color Run Hugs

Colombia Culture Shock

Although Colombia has been a melting pot of cultures, predominately Africans, Indigenous and Europeans, the majority of the people have a European/North American appearance. Unless you arrive in Choco, a department/state where the inhabitants are largely descendants of African slaves, you will probably feel quite at home here. They look like us, ergo they are like us – right ?  – cue &... »

Evaporating Panela

Panela – Part 2

Our initial article on panela was just a general prelude to the product and how it is produced. My first introduction to panela was as Aguapanela – a beverage, chilled and refreshing or hot with lemon for a cold or the flu. There was one use however that I was not expecting. One of our dogs had to have mammary surgery. She was a Terrier cross – ”Heinz 57” – a wiggly j... »

Panela photo


Panela is  a simply the juice squeezed from the sugar cane that is boiled, evaporated and formed into cakes for easy transportation and distribution. In Mexico it is called piloncillo, in Venezuela – papelon, in Brazil – rapadura and in the Andes – chancaca. Traditionally Colombia has been the principal producer of panela in the world and it is an important agricultural activity ... »

coffee quality 1

Coffee Quality

”Terroir” is a term commonly used in the wine industry. It can be loosely defined as “the taste of place.” Many agricultural products will develop flavors unique to the soil and climate conditions from where it is grown. This is illustrated by the popularity of wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy. The same varieties of grape grown elsewhere don’t produce the same taste. Coffee quality has... »

Colombian Food Costs - Basurto

Colombian Food Costs

Trying to evaluate and compare ”food basket” costs in any country can be a controversial task. Colombian food costs certainly vary across the board depending on location. Unfortunately road infrastructure is not one of Colombia’s strengths. To begin with the country is very mountainous. Add to that years of neglect due to past political uncertainty. As as result moving goods tend... »

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