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Food in Colombia

Greensboro, North...
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Food in Colombia

I have travelled to Cartagena and Barranquilla twice and Santa Marta twice. I have read that tourists should stay away from fruit, veggies, fish and so I have done this on my trips except I accidentally drank some freshly squeezed juice on my first trip and became sick. On my last trip I did not get sick but I was starved when I got home because I limited my food to grilled chicken, rice, steak, fries, and rice in restaurants. I love Colombia and I am even thinking of retiring there, but I am afraid of eating some of the food. Any insights? Thanks!!

London, Canada
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for Cartagena
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1. Re: Food in Colombia

I have eaten fruit, veggies and fish on all my trips to Cartagena; however, I do not eat them from the vendors walking about selling them on the beach. You never know how long they have been out of the refrigerator and in that hot sun. I buy at the grocery stores and I do not hesitate in any restaurant that appears presentable. When I am with my tour guide friend, he has ordered fish on the beach but he knows the vendors and which ones to avoid. I do rely on his advice for what to avoid.

Edited: 16 August 2013, 19:19
Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Food in Colombia

You love Colombia, but you're afraid of the food? The food is one of the absolute best reasons to visit! While I know nothing about Cartagena or the Caribbean Coast, the food that I ate in restaurants and in my hotels was consistently awesome, whether in Bogota, or just outside (the Sanalejo in Cajica!), or way down south in San Agustin (the Donde Richard!), or in Salento (where I ate Trucha al ajillo a la plancha at a restaurant whose name I cannot remember), or Medellin. So much great food. Not enough to eat it all. (But I tried.)

Now I didn't eat anything off the street, or from the vendors selling goodies to all the travelers on the intercity buses. But I ate fruits and cheeses from roadside stands on the drive southward. No bad reactions. And I can have a sensitive stomach.

There's no need to go hungry! I'm not a doctor, so maybe I'm talking out of my you-know-what, but I'm wondering if your bad reaction to the juice wasn't stress-triggered, from your fear of the local produce. So next time relax. And eat the trucha (trout)!

Edited: 17 August 2013, 01:30
Haslett, Michigan
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3. Re: Food in Colombia

My wife and I were in Cartagena last September and we ate a wide variety of food (including fresh fruit, juices, vegetables, and many seafood meals) at the B&B that we stayed at and at a variety of restuarants including those frequented mostly by locals. We did not have any problems at all. We did not eat food from the street vendors.

I think that some people have a bad reaction to a change in diet, especially if they have not travelled outside of the U.S. extensively, and not necessrily due to contaminated food. I have a friend in Engineers Without Borders who got sick everytime he went to Central America. I suggested that he consult with his Dr. about taking the antibiotic Cipro as a preventative. He took Cipro on our last trip and did not have any problems.

I would suggest that you consult with your Dr. about taking a preventative antibiotic before your next trip. Missing out on the local food and worrying about getting sick certainly reduces the enjoyment of your vacation.

Medellin, Colombia
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for Panama City
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4. Re: Food in Colombia

Water in the large cities is generally pretty good, dont drink it the small towns, fruits and veggies are usually very safe, you may have just had bad luck, the fish- depends on hiw it has been stored, along the coast should be pretty fresh, I am always a little skeptical in Medellin.

I eat food from street vendors all the time, no issues in 3 years, but know others that have gotten sick, locals and tourists.

Colombians drink juices with most meals, loaded with sugar, again you may have had just bad luck and gotten a drink that ad been sitting for a while.

If you have a sensitive stomach - traveling to most places in Latin America may bother it, but generallytypical Colombian food is somewhat bland, not a lot if spices so should not upset your stomach, of course you could always drink a lot of aguardiente and kill anything in your stomach, but then you may have other problems the next morning.

Edited: 18 August 2013, 13:29
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5. Re: Food in Colombia

Traveled around Antioquia, cities and small towns, and Leticia. Ate lots of street vendor food of just about every type. Never was choosy about what we ate in restaurants either. Had no problems. Just my experience.

Willemstad, Curacao
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6. Re: Food in Colombia

I live in the region and when I am in Colombia I eat everything.. never had a problem.. but then again my island we import a lot from colombia (veggies, fruit, meat) so I am used to it :)

West Palm Beach...
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7. Re: Food in Colombia

don't eat the oysters, I was dying from all portals for 5 days, dehydrated sick weak buy bottled water, eat soups, baby beef, roasted chicken from a chain restaurant stay away from arroz con pollo. tho food poisoning is not so often now a days. I eat veggies at Crepes and Waffles

8. Re: Food in Colombia

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