The Caribbean region is the northernmost part of the Colombian territory and is the home of some of the best beaches in the country, the beautiful colonial city of Cartagena and the highest costal mountain in the world, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
This region along the Caribbean Sea covers a range of different ecosystems from the jungle of the Darien in the border with Panama to the dry desert of La Guajira near Venezuela, as well as the spectacular San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina Islands. These varieties of landscapes offer plenty of alternatives to chose from when travelling around this region like ecotourism, bird watching, nautical sports or you can just choose to just relax.
Average temperature 30°C. In some areas like the desert of La Guajira can reach more than 40°C at midday.
Its people, traditions and culture:
Costeños is the popular name given to the inhabitants of this region. They are warm and friendly and love music and partying. They are the most happiest and effusive people in the country!
This region is also the home of some indigenous communities, like the Koguis and Arhuacos in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta and Wayúus in La Guajira.
Its traditional Food:
In general, the main ingredient of the local cuisine is the daily catch, which can include Sea Bass, Red Snapper and shellfish. Other typical foods are bollo limpio (cooked corn grain dough wrapped in corn husks), butifarra (typical pork sausage), suero costeño (a kind of sour cream), coconut rice and arepa de huevo (corn pastry with egg).
What to do:
This region is a paradise for practicing: snorkelling, diving and nautical sports, as well as ecotourism in the Tayrona Park, the Sierra Nevada, La Guajira or the Gulf of Urabá.
Where to go:
There are many beautiful places to visit in this region, here are some of the ones you shouldn't miss:
- Cartagena: One of the most fascinating colonial cities in Latin America. It was declared a world cultural heritage site by the UNESCO in 1984.
- Santa Marta: The oldest colonial city in Colombia
- Tayrona National Park: Home of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Its scenery varies from sandy beaches to rainforest.
- The Lost City in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park: An ancient abandon town built by the Tayrona people between the 11th and the 14th centuries.
- Cabo de la Vela in La Guajira: One of the most beautiful spots in Colombia. The cape, as it is called, is full of rocky cliffs above and sandy beaches below, accompanied by the stunning colours of the desert.
- Mompox: A beautiful town known as the setting for Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was declared a world cultural heritage site by the UNESCO in 1995.
When to go:
Any time of the year is good to visit this region, but if you want to participate in one the festivals and learn more about their traditions and culture, these are some good examples:
- January: The Corralejas Feast in Sincelejo, Sucre
- February: The Barranquila Carnival.
- April: Festival of Vallenato Legend in Valledupar; Cesar
- May: Wayuu Culture Festival, held in Uribia, La Guajira
- July: The Cradle of Accordions Festival in Villanueva Fiestas del Mar in Santa Marta, Magdalena.