Colombia is one of the most naturally beautiful countries on Earth – so it’s little surprise travellers from all across the world flock there every year to sample in the delights this South American paradise has to offer.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at 10 things you’ll love to do when travelling Colombia, to give you an idea of what you can get involved with when you’re next there.
National Coffee Park
It’s quite hard to imagine how an entire park could be dedicated to coffee – which is probably why this venue will come as even more of a shock to you than you first imagined.
Rather than a national park in the traditional sense, this complex actually plays host to a theme park where all the rides share a coffee-related twist.
From bumper cars to full-blown rollercoasters, this location serves to highlight the prominence of coffee in the region by injecting you with a healthy dose of fun.
Water Sports at Calima Lake
Calima Lake is the hub of water sport activity in Colombia, with intrepid travellers able to sink their teeth into a variety of different events.
The lake allows you to let your hair down and get involved with:
- Water skiing
Extreme sports are growing more and more popular, so this escape serves as the perfect opportunity for you to try something you’ve more than likely never experienced before.
Party in Medellin
This city was once at the forefront of Pablo Escobar’s drug war, but has seriously turned a corner since that dark era in Colombia’s history came to an end.
Medellin has “cleaned up its act and turned itself into one of South America’s best destinations, a place where there’s a shaking, sweaty salsa party happening every night of the week.” Finding a place in the world’s top 10 party destinations, Medellin is certainly worth a visit.
If you’re a fan of hit show “Narcos”, or just an intrepid partyer, this is without question well worth checking out while you’re in the nation.
Bonus points: Colombia is football crazy! Catching a football match in Medellin will not only throw you front and centre into the blood of this country and it’s sports culture, but also get you up close and personal with true Colombian passion.
Check out the animals at the Matecana City Zoo
Who doesn’t love a visit to a good zoo? Colombia boasts one of the more fascinating animal habitats in South America, with lots of exciting and exotic different creatures on show.
Lions, tigers and bears are all available to take a gander at, in an exhibit which blends together the wild features of the Amazon rainforest with more traditional zoo features.
Trek in the Cocora Valley
Taking a long trek through the aesthetically mind-boggling Cocora Valley easily ranks as one of the absolute must-do things to get involved with in the whole of South America.
As you traverse through rolling hills of lush green, you’ll come across one of the more fantastically bizarre tress known to man – the wax palm.
These tower a staggering 60 metres in the air, yet are no thicker at any point than a foot “and are topped with a few palm leaves, making them look like they came straight from a Dr. Seuss book.”
Mud-bathe at the Totumo Volcano
The Totumo Volcano doesn’t spew molten hot lava from its summit like most structures of its nature, but rather plays host to a surprisingly enticing mud bath.
Legend goes a priest once sprinkled holy water into the lava, turning it into the soothing and allegedly healing mud which sits there today.
After you’ve rejuvenated yourself, you can clamber out, clean off and partake in some lunch from any of the local vendors. Eat as you soak in the beautiful views of the Santa Catalina region – which are prevalent thanks to Totumo’s lofty perch.
Hike up the El Cocuy Mountain
Unlike the National Coffee Park we previously covered, the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is actually a national park in the real sense of the term.
It lies slap-bang in the middle of it lies the El Cocuy Mountain, which can be hiked up by day – assuming you’re doing it with at least one trained professional.
The peaks will often be covered in snow, so this certainly isn’t something you should approach with a casual attitude. That said, it’s a rush for thrill seekers – and one they should sink their teeth into at the first opportunity.
Find the Lost City of Teyuna
While Peru might boast the wonder of Machu Picchu, Colombia isn’t without its own series of fantastic hidden wonders from a forgotten age.
Said to outdate the Peruvian showpiece by a whopping 650 years, Ciudad Perdida (the lost city), also known as Teyuna, is a spot any history buffs can’t afford to miss.
Amazingly, despite its vast size, it was only discovered back in 1972 and takes a staggering six days to reach by travelling. Don’t worry though, you’ll be making the journey with trained professionals.
Watch the Humpback Whales at Nuqui
This has become an annual tradition for the people of Nuqui, who wait every June along the Colombian Pacific Coast to catch a glimpse of nature in its purest form.
Over time the desire to watch the whales has resulted in hundreds – sometimes even thousands – of people flocking to the town every year in order to get an up-close view of the show.
With the vast proportion of Nuqui’s revenue now coming from this popular whale season, it’s little surprise the town goes out of its way to put on a real spectacle for tourists.
Nuqui transforms in June from a relatively unassuming spot to nothing short of a hive of life and activity for whale aficionados to enjoy at their leisure.
We conclude our list with not one specific event, but rather an entire city which is worth checking out for its culture.
Cartagena is one of the more popular spots when it comes to experiencing the delights of the ‘real’ Colombia, with festivals and cultural tours serving to celebrate the heritage of the nation.
As well as that, a host of monasteries, museums, religious buildings and plazas all also help the city to stand out for all the right reasons.
There’s no end of pulse-racing things to do in Colombia – with these offerings standing out as just 10 of the best. Why not try some of these for yourself when travelling to Colombia in the future? You won’t be disappointed.