The value-added tax (IVA) in Colombia is 19% and is levied on pretty much everything. Many hotels quote prices without the tax then add it to the bill – check this when making a booking. In stores prices shown generally already include the tax. Restaurant meals don't attract IVA but rather an 8% sales tax that's usually included in the prices on the menu.

Tax Refunds

Everything except water, sanitary products and public transport attracts the IVA. Be sure to hang onto your receipts for any big-ticket luxury items. Foreigners may request a refund of the 19% IVA on all goods purchased with a foreign debit or credit card above COP$331,560 during their stay in Colombia. Get to the airport with plenty of time to submit your receipts to DIAN (Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales; the customs bureau) – you must do it before check-in. You'll need to bring a copy of your passport and the entry stamp. The maximum claimable amount is COP$3,315,600.