Colombia may have a turbulent past of civil conflict, drug lords and violence, but this amazing country is slowly but surely getting back on its feet and opening up its doors to travellers from across the world who would like to take a peak, and see just what they have been missing.
Offering so much more than coffee plantations, Amazon trekking tours, archaeological ruins and year round sunshine, Colombia has Caribbean like beaches, cosmopolitan cities, quaint Colonial towns, and an eclectic mix of people who will welcome you with open arms.
A fantastic destination for travellers who appreciate natural beauty, hiking through national parks, and the choice of swimming in the Pacific, Atlantic or Caribbean Sea, Colombia really does have it all, and as it shares its borders with five other countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Panama), it is the perfect base for discovering Latin America.
Many people start their Colombian journey in the capital city of Bogotá, a city steeped in history and culture. Offering resplendent Churches, fine museums, great shopping opportunities and some of the liveliest nightlife in South America, Bogotá is certainly worth a visit.
The city of Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting Colombia, but it is so beautiful that you may not want to leave. Sitting on the Caribbean coast, this picture-postcard perfect city is filled with boutique hotels, pavement cafes and leafy plazas.
From Cartagena, you can head out to the majestic islands of San Andres and Providencia for some serious sunbathing, sandy beaches and the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. If Amazonian adventures are more your thing, head on down to Leticia, Colombia’s gateway town to the Amazon rainforest, where you can catch boat connections to Manaus in Brazil or Iquitos in Peru.
If you want to savour Colombia’s finest coffee, head inland to Pereira and take a coffee tour through one of the many plantations. Located in the middle of a triangle formed by Colombia’s three main cities Bogotá, Medellín and Cali, this beautiful University City has much to offer the traveller.
There are too many national parks to list, but they are all worth a visit, and whether you have a week or a year, Colombia has enough going on to keep you entertained.
The FCO still advise against travel to certain areas of Colombia, but as with any country in world, if you stick to “safe zones”, avoid rural areas surrounding the borders (specifically Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador), and use common sense, your journey throughout this beautiful land will be fulfilling, and most importantly, safe.