Part 2 of this Top 10 can be found here.
So 2014 has blurred into 2015, and it’s that month where New Year’s Resolutions are made and swiftly broken…how’s that gym membership going? ‘Dry January’ moistened up a bit recently? As we mentioned in this post last year…why not try something more fun and achievable and travel Colombia…?
You could (and should) hit up the usual popular destinations like Tayrona, Salento, Cartagena and Medellin, but why not also include some slightly different spots? To clarify, this list isn’t meant to be ’10 Alternative Colombian Tourist Spots’ list, it’s just a list with some ideas for a variety of interesting and lesser-visited places to consider for this year. So, without further ado, here are the first 5…
With it’s prime location sandwiched between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Serrania de Perija mountain ranges, the home of vallenato is a must-visit city for anyone fond of music, cultural heritage and natural beauty. The city is generally left off most people’s Caribbean itineraries, which is a shame, as the warmth of the people and the relatively small size of the city makes a visit a very pleasurable experience. The surrounding rivers, mountains and indigenous villages make Valledupar a truly wonderful place to visit.
2. Around Bogota…
Chingaza National Park, the cloud forests of Chicaque, the largest paramo in the world at Sumapaz, Colombia’s tallest waterfall La Chorrera…use 2015 to fully experience the natural wonders just hours from the nation’s capital. A visit to Bogota doesn’t just have to be culture anymore; too many people come here with the idea that a stop-off in Bogota is just an excuse to ‘party’ for a few days and visit the occasional cultural site, but the spectacular Andean surroundings of the city offer so much more: make 2015 the year you discover them!
3. Mocoa & Putumayo
Mocoa is the best way to visit the Amazon without getting on a plane. Located near the Ecuador border, the town is a gateway to waterfalls, jungle, rivers, and wildlife in a little-known and under-explored department. There isn’t much to do other than enjoy your natural surroundings, swim in rivers and waterfalls, watch out for birds and monkeys and…actually, that’s about it! Mocoa also combines pretty well with a visit to number 4…
A UNESCO recognized city for it’s gastronomy, famous for it’s white-walled colonial buildings and Easter celebrations, the capital of Cauca department is fast becoming a must-visit city on any Colombia traveler’s checklist. The nearby Purace National Park with it’s condors, volcanoes and incredible hiking adds to Popayan’s appeal.
5. Sapzurro & Capurgana
Along with the nearby (larger) town of Capurgana, Sapzurro marks the end of the road (so to speak) before Colombia meets Panama. A tiny little village with a population of less than 500, Sapzurro is a true gem: sparkling Caribbean waters and a huge reef full of fish for diving and snorkeling, lush jungle surroundings filled with toucans and monkeys, and fresh seafood on every corner. Plus, you can walk over a nearby hill to Panama, for another great beach; walking out of a continent is always a fun and unique experience. Getting there is satisfyingly challenging, and well-worth the extra effort.
Stay tuned for Part 2…coming soon (well, tomorrow!)