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 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”

The Best Colonial Towns – a look at Colombia’s 17 ‘Heritage Villages’

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Whether your travel focus is visiting Colombia’s beaches, jungles or big cities, it’s hard to tour Colombia and not want to visit small towns like like Jardin, Barichara or Mompox. Continue reading “The Best Colonial Towns – a look at Colombia’s 17 ‘Heritage Villages’”

Colonial Towns in Santander

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Off the beaten path Santander, a Colombian department, is rarely visited. Santander is on the east side of Colombia between two mountain ranges one of which borders Venezuela. It’s a region with green mountains that go from tropical valleys to high plains, tumbling rivers, deep gorges, sleepy Spanish colonial villages and bustling medium sized cities. Continue reading “Colonial Towns in Santander”

Villa de Leyva and Mongui – the beautiful villages of Boyaca’

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Boyacá is a cultural and historical heart of Colombia. It was once the center of the Muisca empire who the Spanish fiercely  fought to appropriate their gold. The city of Tunja was their empire’s capital. Most travelers don’t consider a stop at Tunja though the city does possess an impressive city center with well preserved colonial homes and churches. Most travelers only stop at the city’s bus station on a transfer from San Gil or Bogota en route to Villa de Leyva which is just 20 miles to the west. Continue reading “Villa de Leyva and Mongui – the beautiful villages of Boyaca’”

Playa Belen – One of Colombia’s Most Beautiful Villages

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Playa Belen is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Colombia. But it is so far off the beaten path few people ever visit.

The name of the town means ‘The Beach of Bethlehem‘ and I always thought this inland town had a beach on a river, a lake or something. But this semi-desert town is bone dry and beach-less. It was called Playa because of the fine beach-like sand of the surrounding desert constantly blowing through town. Continue reading “Playa Belen – One of Colombia’s Most Beautiful Villages”

Travel Mompox: a backwater river town frozen in time

Reading Time: 3 minutes

About five hours inland from the Caribbean coast is the intriguing town of Mompox – a perfectly preserved colonial town.  Founded in 1537 Mompox (also spelled Mompos) was an important port city for cargo and travelers during in the colonial era.  The Magdelena River splits in two just before Mompox. Back in the 1800s the branch, on which Mompox sits, silted up with mud and became unnavigable for big boats – so traffic was diverted down the other branch. Mompox became a sleepy, back-water town frozen in time. Continue reading “Travel Mompox: a backwater river town frozen in time”