Colombia is something of a hidden gem when compared to the infinitely more popular South American destinations of Brazil and Peru. Perhaps this is down to the country’s troubled past, where a bloody drug war in the 1980s cost thousands of lives. But Colombia has moved on, and its charming cities and lush countryside now offer travelers plenty to see and do. From the wonderful colonial architecture of Cartagena to the lush jungles and biodiversity of Tayrona National Park, this article will discuss some of the best places to visit in Colombia.
Best Places to Visit in Colombia
To the north of Colombia lies the bustling city of Cartagena, formerly a crucial strategic port city. Cartagena has been invaded more times than one cares to remember. The heavily fortified city now looks resplendent, with the fortifications acting as one of the main drawcards for visitors to the now-peaceful city. The highlight of these is probably Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, a Spanish colonial fortress perched high above the city. Visitors can enjoy a wander along its intact walls and ramparts. The colorful Old Town is full of delights, hiding charming churches and ornate palaces. Visitors will also want to take a stroll along the Bocogrande waterfront, where luxurious hotels and exclusive restaurants cater to a tourist’s every need.
Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Colombia is to pay a visit to Zona Cafetera. More than half of Colombia’s vast coffee crop is produced on the slopes of the Andes Mountains. El Parque del Café is one of the best places to visit in the region. Guests can explore a botanical garden and relax in the amusement park, all coffee themed of course. There are hiking opportunities aplenty in the region and the nearby geothermal hot springs at Santa Rosa and San Vincente are some of the best places to visit in Colombia. Both offer a great way to relax after exploring the coffee region.
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park offers perhaps more things to do than any other destination in Colombia. Home to a variety of ecosystems and habitats, it is a fabulous place for nature lovers. Birdwatchers are likely to be wowed by the sight of a giant Andean condor, one of the largest flying birds on the planet. Hiking through the park’s cloud forests can reveal a number of animal species, from colorful lizards to curious monkeys. The native Tayronas people, who the park is named after, left their mark on the area. Consequently, there are a number of fascinating ancient ruins to visit. After you’re done exploring the cultural and natural attractions that Tayrona has to offer, you’ll be glad to know that the beaches in the region are some of the best in Colombia, perfect for a spot of relaxation.
Of course, the Colombian capital has to feature on a list of the best places to visit in the country. Bogota is a sprawling city, with a great mix of authentic cultural attractions and touristy things to keep you entertained. A stroll through La Candelaria is a great place to start and one of the best things to do in Colombia. This historic neighborhood was once the center of the city, home to colorful buildings and colonial cobbles. It is also the center of Colombian arts, with many artists and musicians setting up shop in the area. Bogota’s new center is the Plaza de Bolivar, where the country’s government buildings are located. And if you want to delve into Bogota’s history, then the Gold Museum is well worth a visit, home to more than 30,000 gold artifacts from across Colombia’s rich history.
Medellin is famous for all the wrong reasons. In the 1980s and 1990s, the city was the murder capital of the world, crippled by the Medellin Cartel, a cocaine empire headed by notable drug lord Pablo Escobar. The kingpin’s reign of terror finally came to an end in 1993. Since then Medellin hasn’t looked back, fast becoming one of the best places to visit in Colombia. Modern and inviting, attractions in the city include the French-inspired El Castillo Museo y Jardines and the atmospheric Plaza Botero. The city also runs a free walking tour for visitors. If you want to gain more of an insight into the city’s troubled past then you’ll want to pay a visit to the Casa de la Memoria memorial park. Undoubtedly, one of the most sobering but fascinating things to do in Colombia.
Best Places to Visit in Colombia Recap
With its unsettling past finally behind it, Colombia is beginning to emerge as a top-quality travel destination. A fascinating colonial past, terrific natural landscapes, and a booming coffee industry are all amazing drawcards for travelers to the country. While not on everyone’s travel radar, Colombia delivers a wealth of places to visit and things to do. If you’re the adventurous type who enjoys breathtaking scenery coupled with culture and history, Colombia might just be for you. We trust these Skycap News™ travel tips provide a new holiday destination to ponder. Perhaps with Juan Valdez over a cup of coffee. Sorry, we couldn’t resist!