When most people think about South America the images that come to mind are the iconic Machu Picchu of Peru, Rio de Janiero's Carnival, or The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. There is a new country that should be on everyone's radar: Colombia.
I fell in love with the cultural, colorful Colombia which has plenty to offer any traveler. The country offers Caribbean beaches, tropical rain forests, snow-capped mountains and everything in between. While the landscape is breathtaking, it’s truly the people and their incredible passion for living, dancing, and welcoming others to their country that makes it a wonderful place to visit.
This charming colonial UNESCO city is a must see. The Old Quarter feels like a fairy tale with its vibrant painted walls where flowers hang from wooden balconies and you can watch the sun set behind the ocean horizon. Visit the natural mud bath – Tutumo Mud Volcano or spend the day relaxing in hammocks on the white sand beaches of Playa Blanca.
No trip to Antioquia is complete without a day spent wandering the streets of Colombia’s most colorful town located only a short car ride from Medellín. In this wonderful little pueblo, you can climb the 740 steps at El Peñol for a great view, kayak on the gorgeous man-made lakes, zip line, or explore the colorful streets while eating great Colombian cuisine.
Known as the City of Eternal Spring for its idyllic temperatures year-round, this large urban city sits among rolling hills and is famous for its coffee, flower farms, culture and butterflies. Medellín’s character has been largely defined by its turbulent past but the real story here is not drugs and violence, its one of incredible development and change.
The quaint, authentic village of Salento located in the country’s coffee triangle is easy to reach from Medellín or Bogota and is my favorite destination in Colombia. Climb up the Mirador for a beautiful view over the city, go horse back riding, explore a coffee plantation or hike the stunning Valle De Cocora.
Valle De Cocora
Most people travel to Salento for the purpose of hiking the stunning Valle De Cocora. The other worldly Wax Palm’s stand at 60 meters high and are the tallest in the world. There are different options for hiking routes, we chose the most difficult and scenic, being a 5-6 hour counter clockwise loop where you will gain about 3,100ft in elevation. There is an option along the way to stop at Acaime, a hummingbird sanctuary for some hot chocolate and cheese. If you only want to see the trees for a few photos, you can follow the dirt path at the entrance for about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive in the valley surrounded by palms.