Travel to Colombia has grown exponentially over the last decade, largely because there are so many things to do in Colombia. The nation has evolved into an amazing vacation destination. Here are our top 10 things to do in Colombia.
10. Spot the Local Wildlife
Pink dolphins, emperor tamarins, sloths, jaguarundis, and over 1800 species of birds are just a few of the wildlife highlights. Colombia really is an animal lover’s paradise, and you are guaranteed not to be disappointed on your tour of Colombia if wildlife is high on your to do list.
9. Visit the Plaza de Bolivar in Bogota
Bolivar Square is surrounded by four of the most important buildings in Colombia. The Primary Cathedral of Bogota, Palace of Justice, National Capitol and Lievano Building are four magnificent pieces of architecture, all built in noticeably different styles. At the center of the Plaza is the famous statue of the great liberator Simon Bolivar. The plaza is crowded with pigeons which only adds to the ambiance.
8. Sample a Little Aguardiente (or a lot)
Aguardiente is the national drink of Colombia, and is not for the faint of heart. The translation is roughly “fire water”, and that is about as accurate as you could describe it. Some have said it tastes like a mixture of tequila and sambuca..brace yourself.
7. Rappel Down a Waterfall
The department (province) of Santander is loaded with adventure sports, and you can choose which one fits you best. White water raft, bungee jump, or try our favorite – rappel down a waterfall. For less than $20 you can rappel down some huge waterfalls near the town of San Gil, including Juan Curi pictured below.
6. See Cartagena
Officially founded in 1533, Cartagena was actually inhabited by the indigenous population as far back as 4000 BC. It is arguably the most highly associated city with pirates in the world, and the buildings and history are sure to impress you. Bonus: the Rosario islands are only an hour away by speedboat, which you should definitely set aside some time to see. If you want to travel to Colombia, Cartagena is a must.
5. Snack on a Few “Big Ass Ants”
Hormigas culonas – translation – big ass ants. If you’re in the north east part of the country, these little suckers are somewhat of a staple. Every toll booth has someone offering a taste, and even if it’s just one – you have to try them while you’re in Colombia.
4. See the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
Yes, a church made the list. But, this is no regular church. This is a Roman Catholic Church located 200 meters underground, with salt deposits dating back 250 million years. You read that right. The functioning church receives over 3,000 visitors on Sundays, and is no doubt one of the most unique cathedrals in the world.
3. Visit the Festival of the Flowers in Medellin
Held annually in August, the Festival of the Flowers is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. The festival is centered around the flower parade, where growers carry their amazing flower arrangements known as “silletas” on their backs. The sights and smells will last a lifetime.
2. Learn to Dance
Salsa, merengue, you name it. Just don’t be the guy or girl sitting in the corner, every person of every age is expected to dance. Have some of the aforementioned aguardiente, work up some courage, and get out there. Colombians are some of the friendliest people in the world and are more than willing to give you a hand (pun intended).
1. Tour the Coffee Triangle
You’re in Colombia – of course you have to see the coffee process. Coffee in Colombia is somewhat of a religion in itself, and the cafe con leche is unquestionably one of the best things you’ll ever drink. The Coffee Triangle is a short flight from Bogota in Pereira, and we recommend staying at a local hacienda and really getting a feel for the area. The wax palms are some of the tallest and funkiest looking trees you’ll ever see, take in the scenery with a cup of the worlds finest.
Have we sparked your interest? View our Classic Colombia Tour, or let us know if you’ve been to Colombia in the comments!