Get ready to stretch your legs in Colombia! Go trekking in the Cocora Valley or the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Ciudad Perdida (the lost city), an ancient capital dating back to 800AD; or hike the tropical forests of Tayrona National Park out to the popular Cabo San Juan beach. For something a little more laidback, take the cable car or funicular up to the top of Monserrate in Bogota for panoramic views over the city or climb down a ladder and float in buoyant mud at the Totumo mud volcano. And if you’ve still got time, head to Cali to learn the art of salsa dancing or tour the coffee plantations in Zone Cafetera.
Colombian cuisine is both diverse and regional. A typical Andean dish (now found around the country) is bandeja paisa a plate full of meat, chorizo, plantains, fried egg, refried beans, rice and avocado, while on the Caribbean coast you’ll come across whole fried fish (pescado frito) and coconut rice (arroz con coco titoté). As with most of South America, empanadas are ubiquitous; these meat-filled pastries are made from cornmeal not flour. Don’t leave the country without sampling the local coffee, drunk tinto or black, or trying aguardiente, an anise flavoured liquor drunk straight and chased with water.
Spend time in the capital city ofColombia, Bogota, visiting the Gold Museum housing over 30,000 pieces of golden masks, jewellery and tools or heading on a street art tour in the Candelaria neighbourhood. Make your way to the coastal town of Cartagena with its colonial architecture, colourful hillside houses and walled Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spot humpback whales at Nuqui on the Pacific Coast, take a day trip to the Rosario Islands for snorkelling and swimming, visit the underground Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira and look upon the stone statues in San Agustin’s archaeological park.
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