Knockoffs in Santa Marta

I don’t know if it’s because it’s a beach town full of tourists seeking the comforts of home or what, but I found quite a few eerily familiar products and restaurants in Santa Marta.

First there was Carambolo, a frozen yogurt place that definitely seems based on the Pinkberry/Red Mango business model:

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It was delicious though, and froyo was exactly what we needed after a hot day getting lost in the local market and haggling over hammock prices. I also ended up learning a new word there: jengibre (ginger).

I also made sure to stop in and try Juan Valdez, a chain cafe that I’d heard was basically the Starbucks of Colombia. I actually ended up not getting coffee at all though, because their fruppe de maracuya (passionfruit frappe) sounded amazing… and it was. My friend tried one of their iced coffee concoctions and liked it, though.

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While we’re on the subject of knockoffs, I just have to share this picture. From the “WTF?” files of “Things found in a Santa Marta Market”…

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Seriously, what? I was almost tempted to buy a pair just to see if anyone would say anything to me about them!

Anyone else run across any crazy, missed-the-mark knockoffs while traveling abroad?

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