2020 Updated Information about what to buy in Colombia. Whether you are looking for life-long gifts for a loved one, or just a small piece typical of the country, you can find advice here.
Many travelers arrive in this beautiful coastal country and know almost immediately know they will want to remember their journey forever. Because of this, travelers are often left wondering what to buy in Colombia: what is best to capture the memories of the cities you visit, what souvenirs you can bring back for your loved ones, and one-of-a-kind items unique to Colombia. Find out the best of what you can buy in Colombia here.
Colombia’s biggest worldwide export is coffee, and the reason for that is simply because the coffee in Colombia is some of the highest quality you can find worldwide. A pack of fresh coffee is the perfect gift for your family back home, or if you have grown accustomed to the taste, make sure you stock up before heading home!
Please ensure that any coffee products you bring back are approved for flying so that you don’t run into any issues at the airport!
If you are looking for reasonably priced options for both coffee and coffee-related accessories, then head over to Juan Valdez. Juan Valdez is the largest coffee merchant in South America, with over 500,000 stores. More than just coffee beans, you can bring home the taste of South American coffee, as well as mugs, coffee grinders, keychains, and so much more. If you want to buy something coffee-related in Colombia, Juan Valdez is a reputable and reliable choice.
A kind of candy that is very traditional in Colombia. What sets Panela apart from other candies is that it is natural and handmade straight from sugarcane. While it is consumed widely throughout South America, panela was created in Colombia. Make sure this is on your list of what to buy in Colombia!
Wayuu bags are traditional textile bags that are typically patterned and very beautiful. The bags are very resistant to daily life because of the style of weaving used. Many of these bags are handmade by the indigenous people of Colombia, and so are a great way to support the indigenous population is to support their businesses. When buying in Colombia, buy sustainably.
The Sombrero Vueltiao is one of the most quintessentially Colombian things you can find. Gaining worldwide attention in 1985 when Miguel ‘Happy’ Lora won a boxing match and donned one of the hats. These hats have been presented as gifts of welcome whenever someone of great importance has visited Colombia, including Pope Juan Pablo II in 1986, Bill Clinton in 2000 and Prince Charles of England in 2014.
Colombian leather is relatively cheap and high quality, making a great addition when considering what to buy in Colombia, so pick yourself up a nice new pair of boots, a bag or shoes on your journey. You can find the best-priced leather in Bogota, and they are relatively easy to find as well.
The carriel gets its name from the English “carry-all”. However, originally this product was called a guardiel by those who made it. The product was adapted from the Spanish leather bags, which came to the continent during colonial times, at which time it was made using capybara or tiger skin. In modern times, classic leather is used and it is still in working function for the muleteer as he travels through the mountains.
While you won’t be able to bring an actual Chiva back with you, you can get something that reminds you of it. A Chiva is an old style of a bus that is used to transport their goods. Over time, they became a bit of a tourist attraction, and now magnets in the shape of Chiva are a great gift for your loved ones back home.
If you are feeling a little more luxurious with your gifts or personal treats, then Colombia is a great place to pick up a couple of the little luxuries. Colombia is the biggest producer of emeralds worldwide, accounting for an unbelievable 70-90% of the world’s emerald market.
Continuing on the theme of beautiful things, filigree is a type of jewelry weaved from very fine gold and silver. Worldwide, there is evidence that filigree has been created for over 3,000 years. Since Colombia has so many international influences on its population, the type of Filigree you can find here is a beautiful combination of both traditional African, and European.
Hopefully you have found some inspiring ideas about what to buy in Colombia. There are options here for every budget, meaning that you can certainly find the perfect item for you and for your friends. If you are in Colombia, the best advice that we have is to see as much of it as you can! Check out our Bogota guide, or our Medellin guide here!