"Now on the Menu: Colombia" Top 5 Page for this destination Colombia by richiecdisc
Colombia Travel Guide: 4,174 reviews and 12,273 photos
It wasn't all that long ago that a mere mention of going to Colombia would raise more than an eyebrow. It's reputation as the kidnapping capital of the world and the home to numerous drug cartels all but made travel there forbidden, that lack of sanction reserved for dictator-run countries like Cuba. That said, even the most flag-waving US citizen would have rather taken their chances with old Fidel Castro over Pablo Escobar. To that end, Colombia remained more of a mystery and it has only been recently that glimpses into what the country is really like have really seeped out. A steady trickle of visitors have been making their way around the country since it “became safe” with not only a near unanimous proclamation that the country was full of wonderful sights but that Colombians were quite possibly the most friendly people in all of South America. However, with no marquee attraction like Machu Picchu to lure the masses, it has still remained very much under the mass tourism radar despite these praises. Even the seductive prose of Gabriel García Márquez was not powerful enough to draw them to anywhere besides Cartagena, where his most famed narrative oozes from. Of course, that is sometimes all it takes for once a few mainstream people return from the likes of Cartagena, it does not take long for their envious friends to set sail in that very direction too.
And just exactly what does Colombia have to offer those willing to take a chance on stepping outside of the confines of a novel set in the time of cholera? All too much. As it turns out, Cartagena is only one of many fine colonial gems scattered over the country's hilly topography. Those hills often turn into stunning jagged peaks, some sheathed in glaciers, many interspersed with jewel-like lakes of assorted colors. Not the alpine type? Head to the lush rolling hills of the coffee growing landscapes that are Colombia's heart. While there is no Machu Picchu, there is a Lost City that may lack the splendor of Peru's ruins but also attracts a trickle of visitors in comparison. There are beaches to rival any in terms of breathtaking vistas with a mere fraction of the sunbathers lounging on more famed ones. It may not be quite as cheap as some of South America's other noted destinations but overall its accommodation, food and transit network are a notch above the majority of them too. Add to all this the very friendly people who call Colombia home and you'll find yourself wondering how it remained “undiscovered” for so long. Of course, it wasn't an undetected so much as a forbidden fruit. Now, that it is on the menu, it will not take long for people to take a bite and after getting a taste of Colombia, they will likely come back for more. Colombia may have taken some time to garner this attention but it is much deserved and it is now perched to join the ranks of South America's top destinations. For those who have been, many will say supersede them.
I have wanted to travel to Colombia since 2005 and to be honest, like most of my South American travels, a trek or mountain range led me in its direction. While the dangers of the country kept me somewhat at bay, it was really timing with regard to weather that pushed the trip ultimately to 2010. I had heard enough good things from fellow travelers to go earlier but the trek I wanted to do was best done in January and it took until the later date for that month to be an option. The trek was around the El Cocuy massif and it was successfully completed in January of 2010. The rest of Colombia was a bit of an afterthought for me but oh what an afterthought it became. Please enjoy a few fleeting images from that very journey. If my words don't convince you, I am sure the photos will.
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It was not too long ago that the mere mention of going to Colombia would raise more than a few eyebrows due to safety... more travel advice
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Colombia Travel Guide
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