Colombia's Sophisticated Cities
Spectacular centuries-old Bogota has museums galore, including what is considered Latin America’s most important gold museum. It is also home to the Fernando Botero Museum, an homage to Colombia’s most famous contemporary artist, containing over 200 of his works. Called the city of eternal spring for its mild climate, Medellin contains 30 universities and is considered Latin America’s center of fashion. If it’s nightlife you seek, you’ll find it in Colombia’s cosmopolitan cities, especially Bogota, Cali (called the salsa capital) and trendy Medellin. The walled city of Cartagena sits majestically above the Caribbean, giving history buffs and sunbathers alike reason to linger.
Lots Of Adventures To Be Had In Colombia
To name just a few: Located on the north coast, Tayrona is Colombia’s most popular national park
. Here guided hikes travel through heavenly rainforest and explore golden Caribbean beaches as well as a 5th century stone city. Los Nevados National Park is known for its mountainous treks. The country’s adventure capital is San Gil, especially famous for its white-water experiences. With much competition for the title, Chicamocha Gorge is considered Colombia’s best rafting day-trip. The mountain bike route to the San Barichara Valley is mostly downhill through coffee and tobacco fields, cultivated in traditional ways. With 52 species of coral and many more underwater treasures, the Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo National Park is a blissful archipelago surrounded by a barrier reef, a day-trip from Cartagena. Divers find Nirvana in the San Andres Archipelago, one of the Americas’ largest barrier reefs.
Coffee, The Growing, The Brewing & The Traditions
You can drink coffee your whole life and not learn as much as spending a week in Colombia’s coffee regions
, mingling with everyone from producers to baristas. A visit to the Zona Cafetera between the Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Central is both a delicious and visual learning experience. Conditions for coffee are also just right for orchids. Some 3,500 different orchid species grow in Colombia.
A Multitude Of Colombian Festivals & Holidays
Expect cultural or religious celebrations whenever you travel to Colombia. Wildly popular Carnaval, four days before Lent, is most exuberantly celebrated in Barranquilla and recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Choosing Your Colombia Tours
Like all countries today, Colombia has safe areas and those that are not. Most visitors steer clear of border areas with Ecuador and Venezuela where confrontations occur from time to time. Most of the sporadic strife is confined to the most southerly regions of the country. For an extra measure of safety, most adventure travelers rely on the knowledge of expert guides familiar with their regions. Southern Explorations’ Colombia tours
travel north and west of the capital, spending time in colonial hamlets, nature preserves and national parks.