When you think of Colombia, your brain might not conjure up images of a relaxing vacation. However, things are changing in this South American country, prompting The New York Times to name it one of the best places to visit in 2018. Surprising? Maybe so, especially if you aren’t aware of some of the amazing spots and events of the region. According to The New York Times article, foreign tourism rose 250 percent during the past decade.
Let’s take a look at twelve of the most unique experiences only Colombia can offer:
FITBO Festival Internacional de Teatro de Bogota – Spanish American Theater Festival: In its 16th edition, this renowned festival will be the scene of more than 400 artists, technicians and drama experts. More than 40 Theater Companies from 15 countries will perform 160 plays. It begins on March 16th and runs until April 1st.
Expoartesanias – International Artisan Expo: Every December, the best artisans from every corner of Colombia and Latin America get together to show their best handcrafts in this amazing venue. If you enjoy one of kind art and craftsmanship this is the place to visit in early December, not only will you find exquisite design, you’ll delve into the culture that makes Colombia so unique.
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá: Chances are you’ve never been in a salt mine 220 yards under ground, much less one that serves as a touristic and religious destination. This experience is about a one-hour car ride from Bogota and is as unique as they come. Visit this incredible place and explore its 14 underground cathedrals. You won’t regret it.
Glamping by the Tomine Reservoir or Guatavita Lagoon: You wouldn’t necessarily think of camping as a luxurious experience but just outside Bogota you can find two different camping experiences where stargazing, nature trails and luxury combine for a splendid and comfortable getaway.
South American Youth Golf Championship: Would you like to see the up and coming stars of the Golf world perform before your very eyes? Then a getaway to Medellin is on the table. This exclusive tournament features the very best youth talent and is played in one the most beautiful cities of Colombia. You can even stay a few more days and play the 72-par course of the El Rodeo Golf Club. The tournament runs from the 26th of February to the 3rd of March.
Colombia Moda: For the fashion lovers, the most important fashion fair in the region is held in Medellin in the first month of the summer. It invites experts from all around the globe to teach new tendencies, discover new designers and carry out business deals. On this platform, famous Colombian designers such as Silvia Tcherassi and Hernan Zajar have made their work known to many.
Coffee Farm Tour: No Colombia trip is final without a trip to a local coffee farm. Travelling by car, 2 hours from Medellin you’ll find a sumptuous coffee farm. During this full day trip, get to know the “beneficio del café” which will show you how the finest coffee in the world goes from the bean to your cup.
Botero Square and Antioquia Museum: In the heart of Medellin you’ll find the world’s largest outdoor collection of sculptures made by the famous Fernando Botero. The 23 sculptures donated by the artist make this place a one of a kind experience. On the same plaza the Antioquia museum has some 5.000 art pieces spanning all of Antioquia’s and Colombia’s art history.
Cartagena itself is a unique world experience. The walled Unesco heritage site has the makings of an open-air museum. Witness the history in Cartagena’s magically preserved historic city center.
The famous Hay Festival of Literatureand the Arts takes place in Cartagena during the first months of the year. It is the meeting point of the best of the best in Latin-American literature. Cartagena is a wonder unto itself but having this festival makes the trip a no brainer.
International Music Festival of Cartagena: For the music lover in you, Cartagena has one of the finest classical music festivals you’ll ever witness. Not only does it host more than 270 musicians and over 30 concerts, it also has an array of music related activities such as seminars and workshops for musicians and amateurs of all types.
Cartagena de Indias International Film Festival: This film festival is the oldest film festival in Latin America. Its focus is the Colombian Film industry and it looks to bring audiences closer to the people behind the scenes that shape the Spanish American film industry.
As you can see, Colombia has a lot to offer. With a rich history and myriad of activities to choose from, it should be top of mind for any traveler looking for something exciting to add to their bucket list.