Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Colombia
On this post, you will find a detailed Guide of another fantastic Destination in South America known as Colombia. This country is so pretty, cheap and safe that you will feel in love right away. I understand it is always a time limitation to see all. However, I set up on this post, the Top 10 Best of Colombia Must See Places. I hope it will help you to decide what of Colombia fits on your travel idea.
Bogotá is the largest City and the Capital of Colombia. This is a Cosmopolitan City that still keeps the Colonial Architecture introduced by The Spaniards over 400 years ago. It is the best starting of Colombia, since it’s International Airport has flight connections to all over the world you will find a large number of museums, squares, restaurants and historical sites to visit. The best way to get to know Bogotá is with comfortable clothes, a camera and boarding the Trans Milenio which will help you on your tour of the library, squares, parks, cathedrals and all tourist areas around Bogota.
There are excellent restaurants in Bogotá that offer a varied gastronomy, adjusted to all budgets, an endless number of lodging options that goes from usd 5 til 400 a night.
As I mentioned you can explore on your own, however it is much better to have a Tour in Bogota and I can recommend to take a City Bike Tour in Bogota that will show you around la Candelaria Down Town and its surroundings. I also recommned you to visit La The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira and Guatavita Lake , both you can do it in a Day Trip from Bogota.
Medellin has become one of the main tourist attractions in Colombia. As the first thing to do in Medellin , I recommend to spend the first night in the city and locate yourself as much as possible at El Poblado or Los Laureles. These two places mentioned are the safest and the most popular neighborhoods in the city, next day you can take a tour around Medellin City visiting , the most important sites such Botero Museum, in which Fernando Botero, one of the main artists in the city, has several of his works, including the emblematic “Gordas de Botero”, statues each valued at more than 1 million dollars . Also you can visit Comuna 13 ,this area was the witness the history of violence and crime that the city had in the 90s, but that thanks to the community, the efforts of the police and the city government, Comuna 13 is now synonymous with peace, lots of art and development. Fall in love with the history of the place, play with the children and the most important, witness that something very good can always come out of the tragedy, the change depends on each of us.
3. Guatape and El Peñol
Guatapé is a colorful and picturesque little town known as the Pueblo de los Zócalos just 1 hour far from Medellin. You can arrange a day tour to from Medellin and cover more other areas that are also beautiful . La Piedra del Peñol, a monolith 700 feet high that presides over one of the largest artificial lakes of Colombia. It is for sure a composer climb up the stairs all the way to the top and simply admire the beauties from above.
This is one of the best places to visit in Colombia that you don´t have to miss if you are around Medellin city.
4. Cartagena de Indias
In Cartagena de Indias. Locals will make you feel a special magic, walking through on the streets admiring the colonial walls is relaxing experience, combined with the Colombian culture, since you can take a cool photo next to a Palenquera, who are beautiful ladies that sell fruit and sweets. The Palenquera woman dresses in rainbows to sell her fruits and sweets smiling to everyone who crosses her path.
The night and gastronomy in Cartagena are blessed by the mysticism of the city, sharing with friends, having a few drinks and eating typical food from the region like Rice with Chipi-Chipi. or a delicious Lobster Cream Soup , Shrimp or delicious Prawns. Well anyway, just thinking about it makes me feel hungry.
The best beaches of Cartagena are not in the city . However I can recommend to visit “Playa Blanca” and “Las Islas del Rosario” . They are about 30 minutes sailing and the most beautiful. For this and much more Cartagena is one of the main tourist places in Colombia that you cannot miss on your visit.
5. Salento & Cocora Valley
One of the most visited places in Quindío and one of the most beautiful places in Colombia, this Municipality has the best landscape of the Andes in Colombia and the coffee tradition that makes it a special place. To get there, you have to take Pereira, Armenia road and make a 17-kilometer detour entering the Cocora Valley. Hotels offer is very wide and adjusts to the preferences of any visitor, but my recommendation is to stay in a coffee farm, where in addition to enjoying the exuberance of nature, you will be able to see up close and even participate in the coffee process.
Staying in one of the Coffee Farms offered by experience costs around USD 60 per person depending on the season. Throughout the valley you can also go horseback riding through the mountains and end the night in one of the town’s restaurants and get a bit of the Salento Culture.
The Cocora Valley is located in the coffee zone of Colombia ( Eje Cafetero ), more specifically in Armenia, Quindío. This place has gained great reputation and fame in recent years around the country, since it is located in one of the areas with the best coffee tradition in Colombia and you can also spot, the Colombian national tree known as La Palma de Sera (Wax Palm),it is a perfect location if you like hiking , because the area offers many walking paths to enjoy nature and its beauties of nature. For many people at this location, farmers produce the best coffee of the world.
6. Ciudad Perdida – Lost City
Visiting the lost city of Tayronas in Santa Marta is an experience that must be done at least once in a lifetime. This site is considered one of the most important archaeological site in Colombia. In the middle of an exuberant nature, the entrance to the lost city or Ciudad Perdida can only be done on foot, on a tour that lasts 4 days. It is only possible to visit trough , a Specialized Tour Agency in Colombia ( Santa Marta) and it cost between USD 350 TO 450 .It includes admission fee the park, professional guide, all meals, lodging at the tour camps, travel insurance and a contribution to community.
During the walk, you will find rivers, waterfalls, natural pools. A section of the Sierra Nevada is crossed and after the last ascent of 1,200 stairs, you arrive at the Sacred City full of relics and ancient stories, perfect place to take incredible pictures and getting to know about this Colombia Unique Attraction. After the walk, to spend a couple of days enjoying the sea in Santa Marta is a well-deserved treat.
7. Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park is a must see place in Colombia that you have to visit near Santa Marta. Its beaches, reefs and sunsets will captivate you to fall in love of its beauty. At Tayrona Park you can enjoy a nice hike along the coastal line and dry forest up to Cabo San Juan. If you are adventurous, you can stay a night at their basecamp on a tent and forget for a minute of all. Finally if you feel like visit Tayrona Park and enjoy a relaxing day , I recommend you to stay or visit Playa Canaveral which is about 20 minutes walk from the parking place ( if you by car , you can go directly to the beach and skip the walk ). There are many luxury and comfortable lodges at Tayrona Park that you can chose. To enjoy it, I highly recommend you to stay at least 2 nights.
8. Cabo de la Vela & La Guajira
Cabo de la Vela is located at the farthest north of Colombia facing the Caribbean Sea and northwest of La Guajira peninsula, about three hours from Riohacha, the capital of the department (estate), it is actually a bit far from the center of the country, since It is located in the northernmost point of Colombia. However Cabo de la Vela and La Guajira are together one of the most visited places in Colombia that you cannot miss at all.
It is about 6 hours by car from Santa Marta , however there is an option of getting there by plane, but if you have time I recommend you to go by car ,then you have the opportunity to experience the culture of people from the coast in Colombia, which is a world apart from other Colombian people . Their happiness and dances are contagious to everybody.
Then La Guajira, a desert that meets the sea, creating a dream oasis. In this area the majority of inhabitants are named Wayu, which is a Colombian tribe with a ancient history that has never wanted to abandon their lands and traditions.
So if you go to this place of incalculable beauty, do not forget to help your locals a little, which in spite of everything will always welcome you with a smile.
9. San Andres Island
San Andrés Island is one of the best tourist places in Colombia if you like the beach, the breeze and the sea. It is well known the Sea of 7 colors.
This is a paradise in the Caribbean, the only way to get there is by plane, but it is quite cheap to go, you can find tickets from USD 50 and USD 100 round trip leaving from Bogota, Cartagena, Pereira or Medellin. Accommodation on San Andres Island is quite easy to get since it has a great hotel offer, due to the high flow of tourists, both local and foreign. Prices range from 30 USD to whatever you want, on the island there is a range of hostels for less price, but I do not recommend them, since this paradise is to be enjoyed in a big and comfortable way.
10. Las Lajas Sanctuary
Las Lajas Sanctuary is one of the largest cathedrals in Colombia and a World Heritage Site, this church is incredibly large with the peculiarity that it is built in a canyon with a neo-Gothic style that enhances its beauty. If you enter Colombia by land and through the border with Ecuador, just 6 miles from the border, you will find this spectacular Catholic Cathedral built on the cliff.
Without a doubt, Las Lajas Sanctuary is something you have to see in Colombia with your own eyes to perceive its magnificence. The only bad thing is that it is a bit far from the center of the country but if you can include it on your route through Colombia, I assure you that you will not regret it.
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