Home to rhythm, color, and life, Colombia becons explorers of all types. Despite its four-decade-long civil war and reputation for violence, improved security conditions have led to a sharp increase in tourism. With high biodiversity, Colombia has a thriving gastronomic scene and is a natural draw for travelers to South America.
When to go: Colombia is considered a year round destination, with no real seasons other than rainy or dry. One of the biggest factors in determining climate for a given region is altitude.
Food & Wine
Food & Wine
Unquestionably the most magnificent city in the Caribbean, Cartagena features stunning colonial architecture, fine restaurants, all-night nightlife, and beaches. With many of the city’s vibrant, aged buildings constructed using coral from the nearby reefs, Cartagena figuratively embodies Colombia’s Caribbean coast.
One of the first Spanish settlements in the New World, Cartagena was established in 1533 and functioned as the principal port for the export of the continent’s wealth to Spain. Naturally, English pirates cruising the Caribbean found the city to be a tasty target, and during the sixteenth century, it was subjected to a number of terrible sieges, the most infamous of which was conducted by Sir Francis Drake in 1586, who kept the town captive for more than a hundred days. The Spanish then started building the intricate defenses that are today the city’s trademark. The diversity of Cartagena’s people, the rhythms of its music, its songs, dances, and customs all bear witness to the city’s monopoly on the Caribbean slave trade at the beginning of the seventeenth century.
The majority of the sightseeing is done in Cartagena’s Old City, which is full of history and is quite attractive. The best part of being here is exploring the winding alleyways lined with colonial houses painted in vivid hues with ornate wrought-iron details, bougainvillea cascading from balconies, peddlers attempting to sell you everything from kitsch to horse-drawn carriages passing by.
With its beautiful rainforest, incredible animals, and indigenous people that live deep in the jungle with their customs fully intact, the Amazon basin, which makes up about a third of Colombia and is generally inaccessible to tourists, seems unlike any other region of the nation. The busy jungle town of Leticia, the province’s seat, is only reachable by air and river, so it still has a feeling of isolation but in reality is a crossroads of three nations, where once could enter Brazil or Peru. The stunning 3000-square-kilometer Parque Nacional Natural Amacayacu is located about 90 minutes upstream of Leticia and is home to 150 different animal species, including big cats, 500 different kinds of birds, and lots of crocodiles, anacondas, and other reptiles. While parts of the jungle in Peru and Brazil are now fairly well traveled, the jungle in Colombia is still pristine, and Leticia can serve as your starting point for multi-day jungle excursions with just you, your indigenous guide, and indigenous communities that are still largely unexplored by the outside world.
We believe that to travel responsibly, a portion of our tour cost should benefit the communities we visit. For this trip, we will donate to Fundación Proyecto de Vida, working to provide non-formal education and preventive protection of children and young people of Bogotá. You can learn more about our commitment to responsible travel in our Responsibility Pledge.