Renowned as the “Jewel of the Caribbean”, holidays in Cartagena are brimming with colonial architecture painted in bold colours and beautiful balconies laced in bougainvillea. While along Colombia’s Caribbean coast you can trek through the jungles of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to discover Ciudad Perdida – an awe-inspiring ancient city to rival Peru’s Machu Picchu in size – or simply unwind on the gorgeous beaches of the Tayrona National Park. You will have an unforgettable adventure when your travel Colombia.
As Latin America’s best preserved city, a holiday in Cartagena is the perfect blend of history and romance. Built in 1533 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, Cartagena is easily the most beautiful city in the Caribbean. Here you can enjoy the pleasure of roaming the narrow city streets lined with colourful colonial buildings with wrought-iron adornment, while locals play domino in lush plazas and horse-drawn carriages pass through town.
Santa Marta, Tayrona National Park & La Guajira Peninsula
Founded in 1525, Santa Marta is South America’s oldest surviving city. Unfortunately through the centuries, much of its colonial heritage has been lost to marauding pirates. Despite this, Santa Marta remains a well-loved destination for both Colombian and foreign holidaymakers, and acts an ideal starting point for exploring the nearby Tayrona National Park.
East of Santa Marta you will discover the Tayrona National Park. A tropical paradise of jungle-fringed beaches and turquoise seas, soaked in Caribbean sunshine: Tayrona is the perfect setting for relaxation when you travel in Colombia. While another remote land lies to the northeast; La Guajira Peninsula boasts beautifully windswept desert bordered by sparkling blue seas, and is ideal for travellers looking for an alternative Colombia tour experience. The peninsula is also home to the indigenous Wayuu people, whose society spans across northeast Colombia to northwest Venezuela. Known as people of the sun, sand, and wind, the Wayuu women are master weavers and traditionally craft remarkable textiles, each one telling a unique story through its colour and pattern.
If you are looking for true adventure when you travel in Colombia, you should pay a visit to Ciudad Perdida, the “Lost City” of the indigenous Tayrona people built sometime after 500 AD. A pre-Colombian city lost in the dense jungle of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains, Ciudad Perdida is a mecca for history lovers and nature lovers alike. Consisting of over a thousand circular stone terraces linked by an intricate network of paved footpaths and stone steps, Ciudad Perdida is surrounded by tropical jungle boasting pristine rivers, curious flora and a rainbow of birdlife, all of which only add to the ancient city’s mystical allure. For an unforgettable experience, make this part of your Colombia tour.
Also residing in the Sierra Nevada are the fascinating Kogi people, an aboriginal group descended from the ancient Tayrona that once inhabited Colombia. The Kogi possess a fundamental understanding of an intrinsic connection between the earth and its inhabitants, and in 1992 the tribe’s priests released a documentary Heart of the World: The Elder Brother’s Warning cautioning humans to adopt a less destructive attitude towards the earth.