In the U.S., Colombia is known for its cartels, guerrillas, and coffee. As such, it’s not often thought of as a tourist destination and there are still regions one is advised to avoid. That said, it has a lot to offer the more adventuresome traveler, though one may have to forgo double-glazing and, sometimes, hot water.
BOGOTÁ (LA CANDELARIA)
La Candelaria is a district where many landmark events in the history of Colombian and South American independence occurred.
CABO SAN JUAN
Situated along the northeast Caribbean coast, it’s considered one of Colombia’s, if not South America’s, prettiest beaches.
CARTAGENA (CASTILLO SAN FELIPE)
A fortress located on the Hill of San Lázaro in a strategic location, dominating approaches to the city of Cartagena by land or sea.
CARTAGENA (OLD TOWN)
Filled with colonial architecture, churches, monasteries, plazas, palaces and mansions with overhanging balconies and shady patios.
Famous for the beautiful pastel-colored paintings found on the lower half of nearly every building in the town’s historic center.
LA PIEDRA DEL PEÑOL
It’s a 650 stair climb up a rock some say was a meteor that fell to Earth, where every 25th step is numbered to give one a sense of progress.
Famous for its colony of artisans, who produce traditional northern Andean pottery and hand-woven goods.
SALT CATHEDRAL OF ZIPAQUIRÁ
An underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters underground in a Halite mountain.
TORTUMO MUD VOLCANO
Local lore says that the volcano used to spew fire, lava, and ashes, but was turned into mud by a local priest who believed it was the work of the Devil.
VILLA DE LEYVA
Considered one of the finest colonial villages of Colombia, Villa de Layve was declared a National Monument to preserve its architecture.
Without its troubled past, Colombia would probably be a top tourist destination. It has a lot to offer the visitor, including history and culture, beaches and jungles. While some of its most striking attractions are still difficult to reach, there remains plenty to see and do. Just be sure to avoid the south and border regions.
Back to South America.
To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
— Aldous Huxley