There are endless places to visit in Colombia. When ask which destinations we recommend to visit during their tour to Colombia, even for us, it is very difficult to choose. There are so much to see in Colombia, from historical colonial cities to spectacular natural parks or amazing virgin beaches.
Therefore, today we decided to recommend five of the most amazing places we think you could visit in Colombia, so you can have a general idea of what you can see there and where you would like to go:
5. La Candelaria in Bogota
The historic centre of Bogotá is an incredible place for a tour. It is impossible to escape “history” when you are there. Many streets still retain their colonial charm and quite often you’ll find plaques reminding you that you are walking the same streets as Antonio Nariño, the first vice president of Colombia or Policarpa (commonly known as “la Pola”), a famous colonial and revolutionary martyr.
In the historic centre of Bogota, you can have a cup of world-famous Colombian coffee atop one of the most famous and iconic mountain peaks in Colombia—Cerro Monserrate. You can also check out the Museo de Oro (Gold Museum) which house the largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold work in the world. You won’t leave this recently renovated and incredible museum disappointed. While in the historic center of Bogota, go ahead and check out the central plaza—Plaza de Bolívar and the famous historic neighborhood, la Candelaria. If you’ve got the time, spend some time in the churches scattered about the city centre, especially la Iglesia de San Francisco and La Tercera.
4. Cabo de la Vela in La Guajira
A visit to Cabo de la Vela requires a quite long journey to the north of the Caribbean coast, in the department of La Guajira, but it is worth it!
La Guajira with its desert and almost alien landscapes and the proud heritage and traditions of its indigenous inhabitants (the ‘Wayuu’) is one of the most amazing and remote places you can visit in Colombia, with Cabo de la Vela documented as the first point in the South American continent where an European laid foot back in 1499.
At Cabo de la Vela, you will find beautiful places like: The “Pilon de Azucar, a small peak, from where you will see the stunning views of the region, and the beach “Ojo de agua” a very nice beach to relax, enjoy the spectacular landscape and take a refreshing bath in the Caribbean sea. You will spend the night in one of the Rancherias managed by the local community, where you will have plenty of time to relax and learn a little bit about the Wayuu culture.
3. Villa de Leyva
Villa de Leyva is definitely the most touristy and popular town in Boyaca. This colonial village frozen in time will make you feel like you have been transported back to the colonial times. Its main plaza is surrounded by magnificent colonial structures and a beautiful parish church, the area of the plaza is about 14000 square meters and it is considered the largest plaza in Colombia. The town has various historic sites, which are also museums like: La Casa Museo Antonio Nariño, (Antonio Nariño is a Colombian independence hero), the Museo del Carmen, a religious museum exhibiting valuable paintings and religious objects from the 16th century onwards, and the Paleontological Museum, which has a collection of fossils dating from the Cretaceous and Mesozoic period when this area was covered by the sea.
Near Villa de Leyva you can also visit the Archeological Park of Moniquira, also known as “El Infiernito”. This is an old Muisca sanctuary with a solar calendar and huge sculptures to the fertility of the land. You can also visit the Fossil Museum to see the petrified skeleton of a large marine reptile that inhabited this region 120 million years ago.
2. Tayrona National Natural Park
The Tayrona National Natural Park is another place of immense natural beauty with a high diversity of fauna and flora. The park lies at the Caribbean coast near Santa Marta. It is home of the most beautiful beaches in the country. You can spend a day hiking along its rain forest eco-system and sandy beaches, and have the opportunity to swim, or practice snorkeling at some of the beaches where is safe to do it.
1. Caño Cristales
Caño Cristales is the most beautiful river in Colombia and perhaps one of the most unspoiled natural places to visit in this diverse country. Caño Cristales is located inside the National Natural Park La Macarena in the department of Meta in the Eastern region of Colombia know as The Plains.
Caño Cristales is an unique natural wonder due to its outstanding combination of colours like yellow, green, blue, black and specially the red colour given by the sub aquatic plant “Macarenia clavigera”. This plant lines on the floor of the river and turns red during the wet season (from June to November); during this period of time the water flows too fast and deep, obscuring the bottom of the river and cutting off sunlight that turns the Macarenia clavigera red. The other colours are given by the minerals found on the rocks of the river.
At Caño Cristales, you can trek along the three branches of the river to see the spectacular succession of rapids, waterfalls and natural pools running throughout the old rocks of the canyon. There, you can take pictures, swim or just enjoy the astonishing views of this paradisiacal place.