Colombia has a wealth of history for the arts and culture aficionado with the concentration of museums in the country’s capital, Bogota. Not into urban sightseeing? Fear not, because Colombia also has a large variety of terrain. From the high Andean peaks to the lush vegetation of the Amazonian Jungle, the sparkling Carribean coast, and legendary lakes, the outdoorsy type is spoilt for choice here.
Take a Look at Colombia’s Colorful History at La Palace de la Inquisicion or Museo Nacional
Starting with a different take on the ordinary museum, the notorious Palace de la Inquisicion, housing horrific instruments of torture for the executions that took place in the colonial Cartagena in the 1800s. Another look at the country’s heritage is the Museo Nacional, originally designed as a prison. For more traditional displays of art with both modern and colonial collections, the Palacio Municipal is the city’s second-oldest museum, displayed in a beautiful art deco setting.
Get Lost in Chaotic Cartagena
A visit to the chaotic Cartagena is in itself an experience, the old town itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site built within well-preserved colonial walls. Best to take in the atmosphere, rather than a planned guided route. One stop you are sure to come across is the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas Fort, still dominating a large part of Cartagena’s cityscape.
Access your Artistic Side in Bogota
Artistic, political and cultural expression has cropped up in the streets of Colombia in the form of street art. If you have an appreciation for this, Bogota is certainly one for both local and international talents and expression. Artists are often commissioned by businesses to curb vandalism but also to enable medium to voice social commentary. You can take a tour or wander yourself starting at Parque de los Periodistas and meander through La Candelaria, Bogota’s Old Town.
Get Lost While Trying to Find “the Lost City”
Go on a wonderful trek to the Lost City, the Ciudad de Perdida, the four day hike on the way there is in itself wondrous with an abundance of history and biological wealth, you will bypass communities and locals still inhabiting the area, giving you an opportunity to truly understand the culture. Tucked into the mountains of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, it is a UNESCO reserved site, the ancient town hidden in it’s ruins called Teyuna, or The Lost City.
Get that Outdoor Rush while Hiking or Paragliding!
Other notable hikes are the Cocora Valley Hike for a Jurassic Park-esque feel, the Sierra Nevada de Cocuy to see some snow and be amongst some of the highest concentration of glaciers worldwide, the magnificent Caño Cristales hidden with the mountains of Serrania de la Macarena, the Chingaza National Park or even para-glide down the Chicamocha Canyon Ridge, one of the largest canyons in the world.
Relax near the Water at the Colombian Coast
Be a beach bum at the Rosario Archipelago or San Bernardo Archipelago – Isla Grande, Isla Múcura, or Isla Tintipan. Perhaps searching for a small haven unspoilt by tourists? The little San Andrés, also located on the Caribbean Sea close to Nicaragua, a gem of a find. Although small in size, it is packed with beauty and activities to do. A popular scuba diving spot, the waters are easy for every level. Johnny Cay has glorious rock formations, Providencia and Santa Catalina have a plethora of diving facilities, stunning reefs and marine-life.