Did you know that adventurous experiences can result in greater self-competency, personal empowerment, personal identity, trust, and even emotional resiliency? Those studies tell us what thrill seekers already know. That is: adventure is medicine for the soul. And if you’re an adventurer looking for your next blood pumping experience, look no further than Colombia. Although it’s almost 10 times smaller than the US, Colombia is packed with the potential for wild, extreme, and rugged adventure. To sum them all up, here are some of Kuoda’s best ideas for adventure travel in Colombia.
– Why Choose Adventure Travel in Colombia?
Within its over 430,000 square miles of territory, Colombia houses every possible landscape. Along its northern and western borders are miles of coastline, both Pacific and Caribbean. To the east are vast grasslands called Los Llanos and there’s also the Tatacoa desert to the west.
Nearly the entire southern half of the country is Amazon Basin, filled with dense rainforest and winding rivers. Through the center are towering volcanoes and the snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountains. The mountains themselves are home to varied landscapes, including tropical rainforests at the base, cloud forest in their middle, and topped by tropical, high mountain, highland moor.
It’s these extreme and varied landscapes that make Colombia the perfect place for adventure travel. Whether you want to soar the skies on a paraglide, explore the rivers of the Amazon on a deep jungle tour, trek mountains, or bungee jump… Colombia has it all for the thrill seeker.
– Paraglide in the City
One of the best parts of Colombia adventure travel? You don’t have to wander too far to find it. While some adventures are found in the more remote parts of this small country, you can find others right in the heart of its biggest cities.
Take paragliding, for example. This is the rawest and purest form of flight, and its accessible to adventure seekers of all degrees! You can choose to get extreme and take flight lessons or you can fly tandem with a professional paraglider.
These adventures begin in San Felix, just 16 kilometers from Medellin. You’ll fly hundreds of meters above the city and get a view you can’t find with your feet on the ground. And if you’re not going to be visiting Medellin while in Colombia, no problem! Paragliding is also popular in San Gil, Bucaramanga, Cali, and Bogota.
– Rafting, Canyoning, Bungee Jumping and More in San Gil
You could spend a week in San Gil and still not do all of the adventure activities available here. That’s why it’s gained a well-earned reputation as the adventure center of the country. Surrounded by deep canyons, raging rivers, waterfalls, and mountains, here you can raft, bungee jump, canyon, rappel, zip line, splunk, and more.
Thrill seekers looking for rafting will find rivers of all levels of difficulty. The most challenging rapids are found in Rio Suarez, but beginners will have a blast charging through the waters at Rio Fonce. That river is also where you’ll find the best San Gil bungee jumping. Test your fear on a 70 meter structure, high over the river’s edge.
Explore the canyons on guided tours that take you walking through waterfalls, caves, and beautiful natural pools. You’ll rappel down waterfalls and huge rock walls and have an opportunity to splunk into water holes.
– Rock Climb Outside of the Capital
For another adventure opportunity not too far from the city, head one hour’s drive north of Bogota to the rural town of Suesca. Here is a climber’s paradise, with 2.5 miles of sandstone cliffs, all set for trad and sport climbing.
Towering as high as 410 feet above the Rio Bogota, there are more than 400 routes on the cliffs, ranging from easy to difficult (with the hardest pitch topping out at a 7c+). Climbers will love the climbing community in town, too. Camp at the base of the cliffs to get in your favorite routes early or hang with the locals at the hostel/climbing shop in town.
– Trekking the Andes Mountains
Approximately 250 miles from Bogota is Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. This is where you’ll find Colombia’s glacial peaks – 25 to be exact, spread across two parallel mountain ranges. Endemic flora and fauna and stunning mountain-scapes make this some of the most remote and wild scenery outside of Patagonia.
Colombia’s best alpine trek used to be the El Cocuy circuit in Parque Nacional Natural El Cocuy. It was a week-long circuit that took hikers through mountain passes, waterfalls, and stunning glacial lakes. But to protect this natural landscape, there are now three day hikes, instead. Pulpito del Diablo is a 13.5 mile hike that takes about 8 to 10 hours, Laguna Grande de la Sierra is another 13.5 mile hike that takes you to a glacial lake, and The Ritacuba is an 8.5 mile hike that starts at 12, 900 feet and rises to 15,900 feet.
But if you have your heart set on a multi-day hike, then you can’t miss the 5-day walking trek to the Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City). Hidden deep in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, it’s probably the most famous hike in the country. You’ll walk through waist-deep river crossings and dense heat until you reach an ancient city that predates Machu Pichu by about 650 years.
– Diving the Coast
Colombia has coastline along the Pacific and the Caribbean. In fact, Colombia has more than 1,800 miles of coastline! It should come as no surprise, then, that Colombia is a hot spot for deep dive adventures. Among the best spots is the tiny island of Providencia, about 430 miles off the coast of Colombia in the heart of the Caribbean Sea.
What makes Providencia one of the best Colombia adventure travel spots? Well, it’s sitting on top of one of the largest barrier reefs in the world. With over 40 dive spots, you might see 4 different sharks, manta rays, submerged caves, blue holes, and hundreds of fish species. For something extra special, check out Felipe’s Place, where a statue of Christ sits 65 feet below the water’s surface.
– Jungle Tours in the Amazon Basin
Leticia is Colombia’s gateway to the Amazon. Located on the borders of Brazil and Peru, from this hot and humid jungle city you can explore the jungle in a number of ways.
Start with a visit to the Tanimboca Natural Reserve, where you can stay in a tree house. Then, jump on a jungle tour, ranging from 2 nights and 3 days to as many as 10 days, exploring deep in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest.
What you can see and do on a jungle tour varies, but the adventure is equal across all options. Per square foot, Colombia is the most biodiverse country in the world, so expect to see incredible flora and fauna as well as remote indigenous communities that still maintain a deep connection to the jungle.
– Get Your Fill of Thrills with Kuoda
The opportunities for adventure travel in Colombia are endless. Paraglide over urban landscapes, raft in raging rivers, rock climb and trek mountains, head deep into the jungle, or dive into the coastal waters. Adventure in Colombia is available in biggest cities and the most remote canyons, as long as you know where to look.
And Kuoda knows adventure travel Colombia better than anybody else. Start planning your adventure trip with us today.