Things to do in Colombia
Colombia offers a mix of history and outdoor adventures, from the beach to the Andes, that makes it in some ways an ideal destination for travelers in search of variety. Here are some sights to hit:
Bogota. Though tourists have long shied away, Bogota is safe again and it's possible to explore it colonial neighborhoods, check out its cathedral, and hit some of the museums, the Casa de Oro with its stunning collection of pre-Hispanic gold work being perhaps the most famous.
Cartagena's Old Town. This city on the country's Caribbean coast is not a place to come to with any sightseeing agenda. Your goal should only be to get lost among the incredibly atmospheric streets of this remarkably well-preserved colonial city.
Medellin. Colombia's second largest city has been undergoing a renaissance in recent years. A new metro system has opened, along with a number of new parks. Artist Fernando Botero has donated more than 1,000 works of his own art to the Museo Antioquia. Things are looking up for this city in a stunning setting in the foothills of the Andes.
The busy Centro district revolves around the Plaza de Bolívar, an overgrown public square where teenage couples kiss and palenqueras - women who sell fruit from enameled tubs balanced on their heads - amble past old men playing chess on rickety card tables.
The museum houses a 6,500-piece collection of pre-Columbian gold coins and other works of art.
You’ll find more than a hundred sculptures and paintings by the artist.
A museum full of historical dioramas and crude 18th-century portraits of governors and generals. The first floor displays torture devices that illustrate how a little wrought iron might shape one's faith.
The theater was built in 1911 to celebrate 100 years of Colombian independence.
Housed in a 17th-century monastery, El Coro bar, at Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara, lures locals and guests alike with pitch-perfect mojitos and the prospect of glimpsing writer and occasional barfly Gabriel García Márquez.
The tropical-fruit-colored façade hides a marble interior that offers a cooling respite from the hot city streets.
Bill Gates and Spanish King Juan Carlos I are devotees of this pint-size workshop where tailor Edgar Gómez Estévez has been creating his white linen guayabera shirts for 35 years.
A lively bar just a short taxi ride from the central city with music on Fridays. Dancing couples spill out onto the balcony and salsa music lasts late into the night.
Built by the Colombian aviation pioneer Jaime Duque Grisales as a gift to Colombians, 37 miles north of the capital, the park has some 30 head-scratching attractions.
There's dancing almost every night at this bar deep inside the iffy part of Gesemaní - take a taxi here and back.
The tour provider has helped raise the travel profile of South America with high-end cruises on the Amazon and in the Galápagos, as well as bespoke itineraries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. T+L Trip pick Wild Beaches of Brazil.
The quietist of Cartagena's four quarters, it's also where to find the best arepas in town. Most visitors tour the neighborhood in one of the horse-drawn carriages that clop-clop past the bright colored walls and overgrown balconies.