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Discover Captivating Colombia

Colombia isn’t necessarily the first destination people think of for a South American holiday. A history of conflict amongst the drug cartels in Medellin and Cali live in people’s subconscious. However, Colombia is a fabulous destination and as it is yet to be discovered by the masses it is a fantastic time to go. Our specialists first went to Colombia a decade ago and have loved it ever since. If you’re looking for culture, cuisine, coastline and captivating cities then Colombia is the destination for you.

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The cities in Colombia are all unique and worth a visit. The hard part will be deciding which ones to include in your itinerary! Bogota is a cosmopolitan city, with a beautiful cobbled-street old town, a great gastronomic scene and leafy parks. Medellin, synonymous with Pablo Escobar and the violence of the 80s and 90s, has regenerated itself and many of the old dangerous neighbourhoods are thriving. You need a few days here to really get a feel for how the city has moved on from its dark past. Cartagena on the Caribbean coast has a totally different vibe to the cooler cities of the Andes. The pace of life is slower here, encouraged by the humid climate. By far the best activity in this stunning city is to wander around and absorb the atmosphere. From the colonial walls, raised in 1563 to the Cumbia dancers, the mesmerising old town to taking coffee overlooking the Caribbean, you can while away many an hour simply enjoying the ambience.

Outside of the cities you will not be disappointed. Colombian coffee is exceptional due to the conditions in the Zona Cafetera being perfect for coffee to grow. Also found in Los Nevados National Natural Park, Cocora Valley is famous for the tallest palm trees in the world. The Quindio wax palms (Ceroxylon quindiuense) can grow up to 60m tall and live for over 200 years! A short journey out of Cartagena you will find the El Totumo mud volcano, a popular tourist spot, where you can spend time floating in the mud.

As you would expect from a country on the Caribbean, there are some beautiful beaches. Parque Nacional Tayrona is a fabulous combination of lush rainforest and idyllic sandy beaches shaded with palms. There is the opportunity from some interesting diving experiences from Taganga, a small fishing town, and also from Capurgana, a remote car-less town close to Panama. Whilst a tricky destination to reach, if you have the time and want to feel a truly slower pace of life, this is the place for you.

Like the rest of this outstanding continent, Colombia also has ancient ruins that are worth a visit, especially if history is your passion. The pre-Incan ruins at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Agustín will not disappoint. Set in a breath-taking position, these ruins still confound archaeologists who do not know the name of civilisation that built them. There are amazing statues, burial chambers and petroglyphs in the valley, however it is believed that only ten percent of the ruins here have been uncovered.

Finally, a Colombian trip would not be complete without the Amazon, which makes up a third of the countries land area. The remote town of Leticia is totally different from the rest of the country. From here you can take jungle walks and visit local farms. The town is part of the Tres Fronteras, along with Santa Rosa De Yavari in Peru and Tabatinga in Brazil, and is a great place to start an Amazon adventure if you are on a longer trip or interested in a multi-centre adventure.

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