For decades, Colombia had been on the no-go list of many travelers due to various security concerns. However, the situation has improved dramatically over the past ten years, meaning that there has never been a better time to discover South America’s best kept secret then right now.
While this country has amazing natural attractions such as the Wax Palms of Salento (the tallest in the world) and the most gorgeous beaches on the continent in Tayrona National Park, its urban environments are equally as impressive.
If you are planning a trip to Colombia, be sure to include a visit to any one of the following cities:
Medellin has done a complete 180 since the days when Pablo Escobar controlled this place. These days, this city is a symbol of modernity, as it is home to the only metro system in all of Colombia.
Additionally, modern condo towers, trendy restaurants and shopping centers proliferate in trendy neighborhoods such as El Poblado, complementing the attractions found in its downtown core.
You will also find the best hotels in Medellin in this part of town, so keep this in mind when you are booking accommodations. A great site to use for this purpose is Hotellook.com. It compares rates offered by most of the major booking engines out there, which will save you valuable time during your trip.
When it comes to attractions in Medellin, fans of the arts will want to check out Museo de Antioquia, as it is home to many of the sculptures created by world-renowned artist and native son, Fernando Botero.
Be sure to also drop by the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is known for containing the most bricks of any church in the world, with over 1.1 million stones contained within its walls.
Situated on Colombia’s sultry Caribbean coast, Cartagena has retained its colonial roots since its founding almost five hundred years ago. The heat here can be intense at times, but the exceptional beauty of its walled city will more than make up for it.
When you have finished exploring the many homes, markets, and boutiques contained within its walls, head over to Castillo de San Felipe.
Built in 1657 to protect Cartagena from pirate raids, its massive ramparts are not only remarkable for their history, but they also grant some of the best panoramic views of the walled city, and the impressive skyline of modern hotel and condo skyscrapers in Bocagrande.
If you are seeking a break from the heat, make Bogota your next stop. Sitting 8,600 feet above sea level, the average daytime high here is usually in the upper 60’s (about 20 degrees Celsius), which is a far cry from the 90 degree temperatures often found on the Caribbean coast.
La Candelaria is home to many attractions related to the South American independence movement, which was led by Simon Bolivar back in the 19th century. Dedicate an entire day to exploring this place on foot, as there is much to see along its cobblestoned streets.
Culture lovers will not want to miss either the Emerald or the Gold Museum. In the latter institution, there are many artifacts dating to the Pre-Colombian era, which is when civilizations here were beginning to rise prior to the arrival of the Europeans.
End your trip by taking the funicular up Cerro de Monserrate. Here, you will get unbeatable views of this metropolis of over 8.5 million people. Just be sure to take your time walking around, as the elevation here exceeds 10,000 feet, which makes it easy to get exhausted if you aren’t used to the thin air.