Lamentably, Colombia isn’t a destination on everyone’s list of places to go in the world and therefore many people consider the whole country to be ‘off the beaten track’. Nonetheless, tourism increases all the time and for those who like to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in Robinson Crusoe-style adventure, the growing popularity of places such as Cartagena, Bogota and Medellin can leave you flumoxed: where’s this one-man-and-a-hut travel destination you were hoping for? Well, friend, fear not. Those genuine ‘off the beaten track’ destinations can be found in abundance in Colombia, and we’re here to help you with a list of 5 places you should visit to be ahead of the curve when you travel to Colombia.
One of the most unique landscapes in the world, Caño Cristales is called ‘The River of 5 Colors’ and it’s not hard to see why. Although most of the year it’s difficult to tell the difference between here and any other river, every year for months at a time (September to November) the river’s colors unveil themselves. Though difficult to get to (it involves flying and buses) the end result of your travel is something unforgettable.
La Guajira gives you the feeling that if the world (was still) flat, this is the place you could jump off. Red sands cascade into the seemingly endless ocean as you, your travel buddy and a bird observe. Again, La Guajira is difficult to get to, but don’t let this put you off – it’s both the journey and the destination that make Colombia’s north-west corner so incredible.
The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida) combines all the best aspects of adventure: a long trek through forests, rivers and mountains; encounters with ancient local communities; a spectacular ending and lots of mosquitos. The Lost City itself once belonged to ancient, Pre-Columbian tribes and, like Machu Piccu, it’s a fascinating peak into South America’s past.
Colombia still has a population of almost a million indigenous peoples, but the richness of the cultures that once existed have, for the most part, been sadly wiped out. San Augustin, in the south of Colombia, stands as one of the few relics in South America to the pre-Columbian tribes that once roamed the land, and displays parts of the developed, complex societies they once had.
Sierra Nevada del Cocuy
If it’s snowy mountain peaks you’re after, you may not immediately picture Colombia as a destination of choice. But, if you’re coming, be sure to pack your winter clothes as Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is a national park in Colombia’s Andes that is punctuated with several high, snowy peaks. A drastic change against the rest of the country’s scenery (and people’s expectations), Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is one of the most surprising destinations in the world.
Of course, it’s important to Colombia and to us that these destinations remain truly authentic, which means we encourage responsible travel to these places. Respect your environment, and we can keep these trips just as fresh, exciting and new for everyone that visits.
If you want more information, or to organise a tour, get in touch with See Colombia Travel.