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Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena, Colombia by Jorge Gardner on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Latin America - Colombia Travel Notes.

Colombia Travel Notes

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Colombia Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Whether you crave relaxation on secluded beaches, mountain adventures, or visiting charming colonial towns, Colombia offers plenty of variety for travellers.

About Travel Notes

A country on the north-western coast of South America with a rich history and diverse culture, Colombia has become a popular travel destination in recent years with adventurous tourists visiting Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and the coffee region.

Countries neighbouring Colombia: Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.

Travel Map Mapping Colombia

Map of Colombia

Map of Colombia

Colombia is bordered by Venezuela to the north-east, Brazil to the south-east, Peru to the south, Ecuador to the south-west, Panama to the north-west, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the North Pacific Ocean to the west.

The capital of Colombia is Santa Fe de Bogotá.

Colombia Overview

Colombia is the only South American country from where you can swim in both the Caribbean and the Pacific.

It is the fourth largest country in South America and has a population of around 50 million people.

Major Colombian cities include Medellin, Cali, and Cartagena.

Colombia Landscape

Colombia is known for its diverse landscape, which includes the Andes Mountains, Amazon rainforest, Caribbean and Pacific coasts, and vast plains.

Ethnic Groups in Colombia

Colombia is home to many different ethnic groups, including indigenous people, Afro-Colombians, and people of European and Middle Eastern descent.

Language and Culture

The official language of Colombia is Spanish, and the country has a rich cultural heritage, with influences from its indigenous, African, and European roots.

Colombia is also known for its music, including salsa, cumbia, and vallenato, as well as its literature and art.


In recent years, Colombia has made significant progress in terms of economic and social development, although it still faces challenges related to poverty, inequality, and violence.

The country has also faced issues related to drug trafficking and armed conflict in the past, although there have been efforts to address these problems through peace negotiations and other initiatives.

Colombia Tourism

Colombia is a beautiful and diverse country with a rich culture, delicious food, stunning landscapes, and friendly people.

Plan your trip to Colombia carefully, take necessary precautions, and respect local customs and traditions.

Visit Colombia

If you're planning a trip to Colombia, there are several things you should consider doing and places to visit.

Discover Colombia's Colonial Heritage

Colombia has a rich colonial heritage, and there are several towns and cities that have preserved their colonial architecture, such as Villa de Leyva, Barichara, and Mompox.

These places offer a glimpse into the country's history and culture.

Experience The Coffee Culture

Colombia is famous for its coffee, and the country has several coffee regions that are worth visiting, such as the Coffee Triangle (comprised of the cities of Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia) and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

You can learn about the coffee-making process, taste different types of coffee, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes.

Explore Colombia's Cities

Colombia has several vibrant cities that are worth exploring, including Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and Cali.

Each city has its own unique charm and offers different experiences, from exploring historical landmarks and museums to enjoying nightlife and shopping.

Explore The Amazon Rainforest

Colombia has a small portion of the Amazon rainforest, which is home to diverse wildlife, indigenous communities, and breathtaking natural landscapes.

You can take a guided tour to explore the jungle, visit local communities, and observe the flora and fauna.

Visit Colombia's Beaches

Colombia has some of the most beautiful beaches in South America, including Tayrona National Park, San Andrés Island, and Cartagena's beaches on the Caribbean.

These beaches offer clear waters, soft sands, and plenty of activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and sunbathing.


Founded in 1536, the most beautiful Colombian women are said to come from Cali.

The Cali cartel also made a name for themselves in the illegal export of cocaine and the ruthless ways about getting market share.

San Pedro Cathedral and the Church and Monastery of San Francisco are Cali's major religious sights.

Where to Stay in Cali

Hotels in Cali.

San Andres and Providence

The archipelago of San Andres and Providence lies 480 miles north-west of the Colombian mainland and includes San Andres, Providence and St. Catherine; Bolivar and Albuquerque islets; Cotton, Haynes, Johnny, Roncador, Serrana, Serranilla, Quita Sueno, Rocky, and Crab cays and Alicia and Bajo Nuevo sand banks.

Santa Marta

Founded in 1525, Santa Marta is the oldest surviving colonial town in Colombia.


Cartagena's position on the Caribbean Sea would make it an attractive tourist destination, even without its colonial heritage.

In 1533 the Spanish founded a city that would become known as the Queen of the Indies.

The old colonial city is well preserved, and it's the centre of activities during the Cartagena Festival in November.

Cartagena was also the venue of the drug summit attended by George Bush.

Also visit the San Felipe fortress for an excellent view of the modern and old sitting almost side by side.

Colombia Activities

Where to Stay in Cartagena

Hotels in Cartagena.


Located in a mountain valley, at an altitude of about 1,525 m, Medellin is the capital of Antioquia.

Medellin was founded in 1675, and the city's large cathedral is a testament to the Spanish colonial period.

Colombia's second largest city is famous for its orchids and trigger happy cocaine exporters.

You can view the collection of orchids in the botanical gardens' Orquideorama, but sniffing coke is illegal.

Where to Stay in Medellin

Hotels in Medellin.

Santa Fe de Bogota

More commonly referred to as Bogota, the capital of Colombia is situated in central Colombia at an altitude of 2,640 m.

Map of Bogota

Map of Bogota

In 1538 Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada set the foundations for what would be the vice regal capital of New Granada, near the Chibcha Indian settlement of Bacata.

Simon Bolivar, The Liberator from Venezuela, captured Bogota in 1819 and it became the capital of Gran Colombia (encompassing modern Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela).

Bogota's first churches were built in the 1560's, and the National cathedral sits on the site of an earlier native temple.

A good view of the sprawling city can be had from the shrine of Monserrate, located on a nearby mountain.

The Gold Museum, in Bogota, is a must visit for its magnificent collection of pre-Colombian gold works of art.

Outside of Bogota, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is quite unique and you can easily visit Tequendama Falls, which plunge through a canyon in the Andean jungle.

Where to Stay in Bogota

Hotels in Bogota.

Travel in Colombia

Find The Encanto of Colombia

Where to Go.

Each of the Colombia's regions offers a different rhythm so you can do what you like most.

With adventure tourism, numerous cultural activities and excellent gastronomy, Colombia has everything to make your trip an unforgettable experience.

Paisa Tours - Colombia Travel Guide:
Colombia travel advice based around Chris Hardy's preference for high quality, authentic travel experiences; covering Colombian travel destinations suitable for cultured, discerning, well-travelled, adventurous people.

Colombia Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Colombia (Travel Guide) Colombia (Bradt Travel Guides)

Colombia Travel Guides - Colombia Maps.

Weather in South America:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Latin  America.

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