I have already repeated over and over again that the trip to Colombia last August was a true life experience. It was a Journey into all the possible meanings of this term. Colombia is a country that offers countless places to visit and experiences to live. I decided to list the seven things to do in Columbia mo that you absolutely must not miss.
7 things to do in Columbia mo
- Free walking tour of Medellin
- Luxurious Eje Cafetero
- Reach the most northern point of South America
- Catch the Piranhas in the Amazon River
- Bogota and its historic center
- Diving in the Tayrona National Park
- Look for El Dorado in the Guatavita Lagoon
Free walking tour of Medellin
Many have asked me if it was worthwhile to include on a trip to Colombia, Medellin, the city of Pablo Escobar. It is one of the places according to many of the most dangerous places on earth. We are in 2016 and not in 1992, attacks, bombs and drug cartels are a distant memory for the inhabitants of this city. Medellin is certainly not an aesthetically beautiful city, its historic center is very chaotic, and apart from some of Botero’s statues and the museum, there is very little. But, I recommend the Free Walking tour (bookable not earlier than 36 hours from the tour), in my opinion, the only way to know and understand a city that has had a violent and complicated past. They will be four hours unforgettable and rich in history, accompanied by highly trained guides. I am sure that like me, you will then love Medellin, the city of eternal spring.
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Luxurious Eje Cafetero
Colombian coffee is excellence in the way, but not many know its history. Its processing and all that is behind the creation of this product. To fully understand it, an experience not to be missed, is the visit of a Finca, or a farm right in the heart of Colombian coffee, in what is called the eje cafetero. Rely on Experiencia Cafetera, an association created to safeguard this region, the coffee culture and the producers. With the help of Juan David, the founder, you can reach a Finca aboard a willy and spend the day in the company of a farmer who will be honored to tell you his story, the story of his farm, his family and step by step will guide you in coffee processing.
Reach the most northern point of South America
It seems a contradiction, but in Colombia, there is the northernmost point of South America and Punta Galinhas is identified as a small town in the Upper Guajira region on the border with Venezuela.
What makes this place unique is that you have the feeling of being on the edge of the world with the yellow sand dunes that end up directly in the ocean. It looks like an uninhabited island made of dunes, cacti, and rocks. Rely on an organized tour or as we did, you can reach Punta Galinhas in total autonomy by negotiating with the locals a jeep to accompany you.
Catch the Piranhas in the Amazon River
Did you know that in Colombia, there is also the Amazon? Let’s not take it for granted because it is much easier to think that the largest forest in the world is only in Brazil; instead, a tiny triangle of this wonder is part of Colombia. We relied on an expert guide to visit the Colombian Amazon, based in Puerto Narinho, one of the largest villages in Rio. Among the hundreds of experiences that you can experience, I recommend the boat ride that will take you to a small lake. Our guide, once you reach the lake, made us dive to enjoy the calm and calm water. Once you get back in the boat, you have informed us that we had just bathed with hundreds of piranhas and that it was time to fish them.
You can only imagine my face! We spent more than an hour on the boat fishing no less than forty large piranhas.
Bogota and its historic center
A trip to Colombia is not complete without a visit to the historic center of its capital. This part of the city tells about 500 years of history from the founders of the town to the events of terrorism over the years of drug cartels. Historic palaces in every street, an infinite number of museums, one above all, the Museo dell’ Oro, which is a fundamental stop on a trip to Bogotà, all to reach the most colorful neighborhood in the country, La Candelaria. A succession of colorful houses that in recent years has become a sort of alternative neighborhood, different from the rest of the city, a favorite destination for tourists looking for accommodation. To contrast this color palette, there are churches. Religion is a fundamental pillar in the culture of all of South America.
Diving in the Tayrona National Park
For lovers of diving and snorkeling, an unmissable stop and the National Park of Tayrona, a few km from the Caribbean coast of northern Colombia, extends one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. The Tayrona park is located 40km from Santa Marta, and can be reached by one of the many buses that, in less than 4 hours lead to the park entrance. The Tayrona National Park is the second most visited in the country. There are magnificent coves, paradisiacal white beaches overlooked by wet and tropical forests; some trails start from the beach for inland trekking that leads to indigenous villages. The park is so vast and partly unexplored that it is easy to get lost if you leave the beaten track.
Look for El Dorado in the Guatavita Lagoon
One of the most sacred places in South America, the Guatavita lagoon is at the base of the famous legend of El Dorado. Here live the pre-Columbian people Muisca who, precisely in the era of the conquistadores, used the lake to perform rituals. The Zipa (the sorcerer) covered himself with gold dust. He sailed to the center of the lake carrying out ablutions. Later the faithful threw amulets precious objects inside the lake as a sign of devotion. Hence the myth of El Dorado, although over the years numerous attempts have been made to drain the lake, there is no treasure within it.
It is worth a visit not to miss the initial ceremony inside a Muisca hut and then the short walk to the lake which we, unfortunately, saw on a very rainy day but which left us a veiled mysterious memory.