Colombia has a great deal to offer in terms of culture, nature and a diverse range of activities. Karol, our local travel expert in Colombia, knows the ins and outs of the country and shares her Colombia travel tips below.
A warm welcome
“Colombians are certainly the biggest highlight of the country. It’s inspiring how people make the best of every situation. The radiating smiles on their faces sweeten the soul. You instantly feel welcome and like you belong.”
Karol’s tips for travellers who want to experience Colombia to the fullest? “Learn Spanish, even if it’s just a few words. Spanish is spoken almost exclusively throughout the country and contact with the local population is a highlight of visiting Colombia.”
Enjoy Colombia with all your senses
Colombia is a country to be enjoyed with all your senses. The smell of fresh coffee, the sight of colourful houses in cities like Guatapé and Cartagena, the discovery of hummingbirds and playful monkeys. Sunbeams touching your face and friendly people warming your heart. The spirited music that you can hear in the evening on the streets and small bars. Magnificent panoramic views over the green hills and azure blue sea. The shouting of traders in the living markets. Tasting many typical Colombian fruits.
Every city has its own character and the diversity of nature could hardly be greater. Discover, for example, the rainforest in the special Amazon region, explore the snowy mountain peaks of the Andes or relax on numerous sandy beaches on the Caribbean coast.
“The country still offers undiscovered landscapes that fascinate every visitor. It’s a very diverse country that has something for everyone.”
Karol’s favourite places in Colombia
Karol likes to set off to explore the corners of the country. One goal, however, is particularly valuable to Karol: “For me, Santa Marta is the most beautiful destination in Colombia. The city is located near the Sierra Nevada, the highest coastal mountains in the world and near the Tayrona Park (one of the most beautiful natural parks in Colombia). The mix of mountains and sea is the perfect combination for me. The region has much to offer from contact with various indigenous peoples to adventure experiences and culinary specialties. “
Karol’s favourite local dish
Karol loves the dishes of her homeland. She explains about the culinary highlight she really loves: “The Ajiaco Santafereño is the best. A typical dish from my hometown. It consists of different types of potatoes, corncobs, guascas, chicken and capers, completed with rice and avocado. As a drink, I recommend a delicious Lulo juice. “
Ideal destination for nature lovers
Colombia is an incredibly diverse country. With more than 50 % of the country covered in natural forests, Colombia boasts the second largest biodiversity in the world – making it the ideal destination for nature lovers!
Tayrona National Park
The northern Caribbean coast, with its crystal clear waters, is the perfect destination for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. A special draw of the region is Tayrona National Park, where just a strip of white sandy beach separates the jungle from the ocean. A possible excursion is a trek through the jungle of Tayrona. The tour lasts several days and ends in the Lost City (or Ciudad Perdida) of the Tayrona jungle.
Colombia travel tips – Tatacoa Desert
Located right in the centre of Colombia is the Tatacoa desert. Though not technically a desert (due to minimal rainfall some vegetation is able to grow here), the temperatures in the area are certainly similar to that of a desert. Tatacoa doesn’t resemble the desert plains you may know from North Africa, but it’s no less impressive. Get to know the area by hiking through the desert’s distinct red and a grey rock formations, or take this chance to admire Colombia’s night sky.
The coffee region and Cocora Valley
At the foothills of the Andes you will find Colombia’s coffee region. This area forms a triangle between the cities of Manizales, Pereira and Armenia. A visit to a coffee plantation is a must during your journey through Colombia. There are numerous plantations that you can visit and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee as the sun sinks behind the hills. While in the region, I’d also recommend a visit to Valle de Cocora: home to the highest palm trees in the world.
Caño Cristales is sure to take your breath away. Referred to by many as the most the most beautiful river in Colombia, if not the world, for half of the year Caño Cristales is river like any other. Following the wet season, each July the river comes alive in an extraordinary display of colours. The yellow, pink, purple, green and especially red colour bring the river to life, creating a spectacle like few others and earning Caño Cristales the name of “River of Five Colors” or the “Liquid Rainbow”. This natural wonder can be found in the Serrania de la Macarena National Park. The easiest and safest way to travel there is through an organized tour to Caño Cristales, as the river is located in an isolated part south of Bogotá.
Colombia travel tips – The Amazon
The Amazon region extends over a large part of South America, including Colombia. The largest rainforest in the world is a feast for the adventurous traveller and nature enthusiast and home to a huge variety of endemic flora and fauna. Spot the pink Amazon River Dolphin in the Amazon rivers, discover some unique nocturnal animals, or admire the colourful-beaked toucan as he flies overhead.
Take a look at our travel suggestions and design your own Colombian travel experience.
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