Add Colombia to your Bucket List, because this country can offer you wonderful places to visit and new experiences. Many relate Colombia with cocaine cartels, especially with Pablo Escobar, but since the death of Escobar in 1993, the country has had massive changes and it began its revival. When planning your holidays in Colombia, you should consider more than a week stay in this amazing country, if you want to visit it properly.
Start with the capital Bogotá, where you can visit the most famous museum in South America, Museo Del Oro (Gold Museum), which contains more than 55,000 pieces of gold from the pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. You can also head to Monserrate, which is a cathedral situated on top of the mountain and it can be reached by cable car, train, or by hiking if you dare. Besides visiting the church, you will witness the breathtaking view of the enormous city of Bogota and its surroundings. Bogotá offers lots of experiences, especially when it comes to food as you can try the famous street food, traditional cuisine, and drink fresh juices in every possible corner of the city. Bogotá is also the place where many events are held, especially those related to art and design and you can also enjoy the nightlife in the city.
Cartagena is a must see if you visit Colombia. The colonial city was built on gold and slavery. Wander the colorful streets of Cartagena and have a look at the museums, churches and the colonial architecture. Also, you can enjoy watching the sunset with your beloved one and taking beautiful pictures.
Visit Medellin, the city that was home to the infamous cocaine cartel of Pablo Escobar, but nowadays it is attracting many tourists and it is a safe place to visit and enjoy every tourist attraction.
If you enjoy nature, you should definitely visit Tayrona National Park. You can make the most of Colombia, by visiting this park, because it has beautiful beaches so you can relax and drink coconut, because the beaches are surrounded by coconut palms. If you are an adventurous person you can go hiking and explore the park in search of all kind of species and wild animals. You can also see the Andean condor, a threatened species.
If you love history, you should definitely visit San Agustin, an ancient site surrounded by the remains of a lost civilization that even nowadays is a mystery for many historians and researchers. San Agustin is home to more than 500 monoliths, statues, petroglyphs and sarcophagi and most of the stone carvings were created between 100 A.D. and 1200 A.D.
Besides the places mentioned above, Colombia has many other reasons that can convince you to book your ticket straight away and come to this beautiful country:
1.Try a whole new different cuisine and the country’s specialties and street food. Each region of Colombia has a different tradition when it comes to cooking. Head to the famous markets and get a taste of fresh cooked food. You can also have a bogotano breakfast and also explore the street food, which is very special and try Arepas made with cornflower and water.
2. Visit Escobar’s ranch. After watching the Netflix series, Narcos, you would like to see where Pablo lived while he was the head of the cocaine cartel. His ranch has now turned into a small museum.
3. Apart from Brazil, you can experience the carnivals even in Colombia, especially the famous Barranquilla Carnival, where every street is filled with parades and parties.
4. The salt cathedral. As you enjoy your stay in Bogota, head to Zipaquirá by car or by train, because you will have the chance to visit the underground salt cathedral, which will offer you an amazing and interesting experience.
5. The taste of fresh brewed coffee. Most part of the coffee beans raised in Colombia is exported, but you can never miss the taste of fresh brewed coffee, which is so unique. If you want to go further, you can visit Zona Cafetera where half of Colombia’s coffee crop is grown.
6. Oh yes, you better master your salsa skills, because there are many places in Colombia where you can go dancing. If the city of Cali is on your list, you should know that it is considered as the capital of salsa.
7. Street art. Bogota especially is filled with impressive street art, possibly in every neighborhood and some of them are now a tourist attraction. If you love art, Colombia will offer you mesmerizing things.
8. If you are a fan of Gabriel García Márquez, you should definitely visit Mompox, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This quiet town has a resemblance with Macondo, the fictional setting in One Hundred Years of Solitude.
By Enxhi Tufina