If you are planning a Colombia vacation this summer, you are at the right place. In this blog, we are going to cover the must-visit attractions of this South American country.
With long stretches along the Atlantic and the Pacific, a snow-clad Andean summit, a dense Amazon jungle, and cryptic ruins, Colombia contains some of the most spellbinding scenery in South America. This tropical country is known for its lush rainforests, arid deserts, and Caribbean beaches. Whether you want to take a stroll on the cobblestone streets of its capital Bogota to explore the colonial architecture or hike in the Ciudad Perdida, a lost city hidden deep in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, Colombia is full of history and adventure.
No matter what you hear from media houses or what you think about its past, today’s Colombia is rushing towards a prosperous future. In this diverse country, you will find a host of stunning tourist attractions and adventures.
Colombia has a diverse climate. It is tropical in the coaster region and eastern lowlands and cooler in the highlands and Andes. Its climate can be characterized by tropical rainforests, savannas, steppes, deserts, and mountain climates. Its rainforests remain wet all year round and the coastal areas are the hottest. As per the previous visitors to the country, the months between December and March are the best to book a flight to Colombia. Although during these months the tourist sites get packed with visitors, and you may not find affordable hotels. But the weather is pleasant, which makes sightseeing comfortable.
Most tourists begin their Colombian trip from Bogota, a sprawling, high-altitude capital. It is the largest city in the nation. Moreover, it exudes a combination of colonial charm and urban sophistication. The historic La Candelaria, which is home to some of the iconic attractions, including Plaza de Bolivar, Museum of Gold, Usaquen market, etc. Visitors take a hike to Monserrate to visit the church and reach the summit. It is perched atop a hill at an elevation of 3,000 meters and offers picturesque views of the city below.
The National Museum of Colombia is the oldest and largest museum in Colombia. The museum was founded in 1823 and houses more than 20,000 pieces of art and historical artifacts, some dating back to 10,000 BCE. To explore the best of Colombia, book a flight to Bogota. There are certainly plenty of tourist attractions here.
It is one of the best-kept secrets of the country that is hidden deep in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains. It was only discovered in the 1970s and since then it has become a popular hiking spot. The Tyrona Indians built and occupied this trek between the 8th and 14th centuries. It is one of the largest and most ancient pre-Columbian settlements discovered in America. It requires four days to complete this 44 km trek.
Most of its ancient ruins and sites remained buried behind thick jungles. This area is protected by the indigenous natives living here. Visitors can hike on the well-preserved terraces and stairways. Since individual trekking is banned, you must take a guided tour from authorized personnel to take you through the jungle. This four-day trek takes hikers through heat, humidity, rainstorms, mud, and insects. Hikers need to be mentally and physically prepared. There are campgrounds, where trekkers sleep either on a hammock or on a mattress.
As per the previous visitors, you can find the best beaches in Colombia within Tayrona National Natural Park. The jade-hued waters, palm-shaded coves, and green rolling hills make this park a must-visit. Exploring the native wilderness in the park is one of the must things to do in Colombia. The beaches against the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains, which is covered by dense rainforests exude a cryptic yet alluring charm. Visitors hike through the jungle full of monkeys, birds, and insects and arrive at a Caribbean beach. The experience is no less than an adventure movie like Jurassic Park.
The beautiful white-sand beaches in the Caribbean are ideal for sunbathing, scuba diving, and swimming in the water. However, only a few beaches are allowed for swimming. Moreover, the park is home to rich biodiversity. Here you will find jaguars, crocodiles, endemic poison dart frogs, giant boa constrictors, and a large number of mammals, birds, and reptiles. If you want to experience the native indigenous lifestyle, spend a night at Echobase, a traditional thatched hut in the jungle slopes overlooking the Caribbean.
No trip to South America is complete without exploring the mythical wilderness of the Amazon. In Columbia, experience the vast Amazon basin in Leticia. This small frontier town on the banks of the river Amazon is a base for wildlife safaris, ecotourism, and hikes in the Amazon. Apart from the extreme wilderness, it is also home to native indigenous tribes. Visitors get to learn about their rich culture, heritage, and history while visiting Leticia. One of its major attractions is Mundo Amazonico. This small reserve in the Amazon is home to more than 700 species of flora.
Visiting Monkey Island here is another fun thing to do in Columbia. It houses more than 5,000 squirrel monkeys, who are comfortable around humans. To experience the local rural life, visit Puerto Narino, an indigenous village, which can be reached only by boat. It is a popular village in Leticia.
Medellin or the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ was once dubbed as a dangerous city in the 90s. Today, this bustling city has shrugged off its past reputation and embraced urban sophistication. There are old quarters, museums, art galleries, and a whole plaza dedicated to sculptures. There are certainly plenty of things to do in Medellin, Columbia. Moreover, its year-round temperate climate makes it an ideal destination to enjoy a lot of outdoor fun. The entire city is jam-packed with museums, galleries, old neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, and clubs to keep you occupied.
Most of the tourists begin their sightseeing from Plaza Botero. There are more than 23 larger-than-life sculptures in the Old Quarter of Botero Plaza. The sculptures were donated by celebrated Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Other popular attractions are the Museum of Antioquia and Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture. However, save your evening for El Poblado, Madeline’s trendiest commune. The place is buzzing with restaurants, boutiques, and high-end hotels.
However, don’t let the past of Columbia affect your vacation plan in the country. Its past is long gone and has earned a reputation for being a tourist-friendly country. Whether you want to stroll on the cobblestoned streets of Bogota along the historic buildings or you can go deeper to experience the indigenous natives’ rich cultural heritage. Know this, your trip to Columbia can be overwhelming!