Snow-white beaches washed by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, noisy carnivals, tropical vegetation — these are not all the sights of Colombia.
Who travels to Colombia and why
Colombian museums present a variety of collections that tell about the wealth and culture of this country. They will be interesting to inquisitive persons and families with children.
The architecture of megacities and small towns in the hinterland will introduce tourists to the South American flavor. It will be especially appreciated by romantics and fans of contemplative relaxation.
The natural parks of Colombia are a magical world of colors inhabited by exotic creatures. Unforgettable impressions and colorful photos are provided to you.
Natural attractions and parks
Located about 150 km from Bogota, the Sierra Macarena reserve is considered the largest in Colombia. Its territory exceeds 1 million hectares. Most of it is covered by mountains, which are home to hundreds of species of birds, animals and insects.
The flora of the park is not inferior in diversity to the fauna. More than 50 species of orchids grow here, many plants are endemic. They are found only here and nowhere else in the world.
The pearl of the park is the “crystal” river Caño Cristales. Periodically, it changes its color, like a chameleon. The phenomenon is explained by the presence of multi-colored microorganisms and algae in the water.
The national park is located in the heart of the rocky Andes. On an area of about 60 thousand hectares there are bizarre forests, mountains, dormant volcanoes and deep lakes of glacial origin. The most visited place in the park is the Enchanted Lagoon.
For tourists, several walking and car routes have been developed. Those who plan to stay in Los Nevados are invited to stay in one of the guest houses with minimal amenities and maximum immersion in the charm of nature.
Tayrona National Park
The natural pearl of Colombia is located on the Caribbean coast. It occupies an area of about 12 thousand hectares, where impenetrable jungles, picturesque coral reefs, blue lagoons and sandy beaches await you.
The park is home to over 100 bird species and 300 animal species, and its ichthyofauna is considered one of the richest in the world. The local waters are home to over 100 species of fish and shellfish.
There are practically no benefits of civilization here. The main means of transportation is a bicycle and legs. Lodging for the night — an open-air hammock or a bungalow without amenities.
One of the most picturesque places in the Colombian Andes has become a national park. This is the kingdom of the jungle, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Among the local flora and fauna, there are many endemics, such as spectacled bears and cougars.
Wax palms and cedars are rare specimens found exclusively in mountainous areas. You can admire the beauty of the local nature by traveling along one of the many routes of varying degrees of difficulty.
The national park stretches along the Atrato River on the border with Panama. This place will appeal to those who want to see nature in its pristine beauty. There has never been construction or agricultural work in the park.
Trees are gigantic giants several thousand years old. Lakes are a water kaleidoscope (although their inhabitants are not always friendly). It is in this part of Colombia that a quarter of all birds in the country live. Los Katios is famous for its cotton trees, the fruits of which are used to make sustainable fabrics.
Rock of El Peñon de Guatape
A giant with almost smooth slopes is located between the settlements of Guatape and El Peñol. They gave him such a beautiful long name. The height of the rock is about 220 m, about two thirds of the colossus, like a land iceberg, is hidden underground.
The age of the rock is 70 million years. To climb to its top, you will have to overcome 644 concrete steps. The peak is crowned with a bench for rest and a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Located 35 km from the Colombian capital on the Bogota River, Tekendama Falls is recognized as one of the most picturesque in the country. Water rushes down from a height of 140 m. The gorge narrows sharply at the place of the cliff, making the frantic stream literally roar. But in December, the riverbed dries up, and the waterfall changes its usual location.
Religious sites and architecture
Church of Las Lajas
Part of this Gothic-style cathedral is erected on a high bridge, the other rests on a mountain. Due to this location, it seems that the building is floating in the air. The effect is enhanced by the decorative elements of the facade, sharp spiers, lancet windows and numerous arches.
The main shrine of the temple is the image of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus, which miraculously appeared on a rock about 250 years ago. It is believed that the face of the Mother of God heals any disease. This is confirmed by hundreds of clay tablets with thanksgiving on the rock near the church.
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
The Catholic Cathedral is located in a salt mine underground, where not a single ray of light penetrates. All rooms are carved into the rock. Salt crystals on the walls shimmer like precious stones in the rays of colored illumination. Inside, the temperature is always constant — about +20 ° C. At the same time, the church is active, and services are held in it on Sundays.
The unusual cathedral is part of the Parc de la Sal nature reserve, which also includes a museum of mineralogy and natural resources, a cinema and a gift shop.
Fortress of San Felipe de Barajas
Located in the suburbs of Cartagena, this fortress is considered the property of Colombia. The fort with powerful and almost sheer walls stands on the hill of Lazar, from where the surroundings are clearly visible.
Starting from the moment of construction in the 16th century and up to the beginning of the 19th century, the fortification successfully repelled attacks. Today, cultural events and reconstructions of historical events from the glorious past of Colombia are held on the territory of the fortress.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary stands on the central square of Bogota, Palace Bolivar, the most visited church in the capital. The building, built in the 16th century, was destroyed by an earthquake, and its reconstruction dragged on for almost 2 centuries. Now the cathedral in the classical style is replete with columns, porticos and domes. But inside it — a minimum of decor and modest decoration.
National Capitol Building
The building in the classical style with 8 columns stands on Bolivar Square, in Bogotá. This is the home of Congress, where the most important laws that determine the life of the country are passed. The famous artist and sculptor Santiago Martinez Delgado worked on its interior decoration.
Nunnery Convento de la Popa
The monastery is located on a hill about 150 m high. This is the highest point of Cartagena, offering stunning views of the surroundings. Built on the site of a wooden chapel, the 16th-century building attracts tourists with colonial Spanish-style architecture, the image of the Virgin Mary on a carved altar generously covered with gold, and a shady garden in the courtyard.
This square in Medellin is named after the most famous Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. It has 23 bronze sculptures that he donated to the city. The figures, frozen in strange poses, are very unusual and attract attention. There are always a lot of tourists on the square who want to take beautiful photos.
Cathedral of San Pedro Claver
The main cathedral of Cartagena was built in 1575, but after 10 years it was destroyed and looted by pirates led by Francis Drake. The church was restored only in the early 1600s and was given the name of a Spanish missionary priest, whose remains are still kept in the chapel at the cathedral.
In the interior decoration, a carved altar with gilding deserves special attention. It is believed to have been made by African slaves whom Clavera converted to Catholicism.
Historical sights and places of interest
On the banks of the Magdalena River, between the eastern and central Cordillera, an important archaeological find was made. In the jungle, scientists have discovered more than 500 stone figures depicting gods, rulers and mythical animals. Presumably the statues were made in the VI BC. The area of “habitat” of ancient idols was declared an archaeological reserve.
bare feet park
An unusual park with a speaking name is located in Medellin and is fully consistent with the Eastern philosophy of Zen.
The territory is divided into 3 zones that can only be visited by taking off your shoes:
- The Air Zone is a beautiful garden with a cyclic labyrinth of paths for walking and reflection.
- The land area is notable for its rock garden and is popular with lovers of contemplative relaxation.
- The water zone is small pools, fountains and waterfalls.
The name of this archaeological reserve is translated as “land within”. There are crypts and burials here — some are available for inspection by tourists. Burial chambers are located at a depth of 5–8 m.
The walls are decorated with images of spirits and ornaments, and the ceiling in the catacombs is supported by massive columns. Near the entrance to the park is a museum where artifacts found in the tombs are kept. These are household and religious items, as well as ancient ceramics.
The garden with the long name José Celestino Mutiz is one of the tourist attractions of the capital. The park was founded at the end of the 18th century. Since then, it has grown noticeably, and its collection of flora has replenished with many new types of vegetation.
Now there are more than 800 of them on the territory of 8 hectares. Long alleys invite you to an exciting walk, benches offer rest in the shade, and small fountains and statues complete the landscape.
The ancient Indian city is lost in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Presumably, it arose in 800 BC, and 8 thousand people lived in it. It was a major religious and cultural center of the Tyrone Indians.
When the Spaniards invaded Colombia, the city fell into disrepair and was swallowed up by the jungle. It was rediscovered in the 70s of the last century. Of particular interest here are the main square and the temple, but to get there, you have to overcome 1200 steps.
This thematic reserve appeared in 1995 thanks to the Colombian association of coffee producers. The park is one of the most visited. There are many attractions, swings and carousels. On open-air venues, several times a day, exciting performances based on national legends are given. Colorful processions and parades are not inferior in scope to the famous carnivals.
The coffee museum, located here, tells about the stages of production of a popular drink. Interactive stands always have a lot of children. And the endless coffee plantations are part of the landscape. The park even has its own mini-railway with an 18-meter clock tower. It is equipped with an observation deck that allows you to see the panorama of the area.
Simon Bolivar Museum
The house in which the great revolutionary leader lived was turned into a museum by the Colombian authorities. In a small one-story building with a spacious patio, Bolívar’s personal belongings, documents, books and clothes are stored. It will be of interest to those who are interested in the history of Latin America and the personality of the general who fought for the independence of the Spanish colonies.
Museo del Oro (Museum of Gold)
The richest museum in Colombia contains almost 500,000 pieces of jewelry. Most of them belong to the pre-Columbian era. These are jewelry, ritual masks, figurines and household items. A separate exposition is devoted to ancient weapons from all over the world.
Emerald Museum in Bogotá
It is in Colombia that almost all natural emeralds are mined and processed. The appearance in the capital of a museum dedicated to this precious stone was natural.
There are three expositions in a private institution:
- The rarest collection of emeralds is exhibited in the first hall, where the most beautiful and expensive stone weighs 265 carats.
- The second room is a trading floor.
- A narrow tunnel leads to the third section of the museum, where you can learn a lot about the mining and cutting of emeralds.
Modern Art Museum
The museum, opened in 1974 in Barranquilla, quickly became famous. It houses the richest collection of contemporary art. These are paintings, sculptures and installations by Latin American authors.
Among them are the works of recognized grandees Carlos Rojas, Enrique Grau and Luis Caballero. In addition to permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions are also held here, where you can get acquainted with new names in the art world.