Tayrona National Park (Photo by Eli Duke)

Colombia Tours

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Sarah Fisher / July 2016

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"I had never heard of trip.me but took a chance and booked a month long vacation to Colombia with expert Julie and I am glad I did! I was impressed fro..."
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About Colombia Tours

As Colombia comes striding out of its troubled past with enviable swagger and an acute sense of determination, more and more people are venturing to the country to see just what Colombia tours have to offer. To be sure, Colombia hasn't just turned a corner, it's become a global exemplary for troubled countries looking to make an impact in the world of tourism.

 

Have a brief conversation with any local and you'll soon be inundated with several recommendations that are "essential" to visit on tours here, which not only demonstrates how much is on offer on Colombia tours, but also the unique passion that Colombians have for their country.

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Colombia Tours

 

As Colombia comes striding out of its troubled past with enviable swagger and an acute sense of determination, more and more people are venturing to the country to see just what Colombia tours have to offer. To be sure, Colombia hasn't just turned a corner, it's become a global exemplary for troubled countries looking to make an impact in the world of tourism.

 

Colombia is one of the most diverse countries in the world. In a tour of the country you can visit a wealth of golden sand beaches, snow-capped peaks, bustling metropolises, Amazon rainforests, a vast array of wildlife and incredible desert landscapes. Have a brief conversation with a local and you'll soon be  inundated with several recommendations that are "essential" to visit on any tour, which not only demonstrates how much is on offer, but also the unique passion that Colombians have for their country.

 

Cano Cristales, Colombia

 

Indeed, for all that glitters in Colombia and demands your attention, it's the warmth and hospitality of the locals that truly makes Colombia tours so rewarding. The palpable sense of optimism that inhabits the locals is contagious - so much so that you'll be salsa'ing your way back home after your tour and telling all your friends to cancel their future travel plans: Colombia is definitively where it's at.

 

Things to do on a Colombia Tour

Main Attractions and Tourist Regions

 

Though there are still areas of Colombia that aren't recommended for tours, much of the country is now opening up for exploration, meaning the well-worn tourist routes of old are becoming increasingly intricate.

 

Almost all Colombia tours will start in the country's capital city, Bogotá. Bogotá is home to almost 10 million people. It's a chaotic but charming place that sizzles with salsa and electronic music at night, while at day in arty areas such as Chapinero and La Macarena bohemians and intellectuals will be found crowding trendy cafes and sipping a famous Colombian coffee.

 

Other major cities for tourism in Colombia include Medellin and Cartagena. Medellin, notorious for so long for the wrong reasons, is perhaps the best summation Colombia's incredible transformation. Where a tour of Colombia would once undoubtedly skip past this city, progressive policies have created more integration between the city's inhabitants, and forged a sense of pride among the locals that, in turn, has led to a burgeoning arts scene that is well worth your time to explore.

 

Cartagena, on the other hand, has long since been regarded as one of South America's most beautiful cities and tours here have been popular for decades. Traveling to Cartagena is like stepping back in time (aside from the impressive, modern cuisine on offer). Spanish colonial buildings abound, while the relaxed nature of the locals (and their proclivity for rum, salsa and good times) is as infectious as it is charming.

 

Nearby to Cartagena is Santa Marta, a coastal town that, twinned with neighboring fishing village Taganga, will delight travelers seeking a taste of Colombia's legendary nightlife. Further down the picturesque Caribbean coastline is Tayrona National Park - a haven of beaches, jungles and mountain views.

 

Elsewhere in Colombia you can take tours of the Coffee Region, which is characterized by coffee farms, undulating hills and lush greenery. The breathtaking Cocora Valley is a favorite among locals and makes for a great day tour, while a stay in Salento means the best of the local area is available to you (including a visit to Cafe Jesus Martin, for some hand-picked coffee). Colombia is also the only country in South America that has coasts on both the Caribbean and Pacific. While the Pacific is certainly less explored, it's by no means lacking in attractions. Wildlife enthusiasts gather every year in Nuqui in July to see the humpback whales arrive, while further up the coast in El Chocó you can explore Colombia's enchanting Afro-Colombian culture.

La Guajira colombia Tours

 

There are plenty more off-the-beaten track destinations scattered around Colombia, too. While Colombia tours including these highlights would serve as an incredible introduction to the country's charms, the traveler would no doubt seek to return to the 'Land of El Dorado' to explore the other-worldly landscapes of La Guajira (which borders Venezuela), the sleepy magic of Mompox, the hip-swinging madness of Cali, as well as  natural wonders such as El Cocuy, Caño Cristales and Tatacoa Desert.

 

So What's Colombia all about?

Food and Culture of Colombia

 

Owing to the lack of international influence in many areas of Colombia over the years, the culture of the country remains strongly in tact (and fiercely guarded) throughout the various departments of the country.

 

Nobody on a Colombia tour could fail to notice the diversity of Colombian culture. The differences around the country at times feel so pronounced you could be forgiven for thinking you've changed countries, rather than merely crossed into a different city.

 

Colombia's Caribbean, for example, is characterized by its laid-back atmosphere, where locals listen to vallenato and cumbia (original styles of Colombian music) loudly on expensive speakers attached to their bicycles. This is in stark contrast to Bogota, where salsa, electronic, rock and reggaeton are far more frequently heard (although, being the capital, there is something for everyone). Locals here are far busier, and are less likely to stop in the street for a quick chat.

Tayrona Colombia Tour

Overall, however, Colombian culture is brought together by a passion for life and a love for music and dance. Very few Colombians stay still when the music of Carlos Vives or Joe Arroyo start playing, and these same Colombians are more than likely to extend their hand to you to welcome you to the dancefloor.

 

Food in Colombia typically consists of fairly simple ingredients, with spices used sparsely. Typical Colombian dishes include the monstrous Bandeja Paisa (meat, egg, avocado, rice, sausage and more), arepas (kind of a corn-based dough), lechona (slow-cooked pork with rice), ajiaco (chicken and potato broth), sancocho (another broth), mondongo (trite soup) and arroz con pollo (chicken and rice). One thing you shouldn't miss out on is the vast array of fruits - you'll find out about many you never even knew existed. On tours around the diverse regions of the country you'll find that the gastronomical makeup changes drastically - so stay hungry!

 

When to go to on a Colombia tour

What time of the year is it best to visit Colombia?

 

Colombia is a year-round destination, open to tourists whenever they choose to visit. While there are rain seasons along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, elsewhere these remain unpredictable and, in any case, bearable. December to March tends to be drier in the center of the country while the "wet" season along the Caribbean Coast is said to be in October and November. Take this information with a pinch of salt, however, as the weather is generally very consistent.

Palenqueras Cartagena

 

 

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Our hand-picked Destination Experts in Colombia

  • Camila Personalized itinerary within an estimated 32 hours

    Destination expert in Colombia

    Camila

    I look forward to present you the best parts of this country and to guide you to the most incredible corners of Colombia. Colombia is a magnificent country an I am here to help you plan the best trip as per your ideas, wishes and preferences. I grew up in Colombia and have travelled with my family through the whole country during my childhood and youth. During that time I discovered my passion for travelling and developed a great affection for the natural and cultural diversity of Colombia. I have studied and worked in Germany, which I brought me closer to European culture and offered me the opportunity to travel to other places in the world. After this experience abroad, I wanted to return back to my homeland. Because of my studies in ecology and my hobby climbing I have particular interest in natural and adventure trips.
  • Julie
    1 reviews
    Personalized itinerary within an estimated 4 hours

    Destination expert in Colombia

    Julie

    Born in France, raised worldwide and now established in of the top happiness-index countries of the world: Colombia! I lived and explored Asia, Africa, Europe, North & South America, considering a trip to be a real experience in life: funny cultural differences, infinite ways to deal with life, variety of color shades in any sunsets… I decided 4 years ago to establish myself in Colombia where all I love is present: Pacific & Caribbean coasts, snowy peaks, Amazon, strong cultural identities & really welcoming and lovely people. I’m quite proud and happy to manage a highly passionate & multicultural team. I consider myself as a personalized dream maker, a tailor made travel designer & a dedicated professional.
  • Mathilde Personalized itinerary within an estimated 13 hours

    Destination expert in Colombia

    Mathilde

    As a travels lover, I have gained my experience working in receptive tourism companies in different countries. But Colombia has always been my favorite country. That´s why I naturally found my place in our agency in Colombia. With my good understanding of tailor-made tours, I will share with you my love for this lovely country!

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