As a tourist destination, Colombia offers a myriad of natural, cultural and gastronomical experiences. It is easy to engage in many of these experiences on your vacation if you have a helping hand. We have you covered!
This is our selection of the top things a local host can help you discover about Colombia.
One of the most interesting facts about Colombia is that it is a juggernaut of biodiversity. Although it represents a mere 0.22% of the Earth’s surface, it hosts about 10% of every known species.
Think of it this way: it is home to 1 in every 10 animal and plant species in the world. The country is also the planet’s leader in bird species, with an astounding 1,889 of them.
Its intricate geography plays a key role in such feats. Here you can find high mountaintops, icy moors, snowcapped volcanoes, valleys, plateaus, desserts, and rain forests.
The country is pierced by the Andes, a massive mountain range that starts at the bottom the continent. When it enters Colombia, it splits into three smaller ranges.
Nature lovers will fall in love with our country, because we are home to a big section of the Amazon. This is the largest rainforest in the world, at 3.2 million square miles.
Its river is the largest on Earth by discharge volume of water. By comparison, it is 11 times the volume of the Mississippi. It also stretches along an incredible 4225 miles.
Today, a rather hidden treasure (even to Colombians) in the Amazon is thriving. The Serranía de Chiribiquete National Park, in the heart of this area, is now over 10 million acres bigger. This makes it the planet’s largest national park protecting a tropical rainforest.
It makes for an unforgettable visit, due to its biological, cultural, hydrological and archaeological value. Some indigenous groups live in isolation there, or have never been contacted altogether.
There are so many incredible natural sites in Colombia, not only the Amazon. Vereda Alta Gracia is a huge property in the eastern planes, which actively protects various animal populations. Here you will be able to spot birds, caimans, capybaras, deer, giant anteaters, and even jaguars and anacondas.
The Pacific Coast area is also a nature-lover’s paradise. The well-known Cantil Ecolodge, on Guachalito Beach, is an ideal destination if you want to dwell in the middle of the jungle.
The ocean in this region also provides opportunities for whale watching, between June and October. A favorite local spot for this activity, as well as for underwater wildlife watching, is the island of Gorgona. Formerly a brutal prison site, it is now a shining star for ecotourism.
What is Colombia known for? Coffee, of course! The Andean topography is largely responsible for its incredible coffee production capacity.
Travel to the Eje Cafetero, or “Coffee Axis”, to learn everything there is to know about it. From traditional, artisanal production ways, to grain variety and taste. There is something special about Colombia and its coffee!
Many coffee ranches, known as “fincas cafeteras” in Spanish, offer tours and tastings. Some even complete the experience by offering accommodation and participation in the production process.
Imagine actually picking coffee grains from the tree to wash, sun-dry and toast yourself!
There are tons of Colombian traditions, but festivals and fairs are undoubtedly stellar ones. All of them are cultural, of course, but each of them have a special twist. Some are focused on local populations, like the Wayuú Cultural Festival. This celebration brings together the inhabitants of upper Guajira, on both the Colombian and Venezuelan side of the border.
Some others focus on specific cultural expressions, like the Ibero-American Theatre Festival, in Bogotá. Every two years, the city hosts one of the largest performing arts festivals in the world. Colombia is also home to a globally renowned salsa festival, featuring exhibitions and dance workshops.
Other great celebrations you can enjoy to the fullest, especially with the help of a local host, include:
We hope you learnt something about the best kept secrets about Colombia! Do you feel ready to discover those well-hidden treasures? At Lulo Colombia, we are sure they will make you fall in love with the country, from nature to culture.
If you need help or guidance with the planning process of your trip to Colombia, don´t hesitate to contact us. We have a team of travel experts looking forward to help you have the best holiday of your life.