Colombia has it all: Caribbean coastline, colourful cities, Amazon jungle, Andean mountains, and colonial communities. Beautiful people, food and culture abound. If South America tempts you then begin at the top: Colombia.
The best town: Cartagena
Full of energy, colour and Afro-Caribbean rhythms, the colonial town of Cartagena is everything one would expect of Colombia. The Old Town is beautifully colourful, and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore on traditional horse and carts, and be entertained by street performers.
The nearby Rosario Islands are worth a day trip, as they are only an hour’s sail from Cartagena. The crystal clear waters and beach houses on mini-islands dotted around create a tropical paradise feel.
The best countryside: Guatape and El Penol
A few hours from Medellin town, the small town of Guatape is worth a visit for the stunning countryside views. Guatape has colourful streets, local art and cosy restaurants. The beautiful lakeside backdrop is tranquillity away from the big cities.
El Penol is a huge rock placed in the centre of a piece of land surrounded by lakes. Climb the 659 steps for incredible views.
The best unique landscape: Cabo de la Vela
Desert meets sea in this remote peninsula. It is difficult to get here, but worth it: an adventure travellers dream. A peaceful harmonious area, home to the Wayuu indigenous people, and not much else!
Located on the northern part of Colombia on the Guajira Peninsula, you will be very close to the northernmost tip of the entire continent of South America: Punta Gallinas. Got to be worth the trip!
The best National Park: Tayrona National Park, Santa Marta
This truly is paradise on earth! The park contains a multitude of different landscapes, which come together to create the most picturesque area in Colombia. Tropical rainforest, snow-capped mountains, and beaches on the Caribbean Sea: it has it all!
The area is isolated, away from any development. Take a tent and camp on the beach, relax and unwind in Caribbean bliss!
The best experience: Pasto
During the first two weeks of every year, the city Pasto becomes a playground with the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (Blacks and Whites Festival), one of the oldest festivals in South America. Not many people have heard of this colourful festival, so get yourself there for two weeks of fun and games!
There are street parades, foam nights on the street, paint and powder fights, music from 8am until 3am every day, drinking and dancing. The town is surrounded by stunning landscapes, overlooked by the active Galeros Volcano.