Visitors are now flocking to see attractions such as the timeless boulder-strewn vision of the Tayrona National Park where lost cities hide in the depths of the dense undergrowth and deserted beaches beg to be discovered.
Picture perfect beaches can, in fact, be found sprinkled all along the country’s coastline. On the Caribbean side, you’ll find warm azure waters that calmly lap powdery white shores such as those at Playa Blanca, while on the Pacific side often dark sand beaches and white spraying surf offer a more rugged beauty.
More treats can be found along the Amazon river, surrounded by dense jungle rich in biodiversity and indigenous communities with fascinating cultures.
Then there are the mountain ranges, and the country is home to the world’s tallest coastal mountain, the Sierra Nevada, which sits proudly at the end of the Andes.
But when that natural itch has been scratched, head back into the cities to discover the frenzied rhythm of cities like Medellin and Bogota or the colonial charm of Cartagena.
And the country’s appeal isn’t just restricted to the mainland. Colombia also has a number of islands such as San Andres and Providencia, which offer seaside relaxation with Colombian flavour.
Places to Visit in Colombia
- Tayrona National Park
Unique Things to See and Do in Colombia
- Trek the spectacular Tayrona National Park
- Trace the life of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar in Medellin
- Roam the cobbled streets of colonial Cartagena
- Explore the jungle along the Amazon River
- Get sweaty in the salsa clubs of Bogota
Travelling Safely in Colombia
Clashes between guerilla groups, paramilitaries and drug cartels plagued Colombia for decades giving rise to its reputation for violent crime and kidnapping. But the situation has dramatically improved over the last decade or so, as the army has driven FARC and ELN rebels into hiding, leading to the demobilisation of paramilitary forces. As a result, tourism is booming in the destination.
But that is not to say that Colombia is entirely safe. The country still has a high level of kidnapping on a global scale, and caution must still be used in certain areas such as in the south and northeast of the country where mountains and jungle provide rebels and cartels with cover. Most recently, two small bombs were detonated in Bogota’s financial district.
Travel advisory services recommend you reconsider travel to Antioquia, Arauca, Caqueta, Cauca, Choco, Guaviare, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Valle de Cauca and Vichada. “Do not travel” advisories have been placed on parts of Cesar and La Guajira departments within 30kms of Venezuela.
Getting Around Colombia
Buses, ranging from the very basic to the ultra luxe, can be found across the country but if you can squeeze in a ride on an increasingly rare chiva, then do it. These quirky and elaborately decorated buses are made almost entirely of wood and generally blare music at top volume as they carry you from points A to B. They are more frequently found operating tours in large cities these days.
Internal flights are a fast way of getting between destinations, with low-cost services provided by VivaColombia connecting many of the major cities.
Taxis are a cheap and convenient way of getting around, but be sure to use reliable operators.
Best Time of Year to Travel to Colombia
The weather varies in different parts of the country throughout the year thanks to Colombia’s diverse landscapes. But the rainy season generally takes place between October and November.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of whales, then the Pacific coast between the months of July and October offers your best chances.
Ready to plan your visit to Colombia? Check out these popular guides and trips.