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Taxi drivers expect 10 per cent tips. Porters at airports and hotels are usually given c. Pesos500 per item. Restaurants and bars usually add a 10 per cent service charge to the bill or suggest a 10 per cent tip. Maids and clerks in hotels are also tipped.
The facts are important to remember, Cali, maintains the second highest murder rate in Latin America, it is the home to one of the most powerful drug trafficking rings in Colombia and remains rife with narcotics-related violence. It is also in a region where guerrilla and right-wing paramilitary forces have become increasingly active in recent years. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers prowl downtown and armed assaults on both pedestrians and vehicles pose a high threat at night.
Security in Cali is an everyday common sight. Police and security are ever present. Armed security guards are at offices, malls, restaurants, and retail stores. Do not be put off by this, it's a natural occurrence in Cali.
Armed police with machine guns searching cars for drugs is common.
Ironically, people in Columbia think of America as the most violent place in the world. Use your head, do not travel out of the city, if you venture out in the countryside and you may not return. It is safe walking during the day. The city itself is very modern, enjoys capitalist endeavors, and has beautiful malls to visit. Do not accept rides from strangers, including girls. They can be in cahoots with the cabbie. You choose all cabs during interactions not her. At night, use taxis exclusively.
Make sure when you’re chatting up a girl you ask her if she has a boyfriend. You may be hitting on some drug lord’s girl. Also, never take open drinks from strangers. They have some mind eraser, as in total mind eraser drug they put in your drink where you’ll forget everything. Don’t make yourself an obvious drunk gringo, blend in. Try to limit your trips to a week or else. If you stay a month, the bad guys may spot your daily pattern and you’re a sitting duck. Stay in the areas we recommend, your whole trip will be in a few block radius, so you should be fine.
Only get in the yellow marked taxis.