Colombia officially the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: About this sound República de) Colombia is a country situated in the northwest of South America, bordered to the northwest by Panama; to the east by Venezuela and Brazil to the south by Ecuador and Peru and it shares maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments.
Population: 47.7 million
Dialing code: +57
Cartagena is the bustling city where Kathleen Turner’s character Joan Wilder begins her Colombian adventures in romancing the Stone. Hopefully, travelers will get their visits off to better starts, though the city is just as busy as when it was one of the key Caribbean ports from the 16th to 18th centuries. Fought over by various countries, Cartagena was one of the most heavily fortified cities in South America; these fortifications can still be seen today. Travelers should take time to wander through the colorful old town, with its colonial architecture that includes museums, palaces and churches. “Bocagrande“, a long strip of hotel towers and condos fronting onto the beach, is also very popular with tourists.
2.Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park is a must-see place for travelers who enjoy nature and exploring old ruins. Located on the north Colombia coast, the park offers a variety of ecosystems, from swamps to scrublands to cloud forests. For many travelers, the park’s biggest attraction is its beaches, set in deep bays and shaded with coconut palms. In fact, Tayrona beaches are among Colombia’s most beautiful. The park is also popular with birdwatchers who come to see the Andean condor, a threatened species. The park takes its name from the Tayronas, a native people, who left their mark on a number of archaeological sites, including Pueblito Chairama. Tayrona is a good place to snorkel, hike and see wild animals, including lizards and monkeys, in their native habitat.
Bogota, sometimes referred to as “the Athens of South America”, was first settled by indigenous peoples, though the founding date is generally set at 1538 by a Spanish explorer. Today, the city is one of the largest cities in South America and Colombia’s capital. Once considered a place to avoid, Bogota has cleaned up its act and is fast becoming one of the best places to visit in Colombia. Located at 2,640 meters (8,660 feet) in the Andes, Bogota has numerous attractions to entice visitors, including a planetarium, gold museum, botanical gardens, cultural events and a thriving nightlife. The city’s historic district can be found at La Candelaria, a pleasant quarter of cafés, churches and museums.
San Agustin is a laidback little town surrounded by awesome landscapes and the remains of a forgotten civilization. One of the most intriguing ancient sites in Colombia, the archeological park of San Agustin is home to more than 500 monoliths, statues, petroglyphs and sarcophagi. Most of the stone carvings at San Agustin were created between 100 A.D. and 1200 A.D. They include representations of human figures, smiling and sneering monsters as well as animals such as snakes, birds and jaguars. The pre-Incan culture that built the stone carvings is surrounded by mystery. No one knows their actual name. Most of what is known about this society comes from the interpretation of the carved statues and other ruins.
Popayan is one of Colombia’s most impressive colonial cities. Located in southwestern Colombia, it is sometimes called the “Ciudad Blanca” (White City) because its buildings are chalk-white. Founded in 1537, its mild climate in the Valle de Cauca quickly attracted wealthy Spanish families who built mansions, schools, churches and monasteries. The city is famous for its Maundy Thursday procession as well as its nightlife. The Iglesia de Ermita is the city’s oldest church, built in 1546, while the Iglesia de San Francisco lays claim to being the most beautiful. Popayan’s tranquility and charm make it a good place to chill out.
|Hilton Bogota||No. 72-41, Avenida Carrera 7, Bogotá,||+57 1 6006100|
|Hilton Cartagena Hotel||Avenida Almirante Brion, Cartagena, Bolívar,||+57 5 6948000|
|Sonesta||Cra. 50 #106, La Puerta de Oro de Colombia, Atlántico||+57 5 3856060|
|Holiday Inn Bogota||Ac. 26, Bogotá,||+57 1 4044141|
|Sofitel Santa Clara||Calle del Torno #39-29, Cartagena, Bolívar,||+57 5 6504700|
|In House Hotel||Cra. 34 #7109, Medellín, Antioquia,||+57 4 4441786|