20 September 2016

Colombia’s Best-Kept Destinations Revealed

Posted in Blog

Colombia has surged to the forefront of world travel destinations. Most visitors taking a trip to Colombia tend to stay on schedules that stick close to the main hub cities of Bogota and Medellin or coastal Cartagena. So, with these cities as a base, how about looking a little further afield, getting away from the tourist crowds and visiting some of Colombia’s equally spectacular but more remote locations? Here we introduce you to three of Colombia’s best-kept secrets.

Colombia destinations

From Bogotá:

Caño Cristales is Colombia’s famed river of five colours that flows in a remote, isolated area not easily reached by road. It is however only a short flight from Villavicencio or Bogota to La Macarena in the province of Meta. If you are looking for something slightly more exotic than the general tourist route in Colombia then Caño Cristales is a must see. Under the right climatic conditions, an endemic aquatic plant called Macarenia clavigera blooms in the river every year between July and November creating an explosion of natural bright red and pink hues. Combined with green algae, blue water and yellow sand, the river is transformed into a liquid rainbow. The impressive ecological wonder of Caño Cristales is a place to connect with nature along a number of ecological trails. Furthermore there are no fish in the water so visitors can enjoy uninterrupted swimming in waterfalls and natural pools along the most beautiful river in the world. Recommended 3-4 days.

Colombia destinations

From Cartagena:

 Santa Cruz de Mompox is a small extremely remote pueblo located on the banks of the River Magdalena, located about six hours by road and then a two-hour boat trip from the city of Cartagena. The sleepy town of Mompox, founded in 1540, is celebrated for its lost in time feel and the preservation of its colonial architectural features. Walking the streets and admiring the best-preserved colonial architecture in the country, learning about the art of filigree gold and exploring nearby wetlands in search of wildlife are among the highlights for a growing number of visitors to this steamy town. A land of ancient traditions and religious customs, Mompox’s Semana Santa celebrations at Easter are rated some of the best in Colombia. Mompós also has a celebrated history; Simón Bolívar arrived in Mompox in 1812 and recruited nearly all of the able bodied men, who formed the basis of the army for his victory in Caracas. "If to Caracas I owe my life, then to Mompox I owe my glory." reads an inscription on a statue of Bolívar in the town square. Recommended 2-3 days.

Colombia destinations

From Medellin:

Nuqui, in the Choco on Colombia’s unexplored Pacific coast is where the jungle meets the Pacific Ocean and where mile upon mile of deserted beaches await you. The easiest way to get to Nuqui is by taking a small airplane, which departs the city of Medellin several times a week. On arrival, friendly locals are fiercely proud to show off this out-of-the-way hidden gem on Colombia’s West coast. Besides untouched beaches there are a number of other attractive options to explore in the region. Colombia’s Pacific coast is not only one of the best places for whale watching in the country - but the world. Each year between July and October, the ocean is home to migrating humpback whales, giving birth to their calves in calmer waters. Watching the spectacle of these majestic creatures is an experience not to be missed. Surfing, ecological hikes in the jungle and thermal springs are just some of the other options available and can be organized from the numerous eco-lodges along the beach. Recommended 3-4 days.

Colombia destinations

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Colombia destinations

Mark Boultwood

About the author:

Mark Boultwood is an Englishman living in Bogota, Colombia. Mark first ventured to South America in the late 1990s, years later found himself volunteering at an animal refuge for a year, caring for a Jaguar in the depths of the jungle. His passion for travel and new experiences landed him a decade-long role specialised in leading small group tours from Mexico right down to the tip of Argentina and almost every country in between. His interests include wildlife photography, hiking and collecting treasures from the places he travels. He is a freelance correspondent for Uncover Colombia.