There is an endless list of reasons why I would recommend you visit my 2nd home and patria, but I will keep my list to five, for now, so as to not overwhelm you!
1. Incredible Variety of Natural Beauty
Before I moved to Colombia, I knew it was one of the most bio diverse countries in the world, but knowing that in no way prepares you for the true natural beauty you’ll find in Colombia. Colombia is blessed with majestic mountains including the mountains surrounding cities like Bogotá and Medellín that form the foothills of the Andes as well as the highest coastal mountain range in the world that passes by Santa Marta and hosts a coastal rainforest and ecological haven, beautiful beaches on both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, exquisite deserts filled with forests of cacti, and an impressive swath of rainforest environments, both in the Amazon and beyond. Whatever part of Colombia you end up in, you won’t be able to escape the presence of the natural beauty around you!
2. Easy and Cheap Domestic Travel
Another reason why I recommend visiting Colombia is the cheap cost and ease of domestic travel. Colombia now boasts not only cheap flights via Chilean airline LAN, but also on national airlines Avianca and the new national budget airline, Viva Colombia. On these airlines, you can fly round trip between several cities for prices as low as 120.000 COP (~£38). Likewise, you can generally find cheap bus tickets to travel between cities, or even hire a private taxi, although this may cost you two or three times what you pay to travel via bus. In addition to being cheap, it is also extremely easy to travel between different parts of Colombia. You will find airports in all major cities and even in some minor or small cities in Colombia as well as bus stations and travel company offices all over where you can buy air or land tickets to almost anywhere in the country.
3. Not Your Typical Travel Destination
The fact that Colombia is still not your stereotypical South American destination is another reason why I recommend you visit. While Colombia receives a higher and higher amount of international visitors every year, it is still a country you can explore and not constantly run into other travellers around every corner and that you can explore within an authentic space not already overrun or carved out by millions of previous travellers.
4. The People
Colombians are some of the most genuinely nice, happy, and warm people you may ever come across. Colombians pride themselves on high levels of authentic hospitality. In restaurants, they will worry about making sure you have everything you need, on the streets they will worry about your finding your way, and in their homes they will want to shower you with anything and everything you could possibly need or want during the time they host you. You will be hard pressed to find a Colombian unwilling to lend you a hand, offer you help, or worry about your well-being when you are “under their care.” Colombians were also ranked as the happiest people in the world in 2013. They will always find a solution to any problem, oftentimes using their incredible level of ingenuity, and they will generally look on the positive side of any situation—I mean, they did dance after losing their spot in the 2014 World Cup against Brazil to continue showing support for their team.
5. The Food
Colombia is full of unique foods and dishes that are hard to find elsewhere in the world. Colombian fruits, especially, are incredibly diverse—some of the most unique ones I have tried include: uchuvas (cape gooseberries), lulos (naranjilla), sapote, mamones (Spanish limes), and borojó. In addition to an impressive variety of unique fruits, you will also find a wide variety of distinctive and traditional dishes such as mazamorra (a corn and milk-based soup eaten with unrefined cane sugar), hot chocolate with melted cheese, Colombian style tamales, incredible baked goods (many found only in certain regions of the country), chigüiro (Capabara meat), and cuy (guinea pig) among MANY others. Your taste buds will not lack for exciting, new, and impressive food to try and enjoy!
While these may seem few, I think these five reasons should be enough to entice anyone to come on down and see and experience Colombia for themselves. So, what are you waiting for?
Until next time,
Paige M Poole,
- Two reasons Colombia should be at the top of your travel destinations (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Top 10 amazing places to visit in Colombia (www.uncovercolombia.com)