Columbia is a South American country known for its notorious past. Numerous drug-lords used to operate & even stay here. However, the country has developed beyond that & now has a good reputation as a tourist spot.
Where to go
Here’s a list of places that you must visit during your trip to Columbia:
1. Medellin: Medellin was regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, thanks to Pablo Escobar & his drug cartels. However, the city has recovered & now boasts of cable cars connecting settlements, libraries, numerous parks & gorgeous flowers. The Flower Festival is celebrated annually in August. The city houses the museum of Antioquia, an art museum. El Poblado is full of cafes & elite boutiques.
2. Popayan: Popayan is a colonial city in the South Western parts of Colombia. The city was built in 1537 & was occupied by wealthy Spanish people who developed the area & set up schools, churches & libraries. In 1546, the Iglesia de Ermita, the oldest church in Popayan, was built.
3. Bogota: The Athens of South America was founded by Spanish explorers in 1538. The capital city is one of the largest cities in South America. The city houses the Museo Santa Clara church that was built in a course of 50 years. Iglesia de San Francisco is another old church that has a literal art gallery on its walls. La Candelaria is the most important part of the city. It is a place of great historical significance. This part of the city is known for its distinct Spanish architecture & many markets.
4. Cartagena: Cartagena is where most tourists start their adventures. It is a busy city that used to be an important port in the previous centuries. Very few cities in South America are as heavily fortified as Cartagena. The town is old yet vibrant & colorful. Bocagrande is a chain of hotels along the Colombia Coast.
5. Tayrona National Park: This park is located on the Colombia coast & houses varied ecosystems. The park even has a beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. The Andean Condor, an endangered bird species is known to frequent here. Tourists at the park can also snorkel.
6. San Agustin: It is a quiet little town surrounded by the remains of an old civilization. The stone carvings of humans, monsters & animals were built during the pre-Incan ages.
7. The Lost City: This is part of a popular hiking trip. The city in Sierra Nevada is hidden from plain sight & was found in the 70’s. Most of the city is still hidden from us. The indigenous people protect the site. However, the few terraces & balconies that we see are proof of the architectural excellence.
8. Leticia: Leticia is part of the Amazon Basin region along the borders of Colombia, Peru & Brazil. It is great for eco-tourism as the climate & dense forests are home to the most diverse animal species.
9. La Guajira Peninsula: It is the Northernmost point of South America. It is a miraculous place where the vast desert slowly descends to merge with the sea. The Peninsula is believed to be the home of the valiant Wayuu tribe who were never subdued by the Spanish.
10. Hacienda Napoles: Another place connected to the drug-lord. The estate built by him is actually open to visitors. The local Government took over the place after his death & restored it to its former glory. The place now has a water park, hotels & an amusement park. His massive antique collection is still on display.