Colombia is fantastic country for travelers looking for outdoor adventures. Although Colombia was once known for its cartels, cocaine and raging civil war, Colombia is flourishing and has a more stable government since almost a decade. This means tourism and the country as a whole is thriving. Today it is the rich biodiversity, the warm welcome received from people, the picturesque villages and vibrant cities that are taking over the image of Colombia.
Why go to Colombia?
Colombia has the second highest biodiversity in the world. The many different ecosystems – from jungles, snow-capped mountains, cloud forests, beaches and even deserts – explains the vast amount of different animals and plants you can come across in Colombia. You don’t have to look for them either. By just wandering around a town, colorful birds and plants are abundant. Imagine what you’ll come across cycling or hiking through the sparsely populated areas, where animals are less disturbed.
Many Colombians cities have their own music and dance and they are proud to show it to you. Everywhere you go, you get a warm welcome, before you know it they offer a coffee, they invite you into their house, cheer you on while cycling by or give you some extra fruits for on the road.
One thing we discovered about Colombia, are the picturesque colorful towns, especially those situated in the mountains. The villages have a tranquil and peaceful feel to them, with a main square surrounded by many stores and restaurants. You will find children playing, people working, men drinking coffee in their afternoon work break, families having lunch or dinner and elderly strolling around and having sociable chats. It is truly the center of the town where so many aspects of daily life occurs. Somehow it feels so simple and purposeful to have such a center square in a small town.
Cycling in Colombia
For many cyclists, Colombia is their favorite country of South America, and we completely understand why. It is green, it is vibrant, it is cheerful, there is so much life going on everywhere you go. Many parts of Colombia are beautiful so even without a defined route you will come across gems of stretches of road. Cycling in Colombia provides plenty of options for those preferring to cycle paved roads and those looking for a bit more adventure on the unpaved backroads. Cycling through the famous Zona Cafetera, takes you through cloud forests with abundant flora and fauna. Butterflies, birds, plants, vines, palm trees, waterfalls you name it. It is the vision of Colombia that will linger and in our opinion symbolic for Colombia. Need inspiration for a cycling route for Colombia? Here are 3 beautiful cycling roads in Colombia.
Hiking in Colombia
One of the main hubs for trekking in Colombia is the touristic coffee town Salento. It is a perfect base to make a day hike to Valle de Cocora with its famous wax palms or explore Los Nevados on a multi-day trek. Although tourism is booming in Colombia, the hiking scene in Salento is still rather small in comparison with what Los Nevados National Park has to offer. We went on a 4 day hike in Los Nevados to discover Colombia’s Paramo and wax palm trees. Other famous hiking trails in Colombia include ‘The Lost City’ near Santa Marta in the Caribbean, and the area around Bucaramanga.
Best time to visit Colombia
The best time to visit Colombia is December to March. In most parts of the country it will be sunny and dry. If you are planning a cycling trip in Colombia make sure you are on the road on Sundays. You will share the road with many enthusiast Colombian cyclists.
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