Sophia Vergara, When It Comes to Colombia, Say No More.

Colombian American Actress Sophia Vergara

The American actress and brunette bombshell who rose to fame in the US sitcom Modern Family has done more for the travel industry of Colombia than the country could ever have imagined.

But there is a lot more to this diverse, cosmopolitan country than gorgeous women, cocaine and drug lords.

Colombia was colonised by Spain some 500 years ago and Spanish heritage is evident in the architecture and culture of most of Colombia’s capital cities.

American Indians comprise 3.4% of the country’s population and belong to 87 different tribes, living mostly along the borders with Venezuela and Ecuador.

Bordered by Panama in the northwest, Venezuela and Brazil on the east, and Peru and Ecuador on the south Colombia also boasts over 3000 km of coastline and 51 national parks.

From the capital Bogota which sits 2640 m above sea level to the idyllic coastal cities Santa Marta, Barranquilla and Cartagena, Colombia is one of the most budget friendly and culturally diverse countries to travel in as soon as the Australian international borders open.

colourful buildings in Colombia
The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page.

Allow at least 14 days to visit Bogota, Medellin, Salento, Guatapé, Cali, Cartagena and the Rosario Islands but having a flexible schedule is your best option because you will likely want to extend your trip.

Australia’s can enjoy visa free travel in Colombia. With no direct flights to Colombia from Sydney, most travelers stopover in the US before flying into Bogota.

Bogota Is The Best Place To Start Your Trip With A Combination Of Fabulous Museums, High End Restaurants And Sensational Coffee.

Learn about the American Indian history at Museo del Oro, also known as ‘The Gold Museum’ in the city centre.

Pay a visit to the Botero Museum and participate in a private walking tour to learn about the rich and fascinating history of the country’s capital from a local.

colourful buildings in Colombia
Colourful Colombian aesthetic.

Live it up at the Grand Hyatt or the JW Marriott Hotel Bogota and eat at Leo, the brainchild of Local celebrity chef Leonor Espinosa. Local delicacy, ant shells, will never have tasted so good.

Learn How to Grow, Harvest and Roast Coffee in Salento

Fly 1 hour to Salento from Bogota. Known for its coffee estates and verdant scenery Salento is nestled in the Andes. 

Wax palms in the Cocora Valley, Colombia.
Wax palms of the Cocora Valley, Quindío.

Reach the wax palms of the Cocora valley by taxi Jeep and marvel at the world’s tallest palm trees which look like something out of a Dr Seuss illustration. Hike around the valley or opt to travel by horse.

Salento is known as ‘the coffee cradle’ of Colombia and it doesn’t disappoint. Visit a boutique coffee estate such as Finca El Ocaso Salento or Plantation House (Finca Don Eduardo) and try the best coffee around.

Go Boating on Guatapé

Fly 1 hour to Medellin and then get a taxi 1.5 hours to the Andean resort town of Guatapé. It is well worth the effort.

Discover Laguna de Guatapé by boat and see what remains of Pablo Escobar’s lakeside mansion. Spot the exposed church spire in the middle of the lake, which marks the old city of Peñol a town which has since been submerged by the man-made lake.

Guatape lake, Colombia
Guatape is well worth the trip.

Walk the colourful streets where everyone seems to know each other and try the freshly caught trout which is a local specialty.

Climb 220 meters La Piedra del Peñol a giant monolithic rock that sits at the edge of Guatapé. With 650 steps leading to the top, enjoy the reward of a 360-degree panoramic view over the reservoir, cold cerveza in hand.

Learn How to Salsa in Cali

A 1-hour flight from Medellin, Cali is the self-proclaimed salsa capital of the world

With a plethora of Salsa schools to choose from learn “Cali-style salsa” or “Salsa Caleña” at the renowned Sondeluz Academy.

Salsa dancers in Colombia.

Having taught many prestigious alumni who have gone on to become champions overseas Sondeluz Academy also caters to beginners. Twirl and shimmy with confidence in no time with couple classes from $75 per hour.

Stay at the Cali Marriott or InterContinentaland try Colombia’s national drink, the anise-flavoured Aguardiente, nicknamed ‘firewater’ at a local bar where you can also practice your dance moves.

Take Spanish Lessons in Cartagena

A destination for Hollywood cool, Both Mick Jagger and Justin Bieber own property in Cartagena.

Set on the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena is one of Colombia’s most romantic cities. Located on the idyllic northern coast of Colombia. Stroll the walled Old City and explore the vibrant streets of the new town.

The tropical weather is warm to hot all year making Cartagena the perfect city to escape indoors and embark on a Spanish language journey.

Study Spanish at the Centro Catalina Spanish School Cartagena. Set in a beautiful 16th-century colonial house this school offers a highly professional learning atmosphere and offers Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced level courses. Buy a set of 10 private lessons for $450.

 Casa San Agustín, Colombia
Pool at the Casa San Agustín.

Stay at the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, Hyatt Regency Cartagena or Casa San Agustín and eat freshly caught octopus at Lila’s Pomarossa.

Visit the Rosario Islands by Boat

The Islas del Rosario, also known as the Rosario Islands are an archipelago located within a national park on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

Rosario Islands, Colombia
The Rosario Islands are also known as Corales Islas del Rosario.

Located 1 hour from Cartagena by boat, eat fresh-out-of-the-sea lobster or shellfish and swim among the well-preserved coral reefs.

Perfect for a day trip from Cartagena the Rosario Islands are a breath of fresh (Caribbean) air. 

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