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”

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 and Zipaquira’- are they worth seeing?

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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?”

Bahia Solano and El Valle – Colombia’s Pacific Coast

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Travelers who want to go see the Pacific in Colombia have their work cut out for them. This area is one of the most bio-diverse places in the world, yet  one of the least developed,  beautiful, forgotten places in Colombia; where long swaths of pristine beaches backed by rain forest jungle spill out onto black volcanic sands, while 4-6 foot waves pound the beach and 12 foot whale spouts are spotted just offshore. Continue reading “Bahia Solano and El Valle – Colombia’s Pacific Coast”

San Jose del Guaviare – Exploring the Amazon from the Outside In

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San Jose Guaviare is small jungle town in Colombia. It’s the end of the line where the grassland plains end and the Amazon jungle begins. All the roads end here, too. From here on it’s just washed out fire trails winding through the jungle. From here one can explore the Amazon from the outside fringes. Continue reading “San Jose del Guaviare – Exploring the Amazon from the Outside In”

Websites, blogs, books and guides – links to Colombia

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As a fan and student of Colombian humanities, I’m always on the hunt for websites, blogs, travel guides (websites and printed guides ), news stories and books relating to Colombia. I’ll even read bad books and  dated, discontinued blog sites from years ago to learn of a writer’s Colombian experiences. And I always  learn something new.

Here are some of my favorite sites, travel guides and books on Colombia. If you have websites and publications you’d  think I’ve overlooked, please leave them with me in the comment box below.

Continue reading “Websites, blogs, books and guides – links to Colombia”

Pros & Cons: Renting an Apartment vs. a Hotel stay

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Renting a Hotel vs. an Apartment

When staying for an extended period of time in Colombia there are many lodging options: hostels, pensions, hotels, residencias and apartments. You can rent either for a day or for longer periods of time. Continue reading “Pros & Cons: Renting an Apartment vs. a Hotel stay”