Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, lies in a narrow valley in the middle mountain range at an altitude of 3300 m. The industrial city made headlines for the fighting between the government and the notorious drug lords. Medellín is also the center of the coffee and textile trade.
The coffee plantation area includes numerous villages and towns. The most important include Pereira, Manizales and Armenia. Here you can experience the rousing folklore and admire handicrafts.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Colombia, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
Tierradentro and Silva
In Tierradentro, in the southwest of the country, there are engineered burial caves painted with pre-Columbian designs. Nearby is the Indian town of Silva.
Cali is the center of the Colombian sugar industry, where modern technology mixes with colonial tradition.
Leticia is the capital of Amazonas. A journey through the Amazon is an adventure trip to the largest ecological reserve in the world. The wealth of plants and species is impressive.
More than 100,000 nomadic Indians live on the Guajura Peninsula .
Barranquilla, a busy port and Colombia’s fourth-largest city, sits at the mouth of the Río Magdalena and is one of the country’s major commercial centers. In the Zona Negra you will find a colorful market.
Cartagena, an ancient fortified city, is located on the north coast of Colombia. In the evening, when the picturesque colonial-style street lamps illuminate the squares, fortifications, cloisters and balconies, you feel as if you have been transported back in time.
The islands of San Andrés and Providencia are almost 500 km northwest of the Colombian coast and can be reached by air or sea from Cartagena. The islands are a duty-free zone and therefore often overcrowded. The small island of Johnny Cay (beautiful beach) is the destination of many boat trips.
There are many archaeological sites in Colombia. The San Augustin Archaeological Park contains countless stone relics and statues. In the historic town of Popayán there are beautiful houses and churches from the colonial era. The Holy Week procession attracts many visitors.
Utría Park opened in 1987 and reopened in 2007. It is inhabited by 1700 indigenous people of the Embera people. One of the biggest attractions of Utría National Park is that it is at times home to humpback whales, which migrate to the warm waters of the national park to give birth to their young.
Villa de Leyva
Founded in 1572, Villa de Leyva is one of the most beautiful colonial villages in the country. There is also a paleontological museum. Because the area was hidden under the sea millions of years ago, an unusually large number of fossils have survived.
The hot-blooded Colombians are known for their vibrant nightlife, with bustling restaurants, numerous parties and nightclubs where dancers sway their hips to salsa, cumbia and merengue rhythms. Busiest is Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. The most varied nightlife can be found in Bogotá: The Colon Theater offers ballet, opera and theater performances as well as music performances, while there are a number of different themed bars in the Zona Rosa: a beer bar, an Irish bar and countless Colombian bars lure with their happy hours. There are also many clubs in the area, which often charge an entrance fee. The Media Torta in Bogotá offers music on Sunday afternoons and holidays, games and folk dances. Cali is the perfect place to spend the night at salsa clubs, packed with decked out youngsters, all displaying an enviable talent for dancing. Medellín offers a fantastic selection of bars and clubs. Most major cities have luxury hotels that have excellent bars, although they tend to be quite expensive. Cartagena has smaller bars in the fortified old town that serve good rum cocktails and have a relaxed salsa vibe. In smaller towns you’ll find more homely bars and a much more relaxed atmosphere, although the choice of drinks is mostly limited to beer and rum. Colombia has a well-developed range of hostels, many of which have their own bar where you can meet other travellers. Colombia’s tourism industry is rapidly developing, and adventurous young expats are opening bars, restaurants and cafes. These places are good for happy hour and a little home, and they often have free Wi-Fi too.