In the extreme north of the continent, Colombia, a country of dreamers and unforgettable experiences, where the ocean and the jungle coexist in the same place; where the lush landscapes and thick rivers described by history and great literary works are filled with sighs at the expense of their visitors; where each experience is indescribable and fascinating at the same time. Colombia is reborn and opens its doors to those who wish to know it.
The vibrant life of Colombian cities attracts thousands of tourists looking for examples of urban development, cultural plurality, art, as well as the friendliness of Colombians, the wealth of each town and city, the magic and romanticism that radiate any destination in Colombia
Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, has about eight million inhabitants. Medellín, "The Eternal Spring", chosen as the most innovative city in the world, is a pioneer in fashion and urban, social, cultural and educational investment. Cali, the salsa capital of the world, a city full of flavor also known as "The Sky Branch".
Cartagena, Santa Marta and Barranquilla, major cities also in the north of the country, which we will talk about later and that make up our experiential journey of Romantic Colombia.
Visiting Colombia is a fascinating experience.
It surprises us with countless natural wonders, like a sea of seven colors in the beautiful Island of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, off the coast of Nicaragua. This island captivates us by the waves of the sea and the beauty that lives inside; the colors of the reefs, great variety of fish, an aquatic universe and reggae music that is worth knowing. The lit beach Spratt Bight has a coastal promenade lined with palm trees. On the coast is Johnny Cay Park, a small island with coconut mangroves and white sand beaches.
Cartagena, ancient as its history. Considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is a port city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Next to the sea is the walled Old City, which was founded in the 16th century, with squares, cobblestone streets and colorful colonial buildings. With a tropical climate, the city is also a popular destination for its beaches. The island of Barú, with its white sand beaches and palm trees, and the Rosario Islands, famous for their coral reefs, can be reached by boat.
Founded in 1525 the romantic city of Santa Marta (Tourist, Cultural and Historical District) is the oldest in Colombia. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, such as the resort of Rodadero, one of the main tourist destinations in the Colombian Caribbean, and the imposing mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Ancient ruins are hidden in the lush mangrove forests of Tayrona National Park, the perfect place for a hike during the day.
Barranquilla, "The Golden Gate of Colombia" is the capital of the Atlantic department, and is an overflowing sea port, bordered by the Magdalena River. An incredible architectural beauty with its colonial treasures, surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, its golden streets by the sun and the sand, the spontaneity and joy of the people of the caribbean, make of Barranquilla the ideal destination to enjoy the placidity of its enchanting beaches and its cultural richness, which opens the way to the biggest festival in Colombia: Carnival, recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Here are some places, experiences and activities not to be missed in these beautiful destinations in the Caribbean Region of Colombia:
Practice trekking to Ciudad Perdida
The Lost City, Teyuna, the 'Door to the Past', the Colombian Machu Picchu. Ascend this archeological jewel of the Latin American country is one of the most fascinating experiences that the passionate to the hiking can realize. Whoever knows it compares its top with that of Machu Picchu, but this route has the charm of the secrets that only a minority knows. At its feet the Buritaca river crosses, a clear and singing ribbon that descends from the snowy summits in search of haste of the Caribbean Sea, and around the whole orographic, full of life and beauty, gives greater luster to the most important archaeological vestige found in Colombia.
Excursion to the Rosario Islands
Located south of Cartagena, off the coast of the Barú peninsula, the Corales del Rosario islands are a popular natural attraction, with crystalline waters and reefs. The islands are part of a national park and are ideal for diving or snorkeling. Choose from the various tours that are offered to visit them and go to the pier of La Bodeguita, in the historic center, to take your boat. The tour can include a visit to the Oceanarium to see turtles, sharks and dolphin shows, or a day at the beach. If so, try the crazy coconut, a rum mixture with coconut cream; enjoy a plate of fresh seafood accompanied by patacones and rice, and buy some of the crafts that make the locals.
Eat fish on the shore of the beach -Cartagena and Santa Marta-
Fish in all its variants, fried and with patacón is all you need: tostadito, hot and wide, served on a good portion lettuces that in turn rest on the patacón, even more crunchy. You will see it in many local restaurants, to immediately want to give it a try. The sea offers red snapper, mojarra (to mention a stellar pair), shad and lebranche (another luxury pair), pass a few drops of lemon for the fish you choose and enjoy each delicious snack on the shore of the beach .
Night to the sound of drums
A traditional party raises the mood to anyone with the joyful rhythms of the region. On the beaches of Santa Marta (Rodadero) and Cartagena, it is common to encounter groups of local musicians who delight the audience by playing their drums to start a party during an evening stroll along the beach. Although in some places you can not go into the sea at night, a party of these on the sand is something worth living.
Strolling in horse-drawn carriage the walled city of "La Fantástica"
It is a wonderful way to tour the cobbled streets and alleys of the Walled City. It can also be a romantic experience to enjoy at sunset or on a full moon night. Carrying on the so-called Victorian cars or floats is a tradition dating back to colonial times, which is ideal for appreciating the architectural landscape and listening to fabulous coachman legends. The Plaza de los Coches is the starting point of these carriages pulled by horses that offer tours of the historic center and the modern sector of Cartagena, and special walks for couples with bottle of wine and music. It is common to see newly wedded bride and groom aboard one of these cars on their first ride as husbands.
Watch the sunset in Bocas de Ceniza in "La Puerta de Oro de Colombia"
In Barranquilla, the encounter between the waters of the Magdalena River and the Caribbean Sea can be seen in Bocas de Ceniza, the main mouth of Colombia's most important river artery. In this site an engineering work was constructed with tajamares that narrow the mouths of the river so that the force and the speed of the current move the sediments and allow the navigation. The sunset here, with the pleasant breeze, is certainly a must-see in the city.
We can say that Colombia's only problem is that once you know it, it catches you and it will be very difficult to want to leave.