Colombia is among the Most Popular Tourist Destinations

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Colombia

Millions of Internet users listed the Colombian cities, Cartagena, Bogota, Santa Marta and Cali, among the twenty-five most popular tourist destinations in South America earlier this year. President of Proexport, Maria Claudia Lacouture, said that “Some of the unique experiences for foreign tourists in Colombia include Cartagena’s colonial architecture, Bogota’s Gold Museum; which evokes the legend of El Dorado, the search of a lost city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range, and salsa lessons by world champions in Cali, are places that merge fantasy and reality like nowhere else.”

Colombia is located in north-western South America and bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Panama to the north-west, Ecuador and Peru to the south and Venezuela and Brazil to the south. This amazing country is considered as one of the world’s most mega diverse places and a strong performer of the Environmental Performance Index policies.

One can wander the historic streets in Bogotá, admire the astonishing colonial architecture in Cartagena, stroll around the old ruins in Santa Marta, experience the vibrant nightlife in Cali, relax on the tropical beaches along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts or explore the inland jungles, the rocky deserts, the coffee plantations, the alpine lakes and the beautiful valleys.

2 Santa Marta

Santa Marta and San Andres are listed among the top beaches in the world to visit.

  • The San Andres Island, located 720 kilometers northwest of the Colombian mainland, is surrounded by a coral reef, white-sand beaches and coconut plantations. The central area of the island is marked by hills and also offers red, black and white mangrove forests, breadfruit trees, farmlands and lush pastoral lands. The mangrove forests play an important role in the reproduction of the oysters and crabs. The Morgan’s Cave is one of the most visited tourist attractions on the island and is believed to be the cave that Pirate Henry Morgan used to hide his treasures. The cheapest way to get to San Andres will be a package offered by Aviatur or Decameron. Avianca and Aerorepublica will also fly you there from most Colombian cities.
  • Santa Marta is the capital of the department of Magdalena and lies between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The high mountain peaks and the Caribbean Sea add to the attractiveness of this popular tourist destination. The Rodadero Beach, located in the bay of Gaira, is the most visited beach and offers an exciting nightlife as well. Other beautiful beaches include Guachaquita, Cinto, Chengue, Neguanje, Gayraca and Concha. The Tayrona National Park has archaeological remains of an ancient city of the Tayrona people as well as exciting places for hiking, mountain biking, swimming, scuba diving and horseback riding.

One of the great joys of travelling Colombia is to try the traditional foods of the different regions. 3 Ternera a la Ilanera

Colombian cuisine varies from region to region and includes the traditions and practices influenced by the Spanish, Arab and African. Arepa, bread made from corn flour, is the most commonly served food in Colombia. Some of the traditional dishes include:

  • The Ternera a la Ilanera, or mamona, is a traditional food from the Los Llanos region (east of the Andes in Colombia). Restaurants in Villavicencio, the capital of El Meta and about three hours drive from Bogota, offer this uniquely cooked meat. The meat is cooked over a type of bonfire and is simply delicious. It tastes great with boiled yucca, potato, avocado and Creole chili peppers (aji).
  • Arroz con Coco, a common side dish of the Caribbean coast that is made of white rice cooked in coconut milk, salt and sugar.
  • Frijoles con Garra is a popular dish among the locals of Antioquia. The dish contains red beans thickened with pigs’ trotters.
  • Tolima area, west of Bogota, is known for a traditional dish called Lechona. The dish is made from a roasted pig stuffed with green onions, peas, rice and spices.
  • Pandebono is common around Cali and is a type of bread made from corn flour, eggs and cheese.
  • Puchero is a light soup made in the region of Buyaca. The soup is cooked with green bananas, chicken, pork and beef.

Travelling in Colombia is worthwhile and you can explore historic cities, tropical jungles, snowy peaks, abundant fauna and flora and ancient ruins. Most western countries do not need a visa to enter the country and there are daily flights to and from the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Canada and South America.

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