Top 6 Things to Do in Colombia – Caribbean Coast Edition
Cartagena is truly one of the world’s most beautiful colonial cities. The fortified city was used to fight off the Spaniards and gain independence for the new world country of Gran Colombia (what used to be Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, northern Peru, the northwest of Brazil and Colombia.) It’s colonial architecture is enchanting, and has been the backdrop to many stories, including Gabriel Garcias Marquez famous Love in the Time of Cholera. It’s a beautiful city, with a grand history. Definitely worth checking out – just be prepared for the heat.
5. Parque Tayrona
Parque Tayrona is what people think of when they picture a Caribbean paradise. Personally, I prefer mountains over beaches, but these beaches almost make me forget that bias. The unfortunate thing about the beaches of Tayrona are that they are poorly maintained, and the accommodations are expensive. I’d recommend a day trip; or if you have the money to rent a yacht and see the fantastic scenery from the comfort of your boat.
4. Learn to SCUBA in Taganga
Taganga is one of the cheapest places in the world to learn to SCUBA. I did the PADI certified Open Water course at Octopus Dive Center, and was thoroughly impressed. It’s an awesome skill to learn, and the life under the sea is, as I’m sure you’ve heard, other-worldly.
3. Mountain Biking Colombia‘s Sierra Nevada
The Sierra Nevada is a fantastic place. It’s bio-diversity and splendour are breathtaking. There are many ways to take in its wonders, but my favourite is to take a mountain bike, and enjoy its fine trails from top to bottom (and back up again.) The easiest way to find the trails, get a bike, and have a good time is to contact my friends at Elemento in Taganga.
2. Ciudad Perdida
The Lost City Trek of Colombia, or Ciudad Perdida, is a fantastic journey through some of Colombia’s most beautiful rainforest terrain, and Kogi villages. It’s an a amazing journey, and you’ll learn about the pre-Colombus culture of one of the only tribes not to integrate into post-Colombus Colombia. It’s an unforgettable experience, and something truly Colombian.
Carnaval de Barranquilla was one of the best experiences of my life. Given, this top choice only happens for four days a year, but if you can plan your trip to Colombia around the Carnaval, you won’t be disappointed. The pure display of colour, life, and all out fun is something you will never forget. It left such an impression on me that I have set the life goal to visit all of the important Carnival celebrations around the world. What makes Colombia’s Carnaval so unique is the complete lack of foreign tourists. I’d guess that less than 5% of the visitors are from outside Colombia.
There you have it- my Top 6 Things to Do in Colombia while on the Caribbean coast. Enjoy. It’s an amazing place. If you plan to come inland, don’t miss my Zona Cafetera Top 5 Things to Do.