Colombia is a country in the Western Hemisphere, bordered by Panama to the northwest, Ecuador and Peru to the east, Brazil to the southeast, Venezuela to the south and southwest. Colombia has a population of 45 million as of 2010 which makes it one of South America’s most populous countries. In terms of area it is ranked third after Brazil and Canada.
The Colombian economy ranks fourth-largest in Latin America with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) for 2010 at US$308 billion. It is also second only behind Mexico as far as Spanish speakers go – over 90% speak Spanish making this a great place for those looking to learn or improve their language skills!
There are many other things about Colombia that make it worth visiting or even moving to. What Is Colombia Known For? Here is a list of 19 things in which Colombia excels!
Colombian Cuisine Colombian cuisine varies from region to region and offers a diverse range of dishes. In most regions, corn is the stable ingredient, but rice, potatoes and plantain are also common dishes that contribute to the daily diet.
Whether it’s guinea pig, an avocado smoothie or a fresh coconut – foodies and culinary adventurers alike will have their minds blown by the sheer variety of Colombian dishes.
Food & Drinks Colombia has a rich and diverse cuisine which is influenced by a mix of Spanish, African and Caribbean cultures. Along with the many traditional dishes such as arepas, bandeja paisa and empanadas you can also find delicious international cuisines including Italian, French, Japanese etc.
Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the country. Attractions in Bogota include The National Park, gold museum and Bolivar Square to name but a few!
It is also home to many of the most recognized museums in the country including the Botero Museum which houses more than 100 works by the acclaimed Colombian artist.
Coffee Colombia’s main exports are petroleum, coal, coffee and other agricultural products – including bananas! It is of course the world’s largest producer of Arabica beans as well as one of the top ten producers of Robusta beans!
Some people enjoy drinking it straight up while others add milk or sugar, but recently coffee lovers have become addicted to the Colombian cappuccino – a drink that looks like regular cappuccino but includes concentrated coffee and whipped cream!
Carnival of Barranquilla
The Carnival of Barranquilla which takes place each year in February is one of Colombia’s most important celebrations and sees the Barranquilla streets transformed into one huge party.
It is also Colombia’s most popular carnival, which is partly due to its unique mask-making tradition! Every year a new theme is chosen and each neighborhood goes all out in creating their own colorful masks or “caras” as they are called in Spanish.
Colombia also has a coffee region where you can enjoy the best freshly brewed Colombian coffee which is also known as a “cortado”. This is an espresso with warm milk, much like what you would find in Italy!
If that doesn’t appeal to you then perhaps this will – you can visit a coffee plantation and learn how your favorite drink is made or even stay overnight at a coffee country hotel!
Villavicencio, Colombia’s “Mango Capital” is also known for its diverse attractions ranging from the “Paisaje Sonoro” (Sonic Landscape) which is a 42-acre public park to the Colombian Military Museum and more! Visitors will also enjoy the city’s natural surroundings, its green spaces and designated bike lanes.
Colombian Football Colombians are passionate about football and their team has been ranked as high as third in the FIFA World Rankings. The Colombian national football team is governed by the Colombian Football Federation which was founded in 1924.
Salsa Dancing Salsa dancing is an integral part of Colombian culture and you can enjoy it at many local bars or clubs! The best time to experience this is during the weekends when people come out to dance in large numbers.
If you don’t know how then one option is to check out a salsa school which are known as “escuelas de salsa” in Spanish.
Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city is known as the “city of eternal spring” and it offers visitors a wide variety of things to do including checking out the Botero Museum which houses more than 100 works by the praised Colombian artist.
Other popular attractions include the University of Antioquia, the Metropolitan Theatre and Santa Maria Church.
Orchids Colombia has more than 1,500 species of orchids and is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world! Visitors can enjoy seeing these beautiful flowers at many different locations including Bogotá’s Botanical Garden Cinchona Visitor Center and Guaduas Orchid Center.
Pablo Escobar Tour
Pablo Escobar Tour Another popular tourist attraction is the Pablo Escobar Tour, where you can visit many of the places frequented by the late infamous drug lord.
Some popular stops include his grave, Napoles Ranch (former estate) and Hacienda Nápoles (former zoo and theme park). For those interested in learning more about Escobar and Narcos, there are a number of museums dedicated to both in Medellin.
Shakira was born in Barranquilla and is undoubtedly the most famous Colombian on the planet!
Not only does she have a successful music career under her belt but she has also ventured into acting, designing lingerie and more recently selling a line of food products that are infused with Omega-3 from fish oils.
Cartagena City Cartagena is the oldest colonial city in Colombia and visitors will love exploring its cobbled streets which are lined with historic buildings including a castle that was built as early as 1533. Other popular attractions include the San Felipe de Barajas Castle, Church of Santo Domingo and its Aqueduct.
Cali, Colombia’s third largest city is known for its salsa music and it has become one of the most popular destinations for Salsa lovers.
Cali also offers visitors a wide range of things to see and do including the Jardin Botanico de Cali (Botanical Garden), Museo de la Universidad del Valle (Museum of the University of Valle) and Parque Del Cafe (Coffee Park).
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park Tayrona is Colombia’s first national park and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It is known for its beautiful beaches, coral reefs, lush vegetation and emerald lagoons!
The park encompasses 11,000 hectares so it’s a great place to go hiking or to simply enjoy the natural beauty.
Los Nevados National Park
Los Nevados National Park Los Nevado is the second national park in Colombia and it encompasses more than 3.6 million hectares of land! This makes it South America’s largest national park and one of the most biodiverse areas on Earth.
It’s known for its mountains, hot springs, lakes and many endemic species of plants including wild orchids.
San Andres Island
San Andres Island San Andres is the largest out of three islands in the Caribbean and it’s located 75 kilometers off the coast of Nicaragua.
This island offers visitors a number of things to do including scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and simply relaxing on one of its many beaches!
Caño Cristales Caño Cristales is a river in Macarena which features an impressive display of multicolored water! It’s known as the “river of five colors” and it changes color depending on the time of year, from bright red to yellow.
Unfortunately, this amazing phenomenon is only visible between November and January so get there quick!
2 Oceans Colombia has two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean! As you might expect, the ocean closest to Colombia is its Pacific coast which offers guests beautiful beaches with powdery white sand and turquoise waters. The Atlantic side features crystal clear water in a range of shades including pale green, blue and dark violet.
*Wrap It Up
Colombia is a unique and fascinating country that has so much to offer. The different natural landscapes, its diverse cuisine, the historic landmarks and more makes it an ideal destination for travelers who want something new and exciting.
If you’re looking to explore Colombia’s top tourist attractions at your own pace then read on! From Uvita Island in Choco to Cartagena City with its castle, there are plenty of amazing things you need to know about this beautiful country. We hope you’ve enjoyed it and don’t forget leave a comment below!
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