Whether your interests are history, art, food, beaches, coffee or culture, Colombia has become one of the world’s top vacation destinations for innovative travelers. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Culture-An extremely diverse and welcoming country, Colombia has a rich history of indigenous culture, beautiful archeological wonders, art, literature, salsa, wildlife that includes over 1900 species of birds and an abundance of fresh and flavorful produce to enjoy.
2. Creativity-The cities of Colombia are virtual works of art. The streets of Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Cartagena and others are famous for their beautiful and compelling graffiti artwork, no longer illegal, which express freedom and tell the stories of the artists who live and work there. This passion is also expressed in the street performers and the salsa dancing and abundance of music which fill the air with an ambience of joy.
3. Comuna 13-This was once considered the most dangerous area in Medellin, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, synonymous with gang violence and drug trafficking. Now, it is known for its beautiful graffiti art and hip hop street performers who have helped to turn this into a progressive community, welcoming tourists and mentoring local youth with a sense of pride and hope. In just a few short years, improvements to infrastructure and investments in local business has brought about transformation resulting in Medellin being named the world’s “Most Innovative City”. It is also known as the city of Eternal Spring, with consistent temperatures in the 70’s. In addition to the street art, the city is known for its great collection of sculptures and paintings by Fernando Botero at the Museo de Antioquia. His style is easily recognizable and the pieces are whimsical and fun. Comuna 13 is a vast area atop the hill which offers amazing views of the city below. A personal visit to this community is the only way to truly understand the scope of the city’s transformation and the resilience of its citizens.
4. Cartagena-Well known as a popular Caribbean port city for world cruise passengers, Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a wonderful city to explore. The original walled city is vibrant with cafes, nightlife and softly-lit streets which are perfect for evening strolls. Its expansive fortress, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, dating from the 16th Century overlooks the sea with a battery of cannons pointing outward from the site and provides a beautiful view of the waters and the city below. This is a location of warm sunny days, colorful colonial architecture, ocean breezes and beautiful sunsets.
5. Coffee-Colombia is synonymous with coffee and produces the highest volume of Arabica beans in the world with its total coffee production being second worldwide only to Brazil. Colombia produces a smooth bodied coffee which is produced on small, sustainable farms located along the scenic, misty foothills of the Andes Mountains. A private visit to one of these family farms is a wonderful way to experience the welcoming hospitality of the Colombian people who are compassionate about their work and their community and are happy to share their expertise and open their haciendas for samples, a meal, and compelling conversation to visitors from across the world.
6. “Chevere!” This is a word you will hear often in the streets of Colombia. It is loosely defined as “Terrific”, “Great”, “Awesome” or “Cool” and it describes life in this country and the positive attitude of its people. Colombia has made amazing progress. Its history is rich and its future is promising. The compassion of its people are rich and welcoming. To truly understand, you must experience it for yourself!