Colombia’s Top 5 Travel Destination Cities

Posted on Jan 15 2014 - 8:59pm by Editor
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Visits to Colombia’s cities are steadily rising as an improving security situation and a warm and welcoming attitude gradually shift the international community’s conceptions of the country.

According to Colombia’s Tourism Ministry, from January to September of 2013, the country registered a significant 8.8% increase in foreign visitors from the same period of the previous year. Along with the rest of the country, Colombia’s cities also marked an increases in visitors. Here we have compiled a list of the top five destination cities for travelers to Colombia to help you plan your next urban adventure in Latin America.


Bogota

(Photo: Colombia Travel)

1. Bogota (649,000 visitors)

The cosmopolitan capital of Colombia is nearly city two miles above sea level and counts 8.8 million residents. A visit to Colombia’s big city promises excellent museums, world-class dining, and beautiful architecture.

What to see?

  • La Candelaria – old colonial neighborhood and tourist hop spot.
  • La Macarena – Bohemian neighborhood full of art galleries and great restaurants.
  • Botero Museum – Art museum featuring art from Colombian and Latin American artists. Free entrance.
  • Gold Museum – Impressive collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts and gold relics from the region.

MORE: Colombia Travel | Wikitravel


Cartagena

(Photo: Colombia Travel)

2. Cartagena (169,000 visitors)

The Caribbean coastal city counts as one of the most beautiful urban areas in Colombia. Due to its mystique and reputation for elegance, the city has witnessed a great influx and development of tourism in recent years. Cruise ships have also made the city a stopping point on tours of the Caribbean sea.

What to see?

  • Centro – the main attraction of the city, a historic old town surrounded by the city wall.
  • Castillo de San Felipe – A castle built in 1657 to protect Spanish gold ships against pirates.
  • La Popa – A hill that offers great views of the city.
  • Palacio de la Inquisicion – Palace of Inquistion, a historical site of religious persecution.

MORE: Colombia Travel | Wikitravel


Medellin

(Photo: Colombia Travel)

3. Medellin (135,000 visitors)

Also known as the “City of Eternal Spring” due to mild year-long temperatures, Colombia’s second-largest city is known for its surprisingly smooth public transportation and beautiful mountain surroundings. Also, visitors coming through should know Colombia Reports is based out of Medellin, giving the city a soft spot in our hearts.

What to see?

  • Museum of Antioquia – collection of contemporary art including works from famed paisa artist Fernando Botero.
  • Botanical Garden – Botanical garden of Medellin. Free yoga classes offered through the week.
  • Medellin Modern Art Museum (MAMM) – Collection of modern art.

MORE: Colombia Travel | Wikitravel


Cali

(Photo: Colombia Travel)

4. Cali (87,000 visitors)

Located in the southwest of the country, the third-largest city in Colombia, Cali, is known as the “salsa capital of the world.” There are about 2.3 million “caleñas” (the name for Cali residents) living in the city. A visit to this city will not disappoint those looking to experience the best of Colombia’s legendary nightlife. However, visitors to Cali should be aware visiting the city as the security situation is worse than other parts of Colombia.

What to see?

  • Cristo Rey – A statue of Jesus overlooking the city. Exercise caution when hiking up as the area is not particularly safe.
  • Barrio de San Antonio – Popular for Spanish architecture and performers, story tellers, and people selling handicrafts who show up on the weekends.
  • El gato del Rio – A statue of a giant cat on the river.
  • Cali Zoo – A well-kept zoo with an impressive number of animals.
  • La Ermita – a Gothic-style church located downtown.

MORE: Colombia Travel | Wikitravel


San Andres

(Photo: Colombia Travel)

5. San Andres (44,000 visitors)

Named San Andrés but nicknamed El Centro, it is the Caribbean San Andres Archipelago’s main urban center. The population is a little over 55,000 and the language and culture are split between mainland Colombians and English-creole speaking Afro-Caribbean group the Raizals, who comprise around half the island’s population. The islands are a popular destination for Colombian tourists and those looking to take in some sun.

What to see?

  • Bahía Sardina – Tropical beach with an expansive view of the seven-colored sea.
  • Johnny Cay – An hour launch from the Island of San Andres, this beach is perfect for walking
  • Old Providence McBean Lagoon – National park with scuba diving on another island of the archipelago.

MORE: Colombia Travel | Wikitravel

Sources

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