Cabo de la Vela

Top Tourist Attractions In Cabo de la Vela

If you don’t mind not having the luxury of sleeping in an air-conditioned room, and waking up to a continental breakfast buffet in a 5-star hotel, then check out the top tourist attractions in Cabo de la Vela.  This paradise off the beaten path for most travelers in Colombia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.  Despite being off the tourism radar due to its inaccessibility (almost), those who have endured the literally pain-in-the-butt bus rides and the absence of 5 star accommodations only have praises for this tourist destination.

Cabo de la Vela

Cabo de la Vela

Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Cabo de la Vela:

El Pilon de Acuzar

Upon reaching Cabo de la Vela, one can simply marvel and take a dip in the beaches of Cabo de la Vela itself and relax by the hammocks after a day of swimming and maybe, kite surfing.  Or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can walk along and explore the coastline of Cabo de la Vela for more hidden beaches and tide pools.

One of the most popular “hidden beaches” and top tourist attractions in Cabo de la Vela is the El Pizon de Acuzar.  Be prepared to marvel at an out-of-this-world landscape, where the desert meets the sea.  The golden sands and the rock formations are a perfect place for swimming and trekking.

According to local legends, El Pilon de Acuzar is where the souls of the dead go.  But the place is a slice of heaven, even for the living.  And if you explore a little further, you can find other treasures such as the Ojo de Agua, a natural saltwater pool.

Cerro Kamachi

This pyramid-like hill near El Pizon de Acuzar is sacred to the Wayuu people.  Atop the hill, a small, stone shrine to the Virgin Mary was built and adorned with Wayuu wristbands.

Climbing to the top of Cerro Kamachi gives you a panoramic view of the Caribbean coastline of Colombia as well as Colombia’s first wind farm in Medellin.

Laguna de Utta

Between El Pizon de Acuzar and the main village of Cabo de la Vela is the Laguna de Utta, a secluded lagoon.  This lagoon is home to some of the local waterfowls such as flamingos, herons and sandpipers.  Depending on the time of the year, Laguna de Utta is a great place to go bird watching.

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Los Cerros de Mavecure (or Mavicure), located 50 km south of Inirida.

Top Reasons To Visit Inírida

A side trip to Inirida may not be part of your Colombia getaway plans, but these top reasons to visit Inirida may make you reconsider your itinerary.

Reason # 1:  Witnessing the beauty of Mother Nature.  One of the top reasons to visit Inirida is catching a glimpse of Mother Nature at her finest.  From marvelous rock formations to clean, coffee-colored waters, which provide a unique swimming experience, Inirida can give you more than just a breath of fresh air.

Los Cerros de Mavecure (or Mavicure), located 50 km south of Inirida.

Los Cerros de Mavecure (or Mavicure), located 50 km south of Inirida.

Also known as the “Crying Rock”, The Mavecure Hill is one of the remnants of the oldest mountains in Latin America.  This giant rock formation provides an excellent backdrop to the lush greenery of along the Inirida river.  Climbing the Mavecure hill will give you a magnificent eagle’s eye view of the surrounding rivers and jungles.  But it’s best to visit during the summer season between December and March to be able to catch a glimpse of the white sand beaches by the rivers (and maybe take a dip in the cool, clear waters as well).

In addition to the famous Mavecure Hill, Inidira is also home to some of the most unique watering holes.  In the middle of some of the forests in and near Inidira are little rivers called Canos.  These rivers have brown of “coffee colored” waters, a refreshing break from the ho-hum white sand beaches found all over the world.

If peace and quiet is your thing, you can also visit some of the lagoons found in Inidira.  One of the famous lagoons in town is the Laguna de Bruha or the Witches’ lagoon.  The symphony of water, nature and birds makes it a perfect place to meditate and ponder upon the numerous gifts of Mother Nature.

Reason # 2: The Inidira flower.  Another of the top reasons to visit Inirida is that it is home to the Inirida flower, one of the most beautiful flowers in the world.  This flower is a burst of pink and white, much like the fireworks we see during the fourth of July, and it changes color, too!  This hardy plan can survive with minimal irrigation throughout the year.

Reason # 3: Watch the river dolphins.  Inirida river is also home to the Amazon river dolphins.  Fondly called Toninas by the locals, these river dolphins look like something straight out of the Pokemon cartoons with their pink and grey hues.  But be warned, taking decent pictures of these cute pink dolphins may be harder than you think.  One has to be ready with a camera at all times.

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Purace volcano

Top Reasons To Visit Popayan

The top reasons to visit Popayan will surely never fail to surprise you. Popayan is situated in south-western Colombia and is the capital city of the Cauca department. The capital city is famously known as the “White City or Ciudad Blanca” due to the stunning prehistoric houses encompassing the area.

One of the highlights of the top reasons to visit Popayan is its Holy Week season or more famously known as the Semana Santa tribute. Every night until Good Friday, candles are radiantly lighted along the parades in the narrow roads followed by the kid’s procession the week after. During this time of the year, the Religious Art Museum displays the most valuable works of art of the city’s churches. Also the Universities of Popayan showcase during the commencing of October the annual Festival de Teatro, Encuentro de Cuenteros and the international conference of theater and storytelling which is also a must see. For the rest of the year, theatrical presentations and movies can be viewed at the Centro Cultural Bolivar.

Purace volcano

Purace volcano

Parque Natural de Purace is another inclusion in the top reasons to visit Popayan. It is best to get a professional tour guide to ensure that you get to explore the major attractions within the area such as condor watching, hot springs, waterfalls and an endless breathtaking exhibit of eye-catching vegetation and animals. Access to the park entails a drive way above the central mountain of Colombia over some craggy paths overlooking the breathtaking scenic ambience. At the top, the office of the park is situated where you can pay for your admission and take on an orchid hike or a stroll towards the hot springs. At present, the park isn’t exploited yet so it is best to take advantage of its unsullied and pristine beauty now.

Wandering through the roads of Popayan by foot is also one of the great ways to explore the area and discover some of its historical landmarks and infrastructures such as the Puente de Humilladero and Puente Chiquito prehistoric bridges which offers an enjoyable experience of the sunbeams. Drizzling afternoons can also be spent well in Ciudad Blanca’s nice anthology of museums and churches take for example Casa Negret, Museo Iberoamericano de Arte Moderno as well as Museo de Arte Religioso and Museo de Historia Natural.

Among the other top reasons to visit Popayan are its several attention-grabbing settlements like Silvia and its weekly featured local market. Along the way, a number of tour paths will let you experience visiting the municipalities through walking or horseback riding. Alongside the same route is Paletara which is famous for showcasing trout fishing tournament during October. Paragliding and kite-flying festivities in the breezy month of August are also renowned activities to look forward experiencing in Popayan every year.

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Victoria cruziana, a native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin.

Top Reasons To Visit Vaupes

And while Vaupés lies in the heart of the Amazonian jungle, there are still top reasons to visit Vaupés and have the time of your life.  Located north of Guainia, Guaviare and Caqueta and east of the Brazilian border, this jewel in the center of the jungle offers a breath-taking view of lush greenery, marvelous landscapes, rivers and a wide variety of aquatic Amazonian fauna.

Victoria cruziana, a native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin.

Victoria cruziana, a native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin.

This place offers enough adventure for the thrill-seeker and nature lover in you.

The list of the top reasons to visit Vaupés starts off with the Yurupari rapids.  The Yurupari rapids is a 7 hour boat ride away from Vaupés’ capital, Mitu.  This six meter stretch of cascades is a perfect venue to enjoy the warm waters during the day.  The rapids are also very rich in local aquatic fauna such as sardines subienda, catfish, cuyucuyu and pacu.

Legend has it that the Yurupari rapids is home to an underground maze which leads to a hidden treasure of gold and diamonds.  However, according to local beliefs, the treasures must never, at all times, be taken away from the maze.  But some foreigners have taken advantage of the native’s gullibility and have brought some of the treasures home themselves.

Whether there’s a kernel of truth to the myth or not, the Yurupari rapids in itself is a site to behold, making the long trip worthwhile.

If B-Movies like Anaconda has piqued your curiosity over these gigantic snakes, then a visit to the Raudal de Jirijirimo should be part of your list of top reasons to visit Vaupés.  Also called “La Cama de la Anaconda” (The Bed of the Anacondas), the Jirijirimo rapids is home to one of the largest snakes in the world, the anaconda.  In addition to these giant snakes, the rapids are also home to other exotic fauna such as tapirs and macaws.

Other highlights in Vaupés include a ride through the Tunel de Apaporis along the Apaporis river, and a getting a stunning, panoramic view of the Amazonian jungle from the peak of Serrania Morroco.

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Silletera girl

Top Reasons To Visit Saint Elena

If you want to escape the busy streets of Medellín then the top reasons to visit Saint Elena are worth a look. It’s one of the five rural districts in Medellín, Colombia located 10 miles from the city center. It has a total of 17 small villages called veredas within its territory and is bordered by Bello and Copacabana on the north, Guarne and Rionegro on the east, and Envigado on the south. Saint Elena is a charming place and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reasons for visiting it.

Reason #1: The weather

Medellín is regarded as a “City of Eternal Spring” but if you enjoy cooler weather, Saint Elena is an even better place. Since the town is located on a higher altitude than the city, it enjoys lower temperatures.

Silletera girl

Silletera girl

Reason #2: Siletta Culture

One of the top reasons to visit Saint Elena is the Siletta culture. The combination of pleasant weather and rich soil enabled local farmers to cultivate the land and grow an array of tropical flowers including local varieties. The flower growing industry in Saint Elena eventually gave birth to the practice of flower arrangement called siletta. And the siletta is the heart of the most celebrated festival in Medellin called Feria de Las Flores.

During the Festival of Flowers, the villages of Saint Elena compete against each other with their flower arrangements. Silitteros or flower-growers march downhill from the town with the silettas strapped on their backs. The main event, however, is the parade that takes place in Medellín. You can watch the silettas being made at Saint Elena the night before the parade.

Reason #3: Year-round attractions

Also among the top reasons to visit Saint Elena are the availability of year-round attractions. One of which is the Avri Regional Park. The national park spans for 28,000 acres and extends to Bello, Copacabana, and Envigado; all municipalities of Medellín. The eco park, besides its greenery, is best known for its numerous viewpoints where you can watch the sunset. Birds also thrive within Parque Avri. You can also enjoy different activities in the area including biking, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and camping. Marked trails meander through the park and will take you through lakes, the forest, and spectacular scenic views.

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A view of Tunja

Top Tourist Attractions In Tunja

Fundamentally, Columbia is known for its other cities such as Bogota and Cartagena but the top tourist attractions in Tunja will also never let down your expectations. It is not the first choice in anyone’s itinerary but once you get there that’s the time that you can truly cherish the great destinations it can offer you. Located in the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Tunja is a place that is very much away from the city’s busy life.

One of the destinations that you should visit is the famous colonial mansion called Casa Del Fundador Suarez Rendon. It is one massive colonial mansion as old as the 16th century and definitely a beauty at its best. You might be fooled with its exterior but don’t lose your interest because you will find what you’re looking for inside the mansion with its magnificent interior. It’s definitely a prized place and absolutely one of the top tourist attractions in Tunja.

A view of Tunja

A view of Tunja

Aside from the tourist spots in Tunja, the city is also well-known for its festivals. One of those is the International festival of culture. Its origin is dated back in 1973 which showcases theater, film, diverse art exhibitions, tango and a lot more. Another one is the famous Aguinaldo Boyacense which is a festival celebrated annually on the month of December.  It lasts a week with parades of floats, music, cultural events, arts, sports, children’s competitions and other more. The most anticipated event in the festival is the amazing fireworks display at night which is very beautiful.

Last but not the least, is the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. Its white peaks are quite a sight to see and travelers will surely love the beautiful scenery. Spice up your vacation by hiking but do take note that climbing the top, though very tempting, should be for professionals only. Most likely tourists can go around the area and visit lakes, waterfalls and other spectacular places with the aid of a tourist guide. Although it is recommended that for you to truly appreciate the beauty of Sierra Nevada del Cocoy is for you to spend at least a week to cherish a moment of tranquility and peace, away from the busy city.

If you have set your mind to visit Columbia and tour around the country then don’t forget to visit the top tourist attractions in Tunja. Do consider it on top of your list because the place is home to a lot of vacation getaways. Added to its tourism is the security of the place for it has the lowest crime rate in the country. You may think that it may not be the best place to spend your vacation but sometimes great things come in small cities and you just have to experience it yourself and hope that it might be one of your most memorable trips ever.

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Valledupar and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain in the background.

Top Reasons To Visit Valledupar

Despite the atrocities and tragedies this quaint Colombian city has experienced, the top reasons to visit Valledupar still have not lost its charm on tourists around the world.  From a refreshing dip in its famous dips and watering holes to an interesting indigenous history, arts and culture, every corner holds a surprise that will continue to fascinate every traveller with the hopes of finding something different.

Valledupar and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain in the background.

Valledupar and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain in the background.

So what does Valledupar offer that some equally charming and picturesque neighbouring Colombian cities such as Bogota do not?  Here are some of the top reasons to visit Valledupar:

Reason # 1:  Feel alive with the sound of Vallenato music.  The alluring sound of the accordion fills every corner of the city.  And it gets even better come April during the Vallenato Legend festival.  The week-long festival features Vallenato music contests such as the piquera or the battle of lyrics.  It is certainly a treat to world music lovers all over the world, which makes it one of the top reasons to visit Valledupar.

Reason # 2: Take a nature trip to its ecoparks.  Valledupar is also known as the greenest city in Colombia.  No wonder it is called the “forest city”.  La Besotes Ecopark, one of the famous ecoparks in the city can treat you to a 14 km nature hike, about 250 species of birds and other local flora and fauna.

Reason #3:  Take a refreshing dip on some of their famous watering holes.  Aside from the breath-taking ecoparks, Valledupar is also home to some of the famous watering holes in Colombia, a refreshing alternative to the usual white sand beaches.  The Guatapuri river is frequented by tourists and locals alike.  But be warned, it could get more crowded during the weekends.  But don’t worry, as Valledupar has a lot of watering holes to whet your whistle, such as the Badillo river and the La Mina natural watering facilities.  La Mina is also a sight to behold with its ivory white boulders and crystal clear waters.

Reason #4: Immerse in their indigenous history.  Aside from a breathtaking view of their famous natural watering facilities, La Mina is also home to a historic village, where you can get your fill on indigenous crafts.  Off the border of Valledupar on the way to Santa Marta, pass by Pueblo Bello for a spiritual experience with the Arhuaco people in Nabusimake.  However, as the Arhuaco people are not particularly fond of tourists and being photographed, being trigger-happy with your camera is pretty much discouraged.

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Las Lajas Cathedral

Top Reasons To Visit Ipiales

Most tourists shrug at the thought that there are top reasons to visit Ipiales. For them, the Colombian city is nothing more than a gateway to Ecuador so they do just that. They pass the city like a bridge that will get them somewhere else but don’t treat it as the destination itself. Well it certainly deserves more credit than what it gets.

Ipiales belongs to the Nariño Department of Colombia, southwest of the country. It lies 3 km from the Colombia-Ecuador border so it’s understandable why tourists only use it to reach Ecuador. But there are other reasons why you, as a traveler, should come to Ipiales.

Reason #1: See green clouds

Ipiales is referred to by locals as “The City of Green Clouds” or in their language, “la ciudad de las nubes verdes“. Sometimes in the afternoon, green clouds may be spotted hovering over the city.

Reason #2: Exotic food

Locals are known for their odd taste for food. For instance, they eat guinea pigs when they are treated as pets in many countries. Cavy or cuy as most locals call it is also served in many restaurants throughout Ipiales. The cuy is often likened to a mouse in terms of appearance but is said to taste like rabbit. If you’re into exotic food, this should be included in the top reasons to visit Ipiales.

Reason #3: Black and White Carnival

The grand festival is a celebration of the city’s racial diversity. During this annual event, participants paint each other with make-up and careoca which is basically white soap. People from all over Colombia visit Ipiales for the Black and White Carnival.

Las Lajas Cathedral

Las Lajas Cathedral

Reason #4: Las Lajas Cathedral

The epitome of your trip to Ipiales should be the Las Lajas Cathedral. It is an impressive work of architecture and perhaps the best throughout the city. Also known as the Las Lajas Sanctuary, Santuario de Las Lajas, or Sanctuary of Our Lady of Las Lajas, it is a basilica built within a canyon of the Guáitara River. The current structure dates from 1949 and features Gothic Revival architecture.

The cathedral was built to commemorate a miracle that took place in the area, when an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared before a deaf and mute girl while seeking refuge in the canyon with her mother from a storm. Since then, miraculous healings have been associated with the area and has become a famous pilgrimage site for devotees of the Virgin Mary.

Reason #5: Gateway to Ecuador

Let’s face it. Its status as a gateway to Ecuador will always be part of the top reasons to visit Ipiales. To reach the border you can take a bus from the terminal in Ipiales. The bus station is a little outside of the city and you would have to get there by taking a collectivo from the city center. Bus rides from the terminal to the border costs 1,500 pesos. The trip ends at the Colombian immigration control which will help you get to Ecuador.

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Albizia saman (Samanea saman) a type of tree found in Colombia

Top Tourist Attractions In Chia

The top tourist attractions in Chía are well worth a visit if you’re staying in Bogotá. Chía is a town located right outside the Colombian capital, in the Department of Cundinamarca. Chía is just 2.7 km from Bogotá and a short daytrip away. It is often regarded as a suburb of the capital due to its location but it’s an entirely different place that has its own tourist spots.

Albizia saman (Samanea saman) a type of tree found in Colombia

Albizia saman (Samanea saman) a type of tree found in Colombia

Universidad de La Sabana

The university is one of the most prestigious schools throughout Colombia and it is tucked in Chía, approximately 7 km away from Bogotá. Founded in 1979 it doubles as a historic attraction.

Andres Carne de Res

The bar, grill, and restaurant has a lively atmosphere that will get you moving and shaking. It is an exceptional place to spend and enjoy the night in Chía. It is adorned by unique decors and the vibe is truly amazing. You can start your night at Andres Carne de Res with dinner and party until the wee hours of the morning. Make sure that you grab refreshments while you party, especially local drinks.

Panama Farm

Families that have kids with them can visit Panama Farm, one of the top tourist attractions in Chía. Animals endemic to Colombia are cared for in the farm.

Centro Comercial Chía

The Chía Commercial Center is a shopping mall. It may not be a good place to see and experience town’s culture and history but you get to enjoy modern comforts like shopping or dining here.

Puente del Comun

This is perhaps the best among the top tourist attractions in Chía. It is a historical landmark that town tourists cannot afford to miss. It originates from the late 18th century and was the work of Viceroy José de Ezpeleta. Puente del Comun translates to “common bridge” in English but it isn’t ordinary by any means.

The bridge is 30 km from Bogotá and spans for 32 meters. Its vaults are 6 meters thick and it has a height of about 7 feet. It is notable for its five arches, each 6 feet away. Puente del Comun is built out of brick and stone and cost Colombia $100,000 to build.

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View of Mompox from the Magdalena River

Top Tourist Attractions In Santa Cruz De Mompox

Near the prominent city of Cartagena, within the Bolivar department, lie the top tourist attractions in Santa Cruz de Mompox. Santa Cruz de Mompox is believed to be an enchanting town situated on an island amidst the Magdalena River emanating with rich cultural and architectural heritage.

Among the several ancient churches nestled in the region, Iglesia de Santa Barbara is perhaps one of the top tourist attractions in Santa Cruz de Mompox since more often than not the structure is featured in majority of its postcards and photographs owing to its remarkable structure. What’s more eye-catching about the renowned church is its uniquely-styled tower with a veranda which is ideal for picture-taking. Be sure though to pay a visit in the morning to guarantee that you get a more vivid capture of the place.

View of Mompox from the Magdalena River

View of Mompox from the Magdalena River

If you have the fad for shopping gold jewelleries then Mompox is just the perfect place to be. Being famed for its precious offerings of gold gems, you’ll surely fall in love with its wide array of jewelleries that you’ll find here. Moreover, among the top tourist attractions in Santa Cruz de Mompox are its great showcase of furnishings like that of the conventional sets of chairs and tables as well as its luscious delicacies such as Doña Ada’s lemon sweets and capa cheese which are perfect combinations along with your tours.

Bioma Boutique Hotel situated at Calle Real del Medio is also one of the top tourist attractions in Santa Cruz de Mompox due to its conventional accommodations and facilities that have caught the eye of picky travelers. After the completion of the hotel’s refurbishment and development in 2011 and being in a strategic position in the core of the town,  Bioma Boutique Hotel has gained the fame of offering an inimitable and an unforgettable getaway and experience to its guests. Among the renowned facilities that tourists can enjoy include captivating gardens, a restaurant, swimming pool and a Jacuzzi.

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