Most of us know Colombia as the land of Pablo Escobar and the drug wars of the 80s and 90s. Shockingly to many, Colombia has actually outgrown this era of violence and crime to become one of the biggest hot spots for backpackers and ecological tourism in the world. It even came in 2nd place as one of the top ten countries to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet.
To be honest like most people Colombia was never on my radar of countries to visit. Not because I thought it was overridden by crime and drugs, but because I just never saw anything intriguing about it. I never heard stories from friends saying how nice it was, I never read articles about how amazing the culture is, I actually never heard anything at all.
That all changed when I was down in Peru back in 2017 and synced up with some fellow backpackers who had visited Colombia and had only the most exciting and thrilling stories to tell. We met these backpackers while making our way to Machu Picchu from Cusco and couldn’t get over all the stories they had. The group of them met during Law School and were doing a 6 month trip through Central and South America before they started their new jobs.
One of the countries that they couldn’t stop talking about was Colombia. They had spent a few weeks making their way down south from Cartagena and raved about just how amazing the country was but also how amazing the people where. This was the moment I knew, I was going to visit Colombia in the near future.
The overall planning for our Colombia trip was “last minute” if you ask my close friends but I think those are sometimes the best trips you can take. I convinced one of my best friends to buy a plane ticket and head down to Cartagena to see what all the hype was about. We would ultimately spend just over two weeks eating, drinking and hiking our way through Colombia and to this day it still marks one of the best trips of my life.
I can’t wait to go in depth of all the fun there is to have in Colombia in future posts and truly share just how much I believe everyone should visit this country ASAP. Colombia is a unique country that offers a touristy beach town such as Santa Marta, dense urban cities such as Bogota and Medellin, as well as jungle and coffee towns such as Salento and Leticia.
Now I will end this by saying just like any other country or city on Earth, you must take basic precautions to make sure you are safe. I personally didn’t feel in danger or at risk while traveling through Colombia, or at least any more than I would if I was in a new setting anywhere in the world including the United States. While there was one night we definitely felt unsafe, that was mostly our fault for heading out in the middle of the night and getting ourselves slightly lost.
Look forward to a breakdown of each destination we went to in Colombia as well as must-see places, cities or activities I would skip if short on time and best hostels to stay at!
CLICK HERE! If this is your first time in Colombia to check out my other posts and hopefully help plan your first trip!
Have you been to Colombia recently? How did you like it? What are your Do’s and Don’ts’s?
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