“Why Colombian women? They just so happen to be some of the most beautiful, genuine, and sincere women in the world.”

This is the hook introduction to the Colombian section of a website that specializes in romance tours all over the world. With packages starting at USD $1,695, this might be a great way to justify taking a nine-day trip to Cartagena or it might just be a South-of-the-Border Hail Mary for divorcees addicted to online gambling.

The personal opinion of this author is that if you are going to get into a serious relationship and possibly marriage, you might as well double down and come and start a relationship in Colombia.

The tour is pretty impressive and well thought out. For your money you are given two fully catered, special invitation, large socials. These are basically ballroom parties that take place in the same hotel that the tour has booked you into. Of course, there will be many intelligent and beautiful women there to meet, as well as probably a few women who fall into other categories.

Also included are hotel accommodations in Cartagena, unlimited personal introductions, complimentary interpreters provided at all socials, airport pickup as well as 24-hour hospitality and guidance from the website staff.

For the rest of us (people who don’t have thousands of dollars to spend), there are dozens of websites specializing in meeting Colombian and Latin American singles. The one that is most familiar to this author is Colombian Cupid. This site is free to browse if you just want to see who is online.

A friend of mine, Jack*, can personally testify to the confidentiality of your credit card information if you decide to join ColombianCupid.com because he joined the site for 2 months last year for USD $45.

It doesn’t take long after joining for messages to start coming in. A standard question you will be asked by the female members after you join and put up a profile picture is, “What is your job?”

Jack always made a point of answering this question by saying, “I paint fences for a living.” No matter what your employment status is, my friend relayed to me, this is a highly effective way to reduce emails from women looking for sugar daddies.

Because there were so many profiles of single women in Bogotá, Jack could also eliminate all those who weren’t smiling in their photos, had visible tattoos, had their underwear showing, too much cleavage hanging out or looked like they were on the verge of blackout drunk.

My friend figured that the single most important characteristic he was looking for was a person who was happy and optimistic about the future. After narrowing the field down to about 15 profiles, he started emailing them. He decided the best question to ask would touch on a subject that pretty much every Colombian has an opinion on: “Do you love Shakira?”

If the girl responded that it was a ridiculous question, he figured he would have to scratch her from the list. If the girl responded, “I really like Shakira,” he figured they were off to a good start. Jack would then ask more random questions like, “Tell me about a time in your life when you did something embarrassing.” Once again, if the girl balked at the question, he would scratch her from the list.

Jack quickly narrowed the list to a more intimate group of five women from Bogotá with whom he chatted at least five times a week. There was also another girl named Diana* who had beautifully tan skin, thick lips and a funny little grin. He was very smitten with her but she hadn’t answered any of his emails.

In a last ditch attempt, he decided to send her the mother of all emails, “Where would you like to go on our honeymoon?” If she still didn’t answer, he would have to back off for fear of being accused of stalking.

A few days later, he got a somewhat puzzling email from Diana. “Thanks for your message,” was all it said. He quickly sent her back a follow-up message. “I bought a ticket to Bogotá. I arrive in two weeks. Can I have your telephone number?”

Jack still knew next to nothing about Diana except that she was a non-smoker, a financial administrator, had a daughter, had no exposed tattoos and was interested in starting a serious relationship.

After arriving in Bogotá, Jack went on a few dates with women he met online, but none of the women seemed like they had the real desire or enough free time to start a relationship with him. A week later, he got another message from Diana with her telephone number.

Jack called her from his hostel and they arranged to meet for a burger at El Corral. After she paid the bill of their first meal together, it was pretty much a done deal. He moved into her apartment building a few weeks later and has been in a relationship with her since July 2012.

Their relationship is not perfect. They squabble when Jack forgets to wash out the sink after doing the dishes or when he eats too many chocolate chip cookies, but he has thoroughly enjoyed being accepted into her life and is very grateful that she is willing to overlook his thinning hair, obsession with “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and very poor dishwashing skills.

And, probably the best thing about their limited Internet interactions is that he will never have to explain to her why he told her he painted fences for a living.

*Names changed to protect the innocent

For more on Brian Ward’s adventures in Colombia, visit: www.singleabroad.wordpress.com