It’s my favourite time of the week – yep, it’s Ask the Experts time! Each week, I put one of your travel questions to our panel of gurus, who will do their utmost to provide you with an answer to your (travel related) prayers.
Have you got a question for the most expertly group of Experts you’ll ever come across? When I put it that way, how can you resist? Drop us an email with your question, and the Experts will answer it right here on the Blog.
This week, travel expert Jess is away doing some travelling of her own, so it’s down to Sarah from STA Travel in Covent Garden and Claire from our store down in Brighton to come to the rescue of one confused traveller. This time, Alex from Devon is the traveller in question – take it away, Alex.
I’ve been hearing a lot about Colombia recently and I’m intrigued. My question is, what are the best things to see and do out there, and is it generally safe these days? Alex in Exeter
Ooh, great question, Alex – I’ve been hearing a lot about Colombia too (in fact, I gave it a big High Five a few weeks ago), and would love to find out more. So read on, and find out where to get the best cup of coffee in Colombia, where to go to relax, and where to go to get your adventure on. Your Colombian adventure starts right…now!
Sarah Jones from STA Travel Covent Garden says
Colombia is the place to go at the moment, Alex. In the last 5 years Colombia’s safety record has dramatically improved and as a result it’s growing rapidly as a tourist destination.
In terms of highlights, well, the country has many! Cartegena in the north is a spectacular destination infused with Caribbean charm. This small city is composed of colonial architecture painted in array of exotice eye-catching hues. Spend a few days soaking up the mixture of Cartegena’s colonial history, Caribbean bliss and vibrant atmosphere.
You could start your trip by exploring beautiful Cartagena
Not too far away is Santa Maria and the Lost City of Tayrona, an ancient city dating 650 years before the Inca times! The beautiful Parque Tayrona in the region is also a must-visit. Take a hike through Parque Tayrona’s jungle followed by a walk along the white sandy beaches on this Caribbean coastline.
If you’re a coffee lover then Colombia is the perfect destination. The Manizales region in the centre of the country is one of the biggest crop regions. There is a really good 3 day trip, called the Manizales Coffee Experience, it shows and educates you on all things coffee associated, from the growing, to the preparing to the tasting. Yum!
We also offer a cool little trip that explores the highlights of the country’s capital in 4 day.. the Bogota Explorer! You can discover this charming city via bike, cycling through the historic La Candaleria, check out the famous graffiti scene, get a cable car to Monserrate for the most epic views of the city and feast on local Colombian cuisine.
Our Expert Sarah reckons that Colombia has the best coffee in the world
Whatever you decide to do for your trip you can be rest assured Colombia will fill you with experiences you will find hard to forget.
Claire Whittington from STA Travel Brighton says…
Colombia has become a lot more accessible and safe in the last few years, Alex, so as long as you are sensible and use your common sense, then Colombia could be just the place for you to have an unbelievable trip!
Colombia has a wealth of different experiences just waiting to be discovered. I recommend starting on the Caribbean coast, flying to Cartagena and doing our 19 day Cartagena to Quito trip.
Start off by exploring the beautiful coastal town of Cartagena, spend the day sipping cocktails on the beach, next day head to Tayrona National Park and spend the evening sleeping hammocks. You’ll head on down through Colombia to San Gil an adrenaline junkie’s dream location, enjoy some extreme sports or spend the day relaxing on the farm. Enjoy a night of traditional music and dancing in Manizales, after spending a day on a fascinating coffee tour! Finish the trip in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, you’ll definitely discover the best of Colombia in these 19 jam-packed days.
You could also head up the coast to Santa Marta for the 7-day Taganga and the Lost City trip.
Work your way through the jungle on the Lost City trek
Whilst all your friends are hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru you can really show off and take the 5-day hike to the ruins of La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City of Tayrona), which is the archaeological site of an ancient city that was founded about 650 years before Machu Picchu!
The walk can be pretty gruelling but as you passing the exotic wildlife of the Cloud Forests, visiting small indigenous villages and cooling off in cascading waterfalls will make the walk completely worth it. And that is not even considering what is waiting for you on the 4th day – the stunning archaeological site and many terraces of the Lost City. You can even take a bath in the basin that is believed by the indigenous people to give eternal youth (please note, not guaranteed!)
Basically, there’s so much that Colombia has to offer – if you’ve got time left, white water rafting or canyon jumping in San Gil, having a proper cup of coffee as you take in the views over the coffee plantations or checking out the underground Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá are must-sees. I guarantee, you’ll never be bored in Colombia!