Colombia

All Destinations

Colombia

Colombia is generally divided into five geographical regions: The Amazon Region thick with pristine rainforest; the Andes Region carved by deep river valleys and rugged peaks; the Pacific Region fringed with undiscovered dramatic coastline; the Caribbean Region with its picture-perfect turquoise ocean lapping onto golden beach and the Orinoco plains with miles of grasslands and wetlands teaming with rare and wonderful wildlife.

 

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Following years of localised unrest, negative media attention left the country almost deserted of tourism but now this raw and extraordinary country is, rightly coming back into the limelight as one of the most sought-after destinations in Latin America. Today, it enjoys one of the most politically stable democracies on the continent as well as an economy that grew by 3.5% in 2019 and has the potential to continue this impressive trajectory.

Anyone who has visited this majestic country will agree that Colombians are some of the kindest and most welcoming people on the planet. Their warmth and passion combined with the complexity and richness of Colombia’s culture and the overwhelming diversity of its landscapes makes this one of the most exciting destinations in the Americas, if not the world.

Still considered to be an emerging destination, now is the time to visit and we would be delighted to help you get there!

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Quick Facts

Capital
Bogota

Area
1.14m sq km (440,831 sq miles)

Major Languages
Spanish

Major religion
Christianity

Monetary Unit
Peso

 

Colombia is a year-round destination and really the only month we would generally recommend avoiding the country is in October, when it can be very wet. Outside of this month, most regions are tropical and can experience a short sharp shower every now and then but days are generally interspersed with clear blue sky.

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Highlights

Cartagena

Cartagena is a fascinating fusion of Spanish colonial architecture blended with a rich African culture and Amerindian heritage. It’s the pretty historic centre is enclosed by an impressive fort originally designed to protected the city from pirates and today provide a handy elevation from which to take in the views.

Cobbled streets are flanked with bright Colonial mansions hidden behind vast wooden entrances with brass door knockers and stars that once symbolised the aristocratic status of each family. Today, these buildings are home to some of Colombia’s finest restaurants, hotels and boutiques that have maintained the charm and character of the city with culturally sensitive interior design.

The city is widely recognised as a hotspot for modern culture and plays host to some of the finest literature, music and film festivals in the world. We can arrange extra special access to any one of these annual events as well as helping our guests to enjoy the ins and outs of the city from culinary traditions to music and salsa.

La Sierra Nevada

Just over 20 miles from the Caribbean Coast, La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta climbs dramatically to an altitude of 18,950 feet making it one of the highest coastal mountain range in the world. These mountains act as the source of 36 different rivers and, at varying altitudes, there is an incredible diversity of ecosystems and the bird and plantlife in particular is magical.

The region is also a home to some of the oldest tribal groups in the country. Some still thriving today and others that have left only the ghost of ancient civilisations such as the ‘Lost City’, which is believed to have been founded about 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. Other communities are tucked away in remote villages and mostly protected from influences of the outside world. They have maintained age-old cultures and traditions and, with the lightness of touch that Exceptional Travel is known for, we can introduce our guests to some of these fascinating people in a truly authentic way.

The climate is extremely conducive to coffee production and, if you visit between November and March, you will have a chance to catch the harvesting season. We can arrange for you to join the process of handpicking coffee as well as visiting some of the oldest haciendas in the region.

The Pacific Coast

The Pacific region of Colombia is a forgotten land of dense rainforests that commence at the foothills of the Andes mountains and culminates in the vast and isolated beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Due to complex geopolitical factors and a lack of accessibility, the Pacific has been deprived of the development Colombia has experienced in the last few decades. Aside from the negative socioeconomic consequences, this has allowed the region to maintain its remarkable cultural and natural richness – completely unspoiled.

Spanish explorers discovered the Pacific coast in 1501, but it was African slaves who predominantly populated the region. Today, the African heritage is undeniably present in the music, traditions, dances and cuisine, which can be experienced in the many coastal villages of 400 to 500 inhabitants – some of which have never seen a car.

The Pacific Coast is recognised as one of the wettest places on earth, but its biodiversity makes it a well worth it destination. Every year, between June and October, over 1,200 humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to Colombia’s warm and calm waters – ideal for mating and giving birth. Whale-watching in the Pacific is an intimate experience, where one travels in a small boat with a hand-full of passengers, to find humpback whales jumping, playing with their calves, and slapping their tails and fins – not another boat in sight.

Cartagena

Cartagena is a fascinating fusion of Spanish colonial architecture blended with a rich African culture and Amerindian heritage. It’s the pretty historic centre is enclosed by an impressive fort originally designed to protected the city from pirates and today provide a handy elevation from which to take in the views.

Cobbled streets are flanked with bright Colonial mansions hidden behind vast wooden entrances with brass door knockers and stars that once symbolised the aristocratic status of each family. Today, these buildings are home to some of Colombia’s finest restaurants, hotels and boutiques that have maintained the charm and character of the city with culturally sensitive interior design.

The city is widely recognised as a hotspot for modern culture and plays host to some of the finest literature, music and film festivals in the world. We can arrange extra special access to any one of these annual events as well as helping our guests to enjoy the ins and outs of the city from culinary traditions to music and salsa.

La Sierra Nevada

Just over 20 miles from the Caribbean Coast, La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta climbs dramatically to an altitude of 18,950 feet making it one of the highest coastal mountain range in the world. These mountains act as the source of 36 different rivers and, at varying altitudes, there is an incredible diversity of ecosystems and the bird and plantlife in particular is magical.

The region is also a home to some of the oldest tribal groups in the country. Some still thriving today and others that have left only the ghost of ancient civilisations such as the ‘Lost City’, which is believed to have been founded about 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. Other communities are tucked away in remote villages and mostly protected from influences of the outside world. They have maintained age-old cultures and traditions and, with the lightness of touch that Exceptional Travel is known for, we can introduce our guests to some of these fascinating people in a truly authentic way.

The climate is extremely conducive to coffee production and, if you visit between November and March, you will have a chance to catch the harvesting season. We can arrange for you to join the process of handpicking coffee as well as visiting some of the oldest haciendas in the region.

The Pacific Coast

The Pacific region of Colombia is a forgotten land of dense rainforests that commence at the foothills of the Andes mountains and culminates in the vast and isolated beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Due to complex geopolitical factors and a lack of accessibility, the Pacific has been deprived of the development Colombia has experienced in the last few decades. Aside from the negative socioeconomic consequences, this has allowed the region to maintain its remarkable cultural and natural richness – completely unspoiled.

Spanish explorers discovered the Pacific coast in 1501, but it was African slaves who predominantly populated the region. Today, the African heritage is undeniably present in the music, traditions, dances and cuisine, which can be experienced in the many coastal villages of 400 to 500 inhabitants – some of which have never seen a car.

The Pacific Coast is recognised as one of the wettest places on earth, but its biodiversity makes it a well worth it destination. Every year, between June and October, over 1,200 humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to Colombia’s warm and calm waters – ideal for mating and giving birth. Whale-watching in the Pacific is an intimate experience, where one travels in a small boat with a hand-full of passengers, to find humpback whales jumping, playing with their calves, and slapping their tails and fins – not another boat in sight.

Where to stay

These are just a selection of the properties we can personally recommend. Please get in touch to hear more about our full portfolio.

Four Seasons Bogota

Experience the historic, contemporary city of Bogota from your choice of two Four Seasons hotels that provide contemporary comfort blended with local influences and culture.

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Casa Galavanta

Casa Galavanta is a private wooden lodge nestled between dense rainforest and lush coffee fields in the heart of the Sierra Nevada.

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Casa San Agustin

Casa San Agustin is one of our favourite properties in Cartagena. Set within a colonial mansion, the house maintains and reflects much of the city’s rich culture and heritage.

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Corocora Camp

Corocora Camp is an exclusive Tented Camp set inside a private reserve, located in the Llanos Orientales region of Colombia.

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Get in touch with us now to start planning your journey

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