Traveling is one of the best things you can do in life to fall in love with your existence and with life itself, and Colombia is an excellent option to start doing it, with a vast territory covering an area of 1,141,748 km² and a territorial sea area of up to 12 nautical miles, in a vast territory where you can find Caribbean Sea as well as Pacific and according to Wikipedia, is the only country in South America with access to the Atlantic Sea, in addition to having an archipelago and several islands like those of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina.
So as you can see, Colombia is a very large country, unable to be traveled in a lifetime, although with these recommendations, we can visit some of these unseen and little-known destinations (especially outside of Colombia) and that I show you below:
Taganga is located in the Magdalena department and 15 minutes away from Santa Marta, is a fishing village, famous for diving and because above all here is the ideal place to learn to dive at a low cost (in addition to Utila in Honduras). The famous phrase of Tanganga is the “salt if you can”, for some reason people always stay more than I expected, and that is that the people and the environment of the coast is one of the best you can find in Colombia. When you visit Taganga, do not forget to eat a cojinoa in the restaurants next to the bay with a good Aguila beer.
2.- Valle de Cocora, Salento.
Valle de Cócora is one of the most beautiful places in Colombia, famous for the wax palm growing up to 20 meters, this place is only 4 hours from Cali and 1 hour from Armenia. To get here you can come from Medellin or Cali (although I recommend the latter) by taking a bus to Armenia which is the largest and closest city (you can also get to Armenia by plane from other parts of Colombia), and once there, you take a bus to Salento, which is about 1 hour. Salento is a charming town where you can stay and spend a few days because there is so much to see! The typical food here is trout, so you’ll find it cooked in all its varieties. Well once in Salento, getting to the Cócora Valley is very easy, you take a willys (old jeeps) from the main square and in 30 minutes you will be in this famous valley.
3.- Tayrona Park.
This place is one of my favorite places in the world, surrounded by jungle and almost virgin beaches, is the famous Tayrona Park, composed of more than 5 beaches, this popular park is known for its vast jungle territory and because here you can also find natives who still retains their lifestyle without Western influence. You can get to Tayrona Park from Santa Marta by bus or from Taganga by Lancha. The first option is the best because you can take a 2-hour tour of the jungle through almost all its beaches, and believe me the view will be worth it. Access to the park is $ 16 USD for foreigners and $ 6 USD for Colombians. I suggest you bring food and water, and if you want to sleep you can camp inside the park or rent a hammock, for that I recommend the penultimate beach that is Cabo San Juan, the most beautiful of all.
4.- Isla Barú, Cartagena
Isla Barú is about 40 minutes from Cartagena, it is a beach located in the Caribbean Sea of Colombia. To get here you can do it by sea in one of the ferries that leave from the malecon (on the boulevard in front of the beach) or by land in private transport or shared taxi. The first option is better although make sure you leave early because they only leave at certain times. Once in Isla Barú, you can sleep in one of the little cabins that are next to the beach, still operated by locals, you can find different food options and walk the beach to see everything it offers.
5.-Archipelago of San Bernardo
Well, let’s begin by describing what an archipelago is, this is a set of islands close to each other, almost often with the same geological origin. Múcura island
Now, this archipelago is located within Colombia and is made up of about 10 islands, located in the Gulf of Morrosquillo, in the Caribbean Sea. It is composed of the Boquerón, Palma, Panda, Mangle, Ceycén, Cabruna, Tintipán, Maravilla and
Since 1996, part of the archipelago belongs to the Islas Corales del Rosario and San Bernardo National Natural Park. Here is the famous hotel of gringos “The house on the water”, although I do not recommend it at all, since in addition to being expensive, they have everything under control. I recommend better staying in cabins in Tintipan (ask for Raymundo), or Isla Múcura, these hotels do not find on the Internet or make reservations online.
6.-Santa Cruz del Islote
This is one of the 10 islands located in the San Bernardo archipelago and the Corales del Rosario National Natural Park. It is famous for having a guinness record for being the most populated in the world, it was discovered by fishermen 150 years ago and little by little it was populating until today that has 1,200 inhabitants (and growing) in an area of 100,391 km2. It is a very safe island that can be visited without problems, from the house of water, there are tours to this famous island. It is a place where people know how to have fun and it shows in the environment, people say they feel very happy and crime is null, they leave their doors open, since everyone knows each other. This place has become so overpopulated that even people have begun to contrive to expand the islet.
7.- San Vicente, Abejorral.
This is another unmissable site in Colombia, it is an aero hostel (you have the option of sleeping in a sustained air of the cable), located about 3 hours from Medellin, aero hostal the house in the air is a small house wood with capacity for about 10 people (you have to make reservations weeks in advance).
Built on the Cerro de San Vicente, a pyramidal mountain that is an incredible natural viewpoint in the Antioquia area, located about 15 km away from the urban area of Abejorral. This hostel has access in 2 ways: climbing or through the cable. So if you’re afraid of heights, it would be a good time to face it and enjoy this natural spectacle and beautiful sunsets.
8.- Cabo de la Vela, Guajira.
Cabo de la Vela located in the Caribbean Sea of southeastern Colombia, this is the only beach that has desert and sea at the same time, besides it is still inhabited by Wayuú indigenous people where they still preserve their lifestyle without urban influence. According to the Wayuú worldview, Cabo de la Vela or Jepirá as they call it, it is the sacred portal where the spirits of their dead cross to pass into the unknown.
This is one of the most impressive destinations in Colombia with famous sunsets, you can enjoy sea and desert at the same time, as well as sports such as sandboarding and kitesurf, visit the sugar pylon, the golden beach and the eye of the water, and take a look at the nearby ranches where they offer typical food.
To get here I recommend hire a 2-day tour (it’s the most comfortable), but if you want to do it on your own, you can leave from Sta Marta or Palomino to Riohacha, then get to Uribia and once there take a 4×4 truck that They are the only ones that arrive at Cabo de la Vela. I recommend you leave very early because the trip can take you all day.
9.- Caño Cristales
Colombia has more than 50 reserved natural parks and Caño Cristales is one of them, it belongs to the Natura Sierra de La Macarena National Park, for this reason, access to it is controlled and supervised. Caño Cristales is a half hidden river located in the Sierra de la Macarena, in the department of Meta. Also called the river of the 5 colors, a very unique phenomenon happens because in the background algae grow in different colors that the river is painted between yellow, red, green, black and blue in the seasons from June to December.
Getting to Caño Cristales is not easy and cheap, you can get there from a plane to the municipality of Macarena, the prices are from $ 168 usd to 236 usd p / p. You can get there from Bogotá, Medellin or Villavicencio. Visit this page for more information (spanish) on routes and prices and other details. Once in the village of Macarena, it is necessary to travel for 1 hour and a half by boat, all-terrain car and on foot to reach this paradisiacal and unique river.
To visit Caño Cristales I recommend doing it from 4 days (1 day is not worth it), and the best thing is to hire a touristic package, in reality all you will find offer practically the same, the price of accommodation is standard and the theme It’s the same, so what matters are the days you’ll be. I leave this informative page (spanish) on how to choose the best tour for your case, it helped me a lot, nobody explained it better.
10.- National Park Gorgona Island
Do you remember that I told you that Colombia has more than 50 protected natural parks? Well, also Gorgona Island is one of them. This island located on the Colombian Pacific coast, 30 years ago was the prison of the most dangerous criminals in Colombia, then in 1984 it became a natural reserve and protected island, and that same year it was declared a World Heritage Site, and Little time was open to the public, so you can already visit!
Each year between July and November this island hosts thousands of humpback whales that come from Antarctica to mate or give birth to their young in the warm waters of the Colombian Pacific Ocean. You can also visit the island to relax on its beaches such as Playa Palmeras or Playa Blanca, which stands out for its calm and crystalline waters. You can go diving and visit the old prison that is now a museum. Gorgona offers comfortable facilities for your stay so it is also possible to stay, visit the official website for more information
To get here there are 2 routes: The first from the municipality of Guapi, in Cauca, you take a boat that crosses the Guapi river until you reach the open sea, this tour is 1:30 until you get to Gorgona. The second route is from Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, you can hire a boat that takes a four-hour tour or you can take a cabotage boat that takes a 1-day tour (part at 6:00 p.m. and up to the island the next day around 6:00 am), you can get to both destinations by plane from Cali.
So if these destinations caused you to visit Colombia, do not hesitate! the land of the cane and the ballenato awaits you.
Do you know another place you can not miss in Colombia? Share your experience and let us know another site that we should visit.
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