Top 10 Colombia Vacation Spots for the holidays of your dreams!
Colombia is year by year becoming a more popular travel destination. This comes as no surprise as the country has become safer and more secure. People start to realize that this hidden gem is worth exploring and going the extra mile for. But, which Colombian vacation spots you cannot miss on your trip?
The Amazon Jungle is one of the most popular Colombia vacation spots. And, it is totally understandable because it is a true get-away from the bustling cities and this gorgeous green place allows you to relax in a tranquil and exotic setting.
The lush green landscapes, dense forest, diverse wildlife, animal noises in the back and houses that line the backwaters make a journey along the impressive Amazon River seem like a journey through another world. Try some of the juices made from local fruits and get to know more about the medicinal working of the many plants and trees in the forest. This is one of the top vacation spots that you cannot miss!
Most travelers that go to Colombia usually land in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city. It is the perfect way to start your trip because it allows a relatively soft transition between life in a developing country and life in your home country. It has everything you can think of, going from international restaurants, a historic center, and typical colonial buildings, to a gorgeous viewpoint over the city from the mountains surrounding the city! Bogotá´s top attractions also include the famous Gold Museum and the Botero Museum. These are renowned museums that received international recognition for their highly-valued content and well-presented objects.
Ciudad Perdida, also known as the Lost City, is one of the top archeological places in Colombia. It is a city quite like no other because only archeological remains are left and it is hidden in the jungle of the Sierra Nevada. It still belongs to the indigenous Tayrona people who ruled over this area many years ago. You need to trek for at least 3 days over gorgeous paths in the jungle before you will reach the final 1200 steps to get to Ciudad Perdida. But, it is definitely worth the effort. The views are spectacular and you will feel a sense of calmness and satisfaction coming over you. On your way, you will sleep in basic camps, pass through traditional villages, and cross gorgeous streams. Bring your adventure spirit because this is one of the absolute must-visit Colombia vacation spots!
San Agustin is located in the green and mountainous south of Colombia. It is a rather small city with no special traits in comparison to other Colombian places. But, it is home to an incredible amount of mysterious statues and archeological sites that are found scattered in the area surrounding the city. Also, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an open-air archeological museum sets San Agustin apart from other places in Colombia. And, if you have interest in plantations and want to know more about how Colombians cultivate their plants and fruits, then this is also your destination to pick!
There are many top Colombia vacation spots, and many of them are blooming thanks to tourism. However, some places are still pristine and untouched by tourists. One of them is Casanare. This region consists of infinite plains, traditional cattle farm where local cowboys live in traditional ways, wetlands, and romantic lakes. It is one of Colombia´s top ecotourism destinations and it has some of the world’s richest and most diverse landscapes. Here, you will find a huge biodiversity of animals, including anteaters, anacondas, pumas, capybaras, turtles, caimans, and an enormous variety of birds. See this wildlife and natural beauty with your own eyes from the back of your horse like a real cowboy!
Are you visiting Colombia between July and October? If you are going between these months, then you should definitely consider paying a visit to the Pacific coast because it is right in the middle of the whale-watching season. Between these months, the humpback whales come to the warm waters of the bays of Colombia´s Pacific to give birth to their calves and teach them how to swim and keep their buoyancy. If you are lucky you will see them jump out of the water and play together. However, the Pacific coast is not only one of the greatest Colombia vacation spots because of the whales. It is also worth a visit because of the lush nature and jungle that is nestled right next to the beaches, which are wild and full of energy. You can go on beautiful hikes that bring you to impressive waterfalls and indigenous villages. Relax and let the authenticity of this region of Colombia touch your heart.
Medellin is a city with quite a dark history. However, let this not hold you back from considering to add it to your trip to Colombia because nowadays it is a cosmopolitan city that will surprise you! Nowadays, Medellin is famous and recognized as a perfect example of how cities can transform and let their violent past behind them. You will see examples of it being a city with urban, social, architectural, cultural and educational investment projects that have served as an example to follow for other cities in the world. However, it is still possible to learn more about its past by taking tours through neighborhoods, like Comuna 13, where local guides show you around and tell you stories about the past when infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar was ruling the region. These guides will not only tell you about the violent past but will contrast their stories with examples and stories of all the good things that are happening nowadays. This gives you the perfect chance to see the positive changes with your own eyes. Nonetheless, Medellin is not only about history. It is also a lot about partying, fine dining and shopping. Here you can indulge, entertain, and spoil yourselves with your friends and families because some of Medellin´s neighborhoods are famous for their sense of fashion, trendy bars, and popular gourmet restaurants. For those who want to enjoy Medellin but also want to get a breath of fresh air, there are places in the green surroundings that are absolutely worth a visit, like the colorful village of Guatape, the peculiar Peñol Rock, and the colonial towns of Jardin and Santa Fe de Antioquia. You see, plenty of things to do here!
Oh, beautiful Cartagena! This colorful and colonial coastal city is absolutely one of the most popular and greatest Colombia vacation spots the country has to offer. It is touristic but you can easily understand why. First of all, Cartagena has a warm and humid climate what allows you to get in a full holiday mood. But what will really impress the most is the old town, a relic of the Spanish Empire. We recommend getting lost in the narrow streets that are characterized by the colorful houses that come with wooden balconies and have blooming flowers hanging all over them. The iron doorknobs of these houses are traditionally shaped in figures of whatever you can think of. It is almost a magical journey to just stroll around and visit the colonial churches and museums on your way. Other than that there are also plenty of tourist attractions outside of the old walls, starting with the architecturally interesting Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. This fort is the largest ever built and was constructed by the Spanish colonialists. For those who like beach and sea, Cartagena won’t disappoint either. There are some beaches at only 15 minutes of the old town and there are many tours that offer day-trips by boat to the nearby Caribbean Rosario islands where you can relax, snorkel, sip from a cold cocktail and take in the sun. A destination that has it all!
Another really popular destination in Colombia is Tayrona National Park (or Parque Tayrona). And not entirely without reason, because this huge nature reserve near Santa Marta, in the north of Colombia, holds great natural beauty and offers this real holiday feel you might be looking for! The white-sand beaches are characterized by giant boulders and are dotted with palm trees. It is a unique view to have the beach this close to the forest and to be able to see the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada in the background. Thanks to these mountains, Tayrona Park is home to a variety of endemic birds that can only be found here. You can visit the park on a day-trip or decide to camp or stay in the eco-habs inside the park. There are some hikes available that bring you to different points of interest, of which one is a small exemplary village of the indigenous Kogui people who still live in the area. However, also the surroundings of the park offer great hikes, views, and opportunities to relax on beautiful beaches.
It is almost impossible to not think about coffee when traveling to Colombia. This coffee is even considered the alternative gold of this magical country and beans that are exported from this South American country are praised all over the world. For this reason, we can say with confidence that it is almost obligatory to pay a visit to the coffee zone, or the Zona Cafetera, when you visit Colombia. Here you will learn everything there is to know about the coffee process, walk through beautiful plantations that are nested in the green Andes Mountains, and taste delicious coffee.
The coffee zone is centrally located in the country and there are 3 key cities that form a triangle between them: Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia. However, the smaller coffee villages in the surroundings all have their own charm and offer great food. For those who want to relax, there are many hot springs in the region and especially the one of Santa Rosa de Cabal is worth a visit because it is located next to a gorgeous waterfall and the green mountains surrounding it give you the peace of mind that you might need on a busy trip. However, you cannot miss out on visiting Salento and the nearby Valle de Cocora with its endemic and huge Cocora Wax Palm Trees. You can decide to make a challenging day walk or to visit the valley itself and take in the views over this special landscape.