Colombia is a rich and beautiful country that cannot be missed from your itinerary if you are heading that way. You’ll be in for a treat as you crisp up on the beautiful beaches, salsa away until dawn and meet some of the happiest and friendliest people on earth. Take a look at my list of places in Colombia that might not be listed in every guidebook but which I consider to be hidden gems:
Capurganá is the last town in Colombia before reaching Panamá. To get here, you need to take a speedboat that fits around 15 people in it from a not so pleasant town called Turco. The ride is very choppy so hold on to your loved ones and belongings – especially as the waters are shark infested! Capurganá is home to some of the most beautiful Caribbean turquoise waters, mini palm tree islands and coral reefs. Additionally, Capurganá is a very small town with limited infrastructure, which makes it quite different from many commercialised Caribbean beach towns, and there is no electricity in the town at night. Capurganá appears untouched. Stop by one of the local cafés for a typical Caribbean (plantain-heavy) lunch or if you are after something a little lighter, a scrumptious fruit salad hits the spot.
Salento is a charming and quaint town, littered with colonial houses and beautiful plazas and surrounded by the marvellous land of palmas de cera, which are distinctive palm trees that are dotted all over Salento’s surrounding hills. If you like walking, you can hike up and around the hills by grabbing a map and hiring some wellies (you’ll need them). If you want to go easy on the exercise, there are elegant horses that you can hire to take you for a stroll. Just be careful not to touch any of the wired fencing around the fields, as they are electric and this is not sign posted!
Lago Guatavita is a beautiful green-tinged lake not too far from Colombia’s capital, Bogotá. There are myths that say that there are duendes (gnomes) and gold at the bottom of the lake. The town near by, Guatavita, is also picturesque with its stunning red rooftops, craft stools, chapels, restaurants and cobbled streets that definitely shouldn’t be missed. If you’re driving you can make your way to Guatavita for a day trip, otherwise there are tours offered at the local town.
Of course, Colombia’s gems also include Taganga and Punta Gallinas with its expanses of beautiful white sanded beaches and nature, Cartagena’s historical city centre, Medellín, the city of eternal Spring and Bogotá with its feisty nightlife and lively atmosphere, among many other spots…the list is endless. Make sure you equip yourself well with knowledge of where to go and what to see so you don’t miss out on everything Colombia has to offer!