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Travel Guide: Colombia Highlights

12th Oct 2011 2:00am | By Editor

Explore its cities or get back to nature on Colombia’s Pacific coast.

Cartagena

A World Heritage listed city on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena is where Gabriel Garca Marquez set the luscious, evocative Love in the Time of Cholera. The Spanish conquistadors left behind a fine legacy of graceful buildings and cobbled paths that are now perfect for wandering around.

Medellin

Colombia’s second-biggest city is in a stunning location — in a deep valley ringed by lush hills. Once home to the Medellin Cartel headed by the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, it’s now thriving. International flights arrive here, so it’s a slightly more relaxed introduction to the country than Bogota. The Museo de Antiquou is a must-see, while the funiculars (cable cars) that travel up the hills (they’re public transport for locals) provide a great view over the city.

Bogota

Take seven million or so Colombians and pack them together in a city and it’s a recipe for a big, chaotic, vibrant city. There’s plenty to see and do, from galleries and theatres to bars and clubs and cafes, to artsy districts to ritzy neighbourhoods. And every Sunday the streets are closed to cars while a million or so Bogotanos take to the road on bikes, rollerblades or walking shoes

Pacific Coast

Get away from the tourist hordes and get back to nature on Colombia’s unspoilt Pacific coastline. From whale watching to surfing to scuba diving and snorkelling to treks in the rugged jungle to kayaking down pristine rivers, there’s plenty to do, or you can just laze in a hammock at one of the many eco-lodged dotted along the shoreline.

San Andres Archipelago

A cluster of islands that have all the trappings of idyllic Caribbean getaways.