South America

Colombia

vital statistics
  • Bogotá
  • 48 million
  • Spanish
  • Peso
about Colombia

If you’ve paid more than a passing glance at those lists telling you where to visit before anyone else gets there, you may have noticed Colombia turning up with alarming regularity. It’s easy to see why. After decades of being off limits due to violence and corruption, there’s been a massive turnaround, with the country now deemed safe for travellers. Which is perfect, because there’s plenty to discover, whether you’re the type who delves into urban landscapes or takes off, pack on back, ready to hike to adventure.

Pristine Caribbean coastline one day; the Andes the next. This is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and its landscapes range from desert to savanna, Amazon jungle to snowcapped mountain peaks.

Its capital, Bogotá, is super stylish, but not a city driven by the needs of tourists. Instead, the traveller enjoys what the locals do. And, each Sunday, the main roads are closed to motor vehicles to make way for the residents who walk, bike and skate to their hearts’ content.

Medellín, famous for its most infamous former resident Pablo Escobar, is now the fashion capital of South America. It also has an incredible elevated Metro system that includes two Metrocable lines climbing high into the hills surrounding the city. An all-day ticket to scale the heights costs less than a dollar.

The country’s third-largest metropolis is also the world’s salsa capital. Cali, one of the oldest cities in the Americas, also has a specific forward–backward style of the sultry dance called salsa caleria.

Once you danced, shopped, eaten and partied (did we mention Colombia hosts one of the biggest Carnival celebrations?), head to the little-visited northern pocket of the country, La Guajira, where you’ll find flamingos, sand dunes, swamps and Wayuu villages. Or perhaps lost cities are more your cup of finely blended Colombian coffee. A three-day walk through the jungles and rivers of Sierra Nevada will take you to Ciudad Perdida, built by the Tayrona people hundreds of years before Machu Picchu was a glint in the Incas’ eyes.

 

Explore Colombia By

CALI, COLUMBIA

Shake your thang at this dance institution in Cali, Colombia’s capital of...

Shake your thang at this dance institution in Cali, Colombia’s capital of salsa....

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

A quiet night out is just about the only thing not on the menu at this...

A quiet night out is just about the only thing not on the menu at this legendary steak and...

ZIPAQUIRA, COLOMBIA

Been a while since you pulled up a pew in the house of the Lord? There’s no...

Been a while since you pulled up a pew in the house of the Lord? There’s no better...

MEDELLíN, COLOMBIA

It’s impossible to visit Colombia without encountering vivid reminders of...

It’s impossible to visit Colombia without encountering vivid reminders of the...

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

You’ve probably never considered a bus tour to be a particularly cool way...

You’ve probably never considered a bus tour to be a particularly cool way to explore a...

LA MACARENA, COLUMBIA

The ‘liquid rainbow’ that runs through the tiny town of La Macarena,...

The ‘liquid rainbow’ that runs through the tiny town of La Macarena, between the Andes...

SANTA CATALINA, COLUMBIA

Squelch mud through your fingers and feel it ooze between your toes inside...

Squelch mud through your fingers and feel it ooze between your toes inside Colombia’s El...