After years of being overlooked as a tourist destination, holidays to Colombia are enjoying a revival. It’s a vibrant and exciting place to explore, with wonderful coastlines, Spanish colonial cities, pre-Columbian ruins, spectacular national parks and coffee farms. Colombian's have a zest for life, and the rhythms of salsa and merengue are never far away.
Colombia's capital, Bogota, nestled high in the Andes, is the third largest city in South America. With its many universities and libraries the city has been dubbed the ‘Athens of South America’. Historic Cartagena on the Caribbean coast is without doubt the jewel in Colombia’s crown. In its old quarter you’ll find many colourful colonial mansions have been carefully restored and turned into attractive boutique hotels, sophisticated restaurants and wine bars. After decades of producing world-famous coffee beans, visitors to the coffee region can both learn about coffee production and relax in magnificent haciendas overlooking the verdant green hills. Don’t miss the nearby Cocora Valley; a haven for wildlife in its cloud forest as well as home to the world’s tallest wax palms. Tayrona National Park, on the Caribbean coast, is where the spectacular forest-clad Sierra Nevada Mountains provide the backdrop to wild, tropical beaches. For those seeking off the beaten track adventure head to the south to discover the pre-Columbian ruins at the San Agustin UNESCO World Heritage Site and for culture and art buffs, keen for an insight into Colombia’s eventful past, Medellin is the place to be!
Sue and Pete Morley travelled to Colombia with Rainbow Tours, and visited the country’s classic highlights on a two-week trip.
“We loved our Colombia holiday. It’s one of those places that really stays with you. We thought Cartagena was going to be a highlight and it was. It’s such a pretty city and just magical to walk around, with a delightful courtyard or colonial facade at every turn. But other places along the way were a very pleasant surprise, like the Coffee Region. We hadn’t realised that the highlands were so scenic.
Likewise Bogota was easy to navigate and was a dramatic mix of old churches and towering skyscrapers.We ended our trip at Tayrona National Park staying in the Eco-habs. This was heaven even though we had the cabin that was the highest one up the hillside. There were 159 steps (I counted!) but the views out to the ocean and over the rainforest more than made up for the effort.”