When you heard of Colombia during the 80s what came to mind were: drug cartels, Pablo Escobar, crime-infested cities and dangerous. Most people did not consider Colombia for vacation back then. However, the country has changed, and it is now the top places to visit in South America. It has earned its popularity.
You must add Colombia in your bucket list for several reasons. There are so much to see and do while visiting Colombia. Its architectural delights, breathtaking landscapes, lush greenery, snow-topped mountains, and bustling cities are worth visiting. You can also see archeological sites, and the country is full of adventures. Every part of Colombia is different, yet all the cities and towns hold the same alluring qualities that can only be found within South America.
Here is a list of places in Colombia to visit and add to your itinerary:
Cartagena still holds appeal to those who visit, but the new highlights of this destination are entirely different from those that were there back in 1533 and during the following years. Instead of pirates, gold, and silver down at the port, travelers are arriving in droves to learn about the history of the area, while exploring the sights and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Although there are so much to see and do in this charming destination, most travelers will at least want to include the Casa de Marqués Valdehoyos, Cartagena’s Cathedral, Las Bóvedas, and the Palacio de la Inquisicíon in their plan. Of course, visitors should also wander around the Ciudad Amarullada, which is the old walled city, because it is filled with narrow streets that are quite welcoming.
Medellín is one of the more popular destinations within Colombia, which is not surprising since there is so much packed into the city limits. Visitors will appreciate the high-rise buildings for a short time until they discover the views of the mountains in the distance.
The enjoyable part about this area of the country is that it finally was able to remove the well-known fact that Medellín was notoriously a dangerous place to live and visit. Today’s visitors will instead be able to appreciate the fact that they can wander the streets to see sights that include the Plaza Botero, Jardín Botánico, Parque Explora, Pueblito Paisa, and El Castillo Museo y Jardines without worrying about crime and theft.
Guatapé is not too far from Medellín, yet many travelers do not take the time to see this exciting destination when they are visiting this country. The view of this area is not the same as it was back in the 1960s, mostly because a hydro-electric dam was put in place during the 1970s and the project could only be accomplished if the entire area was flooded on purpose.
The results are a phenomenal view that can be seen after visitors make the trek up more than seven hundred stairs. Of course, visitors can also see the view from a different vantage point, which would be via a boat on top of the water. That view will include the tiny bits of the underwater village that lies below the water, including across from a church that slightly sticks out from the water. Before leaving this town, everyone will want to wander along the colorful streets, as they go into different shops and cafés for souvenirs and a bite to eat.
Salento thrives within the tourism industry, which is why it is necessary for them to keep attractions and adventures in full swing. The charming streets are full of architectural masterpieces, and visitors should pay attention to them all as they make their way to Valle de Cocora.
This valley is full of so many things to do, and visitors will find themselves trying to decide whether they should go hiking, mountain biking, rafting, or quietly sit back and relax as they do a little bird watching. This part of Colombia is also known for the coffee that they grow, which is why everyone will want to take the time to take a tour of the coffee plantations. Those tours are an excellent way for coffee lovers to learn the entire process of how coffee beans are harvested, cleaned, and roasted.
Armenia may be considered a capital to some, but this town offers a slower pace than any other capital in the world. This destination is still in the process of recovering since the earthquake of 1999, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some unique qualities that are worth exploring.
Visitors must take the time to wander around Carrera 14, which is a downtown type area for pedestrians. This is the perfect spot to do a little shopping, look at art and other cultural finds, and grab a bite to eat. The Museo de Quimbaya may be free to enter, but the gold and the history inside will make every minute worthwhile.
6. Santa Marta
Santa Marta is quite a busy destination in Colombia, which is one of the reasons why so many travelers seem to keep their distance. However, everyone must see this gem of a city at least once while they are in the country, if for nothing else than to explore the numerous beaches and participate in the nightlife. Culture can be found during the Taironaka Tour, while romance and love are everywhere at the Madame Augustine’s House.
The six destinations hold many of the secrets of what turned Colombia into the most popular destination in South America. Every traveler will want to see these areas of the country so that they can learn as much as possible about this fascinating place.