08 May 2014

Top 5 Towns to Visit in Colombia

Posted in Blog

As some of you may already know, Colombia is a country full of beautiful and charming towns.

We have talked a lot in the past about the bigger cities in Colombia, but today we want to focus on telling you about some Colombian towns that we think should be on any traveler's list of places to visit during their tour in Colombia.

1. Barichara

A national monument officially named "the prettiest town in all Colombia," Barichara is a small town that sits in the eastern Colombian department of Santander, a short mountainous bus ride from the departmental capital of Bucaramanga. Barichara is a small, walkable town, full of picturesque colonial houses, churches and store fronts. In addition to walking through the quaint cobblestoned streets of the town and taking in all of its colonial charm, make sure you try the giant ants, locally known as "hormigas culonas."

Uncover Colombia - Barichara, Santander

One of the colonial streets in Barichara

2. Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is another colonial town located about 3.5 hours outside of Bogotá in the department of Boyacá. Villa de Leyva is famous for its beautiful cobblestoned streets and colonial houses, one of which is purported to be the house where Colombian independence leader Antonio Nariño passed away. In addition to touring this hold-turned-museum that holds many of Nariño's belongings and learning about his life and role in the Colombian independence movement, you can also take a tour of and try some Colombian wine at a local vineyard, see the town on horseback or just kick back and have some national beer while you people watch at the main plaza.

Uncover Colombia - Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva main square

3. Guatapé

About an 1.5 hour outside Medellín, you will find another amazing small town called Guatapé. Guatapé is instantly recognizable by its extremely colourful houses and buildings. This small town is worth seeing, if for nothing else, for its variety of colored buildings and houses which are decorated with incredible tiles depicting traditional local and national landscapes and scenes. Aside from walking through the town and admiring the intricate and unique tiles, you can also take a boat ride around the famous lake that surrounds the town as well as hike up a local monument—la Piedra del Peñol, a giant rock located right outside the town, to get a spectacular view of the surround landscape.

Uncover Colombia - Cathedral in Guatape

Cathedral in Guatape

4. Mompox

Further north in Colombia you will find one of the oldest towns in the country, Mompox. Mompox is a small town located on an island where Colombia's most important river, the Magdalena River, joins with another important river, the Cauca River. Worth visiting any time because of its historical importance and "take you back in time" atmosphere, the best time to visit Mompox is without a doubt during Holy Week when the town really comes to life with traditional processions and celebrations.

Uncover Colombia - View of Mompox from the Magadalena River

View of Mompox from the Magadalena River

5. Aracataca

Aracataca is a very small town located on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia in the department of Magdalena. It is best known for being the birthplace of famous Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Although not often listed in travel guides or even recommended as a destination by Colombians, the town offers a unique look into town-life and gives you the chance to explore the place that inspired Gabriel Garcia Marquez to write his most famous book, A Hundred Years of Solitude.

Happy travels!

The Uncover Colombia Team