Whether you’re looking to make a return trip to Colombia, or are looking to enjoy off-the-beaten-path experiences on your first time to the diverse, beautiful, and well-known country of Colombia – the country has much to offer visitors beyond what meets the eye. Beyond the beaches, shopping and restaurants are a world of unique activities, experiences, and destinations that travelers can enjoy. From discovering colorful communities and indigenous tribes to canoeing through colorful rivers and fishing for piranhas, discover these 9 unique experiences on your luxury tour to Colombia:
1. Tour Comuna 13 in Medellin
From what used to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Colombia into a community that has undergone a colorful transformation led from within the community to a place of positive change. If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience in Colombia’s Medellín, and to see first-hand, the positive change that has occurred here, you need to visit Comuna 13. Here, you can discover inspiring graffiti and street art, watch live break dance performances, immerse yourself in local cafe and coffee culture, learn about the city’s transformative history, ride the famous outdoor escalators, and see some of the best views of the City of Eternal Spring.
2. Canoeing Through Canos Cristales
Literally, the name of the described attraction in Colombia translates as “crystal river”. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that the stream of water is colored, and the spots do not mix with each other. The secret lies in the algae, the color of which depends on the temperature and time of year. They do not grow in a continuous layer, but in the form of islands, and are not exactly the usual shape. In spring they are green, and in summer they turn red, retaining this color until the end of the year.
3. Stargazing in Tatacoa Desert
A little-known secret of Colombia is the Tatacoa Desert, the second largest arid area in Colombia which has unparalleled stargazing, one of Colombia’s best observatories, and a swimming pool – all found in the middle of this ancient tropical forest. Along the main road that cuts through it is one of the most important observatories in the country. Though small, the observatory boasts thousands of visitors throughout the year and a team of knowledgeable astronomers who share their enthusiasm.
Each night, it opens its doors to visitors, who go up to its roof and spend around two hours gazing at the sky and learning everything from the history of the names of constellations to how distance is measured. The highlight of the evening is, of course, getting to use the telescopes to feel closer to the stars. Isolated from the noise of other people, it is here that they do the best star-gazing.
4. Enjoy a Coffee Tour in Salento
Colombia is known for its incredible coffee, rich, dark, and plentiful – coffee is a big part of Colombian culture that is not to be missed on your visit. The country’s coffee region is in Salento, where hundreds of coffee farms provide visitors with the opportunity to get a closer look at how the crop is produced, as well as sip some of the country’s delicious coffee. Much of the country has a climate for growing coffee with rich volcanic soil and a substantial rainy season. There are many large-production farms as well as smaller boutique Colombian coffee farms that really focus on quality which visitors can tour, taste, and enjoy an authentic Colombian coffee experience.
5. Piranha Fishing in the Colombian Amazon
When it comes to activities in the Amazon rainforest – piranha fishing has to be one of the coolest. A fish that hardly needs any introduction, the razor-toothed piranha is a bucket-list sighting for any Amazonian adventure. Some fishermen come to the region for larger prize fish, but fishing for piranha is actually relatively easy, always fun, and makes for a delicious catch to grill for dinner.
When traveling along the Amazon, make sure to spend an afternoon fishing for these feisty fish for a story worth telling back home. Piranhas can be found all throughout the Amazon River and its subsidiaries. In fact, piranhas are usually caught by accident while fishermen are targeting bigger catches. If you’ll be traveling the Amazon via river cruise, excursions via smaller canoe or boat to fish for piranha are included.
6. Visit Monkey Island in Leticia
The Colombian Amazon gives visitors a unique opportunity to visit Isla de Los Micos Island (Monkey Island), home to nearly 5,000 playful primates. Visit the many walking trails on the island, in which visitors will find unlikely hiking partners in the monkey inhabitants of the island. Watch the many monkeys interact, feed on insects, and enjoy the signs which serve as guides on the different species of monkeys.
7. Learn about the Wayuu People In South America’s Most Northern Point
Known as the “people of the sun, sand, and wind,” the Wayúu have lived in the semi-arid landscape of La Guajira peninsula, where the desert meets the Caribbean Sea at the northernmost point of South America, for centuries. They continue to live on their ancestral lands following their own complex and autonomous social, political, and economic rules.
At present, they are Colombia’s largest indigenous group, with estimates of more than 250,000 people divided into some 30 matriarchal clans who live in traditional rancherias – small, isolated communities made up of several houses – between Colombia and Venezuela, as the Wayúu are transnational and don’t believe in borders. The tradition of weaving is highly respected within their matriarchal culture and is a symbol of wisdom, creativity, intelligence, and status. Every clan can be distinguished by a particular woven pattern. Visitors can visit the villages and try their hand at weaving and craft workshops while learning about the daily life of the inhabitants.
8. Discover unique bird species in Sierra Nevada Mountains
The tallest coastal mountain range in the world and the highest summit in Colombia are found in Colombia’s Caribbean region. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta reaches altitudes of 18,700 feet above sea level. Birdwatching is carried out from Santa Marta to Minca and San Lorenzo, where most endemics can be spotted like the Santa Marta Parakeet, the Coppery Emerald, The Streak-capped Spinetail, and more. Avid bird watchers will enjoy the serenity of the mountains, rare bird species, and the slower pace of life that comes with life in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
9. Experience the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá
Nearly a mile underneath the surface of the Earth, built underground in the tunnels of a salt mine is the Cathedral of Zipaquira. Miners originally built a small sanctuary in the 1930s where they would pray for their safety, but it eventually collapsed. A government company built a new cathedral further down in a deeper shaft of the mine, which opened to the public for services in the 1990s.
The current salt cathedral is roughly 75 meters long and 25 meters high, with a giant cross carved into the back wall. It can theoretically accommodate 10,000 people. Smaller naves dug out around the main chamber illustrate the life of Christ from birth to crucifixion.
Colombia and its many wonders are ready to leave you in awe. Mention these experiences to your Kuoda travel planner, and we’ll make sure your trip to Colombia includes unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you will remember forever. Get in touch with Kuoda and let us start planning your dream adventure to Colombia.
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