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Colombia officially the Republic of Colombia is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Twice the size of France, and with a diversity of landscapes and cultures that would be hard to find even in countries five times its size, Colombia should by all rights be one of the world's top travel destinations.
Unique Experience of ColombiaTours
Colombia is an exciting combination of ancient and modern attractions. There are beautiful city centers and cobblestone streets left behind from Spanish colonial eras. Modern Colombia is twisted with a thriving cultural scene and a spicy-hot nightlife. No matter what the media portrays, Colombia is an amazing place to visit at least once by every traveler. Exciting Amazon jungle, high-rising Andean summits, mysterious archaeological ruins, spotless Caribbean coast, and cobbled colonial communities, Colombia boasts all of South America's attraction and more. Colombia has best preserved the colonial heritage of South America, with attractive cities sprinkled with lush rainforests and local villages home to a variety of regional customs and tribes.
There’s nothing better for the soul than a Colombia luxury tour, and Colombia is the destination of choice for many travelers across the globe. With exciting landscapes, lively cities, excellent food, and world-class culture there’s plenty to admire and explore in Colombia.
Cartagena - The Picture Of Colonial Charm
- Cartagena is one of the most attractive colonial cities on the continent where the film Romancing the Stone was picturized. Wander the charming narrow streets decorated with wooden balconies and hanging plants. There are many exciting sites to see such as the Castillo San Felipe and the fortress on San Lazaro Hill. Below this fortress is a network of tunnels and there are still cannons in place along the battlements. Also, a trip up La Popa hill to visit the picturesque convent with great views over the city is worthwhile.
- The Boca Grande area of Cartagena is a famous place where Colombians come for their beach vacations and it is full of shops, nightclubs, and bars. Near Cartagena is the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo, a mud volcano where you can relax and immerse in the mud, which is considered to be a great treatment for the skin. The good part about the town is that most of the beaches are located within the walking distance of the town which makes arriving and leaving to/from beaches easy. This saves time which can be utilized in many other things. However, if you are only looking for the best beaches and not many, you will have to take a boat ride and reach to the lesser-known and lesser-crowded beaches of Rosario Island.
Medellín - The City of Eternal Spring
Medellín is, where we have the opportunity to explore the second largest city in Colombia. Known for its charming weather, it acquires the nickname “the City of Eternal Spring”. Here you can start with an introductory tour using local transport including metro and cable-car. Visit The Metropolitan Cathedral in Bolivia Park which holds the record for having most clay bricks of any building in the world with over 1.1 million bricks. Many Colombia travel agents conduct a guided walking tour of this charming city. On your tour, learn a little more about the city's interesting modern history.
- Having spent the 1980s and 90s with international fame as one of the world's most dangerous cities, Medellin has turned itself around to become one of the most impressive cities in South America. With some of the country's finest museums, parks, and architecture as well as a much safer and comfortable environment now it's easy to understand why its popularity is increasing. The whole month of December is dramatic in Medellin because it's famous as the best cities in the world for Christmas light displays. The entire city will be filled with stunning, lights for all of December and a good part of January. Then there’s the holiday food – and lots of fun. You can look for special feasts in bakeries. Bring your loose pants so you can enjoy great and delicious feasts throughout the month.
Tayrona National Park - The Adventure Paradise
- Ask about the best places to visit in Colombia and almost all Colombia travel agents will shout out loud with Tayrona National Park. When on a Colombia tour with family, it becomes quintessential to add this place on your travel destination list.
- The best way to explore the park is to camp at night. You can opt for camping on the beautiful and the famous Cabo San Juan Beach. Choosing camping over lodges save time which you can utilize on better things. For example, if you are camping on the beach, you can utilize the early mornings and late evening hours of the day in exploring the top attractions of the park not on sleeping or traveling.
- So, camping on one of the best beaches in the world allows you to explore the Tayrona National Park in early mornings and late afternoons. There are also a couple of ruins which you can hike during the day. For water persons, snorkeling is another great thing to do in the park.
Caution Note: While soaking your eyes with the beauty of the beach and the park, some bugs will annoy you with their buzzes. So, do pack a bug spray before leaving and enjoy the scenic beauty of the park bug-free.
When planning your Colombia tour, you might be wondering when is the best time to visit Colombia. Colombia being a diverse country needs many factors like weather, events, and vacation costs to be considered to determine when to plan your Colombia trip. Consider the below facts before you plan your luxury Colombia tour with your travel agent.
-Colombia is a year-round destination, especially along the Caribbean coast and in Medellin where warm, dry weather is common for almost the whole year.
-The dry season in Colombia remains between December and March, but even beyond this period, weather variations are defined more by region than clearly set seasons. The main differences are experienced in the highlands, where areas with higher altitude become chilly at night.
-The lowlands enjoy a tropical climate year-round with little temperature variation, though regular rain showers will be noticeable in the wetter months of April to June and again in October and November.
Carnival in Barranquilla
Rio de Janeiro certainly has the world’s largest Carnival festival, but Colombia’s Barranquilla is considered to be second-largest. The four-day celebrations kick off on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, or the start of the Catholic Lent season, which continue for 40 days leading up to Easter. The festival ends on Fat Tuesday, which is also known as Shrove Tuesday. Carnival weekend varies year to year, but you can plan for it falling between February 3 and March 9.
Medellin at Christmas
The most perfect time for a cultural tour to Medellin, the city of eternal spring, is over the Christmas holidays. Colombians are one of the world’s biggest celebrators of Christmas, but no one does it bigger than Medellin does, thanks to their festival of Alborada.
The month is packed with special events, starting as midnight blows on November 30, when the sky fills with fireworks, declaring December and the official start of the Christmas season.
The “Day of the Little Candles” is observed on December 7 when, after nightfall, families put hundreds of candles in front of their homes to illuminate the path believing Virgin Mary will come their home and bless them. But, for you, the traveler, it’s an extremely beautiful night to roam the city with endless paths of candles glowing in the night.
In Colombia, accommodation ranges considerably, but given the country’s relative prosperity you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the bargains available.
Backpacker hostels offer huge facilities, especially in larger cities such as Bogota, Medellín, Cali, and Santa Marta. The prices range from around COP$19,000 for dorms to COP$43,000 for double rooms. You will enjoy comfortable beds, shared kitchens, free wi-fi, library, laundry, cable TV and stacks of DVDs which is for common use., The hostels are also often the ideal places to find and enjoy the local attractions. Some rent bicycles and even horses to explore the neighboring the area. Guesthouses sometimes cost more than COP$70,000 for a double room with private bathroom.
If you are adventurous, camping is a great option in some rural areas and national parks, especially Parque Nacional Tayrona on the Caribbean coast and Parque Nacional Cocuy in the highlands. Remember that many campsites don’t provide tents (or rent substandard ones), so it’s best to bring your own if you plan to camp regularly. Those who hike to the Ciudad Perdida usually sleep in hammocks with mosquito nets.
If you are visiting the coffee-growing region, you can stay on one of the stately Fincas. Though these farms range from small to smooth, modernized operations, the majority are small estates that offer luxurious accommodation at a reasonable price (COP$25,000–45,000 per room). Meals prepared from locally produced ingredients as well as numerous outdoor activities, like farm tours and horse riding, are often included or available in a stately Fincas stay.
Colombia offers a very diverse cuisine, each region of the country owning its own unique dishes. This amazing cuisine offers dishes that have been delivered down from generation to generation, inspired by not only native Colombian culture but Spanish, African and Arab cultures as well. Colombian food is versatile, rich, full of flavor, colorful and refreshing. Here are the top 3 dishes you should try on your Colombia tour.
Bandeja Paisa: This platter is apparently the most common Colombian dish, basically from the Andean region of the country where the people are called “Paisas”
Tamales: Tamales have many variations in Colombia, but they all have one thing in common. The Common thing is that the Colombian Tamales are all wrapped in banana leaves.
Sudado de Pollo: This chicken stew is one of the most favorite dishes in Colombian homes. This delicious dish is served with white rice on the side which soaks up the flavorful sauce.
Colombia is a beautiful and diverse place, with many wonderful spots to explore. But, as with any new destination that has its own history and culture, there are a few things you should know before planning your Colombia tour.
Cash Is A King
In Colombia, cash is always preferred. You won't buy everything with your credit card in Colombia. You can use it in some shops (Exito) and bigger hotels. ATM’s are in English and Spanish and the surcharge stands at about US$ 3.00. The highest value bill in Colombia is COP 50 000, and the highest amount to withdraw at a time is COP 780 000. Look for ATM with black Servibanca sign, that's the one you can use!
Check Visa Requirements
Citizens from some countries do not need a tourist visa to enter Colombia. For example, while passport holders of countries like the USA, the European Union, the US, and Canada, among others, don't require a visa to enter Colombia. Those who hold a United States Visa or Schengen Visa (except transit visa), from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam are also granted visa-free access. It is best to ask your travel agent or visit leisure.com for the guidance of expert travel agents
Generally, it is safe to use a taxi in Colombia. It is always better to ask in the hotel or in the restaurant to call a radio taxi for you. You can use Uber in bigger cities, but note that Uber in Colombia is illegal, so it is always better to sit in the front next to the drivers so it looks like he is giving a ride to a friend, and not to a customer.
Colombia It Is Not A Cheap Country
Colombia is not that cheap when it comes to transport cost. Don't expect similar prices as in other South American countries. Bus tickets are pretty expensive and the food and accommodation are slightly cheaper than in Europe.
Colombia is very safe to travel to, but as with all countries, precautions should be taken. Here are some important things to know before your trip to Colombia.
In Colombia, the safety situation has greatly improved over the last years and you will be very unlikely to face any problems if you follow these basic safety rules:
When you visiting plain sight, Don’t carry valuables like jewelry and cash. If you have an expensive camera, carry it in an unremarkable bag and hold it carefully.
When you walk on the roadside, carry your bag on the other side of the street to avoid robberies from motorbike riders.
Don’t ride in unlicenced street taxis. Download the Cabify app to order taxis. The drivers are registered and so is every single ride you take could be tracked.
Don’t walk around at night, instead hire a taxi.
Healthcare in Colombia is fairly good, particularly in cities where modern medical treatment is reasonably fast with little or no problem. In rural areas, however, don’t rely on finding any medical care. Arrive prepared with any medicines that might be needed and a first-aid kit, and plan for unforeseen emergencies. Health in most towns should be able to treat minor ailments and costs are usually very low.
It’s a very clean country! Exercise caution as always, but the food is pretty safe to eat, even from street vendors. All the food vendors in the walled city in Cartagena have strict food standards they need to meet. Avoid tap water. Most food establishments offer filtered water, if not, get bottled.
Colombia just like most other countries around the world has its own unique culture, and here are some of the Colombian customs and manners.
We know that kisses on the cheeks are a common greeting manner in most of Latin America. In Colombia, though, kisses on the cheeks are usually only practiced between women or between women and men who are more than acquaintances. And, contrary to other Latin American countries, in Colombia, this type of greeting includes one kiss given right cheek-to-right cheek.
A man greets another man with a handshake or even just a verbal greeting. If you are very close friends, you may give a firm “man pat” on the back or a “strong hug,” but cheek kisses are not often given between men.
Colombians Are Very Clean Eaters:
For Colombians, it is very important to follow table manners and stay clean while you eat. Colombians rarely eat with their hands, and many Colombians find it annoying if you eat with your hands. Even french fries, fish sticks, chicken fingers, and fresh fruits (often eaten with your hands in the United States and the United Kingdom), are eaten with silverware. The only exception to this is fried chicken, which is eaten with plastic gloves to avoid getting your hands dirty and sticky.
“In most restaurants, the tip is included in the bill (normally 10%). That tip is distributed amongst all the staff. So if you want to give something extra to just your waiter, which seems to be more optional, that needs to be separate.
Plan Your Colombia Tour With leisure.com
We at the leisure.com work for customized Colombia tour to offer you a comprehensive hassle-free vacation. The plans are customized keeping in mind your requirements and interests. Whatever might be your choice; an adventurous vacation, a luxury vacation, a family vacation or a romantic one, we are ready with the perfect plan for you. We value your safety as well as respect your privacy, and the travel agents plan your Colombia tour accordingly, either a packaged group tour or an independent private tour. In all cases, we ensure a hassle-free experience with luxurious accommodations, expert local guides, and outstanding excursions. So whether you wish to explore the Argentinian wildlife or immerse yourself in the natural charm, write to Leisure.com and we will bring you the perfect tour plan from the top travel agents.
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