South America’s vibrant country of Colombia boasts a fascinating cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and a staggering diversity of wildlife. Famous for coffee, emeralds, nature and colorful characters, a Columbian vacation is sure to leave an impression. Here’s how to experience the real Colombia.
Get to Know Bogota, Colombia’s Vibrant Capital
Delve into the country’s past, present, and future in the national capital of Bogota. The city boasts informative museums, such as the Museo del Oro, the National Museum of Colombia, and the Museo de Santa Clara, alongside revered places of worship, such as the Gothic Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
Wander the cobblestones of old Bogota in La Candelaria district to see how the city has changed over time. Pick up local goods at Usaquén Market, enjoy live music at Plaza Chorro de Quevedo, and admire the grand architecture surrounding Plaza Bolivar. Bogota’s ambiance is simultaneously edgy and enthralling, and it’s a terrific place to dig beneath the surface and learn more about the national psyche.
Combine Culture and Nature
With forward-thinking cities, evocative archeological sites, and mystical towns, Colombia is home to diverse settlements with plenty of flair. It's also home to amazing landscapes, from sacred nature-filled rainforests and verdant coffee plantations to the soaring peaks of the Andes and enticing beaches. Including a mixture of destinations provides a well-rounded understanding of the country.
Travel back to the 800s at La Ciudad Perdida or experience the pre-Columbian period at the UNESCO-listed San Agustín Archaeological Park for a glimpse of the Colombia of yesteryear.
Visit Cali, known as the Salsa Capital of the World, to fully immerse yourself in the sultry scene. Learn how to salsa dance, hear unique rhythms, and attend lively festivals.
Hike in the shade of soaring wax palms, the world’s tallest palm, in the Cocora Valley and spot an array of unique flora and fauna in the Amazon Jungle. Colombia’s coffee plantations provide fascinating insights into one of the country’s major industries. Visit working farms around Concordia and unwind in Salento, a town built on the back of coffee production.
Enjoy Local Colombian Cuisine
Sink your teeth into typical Colombian dishes for a literal taste of what makes the country tick. Indigenous recipes, Spanish flavors, African influences and bountiful fresh ingredients have resulted in a unique mouthwatering cuisine. Try regional specialties while exploring the nation.
Enjoy the meat feast that is bandeja paisa when in Medellín and devour succulent lechona — stuffed roast pig — in the Tolima area. Slurp hearty ajiaco chicken and potato soup while in the highlands, savor the pork and seafood stew of Rondón, and discover new tastes with fritanga, a mixture of fried offal.
For a sweet treat, enjoy the blend of textures and flavors in a lip-smacking cholado or pick up a fluffy roscón in a bakery.