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Gone are the days when the beautiful country was known for all the wrong reasons. Today, it serves as the land of numerous treasures for all travelers. Whether you want to explore the snow-clad peaks, looking to spend an ultimate downtime on the seaside, or relish the beauty of the famous Amazon jungles, well, the South-American country of Colombia has almost everything for every taste of traveler. The country reflects the beautiful culture of its indigenous people. Along with that, the heritage of the country also includes Spanish culture that began prevailing in Colombian in the 15th century. Over the years, Colombia has found its place on the map of global tourism. Today, millions of travelers visit this beautiful country every year. If Colombia is on your bucket list, then we have got something for you to help you decide where to go in Colombia on your trip. So, let’s get started with our list of 10 best places to visit in Colombia.
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Where to Go in Colombia
Do not be amused to know that Medellin was once one of the world’s most dangerous cities for obvious reasons. This is why most people never asked where to go in Medellin. But things have changed now. These days, it is served as a popular tourist destination and a lot of travelers prefer to explore this place on their trip to Colombia. This modern city is known to have the country’s best weather conditions that make it all ideal for tourism. Located in the Aburrá Valley, the city offers plenty of amazing things to do that could support at least a week of holiday. From walking tours, food tours to street art to museums to nightlife to microbreweries to beautiful parks, there is literally so much to explore in the city of Medellin in Colombia. It is one of those cities where you spend days. For that, you will certainly need a dedicated Medellin itinerary.
Cartagena is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country that has to be on your Colombia where to go list. It is a bustling city and is also known as the best-preserved colonial destination in the country. Just to let you know, it is one of the heavily fortified cities in entire South America. The city houses centuries-old walls that spread over the distance of 13 km. Besides, the beautiful, vibrant colonial architectures are presently serving as luxury hotels and high-end restaurants. Along with the old city, Cartagena is also known as Bocagrande which is the newer part of the city located on the oceanfront. The city also serves as the getaways to a number of islands and beaches where you can stretch on a list of where to go in Cartagena.
If you are looking to spend some amazing wildlife time in Colombia, then Leticia is one of those destinations where you should head to. This city is known as a popular ecotourism destination. Here in Leticia, you can indulge in a wildlife safari experience and also hike into the very famous Amazon – one of the things Colombia is famous for. Not just this, the city also gives you a chance to get to know about the indigenous tribes that are residing in this area. Being a quaint destination, it is not easy to get to Leticia. The only way you can reach here is by plane from Bogota.
La Ciudad Perdida
Often touted as the lost city, La Ciudad Perdida is a popular archaeological site and a place that has to be on your where to go in Columbia list. It is situated next to the Amazon River on the borders of Peru and Brazil. History says that it was built around 800 CE. The site includes a total of 168 terraces that are carved into mountains. Not just this, it also includes a network of small plazas and title roads. If you are an avid trekker, trust me, this is one of the best experiences you will get to indulge in on your trip to Colombia. Don’t be amused to know that this archaeological site is even older than the very famous Machu Picchu. But as they say, every great thing takes time. This isn’t a few hours or a one-day trek. You need to spare 4-6 days if you are considering visiting La Ciudad Perdida. Also, you can’t do it alone. You need to hire a tour operator for the trek from Santa Marta. In order to reach the gorgeous ruins, you will have to pass through the jungle. If you are going at a great pace, you might end up doing this trek in 3-4 days.
When it is about where to go in Colombia in South America, the city of Bogota is considered as one of the must-visit places. The capital city of Colombia, Bogota is also known as “the Athens of South America”. The history of the city dates back to 1538 and it was settled by the indigenous people. It is one of the most modern and largest cities in the country. For tourists, it has numerous things to offer including its vibrant nightlife and cultural events. Along with that, there are also some amazing places to visit in Bogota like Botanical Gardens, Gold Museum, Salt Cathedral, Bolivar Metropolitan Park, and more. However, while on your visit to this city, there are certain things that you should not do in Bogota as a responsible traveler.
Also known as the Salsa capital of the world, Cali is one of the most popular cities in Colombia. If you have a thing for dance or salsa in particular, then you cannot afford to miss this place. If you have a long stay in Cali, then you can also consider learning salsa from experts. Apart from dancing, there are a number of other popular things to do in Cali as well. There are churches, museums, food tours, and walking tours. Nightlife is another popular thing in Cali for tourists. The city is dotted with some amazing nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and outdoor patios.
Trust me, there is an altogether different fun in visiting a desert. Talking about Tatacoa Desert, well, it is one of the best places to visit in Colombia. Just to let you know, it was once the tropical forest. Today, it is dotted with rocky canyons in both grey and red. The desert also serves as the home to one of the most famous observatories in entire South America to capture the stars. This is indeed a must-visit place if you love stargazing. Besides, you can also indulge in a biking experience here in Tatacoa Desert. Though there is not much to do, yet it offers a unique and amazing experience to its tourists.
A perfect hideout for all the adventure buffs in Colombia is San Gil. Founded in 1689 by the Spanish, San Gil is a colonial town located in northeast Colombia. This is a place where you can experience the thrill of numerous adventure sports like river rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, and kayaking. Besides adventure, there are some amazing things to do in San Gil like Chicamocha National Park, Parque El Gallineral, Parque La Libertad, and more. San Gil is one of the best places to visit in Colombia around Bogota.
San Andres And Providencia
If you are looking to explore the beaches in Colombia, then San Andres and Providencia Archipelago are two popular islands to visit in the country. It is located in the Caribbean sea. Talking about San Andres Island, it is the largest of its kind in the country. The island is known to offer exquisite beauty that beautifully compliments the white sand beaches and the azure ocean water. Whereas, Providencia Island was mainly established by English Puritans. Both islands are rich in marine wildlife and offer a great opportunity to dive and snorkel.
A beautiful town dotted with stunning landscapes and ruins of forgotten civilization is San Agustin. If you are wondering where to travel in Colombia, then this ancient site is one of the best places to visit in the country. The key highlight of this place is the archaeological park of San Agustin. The park houses a large number of statues, monoliths, sarcophagi, and petroglyphs. Most of the stone carvings in the park trace their history between 100 A.D. and 1200 A.D. These stone carvings are known to represent smiling, human figures, and sneering monsters. Not just this, there are also animal effigies like jaguars, birds, and snakes. These carvings are built as a part of the pre-Incan culture.
On your tour to Colombia, if you are looking for a place where you can stay close to nature, then visit Zona Cafetera. Such is the beauty of this place that it is often considered amongst 10 best places in Colombia. Just to let you know, this is the place where almost half of the country’s coffee is produced. One of the key highlights of this place is El Parque del Cafe where you can get an insight about coffee. It is a park that also has a botanical garden with an amusement park and coffee plants. There is also a gold museum that depicts the pre-Colombian artifacts. Along with that, there is also a sacred site – Cathedral de Manizales that also has a tower from where you can relish some amazing views of the main cities. There are also thermal springs San Vicente and Santa Rosa. In the mountains of Andes, you can also indulge in a thrilling hiking experience.
Villa de Leyva
Villa de Leyva is a small town that is also known as one of the most popular day trips from Bogota. The town is located at a distance of a 4-hour drive from the capital city. Though it is a small town, yet its Plaza Mayor is considered to be one of the biggest town squares in entire South America. In the present time, this place is used for public gatherings, festivals, and celebrations. It has a stunning architecture that beautifully reflects Moorish and Spanish influences. Because of the white buildings with balconies and wooden trim, it is often compared to Andalucia. There is also a museum that commemorates all the freedom fighters that fought for the independence of Colombia.
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park is one of the unique attractions in the country. If you love to explore old ruins, then this is the right place for you to be. The park is situated on the north Colombian coast. It offers a wide variety of ecosystems ranging from cloud forests to scrublands. The reason why this park is a unique place is that it also serves as the home to a number of beaches. These beaches are set in deep bays and are surrounded by the exquisite beauty of coconut palms. For a fact, beaches in Tayrona National Park’s beaches are considered to be the best beaches in Colombia. Birdwatching is also a popular thing to do here and you can even expect to capture the sight of the Andean condor. Tayrona National Park is one of those places in the country that has numerous treasures in its fold. Hence, you can get to see archaeological sites including the very famous Pueblito Chairman. Not just this, the park is also a popular hideout for all the adventure seekers as they get to indulge in various sports like hiking, snorkeling, and wildlife safari.
From Bogota, you not only get a quick weekend getaway to Villa de Leyva but Boyaca as well. This is a relatively lesser-known destination which is not much explored by tourists. But this doesn’t define its impeccable beauty. It offers plenty to its visitors ranging from great food to quaint little towns to natural spas. Not just this, you can also experience the thrill of mountain trekking here in this region. Besides, the people here are very friendly and welcoming. On your visit to this beautiful secluded region, you can shop for some amazing artisan products. Despite being a less-explored destination, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Boyaca that you can be a part of.
The country of Colombia is indeed a nation with numerous shades. Surely you can explore them all in a single vacation. However, I would suggest you at least try to make the most. This was my recommended list of places to visit in Colombia, however, there are places to explore and experiences to relish in the country. So, whatever your Colombia itinerary seems like, make sure to have the best time on your trip.
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