Colombia is twice the size of France and almost twice the size of Texas, having extensive Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, as well as hilly regions and even some Amazon rainforest interior. Additionally, ethnic groupings and cultures are very varied. Almost every traveler will find something to like in the nation.
Choose a temperature and enjoy it—if you find Bogotá’s light jacket weather too chilly, travel an hour down into the mountains and sunbathe next to the pool of your rented hacienda. If you’re not up for sitting still, go into the Amazon or one of the country’s many other interior jungles, snow-capped mountains, rugged deserts, vast plains, lush valleys, coffee plantations, alpine lakes, or desolate beaches.
In terms of culture, intellectual Bogotá may lead Latin America in experimental theater, indie rock, and sheer volume of bookstores, but you can also get a completely alien education in an Amazonian malocca, or delve into the massive Latin music scene of salsa and cumbia, with the most exciting dance display being the enormous Carnival of Barranquilla.
For history buffs, explore the winding alleys of South America’s original capital, Bogotá; visit ancient Spanish colonial provincial getaways like as Villa de Leyva; and travel into the northeast’s dense jungle-covered highlands to the Lost City of the Tayrona Indians. Walk the walls of Cartagena’s achingly gorgeous ancient city, gazing out over the towering fortifications that shaped South America’s colonial history.
For nightlife, this is hot. Cali is now the global center of salsa, edging out Colombia’s other lively major city party scenes, which keep the music going into the wee hours of the morning. Not to overlook the hipster playground that is the El Poblado neighborhood in downtown Medelln.
Dining options range from common inexpensive, delectable Colombian home-style meals to world-class upmarket and contemporary culinary arts in the major cities, with cuisines from every corner of the globe represented.
And although there are beautiful tropical beaches throughout Colombia’s Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, the picturesque and unspoiled Caribbean island of Providencia offers even more relaxed and quiet getaways.
Political violence has significantly decreased across the bulk of the nation, and smart tourists from around the globe have already rushed here—come before everyone else does!