Dear Girls on Travel,
Today I wanted to share with you one of my favourite countries: Colombia. Of all the travels I did I feel Colombia is the country that has moved me the most. What I often hear from travellers going through South America is that Colombia combines the best of different countries. This stunning place enables you to discover incredible nature, two oceans, remarkable cities, stunning walks and above all amazing people. Columbians are warm and happy people and make your stay feel like you never want to leave again. I, therefore, wanted to share my highlights with you.
Villa de Leyva
After landing at Bogota, Villa de Leyva is the first village I discovered. From there I knew that this country was going to be promising. The village is known for its colonial buildings, cobbled streets and big square called “Plaza Mayor”. You can easily spend a day or two walking around the streets, cycling in nature, discovering the little boutiques and eat on Plaza Mayor at night with some live music.
Must see: Periquera waterfalls, nice nature walk and waterfalls
Oh beautiful Cartagena, where shall I start. This is the jewel of Colombia, a combination of phenomenal colours and houses, charming streets, great restaurants and boutiques where you will want to buy everything. Make sure you stay a few days and take a hotel with A/C, it gets really warm. Enjoy a free guided tour, a walk on the wall, visit the Castillo San Felipe and take a boat trip to Rosario Islands. At night Cartagena boasts some trendy places to listen to live music or hit a night with the best DJs.
Must see: Café del Mar, great view, atmosphere and DJs
Region of Santa Marta
From Cartagena make sure you spend some time exploring the Caribbean coast and especially discover the Lost City. This archaeological site was founded 800 CE (before the Machu Picchu) and is now being taken care of by the Global Heritage Fund to assure its protection. You can easily spend a day or go for the actual trek for a few days. I enjoyed a full day walking and enjoying some beach time and iguanas. The walk is not for beginners and the heat and humidity make it a challenge, but really worth it. The views you will enjoy on the way will not disappoint, from the jungle path to the beach paradise, this adventure is a great way to understand the indigenous culture.
Must see: Gitana del Mar, a dreamy boutique hotel with excellent food and activities
I do not believe ever being more impressed by a city than Medellin. From being one of the most dangerous cities in the world in the 80s to what it represents now is absolutely incredible. Medellin is called the city of eternal spring due to temperatures averaging 20°C all year. Improvements are constant, from new parks to cable cars for ease of access from the barrio to the centre. Make sure you stay a few days and discover the botanical garden, the different museums or graffiti art in the barrio.
Must see: day trip to Guatapé
The little Andean village of Salento is definitely a highlight of the trip. This charming place is known for excellent coffee and green scenery, this makes it the perfect place for great walks or relaxing moments. Take a walk on the different paths, the best one being the Valle del Cocora where you can hike for a full day in beautiful nature after boarding on a “willy” (shared jeeps). Horse-riding trips are also an option to the different waterfalls. At night, walk along the streets and enjoy the different casual restaurants with music.
Must see: have breakfast at Brunch (best peanut butter brownie ever)
I could have stayed for months in Colombia if I wasn’t being so curious about the next destinations, but this is a promise, I’ll be back! There is so much more I could say about Colombia, so if you want to know anything don’t hesitate to ask, I hope you make this trip one day Girls on travel!