Travel Colombia – Main Page: Top Destinations, Photos, Travel Information

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The departments of Colombia

Why Visit Colombia?

Seasoned travelers agree, while often misunderstood,  Colombia is South America’s best kept secret – beautiful, affordable and mostly undiscovered by foreign tourists. The country  is easy to travel with plenty of low cost internal flights, comfortable cross-country buses and inexpensive taxis literally everywhere.

The country is beautiful, the people  friendly and the climate is perfect. Everything is very affordable and with a good service structure already in place, tourism is overdue.

  • Colombia is  rated as one of the 10 most affordable countries in the world for foreign travelers.
  • It’s one of the five friendliest
  • And one of the top 10 countries for expats to live in.
  • It is the only country in South America with coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
  • It has been ranked #22 out of 140 countries for  its quality of health care by the World Health Organization. Lasik surgery was invented here in 1963 as was the pacemaker in 1958.

Who Visits Colombia?

Colombia received 3 million foreign visitors in 2017 according to the country’s trade ministry.

Some Stats:

That might not seem like a lot  when compared to the world’s top tourist destinations for foreigners. But when compared to  tourism in South America, Colombia is gaining momentum.

  •  France, tops the list, with 84 million  foreign visitors followed by the USA with 77 million.
  • On the Latin continent,  Colombian only lags behind Brazil’s 6.3 million foreign tourists last year  and  Chile’s – 5.6 million
  • Colombia is keeping pace with Cuba’s 3.5 million foreign tourists in 2017 and Peru’s  3.4 million.
  • Foreign tourism is increasing in Colombia around 13%  every  year.
  • Having  increased over 300% since 2006 when only 1 million foreign tourists visited the country.

The top nationalities to visit Colombia are the USA and Venezuela followed by Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Spain, Chile and Panama

Major Destinations

The cities of Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin are the most visited sites. But foreign tourist hear the call, returning again and again. Colombia is a complex, fascinating country meriting  further investigation.

Outside of the passenger ships in Cartagena’s harbor discharging a flood of  tourists into into the towns’  historic center every morning,  it seems the world has yet to discover the more remote areas of Colombia. Corporate tourism barely exists here and tour buses are a rarity. Colombia has remained relatively unchanged for the last 40 years.

How Big is It?

With a land mass area larger than France and Spain combined, Colombia is the fourth largest nation in Latin America (440,800 square miles),  the third most populous in South America..  With an unequaled habitat, Colombia is the second most bio-diverse country in the world with more than 2,000 different bird species.

Even though it is one of the larger countries of South America, travelers can easily visit more than 2-3 destinations in a week. And there are dozens of destinations  for travelers with the luxury of  time to spare.  An inexpensive country, money for extended  travel is usually not a major concern. Cheap eats abound as do inexpensive buses, hotels and hostels. Colombia, never boring, never gets old.

A finca or coffee farm in the hills of Colombia

Is  Colombia Safe?

Prior reputation as a violent and unsafe country is for the most part unfounded today. Colombia, once the most notoriously violent epicenter of drugs and kidnappings has seen the murder rate fall from 70 people per 100,000 people to just 26 per 100,000 in 2015.

Peace is at hand after five decades of conflict involving two rebel movements, the Colombian army and right-wing paramilitary groups. The dark days  of violence resulted in more than 260,000 deaths, the disappearance of tens of thousands of people and the displacement of 6 million people.

In the last decade the  Colombian government has killed or imprisoned most of the notorious  narco-traffickers and the drug trade has been pushed out of the cities and into the jungle and the country’s most remote areas.

Peace accords have been struck with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), a revolutionary group which financed itself through involvement in Colombia’s drug trade. The group has turned over its weapons and is in the process of reorganizing a political movement.  A cease-fire was also signed with the ELN (the National Liberation Army).

Colombians tell me they feel  safe walking the streets and country roads once again.  Rather than look back, they choose to look ahead to a hopefully promising future. Just don’t talk to them about Pablo Escobar or drugs as the country is trying to forget the dark era of the 1980s and 1990s.

Colombians are genuinely happy to see tourists slowly returning. It’s a good sign, they say. 

Today, the tourist office’s promotional slogan is:  “Colombia – the only risk is wanting to stay!”

Colombia’s Pacific Coast

Up-to-date information on Travel in Colombia

Todays travelers are finding there’s not  the right information out there about Colombia. What is essential to see? How do I get there? What will I find? How long does it take? How much does it cost? Is it safe?

While there’s decent coverage on the history, geography and politics  of the country, there’s not enough on the nuts and bolts of traveling in Colombia. For the most part, travel in Colombia is still a leap into adventure.

Travelers in Colombia want and need more information on these places before and during their trips. Even with the internet,  updated information is often hard to find.  Travel experiences and information are still for the most part  being shared via word of mouth, in hostels, huddled over maps, traveler to traveler.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to supply more information to people contemplating a trip to Colombia.

Want to learn more? Then keep reading here.

Travel To –  Destinations Colombia

~~For more information on Colombian destinations click on the topics below:~~

Medellin                Cartagena       Southern Colombia    San Agustin    

Tatacoa Desert                North Valley of Cali                   Villa di Leyva         

 Mongui            Bogota    The Coffee Triangle           Safety in Colombia

Colonial Towns of Santander                Tolu              Capurgana           Mompox

Santa Marta        Tierradentro       Bahia Solano            The Guajira Peninsula

Mocoa     Buenaventura       San Jose del Guaviare

Playa Belen        Pasto        Las Lajas    

Arboletes: Mud Volcano on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast  

Los Llanos-Villavicencio

Barranquilla throws the second largest Carnival Party in the World

17 Heritage Villages               Popayan                    Cali

Popular Destinations in Colombia – Tourist Traps or Mandatory Stops

Valledupar – the Musical Capital of Vallenato

Colombia’s Southern Caribbean Beaches: Arboletes to Tolu

Monteria: a Tropical City and Pleasant Surprise

Best Hot Springs in Colombia

Hot Springs in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle

Pasto – Colombia’s ‘Surprise City’

Retire in Colombia – Pros and Cons

Beautiful Colonial Villages of Boyaca

Raquira – the Pottery Capital of Colombia

Barrancabermeja – Colombian Oil Capital

Popular Colombian Proverbs – ‘Refranes’

Arts and Crafts Tourism Colombia

Colombian Food – Fresh, Cheap, Simple, Monontonous

Healthy, Fresh, Colombian Fruit Juices

Arepas: Colombia’s Iconic Food

Simple and Easy Do-It-Yourself Cocktail Recipes to Make in Colombia

Coming in 2020:  medical tourism, gateways to the Colombian Amazon, Florencia, more Caribbean beaches

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