Some of the best educational experiences in Colombia just so happen to be the most bucket-list-worthy excursions that any family visiting South America would love no matter what. Travel is an excellent way to teach kids about the world. It teaches them how to navigate other cultures with respect, and how to appreciate new experiences, and is an awesome way to learn some history lessons that they may not get during the regular school year!
Plus, parents will get just as much out of these experiences as their children. While showing the wonders of Colombia off to your kids, there will be plenty of amazing moments for adults to enjoy as you discover these destinations together. Below are six of the best educational experiences in Colombia to add to your travel itinerary that the whole family will love.
1. Explore The Museums Of Bogotá
One of the best ways to jump into Colombian culture is by exploring the diverse array of museums in Bogotá. While some take you on a journey through culture and history, others highlight the most important artists of the country. Spending a few days weaving through the various galleries as you venture across one of South America’s most celebrated cities.
If your family is made up of history lovers, there are a few can’t-miss museums in Bogotá. The first is the Museo de Oro, or “Gold Museum.” Spanning two floors, this exhibit holds over 55,000 gold artifacts crafted by Colombia’s indigenous communities. As you navigate this glittering palace of information, you’ll begin to learn about the legend of “El Dorado,” the lost city of gold. Another excellent history-centered destination is the National Museum, which exhibits more than 2,500 artifacts ranging from 10,000 BC to the present day.
Dive into the more artistic side of Colombia when you visit MAMBO, the Museum of Modern Art Bogotá. Designed by the famous architect Rogelio Salmona, this exhibit features modern art of the 20th century, as well as rotating temporary exhibitions that showcase the evolution of art in today’s industry. And, to get in touch with some of the greatest artists in Colombian history, be sure to stop at the Museo de Botero, which explores the life work of Fernando Botero. With over 100 original works by Botero and more than 80 pieces from others like Picasso and Monet, this museum is one that aspiring art historians must visit.
2. Uncover the History of Cartagena
Rarely do you get the opportunity to explore a UNESCO Heritage city, but in Cartagena travelers can do exactly that. This Caribbean coast town offers so much more than a relaxing beach getaway. It is a vibrant community filled with historic landmarks that you and your family can explore for days on end. One of the most important sites here is the fortress known as the Wall City of Old Town Cartagena. Over six centuries ago, construction began here to build a defense system that would protect this important port town from pirates and invading ships. Construction took two hundred years to build, but that time paid off because the walls still stand today.
Now, you and your family can enter the Walled City and discover all the fascinating secrets kept in this important fortress. One must-see part of this city is the San Felipe castle. This maze-filled structure overlooks the entire bay of Cartagena and is an incredible place to explore with kids. You can stroll along the castle walls, discussing some of the most famous battles that were once fought here and learning about the unique defense tactics used to keep enemies out.
3. Take A Coffee Farm Tour In The Cocora Valley
Families that are looking for immersive experiences should not miss an opportunity to explore one of Colombia’s coffee farms in the Cocora Valley! Whether you have a multi-generational group who all drink a cup a day, or you want to provide younger kids with a hands-on learning experience, a coffee farm tour is an excellent addition to any itinerary! Plus, doing so in the Cocora Valley is an excellent way to double up on experiences, since this region is one of the most unique ecosystems in the world.
Get an inside look at all the love and labor that goes into producing this seemingly simple product. You’ll learn all about what it takes to produce a deliciously brewed cup of Colombia coffee, including what makes this region of the world an exceptional place to grow coffee beans. And, after studying a bit about agriculture and tasting your way through the different products, you can embark on a bit of an afternoon adventure through the valley!
Cocora Valley is well known for its unique wax palm trees which can grow over 200 feet tall. Take your family on a horseback tour of the valley if you want some incredible views that feel like something out of a movie. This scenic adventure is an excellent addition to your time in the coffee region, giving you and your kids a glimpse at the amazingly diverse ecosystems of Colombia.
4. Step Million Years Into The Past When You Visit Villa de Leyva
While Colombia today is full of remarkable landscapes including the steep Andean mountains and charming coastal communities, it was once partially submerged underwater. About 145 to 65 million years ago, a majority of the land now called Colombia was buried under the ocean, where huge reptilian creatures swam around as life on Earth slowly evolved. Once the water dried up, massive fossilized animals were left for future generations to discover. Villa de Leyva is home to many of these fossils and has become a destination for curious explorers who want a closer look at some of the astounding animals that once dominated the region.
Take the family to the Museum of Paleontology for a day to study over 2,000 fossilized pieces from the Cretaceous period. Huge alligator-like fossils and dinosaur sculptures provide you with a three-dimensional look at the giants that ruled during prehistoric times. Kids and parents alike will be in awe as they learn about life before humankind in this region.
5. Go On A Wildlife Excursion In Tayrona National Park
One of Colombia’s most stunning national parks is Tayrona National Park. This Caribbean jungle beach fantasy is beloved for its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and off-grid feeling that lets you truly relax. But, for families that want a little extra fun, Tayrona is also a hub for unique wildlife – both on land and in the sea!
Spend your time hiking through the many beautiful trails of Tayrona to see if you can find some of the remarkable wildlife residents. From mammals to birds to insects and reptiles, this park is home to an abundance of unique animal species, some of which you’ll only find in this part of Colombia! The cotton-top Tamarin is one of these rare species. If you’re lucky enough to see one on your hike through the jungle, be sure to grab a photo to remember the moment! Ocelots, Sloths, Red Howler monkeys, and over 280 types of birds are also fluttering around Tayrona.
And, if your family is interested in diving below the sea to discover some marine life, be sure to include a snorkeling tour with one of the expert local guides. The waters in this region tend to be pretty unpredictable, so you do not want to try this alone. Going on a guided excursion with a local professional will help keep the family safe, but it will also ensure you swim in the parts of the sea that are flourishing with marine life!
6. Explore The Ecological Parks Of Medellin
Within the bustling city of Medellin are some amazing ecological parks to venture through. Among the most popular is Parque Arví, a huge nature reserve located in one of the more rural parts of Medellin. Here, families can hike, cycle, horseback ride, or simply find a beautiful spot for a picnic and lounge in the natural beauty of Colombia. There are also some educational experiences throughout the park for families that want a more hands-on lesson, including the “Mine of Values” which teaches people all about the process of alluvial mining through an interactive experience.
Another excellent option for an interactive nature lesson is Explora Park. This park was designed with a focus on science and technology, so this destination is filled with experiments and interactive games surrounded by the natural beauty of the park. It’s a great way to get younger minds active and engaged with their surroundings without sitting them down for a science lecture. Instead, they get to learn about all different scientific processes in a way that excites and engages their brain.
Making your family trip to South America one that’s full of learning opportunities is a great way to keep kids engaged and active throughout the summer. Whether you want to show them different types of art and culture, or you hope to teach them about our planet and the science that helps it work, Colombia is home to some of the most fun educational experiences for kids to enjoy. Contact one of our Kuoda travel experts if you’re interested in planning a vacation that balances exciting excursions with educational opportunities and we’ll help customize the perfect itinerary for you!
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