Oh my, what a destination! I wasn’t certain I had made a good choice when I booked my flight to Colombia some years ago. But…
Coming from Perú, where I explored the World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, I had a long overnight bus trip from Bogota to Cartagena de Indias, one of the biggest and most visited city of Colombia’s Caribbean Coast. During this trip alone, I had to go through more security checkpoints than in my entire life, which kind of set the tone. I knew the country for its bad reputation of violence, drug trafficking and prostitution. I can’t deny that I have not witnessed such things, but there are other apsects of Colombia that made me love it! Here are some:
Like most of the countries of South America, Colombia has a rich History. The Caribbean Coast especially is fantastic to visit for lovers of treasures and pirate stories. The city of Cartagena de Indias itself is a major port that was founded in 1533 and has its historic center surrounded by 11 kilometers of defensive walls! It is also defended by the quite impressive San Felipe de Barajas Castle. It is today a World Heritage site.
As you wander through the streets of Cartagena, you can still feel the special atmosphere of the city. From the colorfoul houses, to the old vessels anchored in the harbourg and the canons facing the ocean on the walls, only a black sail and a pirate flag are missing.
When it comes to biodiversity, Colombia is one of the richest country on Earth. Travelers will find there unique flora and fauna with different ecosystems, from the Pacific Ocean coast in the east to the jungles in the west.
My friends and I did a 2 days trekk in Tayrona Park, sleeping in a spot that, to this day, remains the best beach-camping site I have ever seen! We then headed to Cabo de Vela, a remote village located on Colombia’s nothern tip. The trip to go there was a crazy experience in itself…
Food in Colombia is simple, rich, cheap and fresh! You can have a juice of fresh fruits made in front of you anytime during the day, order a lobster for a couple of dollars and see the fisherman exiting the ocean a couple of minutes later with your menu in his hands. This is fantastic!
All in all, I loved Colombia for its History, its natural wonders and its simple yet deliciously fresh food. You absolutely have to visit this country!
Just go and explore!