Colombia is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in South America. Colombia wins hearts with its colonial towns, sandy beaches, spectacular scenery, jungle trekking, and vibrant street art. There are places here that any traveler will enjoy. Coffee lovers will be happy to hear that Colombia’s coffee is one of the best in the world! Keep reading to learn more about the 7 most beautiful places in Colombia.
This city on the Caribbean coast is a popular stop for many cruise ships. Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s easy to lose track of time wandering the streets, sipping cool lemonade and admiring the architecture. The best way to admire the city is to climb the Castillo San Felipe fortress. If you are interested in graffiti and street art, be sure to visit the lively Getsemani neighborhood.
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2. Las Lajas Church
The Church of Las Lajas is one of the most interesting churches in the world because it was built over a deep canyon. It is 100 meters from the bottom of the canyon and is connected by a bridge on the other side. With its Gothic architecture, Las Lajas looks more like a fairy tale castle than a church.
Legend has it that many years ago a mother and daughter were lost in that place during a storm. Suddenly the deaf-mute daughter saw the image of the Virgin Mary and miraculously gained the ability to speak and hear. After this incident, a church was built here.
3. The mountain village of Minka
The mountain village of Minka is 600 meters high in the Serra Nevada, above Santa Marta. Here you will breathe the fresh air, admire the mountains and the endless green valleys. Looking at the charm of local nature, it’s easy to see why Minka is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travelers. There’s such a serene atmosphere here that you’ll completely relax and let go of anything that may have been weighing you down.
The best way to explore the area is to ride a motorcycle with a local guide. This way, you can get to all the waterfalls and coffee farms nearby. Coffee lovers should definitely visit a coffee farm to better understand the production process.
Minka is also a great base for mountain biking, bird watching and hiking.
4. Kokora Valley
The Cocora Valley is located outside the charming town of Salento. All photographers and nature lovers will love it here. The valley is almost always covered by continuously moving clouds, which creates beautiful dramatic scenery.
Walking through the forest, you have the opportunity to stop at a beautiful hummingbird sanctuary. As you descend, you’ll pass several stunning lookouts where you can see the world’s tallest palm trees, the giant wax palms. Continuing downhill, you will eventually enter the main valley, where you can walk through a field next to towering palm trees. This natural wonder will remain in your memory for years to come, and the photos you take will warm your soul and awaken your friends and family’s passion for travel.
Medellín is a beautiful city surrounded by beautiful green hills. Because of its warm temperatures, it is called the “city of eternal spring.
Medellín was once known as the most dangerous city on earth, because of the drug trade, but in recent years it has undergone a radical transformation.
The city has a very good subway system that connects poorer neighborhoods with business districts, improving the quality of life for citizens. Thanks to the efforts of the authorities, Medellín was named “Innovative City of the Year” in 2013. Street art projects for young people have helped reduce crime. Medellín is steadily becoming a safe and popular destination for tourists from all over the world!
6. Bogotá – the capital of Colombia
Many visitors are not thrilled with Colombia’s intimidating, cold, and polluted capital city. Bogotá is not a Caribbean beach or Amazon jungle, but a beautiful, mountainous city with much to offer!
On the cobblestone streets of Candelaria, the main tourist area, you’ll find incredible graffiti and colorful old colonial houses. A short walk or a cable car will take you to Monserrat, where you’ll enjoy stunning views of the city. Head further north and you’ll find trendy Chapinero restaurants and bars. You’ll also be struck by an artisan market in Usaquin, a favorite of locals and foreigners alike. There is no traffic in Bogotá on Sunday, so you can rent a bike or just walk around and enjoy the city without cars. Also, you’ll find delicious street food and fresh juices on every corner.
Bogotá is also known for its interesting street art. There are regular graffiti and street art tours. They are organized by street artists and people directly involved in Bogotá’s urban art scene. The tour is free, but don’t forget to tip your guide (believe me, it’s worth it).
7. Rainbow River Caño Cristales
The Rainbow River Caño Cristales is often called the “River of Five Colors” or the “Liquid Rainbow. Each year, from July to November, the river is colored red, yellow, orange, green, and blue. The river mostly looks red, but depending on what angle you look at the river, you may also see other colors because of the black rocks, green algae, blue water and yellow sand.
The passage to Caño Cristales was closed from 1989 to 2009 because of dangerous guerrilla activity in the area. Since then, however, the area has become much safer and is once again open to the public.
The Colombian military now controls a 30-kilometer zone around La Macarena, the gateway town to the park.
In order to protect the park’s environment, you can only get in with a guided tour. Also, there is a visitation limit of no more than 200 people per day. You can get here by plane or bus to Villavicencio from Bogota. Then from Villavicencio take a plane to La Macarena. From there, a guide will take you to the river on foot or horseback. Since there is no other place like it on Earth, the journey is worth the risk of such an adventure!
Can’t wait to go to South America? Then you will benefit from our article with tips.