About Colombia

The birthplace of magical realism, the land of diversity, bustling megacities, charming islands, exotic beaches, colonial towns, tropical rainforests, stunning mountain peaks, amazing wildlife, premium quality coffee and incredibly warm and hospitable people. The diversity of Colombia can be found in its people, culture and landscapes. The best way to experience Colombia is to combine your trip to the urban centres with the more remote areas: enjoy the wilderness of the Pacific Ocean in the west or the tropical beaches of the Caribbean in the north and explore iconic cities, such as Bogotá, Medellín and Cartagena.

Colombia is a large country. Its mountainous character, with the three ranges (cordilleras) of the Andes crossing it vertically, makes terrestrial travel very long. For this reason, flying is the best way to get around if you want to visit different destinations. Colombia requires time to experience it in depth. A short trip of a few days wouldn’t be sufficient to explore the whole diversity of this country that makes it so special. But still, you could always come back to discover more.

Connectivity

Colombia is located in the north of South America and has coastlines along both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Its strategic geographic location allows easy access to major cities of the continent. 

The capital city, Bogotá, has excellent air connections. Bogotá’s International Airport, El Dorado, is a leading hub for air passenger traffic in Latin America, and receives an increasing number of international flights from USA, Canada and Europe. There are several direct flights operating to and from North America, including cities like New York, Houston, Miami and Toronto.  Also, large airlines, such as KLM, Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, Turkish Airlines and Avianca, offer nonstop flights to and from major European cities.

Biodiversity

If Earth’s biodiversity were a country, it could be called Colombia”
Costas Christ, National Geographic 2017

Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, just after the much larger Brazil which shares the Amazon tropical forests with. It has more species of birds than any other country on earth as well as a great number of endemic species. Also, thanks to the rich volcanic soil in some regions and the geographic diversity, Colombia produces premium quality coffee, fine cocoa beans and great variety of flowering plants. 

From rainforests and snowy mountains to deserts and tropical beaches, the country combines all in one place. With more than 50 nature reserves and protected areas, Colombia is a haven for nature activities. Bird and whale watching, hiking, scuba diving and even caving, are some of the activities that can be practised here. Home to 10% of the world’s flora and fauna, Colombia is fairly transforming into a mecca of ecotourism and a leading destination for sustainable tourism.

No. 1

in bird species

No. 2

most biodiverse country

10%

of the world’s flora and fauna

58

nationally protected areas

Gastronomy

The ethnic diversity of Colombia is perfectly expressed in its gastronomy and its wide range of flavours. The Colombian cuisine consists of a rich mixture of culinary traditions from the six main natural regions in which the country is divided (Pacific, Andean, Amazonian, Orinoquia, Caribbean and Insular Region) and it is greatly influenced by the Amerindian, European, African and Arabic (in some areas) cuisine. Meat, corn, beans, rice, potatoes and other tubers are commonly used ingredients in the preparation of the national dishes.

Colombia makes a great impression on every visitor with the large variety of fruits thanks to its tropical climate. Lulo, soursop, mangosteen, papaya, yellow pitaya, granadilla and mango are some of the exotic fruits that can be found here, which have incredible health benefits. If you love fruits, in Colombia you will get to know so many that you’ve never tasted before. 

Music & people

One of the most distinguishing aspects of the Colombian culture is the music. Depending on the region, you can get to know different genres, like salsa, vallenato, champeta, cumbia, porro, currulao, and so on. This is why Colombia is called the “land of a thousand rhythms”. Music and dance are present everywhere, from plazas to small streets, and fill with joy and good reasons to discover Colombia.

When it comes to Colombians, don’t expect nothing less than friendly, warm and welcoming people. With so many different rhythms they’re always in the mood for dancing. During your trip to Colombia, don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to dance salsa with the professionals! 

In fact, not only talented musicians come from this country but also important figures of literature, powerful leaders and great athletes too. Over the years, Colombia has produced world-class cyclists. Trained on the challenging mountain roads of the Andes, they’ve stood out in some of the world’s biggest cycling championships. Colombians have grown up loving cycling. Thus, the culture around the sport combined with the diversity of landscapes and ecosystems make Colombia the perfect cycling destination.

Past & present

The history of Colombia is extremely rich as well as its cultural heritage. Various indigenous groups inhabited different parts of Colombia’s territory thousands of years before the arrival of the Spanish, such as the Muisca, Zenú and Tairona. They formed settlements and developed sociopolitical systems of great importance. At the beginning of the 16thcentury, Spanish explorers reached the Caribbean coast and founded the first colonial towns on today’s Colombian territory. After more than 300 years of the Spanish rule, in 1819 Colombia became independent with Simón Bolívar considered as its liberator. You’ll find statues of Bolívar or plazas named under his name everywhere you travel.  

In its more contemporary history, it was just a few decades ago when the world was considering Colombia as a failed state, worn out by many years of internal conflict. In those days, it was a no-go country for tourists and even its own citizens were living under fear. But with the beginning of the peace process negotiations in 2011 and the final agreement in 2016 between the government and the FARC guerrilla group, the situation changed remarkably. Today, the country enjoys a period of prosperity and is internationally recognised for its fast-growing economy and democratic system stability. As a result, Colombia has become an emerging tourist destination and one of the most visited countries in South America.

Widely known media sources, such as The Telegraph, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler and National Geographic, among others, feature Colombia as one of the world’s most beautiful and “hottest” destinations. After a long time, Colombia has started to be appreciated as a progressive country and a world class tourist destination.

Honda, Tolima
Colonial town of Honda, Tolima