The top 10 sights in Colombia

On the northwestern coast of the continent of South America lies the Colombian mainland. The country looks back on an eventful history. Today, Colombia lives from an extraordinary cultural and scenic diversity, which is also able to arouse international tourist interest among visitors and tourists on a world tour. From the modern city life in Bogota and Medellin to exotic natural worlds in the Tayrona National Park or the Tatacoa Desert – today the country situated in South America has some extraordinary tourist attractions to offer.

Bogota

The Colombian capital of Bogota is home to over 7 million people in the heart of the country. The sheer size of the city makes it a hotspot for tourists. Yet Bogota has more than just a modern side: the city’s history dates back to 1538. The cultural offerings of the city are diverse – here are the gold museum Museo del Oro and the Museo Botero with works by Botero, Picasso and Monet. On the other hand, those interested in modern street art can take one of the popular graffiti walking tours through the city’s interior. Among the important sacred buildings is the striking cathedral in Plaza Bolívar. On the heights of the Santa Fe neighborhood is the Basilica of the Lord of Montserrate. The mountain, which can be reached by cable car, also offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city center.

Central Plaza de Bolívar in Bogota Colombia

coffee region Eje Cafetero

The Colombian landscapes in the Eje Cafetero – are considered a famous coffee region. In the heart of the regional Andes, the internationally prized Colombian coffee is grown. As a stopover on the journey through the country, the region is also ideal because of its idyllic nature between plantations and partly green Andean hills. Since 2011, the so-called coffee triangle belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the highlights of these natural sections is the Valle del Cocora, which is known for its giant palm trees in the midst of wild nature. Already in the 19th century, coffee cultivation was cultivated in the region. Today it is a natural highlight of the South American country.

Tayrona National Park

One of the country’s natural highlights is the Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, also known as Tayrona National Park. In the extreme north of the Colombian coast, the park extends over 194 km². Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world are drawn to the area every year, it is one of the most visited national parks in the country. Unspoiled nature, virgin forest and idyllic beaches, the Tayrona offers its visitors. Founded in 1964, exotic flora and fauna can be discovered in the region, providing Caribbean flair. Those who want to discover the natural side of the South American country should not miss the Tayrona National Park.

Old Town Cartagena

Also to the north, just over 200 kilometers from Tayrona National Park, is the city of Cartagena. About one million people live in the urban area, which is situated on the country’s warm Caribbean coast. Sacred buildings and palaces characterize the historic old town, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Many of the historic masonry buildings are aesthetically reminiscent of the Spanish colonial period. Within sight of the historic walls is a relaxing stroll. Here, the highlights of the old town include the historic Cathedral of Cartagena, which was built in the 16th century. The city was considered an important port in modern times, which is why Francis Drake also tried to live out his buccaneering here in between. Today, the city includes the historic fortress Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, which is part of the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town.

Man sitting in front of a colorful house in Cartagena

La Ciudad Perdida

La Cidudad Perdida – behind this name lies a historic ruined city in the north of the country. Located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the site is one of the largest pre-Columbian structures of its kind, next to Machu Picchu in Peru. The lost city is located about 40 km southeast of the settlement of Santa Marta and is considered a popular destination for four to five day hikes through the natural Colombia. Discovered in the 1970s, the site was believed today to have been built between the 11th and 16th centuries by the indigenous Tairona. Alternatively, those who want to discover the wild Colombian regions far from the megacities can take an adventurous hike to Ciudad Perdida.

Salento

Whoever visits the popular coffee zone including the Valle del Cocora can rest in the tranquil community of Salento. Salento is one of the region’s tourist hotspots. From here, many excursions lead to the surrounding Eje Cafetero. The colorful houses in the center of the village are striking, and of course you can also taste the traditional and popular coffee of the region. Salento is located in an idyllic panorama of green hills, for which the Valle del Cocora is so well known. An ideal place for a tranquil stopover on your journey through the Eje Cafetero.

Valle del Cocora with its typical palm trees

Caño Cristales

Colorful presents the natural highlight Caño Cristales. In the Colombian national park Serranía de la Macarena, the fascinating river can be discovered, which also bears the vocal name Five-Color-River. Especially between July and November, the river shows itself in diverse color splendor. Red, green, blue and yellow plants grow here, which immerse the river in a breathtaking sea of colors. The Caño Cristales is considered an insider tip for tourists in the middle of the Serranía de la Macarena National Park. Its natural area is also home to exotic animals such as a wide variety of birds, monkeys as well as tapirs and anteaters.

El Totumo

One of the exotic sights of this South American country is the small volcano El Totumo. Not far from Cartagena, the approximately 15-meter high elevation can be discovered, which gained fame as a mud volcano. El Totumo is considered one of the smallest volcanoes in the country. However, tourists are particularly interested in the mud accumulation around the volcano. Visitors can take an exotic mud bath here, which is one of the special undertakings in the region. Several tours lead from Cartagena to the small volcano, some of which end with a relaxing visit to the beach. To get rid of the mud, you just have to swim in the nearby lagoon. A trip to El Totumo is one of the unusual but fascinating vacation experiences near Cartagena.

Tatacoa Desert

In the southwestern region of the country, another special natural region can be discovered by travelers and those on a world tour: the Tatacoa Desert. The natural wilderness, which belongs to the Departamento del Huila, extends over about 330 km². It owes its name to a now extinct species of rattlesnake. The Tatacoa Desert offers a fascinating tourist contrast to the leafy Eje Cafetero and the coastal Tayrona National Park. Reddish sandy worlds welcome curious visitors, who should of course prepare for a warm desert climate. The average temperature of the desert region is over 28 degrees Celsius. As in a classic desert, the panorama is dominated by impressive cacti and reddish sand and rock formations. The desert is also known for its impressive sunsets.

Medellin

The city of Medellin has a troubled history. And even today, tourists who stop in the South American country on their world travels should better avoid certain neighborhoods. But modern Medellin is also a fascinating, vibrant city. Medellin today has a lively nightlife with clubs, bars – but also some cultural highlights. In the Museo de Antioquia, for example, works by the artist Botero can be discovered, and the Museo Casa de la Memoriea is a reminder of the drug wars, which were full of losses. Today, Medellin is considered a booming city in the heart of Colombia, far from its dark past. Those who want to experience the history of Pablo Escobar live, in addition to the city and culture, have the opportunity to participate in a Pablo Escobar tour.

View of Comuna 13 in Medellin from above

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