Where to Explore, Eat, and Stay in Colombia
Collected by Danielle Walsh, AFAR Contributor
We're not just suggesting that you go to Colombia now—we're imploring you. "Colombia, unlike other Latin American countries, is still in its infancy when it comes to tourism," says travel planning company Cox & Kings president Scott Wiseman. "But that is what makes Colombia such a special place to visit right now." Rich in history and culture, you really can't go wrong in your travels. Here's where to explore, stay, and eat.
K3, Cavasa, Cali, Juanchito, Colombia
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. The city of Cali, Colombia, is experiencing a renaissance, thanks to its title as the country’s capital of salsa dancing. Cali, home to just over 2 million people, brims with salsatecas, or salsa clubs, to...
La Macarena, Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. The Macarena district is the center of the city’s art scene. La Peluqueria not only offers edgy haircuts but also exhibits contemporary paintings. At the Alonso Garces Galeria (pictured), installations and...
Cl. 11 #6-50, Bogotá, Colombia
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. Near Plaza de Bolívar in the colonial Candelaria quarter, the city’s historic core, swing by La Puerta Falsa, a bakery and restaurant that has been run by the same family since 1816. Order the chocolate...
Plaza de la Aduana, 32-09, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
When it's election season in Colombia, the sell or purchase of alcohol is prohibited the day before and day of election - except at Cafe San Pedro! Not quite sure on those legalities, but regardless - beautiful atmosphere and wonderful menu right...
Cra. 17, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
For a sense of Cartagena’s colonial past, take two short taxi rides from the old city. Built in the 17th century, the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas was an impregnable, tunnel-filled Spanish fort that kept both pirates and the English Navy at...
Chapinero, Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
Snack on street foods and regional dishes with Colombian culinary blogger Diana Holguin. She leads a three-hour Eats & Drinks walking tour in the food-centric Chapinero neighborhood. Five stops include a dessert shop that serves oblea (a...
Cra. 8 ##69-24, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
The swanky Cabrera neighborhood is the setting for this sophisticated and design-forward boutique property. Interiors by designer Nini Andrade pleasantly contrast with the building’s modern concrete and glass facade. Decor emphasizes gold...
Loma de Marion, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
The seven-room Tcherassi Hotel and Spa is an ode to modernism set in a renovated 250-year-old mansion. Colombian-born fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi named each room after a fancy fabric (the trilevel penthouse is called the Gazar). After a...
Zapatero, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
I was strolling around the old town of Cartagena recently when I stopped to admire the exotic fruit on a street corner. I pointed to pile of apple-sized red fruit and asked what it was. The fruit seller replied: "mejillas del gringo." Translated,...
Cl. 35, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Street vendors sell the best regional crafts. At Plaza Santo Domingo, look for artisans displaying beaded necklaces made from small chirilla seeds. Or try on mochilas, handbags that indigenous Colombians weave from natural and brown-dyed wool....
Cl. 10 #5-72, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
In the historic Candelaria district, the 42-room Hotel de la Opera occupies two colonial townhouses and parts of a 1940s art deco mansion. Head up to the rooftop restaurant, El Mirador, to enjoy ajiaco (potato soup with corn, chicken, and aji...
Parque De La Sal, Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Deep inside the Zipaquira salt mines, a ramp leads to the three-nave Roman Catholic church and 14 smaller chapels that make up the Catedral de Sal. The church began as a small chapel where miners could pray, but it has grown into a labyrinth of...
Cl. 70 #4-63, Bogotá, Colombia
The patio here is the best place to indulge in pisco-based cocktails like the Lulo Sour, made from the lulo fruit, similar to an orange. Small plates combine Peruvian and Mediterranean flavors. Try the grilled octopus with parsley cream. Calle 70A...
Cra. 7 #72-41, Bogotá, Colombia
Bogota’s first Hilton is a 15-story tower that blends seamlessly into the brick buildings of Zona G, a commercial district that’s also known for dining. (The “G” is for gourmet.) An apothecary-style cafe prepares organic Colombian coffee five...
Carrera 18A #104 - 77, Bogotá, Colombia
Up-and-coming Colombian artists designed the one and two-bedroom units at 104 Art Suites in the Usaquén neighborhood. The result is 22 accommodations with quirky décor, such as the voyeuristic Suite 601, which features convex mirrors and...
Cra. 69 #31-75, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Situated in the Rosario Islands, the hotel San Pedro de Majagua lies about 45 minutes from Cartagena by speedboat. The property is great and when you're on their small beach you can negotiate a fresh caught lobster or snorkeling session from the...
Cra. 10 #29-29, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
This cool spot in the the hip neighborhood of Getsemani right across from Plaza de la Trinidad boasts a retractable roof, making the tables open air, with a vista over the old dilapidated walls of the building that was in ruins when the owner,...
Cl. 25 #10B-6, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
A simple, straightforward restaurant that is the best place to see traditional Colombian and Caribbean fusion, a signature of Cartagena's cuisine. The offerings include farm fresh eggplant, tomatoes, and lemon blended with fish and meats and local...
Calle Quero 9 58 Sandiego, Cartagena De Indias, Bolívar, Colombia
A bustling eatery next to a hostel that feels very vibrant. Young and hip, a lunch break spot for working Colombians and tourists alike. They keep things casual and good. 4 daily dishes, breakfast and lunch only. Patio in the back. Get the coconut...
LAS PAVAS, Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
From Hacienda Venecia, an oasis in the mountains south of Medellin and west of Bogota, you can trace the journey of coffee from dirt to cup. Take a stroll among Hacienda Venecia's lush green gardens and meandering streams while discovering how...
Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia
To make the most out of your time in Medellin it’s well worth venturing farther afield to see what the countryside has to offer. A two-hour drive away is Guatape, a traditional town which is partly skirted by a lake curling round small lush green...
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