The Pacific, the Caribbean, mountains, beaches, cities, untamed wilderness, beauty, grit, crowds, solitude, culture, nature, architecture…Colombia has it all. One of the largest countries in South America, as well as one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, Colombia has much more than coffee to serve visitors (though tourists who want a cuppa joe will find both delicious brews and great historic tours). Come and see what this tropical gem has to offer.

The Great Outdoors

Colombia offers residents and visitors alike diverse landscapes, from beaches to the Andes to the Amazon. There are coral reefs, mangrove forests, lagoons, prairies, natural forest, savannahs, wetlands, and a wealth of fish, birds, reptiles, butterflies, and mammals. You can enjoy these at preserves, national parks, and other protected areas. There are parks throughout Colombia’s various ecosystems, from Tayrona in the Caribbean region to Cueva de los Guacharos in the Andean region to Cahuinari National Park in the Amazon region. Wherever you visit in Colombia, take a day trip to a nearby national park for incredible beauty and the photo ops of a lifetime.

San Andres

If a day (or two or three!) of fun and sun is on your agenda, then head to San Luis Beach, ten minutes from downtown San Andres island or Bahia Sardina, in the north. The latter is in a more touristy part of town, but don’t hold that against it: you’ll find white beaches, great diving and swimming, palm trees, and gorgeous views. It doesn’t get any less hot at night; visit outstanding restaurants – heavy on the seafood – and nightclubs.

Bogota

If lounging on a beach is a tad tame for you, travel to Colombia’s capital. A teeming city of nearly 9 million, Bogota mixes old and new with grand old churches and plazas and modern buildings, quiet neighborhoods and hectic city centers, traditional culture with metropolitan business influence. You can find traditional Ajiaco, or potato soup, to fusion cuisine and fast food. Visit El Centro, the original Downtown, El Occidente, home to parks and sporting venues, and the North, where you will find upscale shopping, restaurants, and clubs. You’ll fill your quota for culture – if there is such a thing! – with museums, art galleries, and other historical and cultural sites of interest.

Cartagena

More than a beach resort – though that’s enough for some of us! – Cartagena is a historical center, rich with architecture, history, libraries, museums, theaters, historic canals, and tastes of modern life, such as clubs, restaurants, and shops. A must for any Colombian adventurer.

Whether traveling for work or pleasure, you will certainly find more pleasure than anything else in this diverse, contradictory, remarkable, old, new, and gorgeous South American paradise.

Enid Glasgow