If you are planning to do something out of the ordinary, something which doesn’t rank high on a ‘seasoned’ traveler’s list…. you should probably plan a trip to Colombia. Wondering, what is so special about Colombia, a country located on the tip of the Southern American continent?
All you have to do is close your eyes and think about its mighty Andean range, gorgeous coastline, lush Amazon jungle, gorgeous Colombian people, and perplexing archaeological ruins. Each gem of Colombia will speak for itself; a turbulent yet glorious past ensconced in a promising future.
If you are not convinced already to pack your bags, these images of Colombia will do their own bidding.
Major Colombian Cities
Colombia’s capital, Bogota is a one of the major cities of Latin America. The city is often referred to as ‘The Athens of South America’ owing to the presence of numerous universities and libraries.
If you are a romantic at heart, you will surely love strolling down the streets of Cartagena, the uncrowned queen of Colombia. The city is best enjoyed without an agenda, soaking up the atmosphere, sipping the famous Colombian coffee at any of its open-air cafes.
Not the usual touristy-place, Cali or Santiago de Cali, is a hot, gritty city with the largest population in southwest Colombia. Dig deeper and you will find some good restaurants, great nightlife and plenty of places to see around.
If there has to be one commercial hub in every country, for Colombia it’s Medellin. The city is well known for textile manufacturing and exporting of cut flowers. The USP of Medellin is its pleasant climate and is aptly nicknamed the ‘City of Eternal Spring’.
Often in the news for the wrong reasons (read: dreadful traffic and urban sprawl), Santa Maria, the oldest surviving city of South America, is also dotted with multi-cuisine restaurants, lively bars and comfortable hotels.
Gorgeous Landscape of Colombia
Colombian cultural heritage embraces indigenous, Indian, African and European influences. Check out the country’s colonial buildings that echo their Spanish or Andalusian origin.
Party lovers would be glad to know that every Colombian city features a ‘Zona Rosa’ or a main nightlife district, where you’ll find the highest density of discotheques, bars, and restaurants.
The cohabitation of the Spanish colonizers, African slaves and the Native Indians gave birth to Colombia’s diverse cultural heritage. This beautiful country is the birthplace of famous celebrities like writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, popstar Shakira, actress Sofia Vergara among others.
The lip-smacking Colombian cuisine is favorite of anyone who doesn’t like to count calories before gorging on the spread on the plate. A typical Colombian food comprises of deep-fried dishes made up of fish, chicken, and beef and is served with potatoes, beans and rice.
Did you know?
- Colombia claims to have more plant and animal species per square kilometre than any other country in the world and it exports more fresh flowers than any country except Holland.
- Colombia has the largest number of terrestrial mammal species in the world.
- The name Colombia has been derived from the name of Christopher Columbus.
- 12% of the world’s coffee is produced in Colombia.
- Colombia has 58 National Parks that cover around 10% of the national territory.