From the blue waters of Tayrona parkland, the sweeping views of the Cocora natural depression, and also the ruins of San Agustín, Tierradentro, and also the Lost town, to the white colonial buildings of Popayán and also the hustle and bustle of its metropolises, South American nation is full of things to check and do.

I’d needed to go toSouth American nation for years. And once payment six weeks there, I must say, it lived up to the hoopla.

I mean I’ve been toadyish over it plenty in my previous couple of posts. and that I understand I’m the millionth blogger to try and therefore, however it very is as unimaginable as individuals say. (Even obtaining knifed there couldn’t stop American state from smitten the country.)

I had incorrectly assumed that six weeks would be enough to induce a decent sense of the South American nation. After all, six weeks may be an honest quantity of your time to play anyplace.

But I used to be wrong. Given its size and also the sheer variety of activities, it had been only enough to scratch the surface.

Yet I did manage to checkplenty.

Today I need to share my list of what I believe square measure the simplest things to check and the neutralizeSouth American nation. These square measure the activities and places you ought to attempt to specialize after you visit:

1. Cartagena

Cartagena is one in every of the foremost visited destinations in South American country (thanks to loads of direct flights and cruise liner visits). geological dating back to 1533, the town is known for its colonial recent Town: a maze of cobbled alleys, flower-covered balconies, and large churches on spacious plazas.

But despite the crowds (and their area unit loads of crowds), I actually enjoyed Cartagena. whereas there aren’t loads of tourer activities (you will do most of them in an exceedingly single day), what makes it an exquisite place to go tois simply that: it’s somewhere you’ll be able to abate, relax, and gorge on the outstanding gastronomy.

2. Tayrona National Park

Located on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Tayrona has long stretches of golden beaches lined with coconut palms and dense timber with innumerable simple day hikes. You’ll conjointly notice campsites for long stays, hammocks for rent, restaurants, diving, and horse riding.

It’s simple to go to a daily trip from Santa Marta. I extremely recommend you begin early at the large entrance at El Zaino and exit the park through Calabazo. This underused route takes a full day, and once you pass the Cabo metropolis camping area, you’ll get the half of the path to yourself. attempt to avoid visiting throughout January and weekends, once the crowds on the beaches and hiking ways square measure at their peak.

3. The Lost City (La Ciudad Perdida)

he Lost town was designed around 800 cerium and contains 169 terraces inscribed into the mountains, moreover as a network of covered roads and tiny plazas. It’s one in all the foremost stunning treks within the country, and also the web site is older than Machu Picchu! to go to, you would like to rent a tour operator (you can’t couple by yourself). It’s regarding $300-350 USD for the trek from Santa Marta through the jungle up to those stunning ruins and takes 4–6 days. If you’re ironed for time, you’ll be able tocon jointlycouple in 3 days; the sole distinction is that the pace you go at.

(Tip: You cross loads of rivers, therefore make certain to bring an additional combine of shoes or flip flops for once you cross the rivers. You’ll simply ruin a combine of sneakers on the method.)

4. Salento

Surrounded by inexperienced mountains and low farms, this can be one among the oldest cities within the coffee-growing region and therefore the most well-liked for travelers. the homes square measure painted a spread of vivacious colors, and therefore the high vantage points throughout city offer some beautiful views (sunsets square measure quite magical). There’s not a lot of tries and do within the town itself — it’s merely a base for low tours or hiking the Cocora depression (see below) or the paths around the city — thus it’s simple to pay some days here observance the planet guide by with an honest book in hand.

5. Cocora Valley

he Cocora vale is home to Colombia’s national tree, the wax palm, that grows to almost two hundred feet tall. This space has most likelythe foremostfashionable day hike within the country (which was additionally my favorite activity throughout my entire trip). You’ll cross jungle rivers, visit an edifice, and luxuriate in some stellar views and forest scenery. The route’s concerning5 hours, and you’ll prefer to either take the clockwise or counterclockwise route. The clockwise route, beginning at the Wax Palm vale, is easier, with fewer hills. Counterclockwise is less complicated at the tip, tho touches anticlimactic, as you finish the hike walking down an ordinary road.

6. Bogotá

Bogotá is Colombia’s spirited capital. whereas it’s not the country’s most well-liked destination, it felt the foremost“Colombian” to me: there was simply precise edge and charm thereto, and it appeared the smallest amount touristed, with the fewest noncitizen expats. The historic downtown, La Candelaria, is full of bright colonial buildings, elaborated museums, delicious restaurants, little fun bars, historic churches, and centuries-old homes. The north finish of city is home to store hotels and amusement areas like complex body part genes Rosa and complex body part G. The gourmet scene within the town is unimaginable, with heaps of international choices and stylish gas astronomical happenings. give a contribution some superb walking tours, day trips, associate degreed hikes and you’ve got a direction for an astounding town.

7. Cali

This hot, hot town that the condiment capital of the planet, wherever individuals return to bounce. plenty of the guests at my hostel had been there for weeks to find out (the hostels additionally provide free dance classes). If you wish to bounce, you can’t miss this town. Besides dance, though, there a variety of parks, museums, and churches you’ll visit, and free walking and food tours. whereas I didn’t keep long, I positively enjoyed the scene.

8. Popayán

Popayán rivals Cartagena as Colombia’s most spectacular colonial city. It’s referred to as La Ciudad Blanca (“The White City”) as a result of all the buildings are painted white. Popayán is additionally school-city (their ar3universities), and it’s made seventeen presidents too! tho’little, I actually favored the slow pace of life and also the amazingly sturdy food scene here (eat at La Cosecha Parrillada, Restaurante Italiano y pizza parlor, La Fresa, and Mora Diamond State Castilla).

While you don’t would like plenty of your time (take the walking tour, climb Capitol Hill, see the churches, and you’re done), I do recommend staying longer to get pleasure from the slow pace of life. such a lot of South American country is go-go-go, it’s nice to search out an area that’s additional “stay and relax a minute.”

9. Tatacoa Desert

Millions of years agon it had been once a lush tropical forest. Now, Tatacoa Desert is crammed with rocky canyons in reminder red and grey. it’s conjointly home to 1 of the foremost vital observatories in South America, wherever you’ll be able to stare upon the celebrities (weather permitting). If you wish to be blown away by the universe, you actually got to see this place! apart from that, there’s not a lot of here. Bike into the desert, take some walks, stare at the sky. keep an evening or 2. It’s not a well-liked space, however, it’s a picturesque thanks to cut up the long bus ride from Bogota to the south or contrariwise.

10. San Agustín Archaeological Park

A UNESCO World Heritage website, San Agustín could be a tiny mountain city that’s home to many-Columbianstatues and burial mounds. Its assortment of nonsecular monuments and monument sculptures is that the largest in a geographical region, that you’ll want a minimum of one full day (two to actually see it beat depth). If you like history, this can be in all probability the simplest spot all told of the Republic of Colombia to expertise it.

11. San Gil

San Gil is taken into account the outside capital of the country. Extreme-sports fans like it here. you’ll be able to go white-water rafting, paragliding, caving, rappelling, trekking, and a lot of from this town! This town could be a great spot to try to go out of doors activities and you’re progressing to realize plenty of tour operators within the city. try and arrange minimum of3 days here. It’s worthwhile.

12. Providencia and San Andrés Islands

These islands are literally rarer to Central American country than the Republic of Colombia. they’ conjointly thought of a number of the foremost unspoiled places within the Caribbean. You’ll realize white-sand beaches, spectacularly clear blue water, and few crowds (though, because of some recent press, Providencia is turning into heaps busier).

Try to build it once tens of thousands of black crabs migrate to the ocean. This happens doubly a year for a couple of of1-2-week amount between Apr and July, therefore it’s not invariably straightforward to nail the temporal order.

13. Medellín

In a country jam-packed with hoopla, this hyped-up town is all that it’s cracked up to be. Set within the Aburrá depression, urban center is one in all the fastest-growing cities in South American nation. it’s enough activities and things to try and do to fill weeks on end: from microbreweries, museums, walking tours, spacious parks, street art, food tours and markets to unimaginable nightlife, and on and on and on.

It’s one in all the foremost fashionable destinations for expats and tourists within the country. whereas it’s straightforward to induce lost in Gringoland here, try and get out of Poblado or Laureles and see the locals’ facet of city.

14. Guatapé

This pueblo is one among the foremost picturesque cities in South American country and one among the foremost colorful within the world, as most of the normal homes have murals painted on all-time low1/2 their façades that depict animals, people, and shapes. simply hanging move into one among the intense plazas, drinking occasional and people-watching is one among the foremost pleasant things to try and do here.

Most individuals, though, return to climb the steep (and difficult) stairway to the highest of the monolithic Rock of Guatapé (La Piedra) for a few of the most effective views within the country. Guatapé could be a long expedition from metropolis (hostels within the town organize them throughout the week) thus like to recommend making an attempt to pay a minimum of an evening here thus you aren’t as rushed may fancy the realm very little additional.

15. Chingaza National Park

This is one in every of the largest nature reserves in Republic of Colombia, home to quit eone,000 plant species and 187 bird species. Here you’ll find out about the Páramo scheme and the way it affects the world water system. (Fun fact: Nearly eightieth of Bogotá’s facility comes from Chingaza.) If you’re attending to hike, connexion a tour may be a sensible plan. The guides square measure sometimes naturalists World Health Organizationwilljustify the distinctive atmosphere of the world. one in every of the simplest routes is that the difficult hike to the summit of Lagunas Delaware Siecha, with a good read over the lakes.

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