People, brace yourselves. After this post all you want to do is buy those plane tickets to Colombia. Not because we are great salespeople though, Colombia is just simply amazing.
When we were doing research on where to go last summer, we quickly decided that it was going to be Central or South-America. What made us go for Colombia in the end was that it was a diverse country, where lying on the beach, being active and discovering a new culture were all very well possible.
Of course there are many more reasons why Colombia is the place to go to now, but this reason is definitely number one. We love a good hike, for example in the Cocora Valley, but oh boy how happy we were when we put our feet in the sand in Cartagena. Speaking of the beach, Colombia has the most beautiful flora and fauna. We started high up in the mountains in Bogota and Medellin, went to crystal white beaches in Cartagena and Park Tayrona (which gives you a nice taste of the rainforest, read about that here) and stayed for a few nights in the desert at Punta Gallinas.
Something that shapes a country besides its nature is the people. The Colombian people are so friendly and happy. They have been through so much but still (or maybe because of that) they see the positive side to everything. And they are proud people too, they love to tell you all about their country and make you feel very welcome.
Another reason why you should go to Colombia, especially now, is because tourism is not that developed yet. Of course there are tourists and some ‘highlights’ are tourist traps, but they are minimal. You really get to see Colombia and it makes it fun. Especially in Cartagena we noticed how ‘real’ the rest of the country was compared to that city, as Cartagena is very touristy due to the large cruise ships docking there. Another nice effect of the relatively undeveloped tourism is that people are not used to tourists, especially the ones that have very pale skin and super blond hair like we do. They are very curious and not shy, so they will just walk up to you and start talking to you, which is a good opportunity to interact with the locals some more. Also, the fact that tourism has not been developed that much yet, Colombia is relatively cheap compared to other South-American countries, though it does not differ much.
Besides reasons why you should go to a certain place, there are also always reasons why not to go. The main reason for people not to go to Colombia is safety. As one of our tour guides pointed out to us, the country has been in war for a long time. But the things you see in Narcos is not daily life as it is today. Of course you shouldn’t go into dark alleys and some neighborhoods are best avoided, but if you use your common sense you will be fine. In the four weeks we have been in Colombia, we never felt unsafe one moment; we haven’t even been scammed by taxi drivers (which we feel like always happens to you at least once on a holiday, no matter where you are).
Conclusion: Colombia is a must go-to if diversity is what you are looking for!
Why do you want to go to Colombia? Or why do you think others should go? Share it with us in the comments below!