Now that I’ve committed to Colombia for the first three months of 2013, I’ve been thinking about the new places I want to visit most next year.
Believe it or not, there’s still a ton of places I have yet to explore in Colombia. I blame Medellin for being such a great place to live.
In 2013, I’m going to make an effort to take several trips around the country. I’ll be searching online for accommodation, and traveling by both bus and plane. Here are the places I have in mind.
1. Pueblos in Antioquia
Barbosa, Guarne, Santa Barbara, Jerico. There’s a seemingly endless list of pueblos in Antioquia where one can escape the big city for a quiet weekend.
I’ve seen the ones immediately north of Medellin, including Niquia, Copacabana, and Girardota.
Further afoot, from a tourism perspective, I’ve also spent weekends in the three biggest: Guatape, Santa Fe de Antioquia, and Jardin.
Now it’s time to check out some of the smaller ones, as Ryan has been doing, and writing about on this blog. If you have any suggestions for me, please leave them in the Comments below.
Bucaramanga is the capital of the Santander province in eastern Colombia.
Based on a population of 1.2 million people, it’s the 6th largest city in the country, and a little less than half the size of Medellin. I like medium-sized cities, so I’d expect to enjoy it for this reason alone.
There are 160 parks, and is thus known as “La Ciudad de Los Parques” (“City of Parks”), in addition to “La Ciudad Bonita de Colombia” (“Colombia’s Beautiful City”).
In addition to being a green city, like Medellin, it also has similarly mild temperatures throughout the year (highs in the low 80’s, and low’s in the low 60’s F).
Reports from friends who have visited are all positive, which is ultimately the intel that matters most to me. I’m excited!
3. San Gil
Bucaramanga is also the jumping off point for visiting San Gil, a pueblo located in the mountains south of the city.
I’ve wanted to visit San Gil since 2009, when I read in my Lonely Planet guidebook that it was the adventure capital of the country.
Whitewater rafting, paragliding, and a host of other activities are available to keep visitors having fun.
4. San Andres
Located closer to the coast of Nicaragua then Colombia, the islands of San Andres offer all the traditional charms of Caribbean Island life (or vacationing).
It’s another destination I’ve held off on because the airfare is more expensive, but I think 2013 will be the year I make it happen.
Since it’s mostly a resort destination, I’ll be looking into package tours to try to save some dinero.
Located south of Cali, Popayan is the capital of the Cauca province, and with a population of just a quarter million, I tend to think of it as a big pueblo.
Located at an altitude of about 1,700 meters, which is slightly higher than Medellin, its climate is slightly cooler (about 5 degrees Fahrenheit less for the average highs and lows).
But more than the climate, I’m anxious to see Popayan because it’s known as the “white city” on account of its whitewashed colonial architecture.
Popayan is a popular stop off for those traveling to Ecuador by bus. Because I flew straight to Quito from the USA in 2011, I missed this little gem.
What are your top five places in Colombia to visit in 2013?
This post was written by Dave, and brought to you by Trivago.