Colombia has everything needed for a wonderful travel adventure. That is, except for its reputation as an unsafe destination. Fortunately, it has finally emerged from the darkness and become a can’t-miss destination for anyone wanting to experience South America.
Its unique geography makes it the only South American country touching both the Pacific and the Caribbean, and it has plenty of other treasures in between. There are cosmopolitan city streets and romantic outposts. Sandy beaches and snowy mountain peaks. Volcanoes, rainforests, coffee, Cuba Libras, and more.
Here’s a taste of what your Colombia itinerary could look like:
- Explore the modern Medellin
- The diverse choices of Bogota
- Learn about the production of coffee and cocoa
- Explore the majestic Tayrona National Park
- Sip cocktails in Cartagena
Discover the modern Medellin
When thinking about Medellin, drop the thoughts of drug cartels and replace them with dreams of nightlife and nice people. Colombia’s second-largest city has gone through some major changes, and the emergence is full of culture, art, and music.
One of the most memorable activities in Medellin will let you get your bearings in a unique way. There is an area of barrios, or dense neighborhoods, that were difficult to access because of the steep and narrow terrain. The city solved this problem by building some innovative outdoor elevators, and they’re your ticket to an amazing lookout where you’ll get views over the whole city.
After your outdoor adventure, you can head back to the city to experience sculptures by the famous artist Fernando Botero. His art sits in places of honor around the globe, but this great collection in his hometown is embraced by locals as a chance to climb on and interact with his creations.
Before leaving, you’ll have the chance to join the beautiful people of Medellin to experience the legendary nightlife of the city.
Bogota: Gold Museum, Salt Cathedral, and More
Colombia’s capital city has enough to entertain you for a trip all of its own, but you wouldn’t want to limit yourself to that. Instead, try some of these before venturing off to the rest of the country.
Before the Spanish conquest of the Americas, gold was considered a sacred metal to the indigenous people of the region. Our modern world views it as a different kind of sacred, so you’ll definitely be impressed by the largest collection of golden artifacts in the world.
Next, you can head off to be impressed by another natural substance by viewing the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá. This underground landmark is a Roman Catholic church dating back to the 1930s. The miners were eager to have a place to pray for safety during their dangerous job, so they constructed a small cathedral. Safety concerns forced it to shift locations within the mine, but it has also grown to an impressively large cathedral with many different sections – all underground.
Learn About Coffee and Cocoa Production
Chances are that you start your day with a cup of coffee and spoil yourself with the occasional chocolate bar, but how much do you know about their origins? Colombia is a major producer and exporter of both of these, so this is your chance to see the source.
One of our favorite spots is La Granja in western Colombia. This farm got its start back in the 1960s, and you can spend the day touring around to see what goes into the cultivation and harvesting of cocoa. But, this specific farm offers more than that because it also houses a research facility with a specific focus on cocoa. Since it’s one of only a few in the world, it’s a great place to hear from the true experts.
To see the beans before they’re brewed in your mug, our favorite spot is Hacienda Venecia. If you’re not already buzzing with excitement about visiting a coffee producer, just imagine how unique it will feel to be in a traditional coffee farm nestled in the Andes Mountains that’s been cultivating the crop for over a century.
Explore Tayrona National Park
Even with such unique cities and distinctive culture, no trip to Colombia would be complete without a healthy dose of nature. Stretching from the waters of the Caribbean to one of the world’s highest coastal mountain ranges, this park is up there as one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the planet.
The geographic location and shift from sea to mountain range open up a world of possibilities for ecological diversity. Tayrona National Park covers more than 150 kilometers and houses hundreds of animal species – including about 108 mammals and more than 300 birds.
Sip Cocktails in Cartagena
At the end of the day, don’t forget to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the finer parts of life while visiting Colombia. The historical town of Cartagena dates back to 1533, and its placement on the Caribbean Sea made it an important port through much of the country’s history.
Colonial trade and pirate attacks are a thing of the past, but one look at the massive walls around the historic old town will let you feel those distant memories as if they’re still going strong. Wander the narrow streets, take in the lavish cathedral, and explore Castillo San Felipe – the largest fortification that the Spanish built in the Americas.
While you sip a cocktail looking out on this charming city, you’re likely to start planning your next visit to Colombia.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Colombia?
Tourist visas are not required for passport holders of many different countries, including the EU, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
Vaccines, especially the Yellow Fever vaccine, are required for those coming from some neighboring countries.
Ready to Start Your Colombia Adventure?
Colombia is still relatively overlooked by most tourists because of its reputation in the past, but that won’t last much longer. Now is the best time to experience the culture before it starts to transform to accommodate the growing groups of visitors. There are a few Wild Frontiers tours that make sure you’ll hit the highlights that matter to you:
Contact Wild Frontiers to learn more about our tours for your world destination trips.