Monthly Archives: March 2013

A rock formation of Gorgona Island, Colombia

Top Reasons To Visit Gorgona In Colombia

It’s surprising that very few tourists know about the top reasons to visit Gorgona in Colombia, let alone know about the island’s existence. Isla Gorgona is a small island located off the Colombian Pacific. The following is a list of reasons why you should visit Gorgona Island during your trip to Colombia.

Reason #1: Escape Colombia

Gorgona Island offers an escape from the urban cities of Colombia as well as its usually crowded beaches. While people in Colombia have a fast-paced lifestyle, the island gives you the rest and relaxation you’ve been dreaming of. Adding to this fact is that Gorgona has no permanent dwellers and thus, virtually uninhabited.

A rock formation of Gorgona Island, Colombia

A rock formation of Gorgona Island, Colombia

Reason #2: Explore the Pacific

The Caribbean Islands are some of the most sought after destinations in the world. They are home to stunning white sand beaches with pristine seawater and thriving marine life. Furthermore, their tropical climate and lush forests make them all the more irresistible.

Islands in the Pacific are no different really and Gorgona is a Pacific island. Like the rest of the Colombian Islands however, it has a different atmosphere compared to mainland Colombia. The opportunity to explore the beauty of a Pacific island is one of the top reasons to visit Gorgona in Colombia.

Reason #3: Experience a unique culture

Even though it belongs to Colombia, Gorgona has an Afro-Colombian culture that’s unique to it. The island owes its distinct culture to its history. The fusion of both African and Colombian influences cultivated the culture, traditions, beliefs, and cuisine of Gorgona to what it is today.

Reason #4: Accessibility

Isla Gorgona can be accessed from three places in Colombia: Buenaventura, Guapi, and El Charco. The shortest is to take a boat trip from Guapi. The ride will only last two hours. Taking a boat from Buenaventura is also possible but the trip is about 4 hours long. When coming from El Charco, you can either take a plane or a boat to reach the island.

Reason #5: Rare opportunity to watch humpback whales

The island offers the rare chance to see humpback whales. This opportunity is one of the top reasons to visit Gorgona in Colombia. From June until July, more than one thousand humpback whales travel to the Pacific Ocean to mate and breed. Sightseeing tours are available so you can get a closer look at these majestic creatures.

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Map of San Andres and Providencia in Colombia

Top Reasons To Visit Colombian Islands

In November 2012, the International Court of Justice declared that the disputed Caribbean islands belong to Colombia; and this is perhaps one of the top reasons to visit Colombian Islands. The dispute had been going on between Colombia and neighboring country Nicaragua for decades. Now that the drama is gone, you can freely roam the Colombian Islands and know for a fact that you’re within Colombian territory. Below are some good reasons to go there.

1. See and experience Colombia in a different way.

Despite their name, the Colombian Islands don’t have much in common with their mainland. Geographic differences allow them to have a different climate and landscape. Also, the islands are separated by their history and culture, providing tourists with sights and experiences that are unique from Colombia.

Map of San Andres  and Providencia in Colombia

Map of San Andres and Providencia in Colombia

2. Immerse yourself in varying cultures.

The Colombian Islands are further subdivided into regions. Each of these sub regions has a distinct culture. Islands in the Pacific like Gorgona and Malpelo have a dominant Afro-Colombian culture. Meanwhile, the Archipelago of San Andres and Providencia have some resemblance with the Caribbean cultures of Antilles and Jamaica. These varying cultures are included in the top reasons to visit Colombian Islands.

3. Enjoy a Caribbean getaway.

The Colombian Islands may not always have a Caribbean culture but their land and waters give them away. Sprawling white-sand beaches, untouched tropical forests, coral-infested waters, colorful marine life, and exotic wildlife which are typical of the Caribbean may be observed from these islands. Besides, they let you get away from the hustles and bustles of cities in the mainland. Their beaches are less crowded too so you can enjoy some private moments to relax, admire the scenery, and enjoy your vacation.

4. Embark on sightseeing adventures.

Whether you choose to walk through the jungle, hike through the mountains, or go scuba diving, you can embark on a variety of sightseeing adventures. Tourists who enjoy the outdoors will find this one of the top reasons to visit Colombian Islands.

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Castillo San Felipe de Barajas.

Top Reasons to Visit Bolivar

The top reasons to visit Bolivar are indeed a must-explore if you want to be captivated by the land which is also famed as the “land of pleasures, light, happiness and gorgeous women”.  Bolivar was among the nine primary states of “The United States of Colombia” located in the northern portion and is bounded by the departments of Magdalena, Cesar, Atlantico and Santander.

One of the optimum top reasons to visit Bolivar is the capital city itself which is Cartagena. It is a city of fortress city which is oozing with charisma and romance. Among the famous landmarks that can be found within the narrow boulevards consists of prehistoric monasteries, churches, citadels and historical heroic remnants. Cartagena is also a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its significant role played in promoting progress during the Spanish period. Moreover, with its many traditional merry-makings, dynamic nightlife, luscious food, pristine beaches and a wide array of stunning architectural designs, Cartagena has truly shown why a lot of tourists are drawn towards Bolivar.

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas.

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas.

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is one of the must-visit sites situated in Cartagena, Bolivar. It is a bastion on the Hill of San Lazaro which serves as a tactical spot overlooking and dominating the city whether by sea or land.  Originally the fortress was named as Castillo de San Lazaro, constructed by the Spaniards during the period of colony during the year 1536. Notably it became extended in 1657 and restructured in a triangular contour with 8 guns and barracks of 4 gunners and 20 soldiers. Basically its name originated from Philip IV of Spain as a form of tribute.

San Osrido Museum is definitely among the top reasons to visit Bolivar. The museum is a part of Jose Luis Cornieles’ hacienda who was the first associate of the primary Congress of Angostura and a close comrade of Simong Bolivar. It was within this domicile that Bolivar first occupied and geared up his first speech to the Congress of Angostura in the February 15, 1819. The residence being an outstanding colonial infrastructure has in turn become a national historical memorial that is a mostly visited by tourists.

Lastly, if you are a certified beach bum, Islas del Rosario sums up the top reasons to visit Bolivar. There are many tour agents available who can assist you with the package trips that you can choose from towards the small islets. More often than not, the day tour comprises of lunch, a trip to the aquarium and a number of hours at Playa Blanca where you can take your most sought-after plunge.

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Sierra Nevada Cocuy Guicán Range

Top Reasons to Visit Arauca

The top reasons to visit Arauca is a very tough set of details to define knowing the kind of reputation Colombia had in the world, as an entity of the international community. With the nation wrought by ongoing civil conflict, one can safely say that Arauca is even located at the fringes of the turbulent zone. But as surely as the Colombian nation dedicates itself to defeating the violent opposition, this country also boasts in its ability to effectively defend its inhabitants. Although it is difficult to find top reasons to visit Arauca, some sentimental and idealistic tourists can find themselves drawn to the region’s exotic appeal.

Sierra Nevada Cocuy Guicán Range

Sierra Nevada Cocuy Guicán Range

1. History and culture: knowing why it is untamed

One of the top reasons to visit Arauca can be understood by those eco tourists with fierce scholarly interest. History is often most attractive when the subject matter is rarely known. When an erudite individual has a keen interest in the “Chronicles of the Araucanian Wars”, it is only logical to journey to its heart and namesake. Araucania is a region that shares borders with Chile and Argentina, and it is named after the nation where the tribe of the Chilean national hero belongs. King Lautaro and his Mapuche warriors are natives of Araucania who fought with the Spaniards for over six centuries. His courage is shared by many outback natives residing in this area. Until today, the wilderness and plains of Arauca remain untamed, for better or worse.

2. Do you love to ride in a helicopter?

It is no secret that Arauca is a dangerous place to travel by land. However, people in this region capitalize on that reality in a way that will attract off-beat and immoderate tourists looking for wild adventure. The only way to tour Arauca is via a helicopter. Therefore, if a tourist happens to be fascinated by this rugged and efficient rotor aircraft, then Arauca’s helicopter cruises is definitely worth the recreation. Besides, one can truly appreciate the prolonged aerial panorama of this untamed land.

3. Let’s go Cajun, South American style!

Helicopters can be a cool means of transportation but some people are not born with an “aerial stomach”. For those tourists who are scared to fly yet too adventurous for their own good, perhaps boat cruising with the locals could be one of the top reasons to visit Arauca. But one must remember that it only applies to people who want to push the envelope of social conventions by living at the edge. If alligators in the wet marshes hunt people, some of these locals don’t agree and they are willing to prove it by hunting them for a tasty wild game.

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