What makes Medellin so magnificent? Once considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Medellin’s temperate weather, hospitable locals, gorgeous gardens and artistic enclaves have prevailed and this cultured city has emerged full of spirit, passion and optimism.
This vibrant town may have been founded centuries ago, but nowadays Popayan has a youthful spirit due to the local university that attracts thousands of young Colombians to the region. Home to many of Colombia’s most celebrated poets, composers and painters, Popayan also has some of the most stirring Easter celebrations in the world.
Known locally at the ‘Capital of Heaven’, Cali’s museums and public art may dazzle you, but it’s the up and coming food and party scene that’s getting loads of attention. With modern restaurants serving international cuisine, local eateries offering traditional fare, lively salsa bars open until dawn and a fair worth travelling for in late December, Cali shouldn’t be missed!
Less of a city and more of a colonial town, the faded charm of rustic Barichara has been endearing travellers for centuries. Coloured, whitewashed buildings with carved wooden doors and red roofs, quaint little churches and hilly streets make Barichara the perfect place to linger for a few days of quiet downtime.
Colombia’s sprawling capital is a frenetic fusion of old and new, with skyscrapers towering over colonial buildings, wild traffic giving way to peaceful parks and cobblestone streets leading to bohemian night spots. With so much going on, you’ll be exhausted trying keep up with Bogota’s pace.
Lofty Tunja’s historic architecture, spiritual sites and lively festivals make it an interesting destination for travellers from all walks of life. Whether you’re interested in magnificent art, colonial-era architecture or cultural enlightenment, Tunja delivers on all accounts.
Surrounded by walls built to guard against pirates, Cartagena captivates travellers with colonial mansions, cobbled streets, Spanish-style houses and brightly coloured buildings. History seems to drip from every street corner, especially when Cartagena takes on a golden glow by night.
Although one of Colombia’s less-visited spots, cultured Pamplona is well worth checking out. With a wealth of museums, galleries and churches nestled within its narrow streets and rousing Holy Week celebrations, Pamplona offers a peak into Colombian traditions and daily life.
9. Santa Marta
Seaside Santa Marta attracts flocks of tourists chasing sunshine, scuba diving and seafood. With beautiful beaches, atmospheric bars, chilled-out open-air cafes and heritage sites, Santa Marta should feature on every travellers list.
10. San Gil
This small city is emerging as one of Colombia’s hottest new destinations, mainly due to the plethora of adventure sports on offer in the surrounding areas. Test your limits with paragliding, caving, rafting and kayaking, and then relax in the pleasant botanical gardens and cafes of sunny San Gil.