Discover the best experiences, tours, activites and excursions in Colombia in one place. Read articles, travel tips and guidebooks from locals.
Situated in the northwestern part of South America, Colombia is often referred to as the “gateway to South America” as it connects the continent with the rest of America. It has both Pacific and Carribean coastlines and numerous mountain ranges including the Andes. It’s the second most populous South American nation with approximately 48,000,000 inhabitants. The country was ruled by the Spanish for centuries. It wasn’t until the early 1800s when Simón Bolívar defeated the Spanish and Colombia became part of the new republic of Gran Colombia. Shortly thereafter, Gran Colombia dissolved and Colombia became a separate nation.
For much of the latter part of the 20th century, Colombia faced devastating issues including drug-related violence, political corruption and conflict between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). As those problems de-escalated, Colombia saw massive growth in its tourism industry. For the past decade it has been a top destination, in large part because of its colorful culture, Carribbean beaches and high-altitude capital. National parks cover nearly 12% of the land, from territories in the mountains to the jungle. Needless to say, Colombia is jam-packed with outdoor activities available in a range of settings.
Bogotá is Colombia’s high-altitude capital, sitting at 2,640 m (8,660 ft). Brimming with museums, markets and art galleries, the capital is a can’t-miss. Medellín and Cali are also popular urban destinations. Meanwhile, Cartagena is a Caribbean port city offering the perfect balance of relaxation and vibrance. Hikers will appreciate the Lost City trek that brings you to an ancient city situated in the jungle, similar to that of Machu Picchu in Peru. No matter where you end up, be sure to taste the coffee, whether at a coffee plantation or a corner cafe.
Considering that Colombia is made up of beaches, mountains and jungles, deciding when to visit can be tough. The Carribean coastline is best during its dry season which typically lasts from December to April. While you might expect a visit to the Amazon to be better during its dry season, this may not be the case depending on what kind of experience you want to have. Colombia has something to offer all year long, so you really can’t go wrong.