7 Colombian Designers Share Their Favorite Places to Visit
Now is the time to go to Colombia.
Whether you’re exploring the capital city of Bogotá, the colorful streets in Cartagena’s Ciudad Vieja, the lush coffee plantations in Zona Cafetera (just south of Medellín), the untouched beaches of San Andres or Santa Marta, or dancing salsa in Cali or cumbia in Barranquilla, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Colombia.
And Colombian fashion is just as distinct as the pride and warmth of the country's culture. So if you want to blend in with the local flair, these are the seven Colombian designers you should pack.
We asked them each to share their personal recommendations for must-see destinations and attractions all over the country.
Casa Chiqui, Cartagena
“I have been going to Cartagena since I can remember. So while I am not a local, I do know my ins and outs of the Old City. Over the last 10 years, tons of shops have been popping up. Some fun and pretty, most tourist traps, and certainly none with the allure that Casa Chiqui has. Once you enter this tropical oasis you are hooked; one trip is just not enough because there is more than the eye can meet. Chiqui, the owner, has carefully curated a selection of objects, clothing, and accessories from her trips all over the world and has beautifully curated it with local pieces. There is also a wide selection of designs made in collaboration with Colombian artisans that are not to be missed.” — Yasmin Sabet, Mola Sasa
(Side note: Almost all designers mentioned Casa Chiqui as a top pick.)
Wear to Go: Mola Sasa Pelican Clutch
To buy: anthropologie.com, $420
La Plaza de Paloquemao, Bogotá
“My favorite place in Bogotá is La Plaza de Paloquemao. You’ll find the most beautiful tropical flowers and fruits and you can taste the many different flavors of typical Colombian cuisine. They have the best lechona and tamales.” — Mercedes Salazar, Mercedes Salazar
Wear to Go: Mercedes Salazar Aqua Full Moon Earrings
To buy: mercedessalazar.com, $173
Escuela De Artes y Oficios and the Iglesia Santa Clara, Bogotá
“In Bogotá, one of my favorite things to visit is the Escuela De Artes y Oficios, which is located in a beautifully restored house in the Candelaria, the colonial part of the city. It's a school and foundation, which specializes in preserving and rescuing traditional Colombian crafts. Next to it is the Iglesia Santa Clara, which is a hidden gem. It has the most beautiful baroque ceiling made of gilded wooden flowers.” — Lucia Echavarria, Magnetic Midnight
Wear to Go: Magnetic Midnight Flower Crown
To buy: fivestoryny.com, $600
“An hour’s drive from Medellín, you will arrive at Luxé in Guatapé. As a first-time mom, my priorities have changed, and when I choose to relax I need to think of a place my son can also enjoy. Located in the center of a beautiful landscape, Luxé offers me the perfect plan with endless water activities during the day contrasted with charming lake view dinners at night.” — Lina Gutierrez, Carmelinas
Wear to Go: Carmelinas Mia Platform Sandals
To buy: shopbop.com, $320
Barrio San Antonio, Cali
“I love the Barrio San Antonio side of Cali because it’s very traditional, filled with colonial architecture and quaint little restaurants. I also love Museo la Tertulia, a symbolic building hosting contemporary art that sits right next to the Cali River. Colombia is also one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and has the biggest variety of birds, so go bird watching at La Alejandría!” — Johanna Ortiz, Johanna Ortiz
The Island of Providencia
“Far from Cali’s valley lies the Colombian Caribbean Island of Providencia, next to San Andrés and Santa Catalina. This seven-colored sea paradise is a place of relaxation for both Colombians and foreigners that are looking to disconnect and embrace nature. I suggest you go hiking, scuba diving, and then swing on a hammock with a good book for the rest of your trip. Stay at Deep Blue.” — Johanna Ortiz, Johanna Ortiz
Wear to Go: Johanna Ortiz Belice Printed Dress
To buy: mytheresa.com, $850
The Gold Museum, Bogotá
"My favorite spot in Bogotá is the Offering Room of the Gold Museum because it recreates the legend of gold in Colombia and is a very special place for me." — Pepa Pombo, Pepa Pombo
Wear to Go: Pepa Pombo Carioca Skirt
To buy: shopbop.com, $530
“One of my favorite places in Colombia right now is Sibundoy in Putumayo. It is a town in the south of Colombia. I just did a trip to this region to work with the local indigenous people and I completely fell in love with the landscapes, the richness of the area, and the people that live there. You can hike in the mountains and visit communities. They have volcanic pools where you can go and swim, and afterwards you will have the softest, most beautiful skin. Also, the handcrafts that I found are incredible. I had to buy an extra bag after this trip!” — Paula Mendoza, Paula Mendoza
Palomino, La Guajira
“My other favorite place if I want to just relax and eat is Palomino, located in La Guajira, north of the country. It is one of the most magical places I have ever been. You have the ocean, mountains, and rivers.” — Paula Mendoza, Paula Mendoza
Wear to Go: Paula Mendoza Ego III Chime Choker
To buy: saksfifthavenue.com, $350Note: Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.