Colombia – South America's Best Kept Secret
In years past, talk of a trip to Colombia would result in questions being raised regarding the risks involved in visiting the country. However, recently the country has made great progress in the areas of safety, economic and social development and tourism. While some problems still remain unresolved, the reality is far distant from the perception many people have about Colombia. A tropical country of incredible diversity and charm, Colombia is quietly becoming one of the hottest travel spots in the world. With such wonderful destinations as Santa Marta, San Andres and Santander, a traveler’s biggest problem could be trying to decide which places to visit.
Santa Marta is the oldest city in South America. Santa Marta, the Sierra Nevada, the bay and their surroundings are full of the indescribable feelings that seasoned travelers are chasing. The beaches of the Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona are among the most beautiful in the world and the rivers and jungles that descend the mountainside are full of parrots and hollering monkeys. The Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta is the stage for surreal sunrises where the line of the horizon is so hazy that observers cannot tell whether they are sailing in the skies or gliding on the water. The village of Taganga, famous for its sunsets which can be seen from any of its many beach kiosks, is a great place for a night of dancing to the beat of native drums.
San Andres island is located 700 kilometers off the coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Sea. English and Dutch pirates and adventurers first arrived on this Caribbean island to discover a colorful paradise. Present day islanders are cheerful and love to sing and dance to the rhythms of reggae, zouk and calypso. With its large, white sand beaches, turquoise sea and animated nightlife, San Andres is an island oasis. The nearby islands of Providencia and Santa Catalina offer an added bonus. Providencia possesses landscapes of such extraordinary beauty that it is considered an unparalleled eco-tourist destination. On the neighboring island of Santa Catalina, the silence is disturbed only by the birds and the sound of the waves striking the rocks.
Santander offers striking landscapes that have made it a favorite destination for adventure travelers looking for an adrenaline rush. With outdoor activities including paragliding, kayaking, rafting, bungee jumping, rappelling and cave exploration, Santander is ideal for visitors who enjoy extreme sports. San Gil is a good base for adventure enthusiasts as its surroundings are the ideal for sports and adventure. South of San Gil, lies El Gallineral, a park with unusual moss covered trees and interesting surroundings. In the middle of the park, there is a small lake with diving boards and cabanas. Barichara is considered the prettiest town in Colombia and charms everyone with its old, well preserved architecture, its stone masons and its local cuisine.
A travel destination full of adventure, cheerful and hospitable people, and cultures that have fascinated the world for centuries, visitors to Colombia are in for something very special.