Colombia: gorgeous old towns, national parks, beaches… it is the ideal location for a extended-weekend or extended adventure. That is precisely what Tristan, 1 of our student ambassador’s did lately – spending a week in Colombia, and says that was extra than adequate time to pay a visit to these areas and their surrounding regions: Cartagena, Tayrona National Park and Bogota. He spills the beans on all three areas in this post.
Cartagena & Rosario Islands
Colombia’s Caribbean port city of Cartagena is an effortlessly accessible getaway, with direct flights presented from lots of US cities– just five hours non-quit from NYC. Some states take longer than that, so it is a no-brainer!
The colonial architecture is really picturesque brightly-painted properties and hostels stand boldly alongside Spanish manors and enormous churches. The vibrant streets are complete of vendors, promoting every little thing from fresh fruit and coconut water to handmade goods, or go into the retailers and grab your self one thing traditionally woven, some boutique art or a specialty-crafted basket. Cartagena is complete of life, and it is contagious.
Venture out of the old town for neighborhood bars and clubs in the Getsemani neighborhood. Liquor is affordable to get in retailers and even on the street: there are vendors everywhere handing out cold cervezas.
And if you are feeling truly adventurous, take a boat to the Rosario islands, exactly where locals and vacationers go to unwind or celebration on 1 of the 16 islands. There are private boats, but also public ferries which leave routinely from the Cartagena Marina in the Manga district.
Right here, you can go scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming in the colorful coral-filled waters, hop on a jet-ski for a higher-speed appear at the islands, or just take some time out to lay out on the ivory-white beaches. Traveling is really hard perform just after all…
Tayrona National Park
Colombia is recognized for its organic parks and biodiversity. Although most of the animal species are far away in the Amazon rainforest, you could be treated to a glimpse though you are right here, so retain your eyes peeled!
A couple of hours away from Cartagena by car or truck, or a quick flight from Bogota, are the towns of Santa Marta and Tagana. Each towns are extremely close to Tayrona, and sleeping right here will enable you to discover the park with ease (you can even camp in the park if you are the outdoorsy variety). Tayrona Park is enormous, with lots of hiking trails and beaches, so remain the evening if you can.
You will be amazed by Tayrona’s jagged cliffs, which jut out into the ocean. Taking a boat ride about the coast is a good way to appreciate the dramatic landscape.
The most effective beach is Cabo San Juan, popular for its ‘double-beach’ and nature walks. If you are fortunate you will see some uncommon rainforest creatures. Or, just sit back and love the crystal-clear water. I regrettably got caught in a tiny bit of a storm just after the hike so I didn’t have a lot beach time in Tayrona– but most days in Colombia are sunny and vibrant!
There are also various Indigenous communities, 1 of which is open to vacationers. A two-hour hike via the forest requires you to Pueblito, exactly where there are various classic thatched-roof settlements.
If you have extra time, you can apparently go on a three-four day trek to come across “The Lost City” — I just want I’d recognized about it prior to I went!
Colombia’s typically-overlooked capital city is lively, and boasts a wide array of activities and atmospheres. The old town neighborhood of Candelaria is brightly painted and filled with sweet shops, though the downtown regions host lots of of Colombia’s national museums and purchasing.
Bogota is recognized as the City of Gold for a cause!
Positioned at the foot along the Andes’ mountains, Bogota’s air is fresh and significantly less humid than other Colombian cities. A hike or cable up Montserrat delivers remarkable views of this sprawling metropolis.
Bogota is notorious for its grey skies, but that does not quit people today from dancing in the streets!
The neighborhood meals scene ranges from strange to stranger classic favorites incorporate hot chocolate with cheese, and aphrodisiac ants (not for me!). Bogota is a distinctive mix of old and new, and is worth at least a day of your time, if not extra.
Colombia may not be on just about every traveler’s radar, but it really should be! Its proximity to the US tends to make it an straightforward trip or an best starting to an epic South American tour. There’s so a lot to discover, you just have to come across someplace to begin! Verify out this travel guide for a tiny extra information.