Colombia Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation
If the instinct of many travellers is right, the time is now right to head to Colombia. Shunned until relatively recently due to its reputation for drug-related crime and kidnappings, Colombia is a country which now rewards its visitors with a warm welcome and some superb sights. Among its natural attractions are rugged mountains, vast tracts of the Amazon Basin, lakes, plains and a gorgeous Caribbean coastline with stunning beaches, turquoise seas and tropical heat. Culturally, enjoy discovering the pre-Columbian ruins of lost cities, colourful colonial towns and vibrant cities which swing to the rhythm of the salsa.
The capital, Bogotá, has a number of historical landmarks such as the Capitol, the cathedral and the Plaza Bolivar. The classic tour includes a visit to the amazing Gold Museum featuring priceless pre-Columbian treasures and the Museo Botero with its superb art collection, as well as taking a cable car to a neighbouring peak and watching the sun set over the city. Spend time in the lovely historic quarter of La Candelaria, with its quaint cafés and curches, or find one of the city’s parks and relax in the cool shade. North of the capital is a region of rugged landscapes of mountains and rivers where the conquistadors first settled, where you can still visit colonial towns and browse in craft markets. On the Caribbean coast, the colonial port of Cartagena is a favourite of visitors and locals alike, picturesque to the extreme with its bewitching, bougainvillea-festooned streets, charming cobbled alleys, outdoor restaurants in leafy plazas and romantic horse-drawn carriages. It serves also as a good place to embark on outings to the lovely Islas de Rosario coral islands, mangrove labyrinths and a nearby mud volcano. Just a short flight away also are the twin tropical islands of San Andrés and Providencia.
Trekking in Tayrona
Santa Marta is the oldest surviving colonial town in Colombia, with a wonderful coastal location near the lovely fishing village of Taganga, the up-market beach resort of El Rodadero as well as the beautiful Parque Nacional Tayrona. The park is also the location of the fascinating Cuidad Perdida, discovered in 1976, which exhibits some of the country’s most interesting archaeological ruins. For further exploration of the country’s ancient history, visit too the mysterious pre-Columbian stone statues and tombs at San Agustin and Tierradentro, some of the most significant religious sites to be seen on the continent.
If you happen to be around at carnival time, you should head to the Barranquilla Carnaval, second only to Rio’s celebrations, an explosion of costume, dance and sheer exuberance, while the beautiful city of Popayan hosts the country’s most important Easter festival. If you are looking for some year-round fun, the salsa capital of the country is the hot-blooded city of Cali, where they take their dancing very seriously, and you will get an insight into one fundamental facet of Colombian culture. The city holds a famous festival each December, the Feria de Cali, with other popular events being the Pasillo Festival in Pereira and the Festival of Flowers in Medellín. Everywhere you go, you are going to be delighted by the warmth and friendliness of the Colombians, for in spite of their predilection for plastic surgery, their smiles are guaranteed to be genuine.
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