Colombia - A Perfect Destination
Colombia is the only country in South America to have coastlines of both the North Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The result is a varied choice for the tourists between beautiful beaches of both Pacific and Caribbean varieties. Couple this with the cold, snowy peaks of the highlands and the Andes and you will have an idea of the diversity that is Colombia.
Cartagena, located in Bolivar, is widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful and magical cities by many people. It is an officially sanctioned UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its 500-year old forts and parts of the walled city are still intact, representing some of the finest civil architecture of the Spanish colonial era.
Cartagena’s rich history can also be viewed at the Palacio de la Inquisición (Palace of the Inquisition), where the men accused of committing crimes against religion were tortured, judged and convicted during the Spanish Inquisition. It is now a museum.
Pueblito Paisa in Medellin is a faithful reconstruction of a typical Antioquia village. Located on top of el Cerro Nutibara, it provides a breathtaking view of the whole city.
What to Do
Amacayacu National Park is a good way to experience the lush vibrancy and untamed wild of the Amazon. Set ecological paths throughout the jungle allow you to immerse yourself in the mystery of the vegetation as well as observe the great forest fauna. You can also opt to go by canoe to observe the lakes and pink dolphins, as well as the Victoria regia, the world’s largest lotus.
Four days before Ash Wednesday, Baranquilla hosts its world famous Carnaval de Baranquilla, a four-day long festival with traditions that date back to the 19th century. During this time, the people of Baraquilla unleash their festive spirit, with dances such as the Spanish paloteo and African conga. Parades and concerts also display the unique culture of the people, giving the visitors a taste of the many styles of Colombian music.
What to Remember
It is restricted for tourists and visitors to take any amount or denomination of Colombian currency (the Colombian peso) out of the country without declaring it first. Currency exchange should also be made exclusively in hotels, banks, or bureau of exchanges, and never in the streets. International credit cards are accepted, though the most frequent are Visa and MasterCard. It is also recommended that tourists bring bottled water, especially when going out of major cities, as tap water may pose health problems.
Colombia is becoming a very good spot for tourists. Its culture and landscape is very rich and unspoiled, with national parks preserving the best for tourists to enjoy.