15 Best Destinations in Colombia

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Seasoned South American travelers say Colombia is the continent’s best kept secret – beautiful, affordable and relatively undiscovered by tourism.  Though large, Colombia is easy to travel with plenty of low cost internal flights, comfortable cross-country buses and taxis everywhere.
Travelers can easily visit more than 2-3 destinations in a week with an ample selection of destinations to visit over extended periods.

This is my selection – the  15 best destinations to visit in Colombia. These are places I gladly return to time and time again.  The list is divided by topological identities: beaches, colonial towns, archaeology and cities.  For more information on each destination read  the full articles on colombiatravelreporter.com Continue reading “15 Best Destinations in Colombia”

Travel in Colombia / What to Expect/ What to Pack/ How to Stay Safe

Reading Time: 10 minutesCouldn’t be a better time to see Colombia

Reading the travel guides on Ecuador – they talk about it how tourism has changed the country. ‘Should have been here 10 years ago when it was quaint and undiscovered,’ they say. ‘Now there are big hotels, boutique shops, robberies all over the place.’

Well, that’s not the case with Colombia. Outside of Cartagena it’s all to be discovered. There is no big corporate tourism here. In a way, Colombia has remained unchanged for the last 40 years. But there is so much pent up tourism potential. Continue reading “Travel in Colombia / What to Expect/ What to Pack/ How to Stay Safe”

Medellin: the Land of Eternal Spring

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 Medellin (pronounced Meda-jean)

Is a dynamic, contemporary, prosperous city of 2.6 million people in Antioquia, Colombia – the heart of Colombia’s famous coffee triangle. Known as the land of the eternal spring it has a temperate climate – hot during the day and cool at night. Continue reading “Medellin: the Land of Eternal Spring”

Travel Around Medellin: Daytrips and Places to Visit – Guatape, Santa Fe, El Carmen de Viboral

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Day Tripper

If you’re spending any kind of time traveling in Medellin, which is easy to do, after a couple days a get away is in order. There are a number of possible day trips from the city. They sell guided tours to a number of these places but these villages are so easy to reach with  public transit that they can and should be explored at one’s own leisure. Continue reading “Travel Around Medellin: Daytrips and Places to Visit – Guatape, Santa Fe, El Carmen de Viboral”

Cartagena: a Port City and One Hot Mess

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Cartagena is a hot mess:
On one hand it’s a vibrant beautiful port city where cruise ships also dock. It has a beautiful historic center and is the major tourist destination for Colombia. The city has the feel of a touristy city in Spain. On other hand, outside of historic center it’s so congested with traffic you can barely cross the street. It’s loud and dirty, sweltering hot with pesky peddlers. Continue reading “Cartagena: a Port City and One Hot Mess”

Barranquilla throws the second largest Carnival Party in the World

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Hands down the Carnival of Barranquilla is the biggest folkloric tradition and best party in Colombia with more than 2 million people participating every year. Continue reading “Barranquilla throws the second largest Carnival Party in the World”

Bogota – What to See and Do in a 1-2 Day Stay

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People are divided when it comes to Colombia’s capital city of Bogota: they either love it or they hate it. A large cosmopolitan city of 8 million people sitting at an altitude of 8,660 feet, it has a cool climate throughout the year. Colombians call Bogota “the refrigerator of Colombia”.  Overcast and often rainy, but when the sun shines everyone in the city is out in the streets. Continue reading “Bogota – What to See and Do in a 1-2 Day Stay”

Bogota and Zipaquira’- are they worth seeing?

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Bogota

I’ve been to Bogota more times than I care to count, so many times that when traveling in Colombia these days  I’m doing my best to avoid it.  It’s not that I don’t like Bogota, I just don’t particularly like it either.

For me, Bogota, with a population of over 7.5 million people, is just another big, sprawling, traffic congested city without the eclectic, defining charm of a metropolis that lures international tourism – say a San Francisco, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, La Paz, New York or Medellin.  I’m not saying it’s a city without a wide array of merits. I do like its wonderful museums. Continue reading “Bogota and Zipaquira’- are they worth seeing?”

Travel Southern Colombia: Cali, Popayan, Pasto

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Southern Colombia, while on the Pan American Highway heading to Ecuador, is often overlooked, done in a transitional hurry – a night in Cali, a night in Popayan a night in Pasto –brutal trip really – then onto Ecuador. But there would be so much to see and do in this area. Continue reading “Travel Southern Colombia: Cali, Popayan, Pasto”

Popayan – A Colonial City in Southern Colombia – More than just a White City

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Popayan – (pronounced Popa-jan) is the capital of the department of Cauca. It is called ‘the white city’ or Ciudad Blanca due to the color of the colonial buildings and churches in its historical center. Continue reading “Popayan – A Colonial City in Southern Colombia – More than just a White City”