Colombia — Overview
Colombia is often referred to as the “Country of the Sacred Heart” because of its annual consecration to Jesus Christ by the president. While this suits their Catholic identity, it could also refer to the multitude of natural gifts that have been bestowed on the country. Stunning coasts, mountains and colorful festivals combine to make Colombia a fascinating travel destination.
Colombia’s rich colonial history makes for prime sightseeing, particularly the huge ancient statues of the San Agustín Archaeological Park and the wrought iron buildings of the World Heritage listed Santa Cruz de Mompox old town. Whale watching is one of the unexpected delights, with humpback breeding grounds off the coast offering seasonal viewing opportunities. A tour of the plantations in the “Coffee Triangle,” a UNESCO World Heritage site is another must do.
Colombia is not yet a booming tourist hotspot, which is great for those looking for a more off the beaten path location. It is quite affordable with accommodation ranging from cheap hostels to five-star resorts. Food is plentiful, nutritious and well priced particularly for those wanting to sample the local fare, although western style dining is readily available, particularly in tourist areas.
El Dorado International Airport in Bogota is the main gateway into Colombia and the best place to catch a domestic flight to other parts of the country. It is not advised to drive between destinations due to the possibility of conflict in rural areas. Government programs have yielded consistent improvements in Colombia, but it is still worthwhile to check your home country’s travel warnings for any updates.
- Marvel at the mysterious painted patterns on the pre-Columbian tombs of Tierradentro National Archeological Park
- Dive with the sea turtles at San Andres
- See the famous gold Muisca raft at the Gold Museum in Bogota
- Step back in time amongst the cobblestone streets of Cartagena’s walled old town
- Learn to salsa dance in Cali
- Relax on the secluded beaches of Tayrona National Park