If your first thought about Colombia may be drug cartels and coffee you haven’t been there to have the whole experience. What I like the most about Bogota are the different atmospheres that you can experience downtown. During the day is full of life: street sellers, students and a bohemian atmosphere. Who hasn’t walked throughout “la séptima” without seeing two “cachacos” drinking dark coffee in a small bakery store or The smell of fresh bread coming out of “La Florida”? During the night you have to stop by “La Candelaria”, the colonial neighbourhood, streets made of rocks, colonial houses with human size sculptures on their balconies or spend the night chatting and drinking chicha at “El Chorro de Quevedo”.
Cartagena, Colombia. First question that you have to ask to yourself is why you haven’t been there. As a starter “Laguito & Bocagrande” the two main beaches in this city. What to do and what not to do. You must go to Hilton Bahia, white sand and beautiful sunset. Walk on the shore without shoes and enjoy the shallow water. Do not spend money on sea attractions. Or beach sellers, if you let them rub oil and massage your back just once in a matter of seconds you’ll have ten more people selling or braiding your hair.
The second main place is the city surrounded by walls. It’s a colonial city inside of a fort. If you walk throughout the whole bastion you’ll see rusted cannons and drum towers. You must go to Alquimico Bar, different really nice atmosphere. One of the main issues in Cartagena is the transit system, buses are very old and crowded, and there’s no ring button, you have to yell STOP. If you decided to take a taxicab instead they don’t have any regulations, you bargain the fare, and if they feel any accent they’ll charge you double.
Not a short flight from Canada or US, (but a quick one from Costa Rica!) Colombia still attracts visitors from both countries.
OVERRATED (Be warned!): -Crime. Downtown Bogota is known for being dangerous during the night. Muggers, prostitution, to name a few issues. -Traffic. Rules are optional. -Public transit and poor infrastructure -Because of the weight of the fully loaded buses the roads have potholes all over the place, making the buses drive slow and causing traffic issues. -No shortage of tourist traps. -Most pedestrian streets are cobblestones so slipping and tripping might occur with wrong shoes.
UNDERRATED (Cool unknown facts): -Nightlife. Far exceeds expectations! -Nature. Colombia is one of the most biologically divers countries in the world. With 1,889 species of birds, Colombia is home to 20% of all species on earth. -Colombia has a wonderful seaside resort, Cartagena! -Nearly every city and town has a festival
-“El Eje Ambiental” in downtown Bogota, a beautiful place to walk during the day, with colonial architecture -The weather is almost always perfect.
If you have an opinion on travelling to Colombia, please say so in the comments below!