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What You Should Know More About Colombia

  • Travel Advice

    • Be wary of the touts

    • Do not entertain the beggars.

    • Always carry with you a first aid kit.

    • Do not let anyone cheat you.

    • Sit only in a prepaid taxi. If you are unable to find a prepaid taxi, you must always negotiate the fare before hiring the taxi.

    • Do not indulge in any form of physical or verbal fights with anyone.

    • Always carry with you at least one proof of your identity.

    • Drink only bottled mineral water.

    • In case you suffer from any medication, make it a point to carry with you all the necessary medications.

    • Always keep your passport safely.

    • Make sure you have a pre made photo copy of your passport.

    • Do not trust anyone with your valuables or cash.

    • Do not leave your baggage containing cash and valuables in the hotel room.

    • Enquire about the room safe before booking a hotel.

    • Do not click a picture in the religious place without the permission from the authority.

    • Never film without permission.

    • Dress only in accordance with the prevalent cultures and traditions.

    • Learn a few words from the local languages. This shall remove the communication barrier that you may encounter in a foreign country.  

    • Keep away from drugs.


  • Drinking Law

    The legal age for drinking in Colombia is 18 years. However, the drinking laws are lenient throughout.

  • Our Recommendations: What You Can’t Afford to Miss?

    Cartagena

    Cartagena is indeed one of the most bustling cities of Colombia. It is the very place where the Kathleen Turner’s character Joan Wilder of Romancing the Stone begins the adventures of the Colombia. Hopefully, the travellers will get their visits a much better start despite the city being really busy since it was one of the major Caribbean ports from the 16th to the 18th century. Fought over by different countries, it is indeed one of the most heavily fortified cities in South America. A number of the old fortifications can be seen even today. Travellers should take sufficient time to wander around this colourful old town to experience the majestic colonial architecture of the city which includes an array of palaces, museums and churches. This definitely is a great place to see in Colombia.


    Tayrona National Park


    Another significant tourist attraction of Colombia is the Tayrona National Park. It is indeed a must see place for the travellers who love to enjoy the nature and explore the old ruins. Located on the Northern coast of Colombia, this national park offers an array of ecosystems right from the scrublands to swamps to the cloud forests. For a number of travellers, the most significant attractions of the park are its beaches which sit beautifully in the deep bays fringed with the coconut palms. In fact, the Tayrona beaches are the most beautiful beaches of Columbia. The park is also a great spot for the bird watchers who come here to see the Andean condor which is a threatened specie here. It gets its name from Tayronas who are the native people here. These people have left an indelible mark on a variety of archaeological sites such as Pueblito Chairama. Tayrona National Park is also a great place to snorkel, see wild animals and hike. You can spot different varieties of monkeys and lizards here.     


    Bogota


    Commonly referred to as “the Athens of South America”, Bogota was first inhabited by indigenous peoples. The founding date of the place is set back at 1538 by a prominent Spanish explorer. At present, it is one of the largest cities of South America and is also the capital of Colombia. Once, regarded as the place to be avoided by the tourists, Bogota today has actually cleaned up its act. As a result of this, it is today becoming one of the best sightseeing attractions of Colombia. Nestled at a height of 866 feet in the Andes, Bogota is a home to a variety of tourist attractions such as botanical gardens, gold museum and planetarium. It is also known for its thriving nightlife and cultural events. The historic district of the city can be found at La Candelaria which is a beautiful quarter of churches, museums and cafes.


    Villa de Leyva


    Villa de Leyva is a very small town that is merely a four hour drive from Bohota. Its Plaza Mayor is one of the biggest town squares of South America. Today, the square is a gathering place for a number of festivals and celebrations which are conducted in Colombia. Beauty pageants are commonly conducted here. The architecture of the Villa de Leyva reflects the Moorish and Spanish styles. Often, Villa de Leyva is compared to Andalucía given its wooden trim as well as balconies and white buildings. The museum here honours the people who were involved in the Independence of Colombia.    


  • What You Will Like There?

    It's not as dangerous as you think.

    It is incredible how so much dangerous or negative stereotyping exists about Colombia. Although, Columbia did have a shaky past, things are vastly different now. At present, murder and crime rates have dropped significantly and kidnappings too are down by half. There is also a remarkable decrease in the violence practiced here. This decline in the crime rates can be very well credited to former President of Columbia Alvaro Uribe along with his team of motivated officials who have undertaken great measures to fight crime and make Colombia a safe tourist attraction. Today, not just American tourists but also foreign tourists from around the world visit the place. Locals are finally relieved and enjoy a booming tourism industry here.


    The People & Hospitality


    Colombia is a unique blend of ethnic cultures that range from Spanish settlers to the indigenous African roots. It is this very combination which brings forth some of the nicest as well as the best looking people on the planet. Locals here are very friendly and accepting towards the foreign tourists.


    The Beaches


    Colombia is a home to more than 300 beaches that are located along the Pacific Coasts and Caribbean. The city has beaches for just about every type of beach goer. You can opt for a relaxed resort styled beach located in and around Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. For those of you who prefer more secluded, pristine, tropical paradises, head to the island of San Andres. If you are an adventure enthusiast, you can plan a visit to the Tayrona National Park. It is a dream for the eco lovers and has untouched beaches enveloped by hundreds of species of rare animals, rainforests as well as lush tropical landscapes. In case, you enjoy surfing, you can take a visit on the Western Pacific side to Nuqui.


    The Scenery


    Colombia has a Caribbean and Pacific coastline. Its rolling mountains offer a gigantic backdrop for an ideal vacation. For those of who who enjoy sightseeing, bird watching, hiking, eco tourism, exploring the rare and exotic species of wild animals or untouched paradises, Colombia has it all. On the North Caribbean Coast there are beaches which boast of island paradises and white sandy beaches. Towards the Western Pacific side, you’ll see the lush green forests descending back into the virgin beaches with its variety of surf spots and exciting campgrounds. Colombia’s Andes mountains present the highest points of the city along with a nice scenery. Besides all this, the active volcanoes and the snow capped mountains present breath-taking views of the city. Further, the city also has its distinct architecture which you cannot afford to miss. Some of the most unique and colourful architecture not just in Colombia but on this planet is that of the Walled City of Cartagena. A walking tour to the place is a must.  


    The Coffee


    Columbia is a home to some of the most exquisite coffee plantations. Visiting the coffee plantations here is more or less like visiting a wintery in Napa Valley, just that there is no hangover involved. The weather conditions in Colombia are ideal. This makes the city most ideal for the growth of the best coffee in the world. Located south of Medellin, is the coffee region or the "Eje Cafetero" which presents a pleasant climate. Here you can experience the rolling mountains, lush green landscapes and of course the best coffee in the world. Taking a tour to the place will not only help you breathe and live the aroma of coffee but will also educate you about the history and production of coffee in Colombia. You must plan a visit to the Parque Nacional del Café which is basically an amusement park based on coffee. If you go there with kids, they will simply no want to come back. Make sure you don’t give them too much coffee.
    The Festivals

    Attending a festival or two in Colombia is definitely a necessity for anyone who wishes to experience the local culture and tradition of the city. Carnaval de Barranquilla is indeed one of the most celebrated festivals in the country. Celebrated massively in the Rio de Janeiro it is touted as the best festival of the world. You can also experience the Carnival of Blacks and Whites in Cali and Carnaval de Bogot. During the days of festivity, the entire city shuts down and all you see is colours, classes, races and ages coming together to partake in these extravagant celebrations while drinking and dancing with great energy. If your holiday coincides with one of these festivals, make it a point to visit it so as to experience the real colors of Colombia.   


    The Food


    Colombia is known to have some of the rarest and delicious cuisines that may be hard to find elsewhere in the world. The corn patties filled with chesses and meat and arepas are a few must try dishes. Other than this, the traditional soup dishes, sancocho and ajiaco which are made using vegetables and meat are also something you shouldn’t miss. For every meat lover, there is Bandeja Paisa. It is a hearty dish which may contain a number of different meats such as fried eggs, pork, chicken, beef, sausage, beans and plantains. The ingredients of the dish may be variable depending on which part of Colombia you are eating this. Locals of Colombia take immense pride in their food and the dishes here which are majorly prepared with fresh ingredients and limited preservative with over the top seasonings and dressings which are common to the American foods.   


    The Nightlife


    Colombia is vastly known for its extravagant bars, clubs, restaurants and nightlife. Entertainment offered by the city is top notch and the people are friendly here. You can dance your heart out to the incredible music which is played in the clubs of Colombia. A myriad of beautiful people swamps the bars and nightclubs to enjoy live music, drinking and good vibes of the city. One of the best places to check out is the Andrés Carne de Res.   


  • Recommended Reads For Destination (Govt. Websites, Travel Forum Articles)?