Travel to Colombia alone

Fears and prejudices in the land of salsa
Travel to Colombia alone

La Colombia It is a truly surprising country, one of those where there is never enough time and where every day you discover that you want to do something new. I traveled there for about 5 weeks and decided I wanted to visit during a full moon night in the Amazon, inspired by another backpacker's sensational stories.




Even today, this country is often associated with violence, guerrilla warfare and drug trafficking, although fortunately the threat ended years ago. To paraphrase a national advertisement from a few years ago, the only fear you should have is never wanting to leave.

To travel safely in Colombia you simply have to be careful not to walk alone at night, especially in big cities, not accept drugs during parties and not cross the border into Ecuador on night transport. If you keep these 3 points in mind everything will be fine.

Colombians are really very hospitable and helpful, like all Latinos, but in some cities like BogotĂĄ and MedellĂ­n I also found them very similar to us culturally which allows you to have a closer experience during the trip.

Many people associate traveling to Colombia only with the coast and the Caribbean part, in my opinion it would be a serious mistake to limit yourself only to that, also because in my opinion the true uniqueness is found in the interior.

Regarding the climate issue, consider that our summer is the rainy season, this does not mean that you cannot travel, but it is really inconvenient to go trekking because the roads are often very muddy and your days in the Caribbean could be interrupted suddenly. . The best season to visit Colombia is undoubtedly winter, if you are a big party animal we definitely recommend going in February during the carnival period, an experience that you will not easily forget. Remember that Colombia is an Andean country, much of the territory is above 3000 meters above sea level so bring warm clothing and cover yourself in layers.




Travel itinerary in Colombia:

Bogota,: its cold capital is undoubtedly worth a visit. Start from candelaria its beautiful historic center, dozens of alleys covered in colorful murals, which open to enormous and spacious squares such as Plaza BolĂ­var and its baroque cathedral. After looking for signs of the colonial era in the center, I recommend spending a morning going up to the Monserrate Hill, the hill that overlooks the capital. Leaving early, it is difficult but you can get there on foot, it is interesting and meditative, the alternative is to do it by funicular or cable car, which I recommend using to go down to the valley. You cannot leave the city without visiting the Botero Museum (although the one in MedellĂ­n is prettier) and the Gold Museum, one of the most beautiful I have seen, where the treasures of pre-Columbian civilizations are preserved. The night in BogotĂĄ is very active both in Candelaria and in Zona G, I have always had a lot of fun, but remember to always return by taxi or Uber even if you are not far away.

Travel to Colombia alone

If your travel itinerary is oriented towards the north, I recommend planning a stopover of one or two nights in Villa Leyva  a beautiful completely white colonial town, it is located in a perfect area for lovers of walking along simple trails, think about stopping by here as well. Barichara and maybe eat some roast goat and buy a pair of typical cotton sandals. For sports and adventure lovers it is a must-visit. S, the town most frequented by athletes, here at very advantageous prices you can practice paragliding, rafting, caving, kayaking and canyoning. It is a very lively town with many travelers, but also many Colombians on vacation, I suggest you try at least one sport that you have never practiced before.




If you want to get to the Caribbean coast I recommend a night bus to Santa Marta, but remember to dress very warmly because at night the temperature is very low, I don't know why but in Colombia there is a tendency to put air conditioning on the buses at night around 10 degrees!

To better discover the Caribbean coast, start here Cartagena, with its fort and its port, the nerve center of commerce until a few centuries ago, is now the center of gravity of salsa, nightlife, entertainment and experimental restaurants. A wonderful place to take photos and have fun, for diving where the water is bluer choose the Rosario Islands.

Travel to Colombia alone

 

The coastal area hides 3 truly unique treasures in the world:

  • the lost city: the most iconographic hike in Colombia, you walk on foot through the jungle for 5 days to reach the ancient pre-Columbian city that according to legend is El Dorado. The hike is quite challenging, the landscape is impressive and consider that if you don't feel like carrying your backpack on your shoulder you can always "rent" a mule!
  • Tayrona Park: one of the most beautiful natural parks next to the sea in South America, you can only explore it on foot camping between one beach and another, there are some state campsites if you don't have your own tent, but the number of accesses is limited.
  • The Guajir Peninsulaa: the most extreme end of the South American continent, that kind of terrestrial index that can be seen on the map. It is a truly isolated place, very difficult to access, which borders Venezuela and is inhabited by a protected ethnic group. Getting there independently is quite complex, it is easier with an organized tour which, however, will be very essential. I slept in a hammock under the stars, but it was an experience that I will hardly forget, there are endless sand dunes that submerge into the sea and paradisiacal beaches.

Travel to Colombia alone




Medellin: in itself the city is not beautiful, if we exclude the Botero Museum Which leaves you breathless, but there is a lot of energy, a lot of desire to redeem yourself after the dark years he lived during the time of Pablo Escobar. In recent years many people have gone there to rediscover the traces of the famous television series, let's say that it is interesting to understand in detail to what extent the delirium of a single man has forever destroyed the lives of many people. Instead of limiting yourself to themed tours, talk to local people, ask them what life was like in the 80s, everyone has an incredible story.

From Medellín you can reach the town of Guatapé which is definitely worth visiting because the famous Peñol Rock, Climbing a thousand steps you have a sensational view of an artificial lake dotted with small green islands.

Two wonderful places that you should not miss between MedellĂ­n and BogotĂĄ:

  • The Coffee Axis: that is, the coffee area better known as the coffee triangle because it revolves around the towns of Manizales Pereira in Armenia. They are very rich cities, with a good lifestyle, many young people and there is also a university. A prosperous economy revolves around coffee, the best way to immerse yourself in this fragrant atmosphere is to sleep in a producer, even better if it is historic. Obviously you can visit the property, they will explain how coffee is grown and produced. The atmosphere and landscapes are magical. Coffee grows at about 1500 m altitude, which at this latitude allows for a mild and temperate climate, during the day it is around 25 ° C and at night it cools down, in my opinion the best temperature in the country.

Travel to Colombia alone

  • The Cocora Valley: a wonderful natural park not far from the beautiful town of Salento. It is famous for its unique wax palms, that is, very tall palm trees, which reach 60 m in height and can withstand an unusual altitude for this variety, in fact we are above 1500 m. The landscape is wonderful, hundreds of shades of green. The park can be explored on foot or on horseback, the trails are never too complex, it is also suitable for those who are not expert walkers.

Travel to Colombia alone

If you're looking for other off-the-beaten-track Colombian itineraries, you have two options: head south on the white road. Popayan, Pasto, the archaeological site of Saint Augustine until finishing with the very famous church of ipiales which is located right on the border with Ecuador. The other option is to take a national plane and head to the magnificent islands of San Andrés and Providencia, immersed in the Caribbean Sea, undoubtedly the point with the most beautiful sea in the country and also splendid for diving.

Travel to Colombia alone

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