City breaks in Colombia

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What to do in Colombia?

‘Hola y bienvenido’ to Colombia! A country rocked for many years by violence and political scandal, Colombia has dealt with its dark past and has become, today, a top South American destination. The reasons for visiting the country are many: an extraordinary natural and cultural diversity, breathtakingly beautiful colonial architecture, an eclectic musical scene and dance styles that feed the body and soul…A trip to Colombia is also about its people – warm, welcoming and willing to share the wonders of their cultural heritage with the rest of the world. What’s more Colombia is less frequently visited than its neighbours, so you can explore a natural paradise that’s avoided the negative effects of mass tourism. It’s an easy choice - if you’re looking for a Latin touch that’s both vast yet intimate, don’t wait any longer…Colombia’s the one for you!
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When to go in Colombia?

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The best cities to visit in Colombia

Cities in Colombia offer endless unforgettable experiences. With historic architecture, thriving arts and culture, and lively nightlife, there’s something for everyone in Colombia’s urban destinations. And while they all share a unique color and vibrancy, each has its own distinctive identity.

What makes Colombia’s cities unique?

Colombia has a rich and fascinating history, which has resulted in a dynamic and alluring culture blending both indigenous traditions and Spanish customs. And there’s nowhere better to immerse yourself in this culture than in the country's colorful cities, each with its own intriguing history celebrated through various festivals and monuments. To get a real flavor of the country’s diverse culture, visit a few Colombian cities on your trip. 

The best cities in Colombia to visit on your vacation

From historic Cartagena to cosmopolitan Bogota, each Colombian city has its own character well worth delving into. These are the best cities to visit in Colombia. 

Dive into culture in Bogota

The Colombian capital is the country’s biggest city, and is the third largest in South AmericaOften called the 'Athens of South America', it has a fantastic cultural scene. Whether you want to see striking street art or visit a gallery packed with world-renowned artists, there’s plenty to keep you busy on the arts scene here. Plus, there are a handful of fascinating museums, such as the Gold Museum, and brilliant restaurants in the historic downtown area of La Candelaria.

Be enchanted by the Caribbean jewel of Cartagena

Cartagena was an important port on the Caribbean coast for centuries, and today it draws throngs of tourists to its beautiful old center surrounded by fortress-like walls. The streets here are lined with brightly colored colonial buildings where the likes of bougainvillea and hibiscus flowers tumble from balconies and over railings. This is the most picturesque city in Colombia by far. 

Learn to salsa in Cali

Cali is the capital of salsa in Colombia, if not the world, and is home to countless salsa bars and dance schools. In between taking high-energy salsa lessons, don’t miss the city's fine museums, from galleries with changing modern art exhibitions and to the La Merced archaeological museum where pre-Colombian pottery is on display. 

Discover a city on the up in Medellin

Few cities in the world have reinvented themselves as successfully as Medellin, former home to the notorious Pablo Escobar. Today this vibrant and welcoming city is home to a wave of digital nomads, innovative companies, and a thriving arts scene. Visitors can also look forward to some of Colombia's best dining and nightlife here, too.

Take in carnival in San Juan de Pasto

Known locally as "Pasto" for short, this is one of Colombia's oldest cities, offering striking historical and cultural sites as well as modern marvels, like the Las Lajas Sanctuary church, which sits dramatically on a viaduct overlooking a river. Come to Pasto for direct access to some spectacular natural destinations, too, from lakes to volcanoes, all easily reached from the center. This is a fairly relaxed city for most of the year, but each January the Carnaval de Negros and Blancos sees the entire population go wild.

Tips for planning a city break in Colombia

It would be impossible to enjoy all of Colombia’s best cities in one trip, so really think about the kind of vacation you want to help you narrow it down. Also keep in mind that the climate varies significantly throughout the country, from high-altitude Bogota which can occasionally get quite chilly, to hot and steamy Cartagena. Plan and pack accordingly.


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