Fascinating country with a sulphurous reputation, Colombia is worth more than the prejudices it has been stuck with since the 80s. A country where nature has shaped incredible sites and whose history is told through unmissable places and other lesser-known…
1. Tayrona National Park
We start with a not very well known place that deserves to be much more. A paradise enclave in the Caribbean, extremely popular with Colombians, which is full of rare animals and plants. For example, you can come across the majestic royal condor and the area is ideal for admiring the sunset. A paradise we tell you!
2. Las Lajas Sanctuary
We touch on the sublime. Built on a gorge in itself rather canon, this church located on the border with Ecuador was born from the fervor of believers following an apparition of the Virgin in 1754. The building would have been built after that a blind man had collected donations in the region, before recovering his sight. A neo-Gothic style building that will amaze you.
3. La Ciudad Perdida
Welcome to the Sierra Nevada, within which lies a lost city. Straight out of the fantastic stories of the greatest explorers, the Ciudad Perdida is revealed after a walk over 1200 steps built on the side of the mountain, in an incredible tropical jungle. Discovered in the 1970s, this city is 650 years older than Machu Picchu in Peru and would have been home to nearly 8,000 people at the time. Seat of the Tairona civilization, it would then have been abandoned in the 16th century. The good news is that the site is open. Not super accessible but open.
4. Caño Cristales
A tributary of the Rio Guayabero, this river, whose name means “the stream of crystals”, contains red, yellow and green algae. From September to November, the show is permanent. And given that in addition, the route of the river passes through several waterfalls, rapids and other natural pools, we can say without fear of being wrong that it is indeed one of the most beautiful courses in water of the world.
5. Pablo Escobar’s abandoned mansion
Pablo Escobar helped give Colombia a bad name. However, his old barrack is still quite fascinating. Built in the Caribbean, the house in question, now in ruins, tells part of the story of this man who, from nothing, became one of the biggest drug traffickers in history. His property, back when Escobar was worth around $30 billion, had, hold on, 300 rooms, bathrooms you want, with gold showerheads, an unusually large swimming pool, a helicopter landing pad and lots of other super extravagant and of course super expensive stuff. A sort of cocaine-ridden Xanadu, the mansion has been stripped bare and now serves as the luxurious home of a family of giant wild pigs.
6. The Villa of Leyva
Built in the 16th century, this town sits enthroned on the largest paved square in the country. Of Spanish colonial style, remarkably preserved, the city once housed some 17,000 inhabitants. Intended primarily for the storage of agricultural materials, it now serves as a tourist destination and treasure of Colombian heritage.
7. The Puente de Occidente
Inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, this building is the longest suspension bridge in all of Latin America. Suffice to say that it is worth a look. Not only for its length, but also for its two strange towers, which dominate the waters of the Cauca river.
National treasure classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Mompox is a colonial city of great beauty. Ideally preserved, shimmering and mysterious, it is full of buildings that together tell a chapter in the history of Colombia. The writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez came here to draw his inspiration.
9. San Andres
Raised atoll located 1h30 by plane from Bogota, San Andrés is home to some of the most wonderful beaches in the country. There is also the district of San Luis, which, with its wooden houses, built in the purest style of the Antilles, impresses visitors. In Jenny Bay, you can walk a pink beach and in El hoyo saoplador, underground tunnels give birth at high tide to amazing jeysers. No, seriously, it’s amazing.
Nothing to do with the corner of Russia where it is super cold. La Siberia is an abandoned city, on the outskirts of Bogota, built around a cement factory. Nothing very funky a priori. Except that in Siberia, there are ghosts! Anyway, that’s what we’ve been saying since 1999, when everyone left after the factory closed. The town has such a reputation for being infested with ghosts that a full-time caretaker has been hired to ward off the curious at night.