Israeli Influence in Colombia

I just came back from a three week trip to Colombia. It was my first time to South America. I started in Cartegena, in the north, and worked my way southward to Bogota, where I flew out.

What I noticed during my travels in Colombia were the large number of backpackers from Israel and the large number of Israeli owned business. Some destinations such as Tapanga, which is on the northern coast near Santa Marta, are dominated by Israeli owned hostels and restaurants. Israelis are attracted to Colombia because it is relatively cheap and has a vibe that they like.


The Brunch restaurant

“American” owned restaurant but owner is likely of Jewish descent. The restaurant was actually pretty good. I had several meals there during my stay in Salento. There are roughly 3000 COP to one US dollar. The average meal is around $5-6.

The walls of the restaurant:

Restaurant in the Corcora valley which is about 10 miles east of Salento:


I stayed one night in the Zohar Hostel in the historic district of Bogota. I asked the person managing the hostel about the name. He was not the owner of the hostel, but a relative of the owner. The manager was a native Colombian and spoke good English because he lived in the US for a few years. He said the name did come from a Jewish book, but he was a not a fan of the book. The manager liked some of the other Jewish books though. I did not ask whether he was Jewish or not.

I had dinner with this Israeli couple from my hotel in Medellin. They now lived in the US. They were fairly decent people and was glad I got to meet them.

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