After many years in the shadows, Colombia is back, to the delight of curious travellers. Discover ten must-see spots in Colombia, a taste of El Dorado, by our specialist advisers.
Providencia Island is bathed in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Although the Colombian flag flies on this volcanic land, it is actually closer to the Nicaraguan coast. Mountainous and green, Providencia Island offers beautiful seabeds that have been declared a World Biosphere Reserve, to be discovered while diving or snorkelling; it's tropical serenity that will not disappoint.
Punta Gallinas, the northernmost point in South America. The sea forms the horizon, while a whole continent lies behind you. It's a colourful stretch of the world: golden dunes, turquoise water, ochre cliffs, a nearby emerald mangrove, not to mention the red, blue, and yellow fabrics, and every shade of pink and orange at sunset.
An ideal locale for coffee growing, the Cocora Valley is also home to an endemic species of palm trees that grow up to 230 feet tall. It is certainly one of the ten must sees in Colombia. A peaceful stroll along the spectacular ridges, off the classic tourist trails, allows you to enjoy these exceptional landscapes before discovering the village of Salento, whose pleasant historical centre is lively with local life.
Perched at an altitude of more than 5,500 feet in the Colombian Massif, San Agustin would only be a small ordinary town except for the influence of centuries of Andean civilisation that left its mark. The San Agustin Archaeological Park is home to an impressive collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures made from tuff and volcanic andesite. These UNESCO-listed statues were erected between the first and ninth centuries, and bear witness to an impressive technical mastery and creativity.
In the pre-Columbian archaeological world, Tierradentro provides an echo of an isolated UNESCO World Heritage site in the west of the country. It's an honourable way to protect the burial graves adorned with statues and rock paintings that have been waiting in the darkness of the hypogea for some ten centuries. It's magical, of course.
The city extends her arms inviting you to the dances that make the Colombian Caribbean coast proud today: Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue and others, like Vallenato. Cartagena is known for its character, of course, yet its warm year-round climate also makes it desirable, along with its colonial streets and romantic walls, and irresistible nights of partying. Seville's little sister and Havana's twin sister, this lovely city delights all who visit.
Isolated at an altitude of 4,900 feet between dense forest and coffee plantations, Casa Galavanta offers a peaceful and natural retreat in a breathtaking setting. The airy interiors and huge windows of your accommodation help you feel at one with your natural surroundings. The lodge was designed with the aim of ensuring a maximum level of comfort and luxury in proper proportion, while preserving its environment and minimising the natural impact. And to disconnect even more: a nap on the hammock, a cocktail on the terrace at bedtime, yoga in the garden, a book by the fireplace, and no Internet.
To find the spot that to inspire, travel through the Andes. The ideal place offers uo a breathtaking view to lift the spirit, a mild climate all year round to be able to carve, sculpt, and paint at will, proximity to Muisca roots to learn the techniques of the ancestors. Barichara has created a tranquil hideaway where you can stroll, dream and create.
Sometimes considered the most beautiful river in the world, and nicknamed the river of five colours.
Sierra Nevada has always been an example of harmony between man and nature. Following it, we soon realise that our perception of the tropical jungle is incredibly outdated. We explore the heart of Tayrona Park, especially on the pre-Columbian site of Pueblito, and its sublime white sandy beaches bordered by enigmatic rocks. The most adventurous will push back as far as the Lost City. The summit of Sierra Nevada is also the highest point of the country at 18,946ft, 22 miles as the crow flies from the Caribbean Sea. In the early morning you can swim while watching the everlasting snow. It will then be easy to understand why the Sierra Native Americans worship their mountains as the sacred bridge between sea and sky.