Monthly Archives: March 2013

San Juan de Pasto

Top Reasons To Visit Pasto

Strongly influenced by the Andean way of life, the top reasons to visit Pasto will allow travelers to experience personally the rich cultural heritage of Colombia. Pasto is positioned in the southwest area of Colombia and is the capital city of Department of Nariño. The mountain scopes surrounding Pasto region add up to the picturesque sceneries of the city and is also a great area to delve into the way of life of the native ethnicities within the area.

It is unquestionable that the Black and White Carnival celebration being declared as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO is among the top reasons to visit Pasto. The renowned carnival is a one week festivity held every year in January and features diverse merry-makings facilitated by the hospitable and well-accommodating inhabitants of Pasto. During the week long celebration, the roads of Pasto transform into a metropolitan recreational area where people from varied nationalities and tribal groups paint each other primarily with black and white make-ups as a sign of unity and delight amidst the diversities in culture and ethnicities. Aside from the painting activity, people from all walks of life also earnestly participate in the street parades which are the emphasis of attraction of the festivity.

San Juan de Pasto

San Juan de Pasto

La Cocha Lake is an inclusion in the top reasons to visit Pasto owing to its awe-inspiring scenic view of mountain landscapes and waterscapes.  La Cocha Lake is situated 20 kilometers away from Pasto’s city proper with its name La Cocha originating from the Quechua language which means lagoon. In the year 2000, the lake was recognized as a historical milestone of intercontinental significance by the Ramsar agreement and the first attraction in the Andean region to be given such recognition.

Situated 9 kilometers from Pasto amidst the borders of Patia River and the central mountain range, the volcano stands about 4,276 meters above the sea altitude. Tourists can trek along the volcano with the company of a tour guide or may also use a car on a widened trail which can lead you faster towards the peak of the volcano.  At present, the volcano is still considered as active so it is necessary to take precautionary measures before climbing.

To be found at the city of Tuquerres along the crater of Volcano Azufral lies Laguna Verde which is one of the top reasons to visit Pasto. To reach Tuquerres, a bus can be taken in Pasto. Ipiales is also another route to consider in getting to the lake. After arriving at the city of Tuquerres, Laguna Verde can be accessed through hiking from the bus terminal which is around 16 kilometers, or a bus can be taken to San Roque entailing around 10 kilometers of walk towards the entrance area of the park.

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Cabo de la Vela

Top Tourist Attractions In La Guajira

If you want a pleasure trip to one of the best vacations spots in Colombia then you better visit the top tourist attractions in La Guajira. Its pristine beaches and natural sites will certainly fascinate you. It is found at the northeast side of Columbia fronting the Caribbean Sea that’s why if you go there expect to see a lot of stunning beaches.

One of the top tourist attractions in La Guajira is the Cabo de la Vela. It is not for those wanting to unwind on posh hotels and resorts because what it offers you is a peaceful and simple way of relaxation. Getting there is not easy but the place is worthy of your trip for you will be greeted with a startling scenery, beautiful waters and a great view of the sunset.

Cabo de la Vela

Cabo de la Vela

Don’t forget Uribia because it is the best place to get Wayuu handicrafts and garments. The best time to visit Uribia is during May where there is an annual Wayuu Indian festival.  Afterwards you can go to Manaure which is just near Uribia. It is home to a lot of flamingoes and you get to see much of them along the coastlines for the months of September to November. If that is not to your liking then you can visit interesting salt plains or mines.

If you want a different environment then you should go to Punta Gallinas. You can go there by car or by boat. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a desert landscape of vast bays and bare beaches. The place is quite eye-catching so staying a few days wouldn’t hurt especially if you are into wind surfing.

Beach activities can be quite tiring sometimes that’s why if you feel like trying something new then a trip to Makuira National Park is a must. Located near the town of Nazareth, Makuira National Park is just the right place to have an adventure-packed holiday. You can also stay for a night or two because hiking takes quite some time but for sure it is definitely worth the wait once you get to your destination and see the spectacular scenery. There are tours too that can be arranged for hiking trips and if you stay there for a night you might as well try sleeping in the hammocks which is also a great wildlife experience.

Traveling is very enjoyable more so if you are satisfied with the place that you are visiting that’s why if you plan to tour Columbia you should never forget visiting the top tourist attractions in La Guajira. It is home to a lot of beaches not to mention natural attractions that will captivate you. Just plan your trip ahead of time so that you wouldn’t waste your time looking for the best places to go to but most definitely once you get there it will certainly be a great vacation.

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Flag of the town of Los Patios; in North Santander, Colombia.

Top Reasons To Visit Los Patios

The top reasons to visit Los Patios are among the most interesting things a tourist can consider while he or she is traveling somewhere along the Department of Norte de Santander. This part of Colombia has already existed as early as the 17th Century. This town began as an estate or hacienda found by rich locals. The development of these lands soon drew more inhabitants and it then turned into a regional subdivision called corrigemiento before it eventually became a municipality. This land chronicles the triumph of rural expansion and illustrates the earliest examples of real estate development in early modern times. Nowadays many more estates became included in Los Patios municipality.

Flag of the town of Los Patios; in North Santander, Colombia.

Flag of the town of Los Patios; in North Santander, Colombia.

1. Be inspired by three men who had a dream

Following the success story of the pioneers of this municipality is one of the top reasons to visit Los Patios. The three individuals who made Los Patios were namely Carlos Matamoros, Reinaldo Viccini and Juan Aranada. Their agricultural project has enabled the rise of their private estates to become a thriving settlement. People were drawn to work in their farmlands and the effective management. Tourists could learn to appreciate the earliest examples of how individuals can make a huge difference to a lot of people.

2. Joining the Catholic feasts dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul

St. Peter and Paul were believed to be the principal missionaries of the early Christian church. Every Catholic nation has heard the names of these two great men and many of these nations remember them by commemorating their achievements on a certain day. One can join the locals in their celebration of this important event. Tourists could attend masses along with the spiritually attuned natives or eat, drink, and dance to the beat of the streets.

3. Visit the Florentina Salas Park and other public recreations

If there is one good reason to have a list of top reasons to visit Los Patios, it is because of the good-looking manicured square and memorials dedicated to their historical icons. The Florentina Salas Park is dedicated to a female freedom fighter that died as a martyr during the turbulent days of Colombia’s transition to modernization. Another interesting landmarks to see Santa Cruz Monument and the Eduardo Cote Lamus Park, a plaza dedicated to the region’s celebrated academic.

4. Witness the local cattle-ranching and salt mining

Today’s top industries depended mostly on advanced mechanical systems. For many of the tourists who grew up around these advanced industries, simple ways of doing things might be a subject of fascination for them. If such is the case then travelers with deeper fascination for more knowledge can definitely witness how locals do cattle-ranching and salt mining in Los Patios. In some ways, this can be considered an escape to their familiar realities.

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Cathedral of Barichara, Santander

Top Tourist Attractions In Barichara

The top tourist attractions in Barichara are probably by far among the most enthralling townships to explore in Colombia. Barichara is to be found within the constituency of Santander and is well known among the Guane locals as Barachala which means “a good place to rest”, just an apt depiction of this fine-looking place.

The fundamental top tourist attractions in Barichara rely to its rich architectural legacies which are mostly made and carved out of stones. Due to its stunning historical infrastructures, it is as if Barichara takes you to a glimpse of the wonderful heritage of the place way back in the Spanish colonial epoch when the structures were mainly built out of compacted mud (Baharaque) by the old natives’ bare hands. Because of its outstanding heritage, Barichara was recognized as a National Monument in Colombia. All thru these years, the untainted beauty that the village exudes has never seized to inspire tourists who happen to visit the area.

Cathedral of Barichara, Santander

Cathedral of Barichara, Santander

An addition to the top tourist attractions in Barichara is its laidback lifestyle which in turn allows its visitors to experience a relaxing and serene atmosphere. Upon your arrival in the place, you will be amazed by the stillness of the surroundings and the authentic hospitability of its inhabitants, welcoming every person that may come along their way.

Wandering through the village by foot is also another good way to experience the place. Doing so will allow tourists to discover a wide array of shops which sells unique keepsake crafts such as footwear, fabrics, accessories, ceramic wares, bags, hammocks and many more. Moreover, further exploration of the area might lead you a perfect spot where you can be spellbound by the overlooking scenery of the Suarez River and sky’s stunning blue hues which may turn colourful as the sun bids goodbye.

Undeniably, Barichara lives up to being a sanctuary of serenity yet a place endowed with many adventure-activities. Close to the street going to San Gil, La Antigua Cave can be found which is also among the top tourist attractions in Barichara. The cave is an ideal spot for caving, appreciating the beautiful limestone patterns as well as dipping into its natural puddles of water.

In the location next to Socorro, another of the top tourist attractions in Barichara can be explored which is the Juan Curi Medicinal Waterfalls. Juan Curi is a 200 meter-towering waterfalls which is favourable for extreme adventures such as rappelling and trekking. If you want to try something more nerve-wracking, wild water rafting is also offered down the Fonce River which features varied levels of currents.

If you’re the type who’s hydrophobic but doesn’t fear the heights, paragliding is the perfect ride for you. Curi is the place ideal for such sport which is just around 15 minutes from San Gil. Paragliding allows you to experience the breathtaking picturesque sceneries of the village while at the same time enjoying the freedom of being suspended in air for about 20 minutes.

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San Andres Island

Top Reasons To Visit San Andres Island

The top reasons to visit San Andres Island in Colombia may actually be your next dream escapade. San Andres Island is a small haven which was formerly linked to countries England and Spain resulting to a rich combination of its culture and heritage. San Andres belongs to the Colombian islands in the Caribbean Sea and is bordered by other islands in close proximity such as Providencia and Santa Catalina. Spanish, English and Creole are the official languages being spoken in the island.

One of the top reasons to visit San Andres Island is the La Piscinita Beach situated in the western hemisphere of the island. La Piscinita Beach is notable for its serene waters which are favorable for snorkeling and swimming. The snorkeling site is famed for its rich school of sea creatures.

San Andres Island

San Andres Island

Hoyo Soplador is another attraction to see nestled in the southern finish of the island. It has a natural hot spring budding from the sea’s coral fissures, ejecting to an elevation beyond 60 feet. This incident is only experienced seldom when the surge of the waves and the wind’s course is perfect for such occurrence. Hoyo Soplador is also a haven for surfing contests which are conducted yearly. In addition to that, a big pond which is also known as La Laguna can be found positioned above the hill. The pond has an unsullied water supply from rainfall which is around 100 feet deep featuring abundant species of wildlife.

El Cove is one of the top reasons to visit San Andres Island. It offers the deepest waterfront amenities on the island and favorable water levels for exploration, drawing a strong appeal to many aspiring and expert divers. Colorful-hued corals and diverse marine creatures are just among the few spectacles that awaits to be unveiled if you happen to dive in the area. Furthermore, diving classes are also presented by many diving groups within the area for inexperienced divers.

If you want to dig deeper into the island’s rich way of life then a visit to nature reserve parks such as Granja de Job Saas and West View is a must-try. These parks are the perfect embodiment as to how the native inhabitants pay strong homage to their culture, consequently including it as among the top reasons to visit San Andres Island. From these parks, tour guides are available to give its tourists insights about the background of the parks, the must-sees within the vicinity and the history behind their rich morals and traditions. From here you can also purchase handicraft souvenirs created out of coconut and totumo materials which are abundantly found in the island.

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House where Francisco José de Paula Santander was born.

Top Reasons To Visit Villa Del Rosario

The top reasons to visit Villa Del Rosario are appealing to many who would desire to get to know Colombia better as a nation. Colombia is a very big country, wherein a quasi-federal system works to designate each territory in an organized manner. Occupied lands are partitioned according to “departments” and with each department having its own capital city.  The Villa Del Rosario is located around North Santander Department and is home to the historical icon whose this department was named after. This Colombian municipality is a welcoming place for tourist and just as safe from conflict as it was before the turbulent formation of this country during the early modern era.

 House where Francisco José de Paula Santander was born.


House where Francisco José de Paula Santander was born.

1. The Park of Greater Colombia is great indeed!

One of the top reasons to visit Villa Del Rosario is simply to tour around the Park of Greater Colombia. This manicured garden is lined with towering palm trees and pale carnation stone tiles that cut through the expansive green grass. In this park lies the House of Santander, the living quarters of the famed hero Francisco de Paula Santander in his first 13 years of stay. In this park also lies the Historic Church, the birthplace of the nation’s Post-Colonial constitution. Whether one visits this place for its history or for its aesthetic design, the Park of Greater Colombia is the first great destination in Villa Del Rosario.

2. More touring: The Historical Tamarind Tree and the Churches

Of all the trees that grow in Villa Del Rosario, only one has peculiarly got the attention of visitors. The Historical Tamarind Tree is where the revolutionary alliance between New Granada deputies and Venezuelan patriots spend their meetings to establish the constitution. Although it is a purely symbolic landmark, it still does provide good shade as it did before. Other landmarks that passed the test of time are its churches. The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary was built in 1771 where one can find an altar with a symbolic painting of the Virgin Mary dressed as a regal aristocrat in fine garb and splendid jewels. It is a perfect place to stop by, especially for Catholics, to offer a moment of prayer after a leisure stroll at the Park of Greater Colombia.

3. An excellent place to study Latin American architecture

Appreciation of arts and architecture can be one of the top reasons to visit Villa Del Rosario. Most structures dedicated to the revolutionary name of Santander have been preserved well enough to retain its late colonial splendor. For many artists, there are distinct patterns in Latin American architecture that bears stark similarity and certain differences in comparison to its mother country Spain. Patrons of the fine arts could be interested in capturing that element.

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Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes in the Plaza San Francisco.

Top Reasons To Visit Florencia

Despite the fact that there are other more popular cities in Colombia’s district, the top reasons to visit Florencia won’t disappoint its tourists. Florencia is the capital metropolis of Colombia’s Department of Caqueta and is the most influential city in the southeast portion of Colombia due to its rich populace and heritage. It is situated near the Hacha River and is fundamentally the core of the Colombian Amazon owing to its abundant wildlife.

One of the famed parks which make it to the top reasons to visit Florencia is La Selva de Florencia (The Jungle Florence). It is one of Colombia’s newest park reserves which lie in the heart of the mountain ranges of the Andean region encompassing Caldas’ Department. Officially it was recognized as a safe-guarded sanctuary in 2005. At present, it is deemed as one of the parks which significantly play an important role in the department’s progress. More often than not, the park experiences sultry weather paving the way for the growth of biodiversities such as the Andean cloud forest, montane rainforest, premontane rainforest and the lower montane rain forest.

Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes in the Plaza San Francisco.

Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes in the Plaza San Francisco.

This small portion of the region has the densest populace of frogs in the country with the emphasis of having the most diverse genus of frogs comprising a rough estimate of about 70 percent. Moreover, the park is a component of the breaking point of the Saman Sur (South Saman) and La Miel (Honey) rivers which are offshoots of the Rio Grande de la Magdalena.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the must-tour churches in Colombia. It is a Roman Catholic veneration sanctified for Virgin Mary in the designation of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is situated on the western region of Plaza San Francisco de Asis which is one of the top reasons to visit Florencia. The cathedral is the primary church of the archdiocese of Florencia owing to the cathedral’s stunning Gothic-inspired Republican design which is ornamented with 3 naves finishing in arches and pyramids with stained glass windowpanes. The church however draws more attention to its Our Lady of Lourdes grotto which was still imported from Italy. It conducts regular spiritual services every day with the power to hold up to 600 people.

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Meta River and Port Lopez.

Top Reasons To Visit Meta

There is still so much to see in Colombia and the top reasons to visit Meta might actually suit your vacation preference. Meta is among Colombia’s department which lies near the geographic core of the country about 88 km away from Bogota to be found at the east portion of the Andean mountain ranges.

Villavicencio is the capital city of Meta which is the focal point of immense trade, industry and tourism situated right on the west of the department and is a component of the top reasons to visit Meta. It is situated close to Guatinia River, encompassing watercourses such as Granade and Parrado. Villavicencio is a bassinet of the renowned Colombian Song Celebration that is devoted to IIano classical beats, featuring the city’s flourishing customs thru a variety of music genres which is exemplary of IIanero natives.

Meta River and Port Lopez.

Meta River and Port Lopez.

Situated two kilometres from Meta’s capital, by the street of Azotea encompasses forty hectares of indigenous garden called Botanic Garden of Villavicencio which belongs to the top reasons to visit Meta. It was created in 1980’s supporting the safeguarding and expansion of diverse foliage and research studies on ecosystems to promote the perfection of knowledge in dealing with the Villavicencio plant life.

For those who would like to be captivated by the breathtaking panoramas of the city’s scenic views, the Monument of Cristo Rey is among the top reasons to visit Meta. It was established in 1954 lying on an elevated area on Redentor hill in Llano Avenue.

One of the renowned top reasons to visit Meta is its parks. Las Malokas Park for example is popular for exhibiting the way of life of Llanos and the significant role they played in the Colombian heritage, amidst an atmosphere that is enclosed with interesting vegetation and wide-ranging species of fauna. Within the park, several of the region’s premier stables can be seen which houses numerous varieties of animals. Along the racetracks the toils of a typical Llanero (cowboy) is performed specifically the way they climb and ride on horses, milk cows, and lariat calves. Exterior the racetracks, people can savor the mamona, hayacas and cachapas which are classic food delicacies of Llanos. Parque de la Vida is also a well known park situated in Circunvalar Avenue in Meta which offers one of the finest destinations for sports and leisure such as a swimming pool and green regions. It also has a restaurant and several convention halls conducive for cultural shows.

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Aerial view of Los Nevados National Park

Top Reasons To Visit Los Nevados National Park

The top reasons to visit Los Nevados National Park may sound like the top reasons to be in Colombia itself. The majesty of this vast preservation is a reflection of South America’s splendor. Not even the years of civil strife and its corresponding pigeonholed media representation could destroy this part of wonderful uncivilized realm exuding with divine magnificence. Tourists cannot simply help but be drawn to this splendid region in order to relax and experience living life outside the immediate parameters of civilization. One cannot help but take note of the best reasons to visit and spend time in Los Nevados National Park.

Aerial view of Los Nevados National Park

Aerial view of Los Nevados National Park

1. Experience the adventure of trekking

Travelers who love to keep on moving on their feet would consider trekking as one of the top reasons to visit Los Nevados National Park. Over 58,000 hectares of distance, with most of it covered by snow, is more than enough of a place to accommodate thousands of tourists who love to take a leisure stroll. A vivid imagination could permit a trekker to fancy himself or herself as a nomad in Ice Age period out for an adventure.

2. Los Nevados National Park: the naturalist’s paradise

With over one thousand two hundred species of plants, the Los Nevados National Park is definitely every naturalist’s Disney Land. Other than exotic plants that thrive in the harshest altitude of Colombian Andes, this place also has a variety of rare birds. Documenting the diverse wildlife is definitely one of the top reasons to visit Los Nevados National Park.

3. Rock and ice climbing: pushing the envelope of fun

Rock climbing alone is dangerous. But a large number of athletic human beings enjoy it nonetheless. However, ice climbing is a whole new level of danger that would cut the population of daring mountaineers to half. Only the fittest adventurous people would get to experience the exhilaration they are looking for. If they are tourists, Los Nevados National Park is one of the few places on earth they should visit.

4. Do you love fishing and find pleasure in that hobby?

Not all fishing hobbies are dull and conducive only to senior citizens. There are types of fishing activities that captivate the competitive spirit of humanity. Spear fishing and sports fishing are one of the interesting things that the Los Nevados National Park could offer. Their frigid waterholes are plenty and bountiful.

5. The place that landscape artists would beg to stay longer

The diverse topography is one of the best things this place has to offer for travelers who love to paint or take photographs. A combination of rainforests, dry tundra and alpines could provide a photographer with multiple picture albums full of splendid landscape shots. Painters, both canvas-based and digital artists, will spend longer vacations to capture the essence of Los Nevados National Park.

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Panoramic night downtown Pereira.

Top Reasons To Visit Risaralda

The top reasons to visit Risaralda are highlights of how badly stereotyped the nation of Colombia is, considering the ongoing tensions of some areas of the country between the government and the rebels. Risaralda not only proves itself to be remote from these issues, some of their cities seem to rise above the political tensions plaguing their land. Pereira is a city especially known among veteran tourists who have familiarized themselves in the region of Riseralda. Pereira City in Riseralda seems to be the model for rapid development alongside the capital region of Bogota. There are indeed good reasons to visit this place.

Panoramic night downtown Pereira.

Panoramic night downtown Pereira.

1. Going to the zoo for an afternoon delight

Going to the fabled Matecana City Zoo is the most popular top reasons to visit Riseralda for many tourists. There is just something about zoos that really fascinate people. Mankind’s mysterious connection with the animals is proof of how humanity still wants to belong to the rest of creation. Matecana City Zoo houses a decent menagerie of exotic beasts that are otherwise found in the most pristine and uncorrupted regions of the planet. Most of these animals come alive around afternoons, coincidentally in the dullest time of the day to keep tourists retreating to their siesta.

2. Experience the wonder of manicured nature

Manicured nature may not appeal to many sentimental eco tourists but they provide the best experience for ordinary travelers who are still quite attached to luxury and comfort. Riseralda, particularly Pereira City, prides itself on how much they take urban progress very seriously. Riseralda has a number of impressive spas and hotels with picturesque nature themes, and are testament of Riseralda’s dedication to excellent development.

3. Miss the Olympics? No problem and I’ll tell you why.

Tourists who love sports will definitely find one of the top reasons to visit Riseralda, specifically around the month of August. The Bolivarian Games are the region’s most exciting set of events. Travelers can witness how Latinos have come to earn a somewhat positive stereotype of being overly competitive in physical contests. Other than boxing and soccer, which are the two best known sports associated with Hispanic heritage; over 50 plus games are being played during this prestigious national event. Witnessing the Bolivarian Games is truly one of the things experienced travelers in Colombia would never want to miss.

Plaza de Bolivar

Plaza de Bolivar

4. Visiting the “Naked Bolivar” in Plaza de Bolivar

The Naked Bolivar is just one of the many effigies being built to honor the quintessential revolutionary icon of South America, Simon Bolivar. But other than the historical importance of the statue, this masterpiece is seated at the center of Riseralda’s most developed city. The region’s most important public events also take place in this venue. It is something tourist could chance upon participating along with the locals.

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