Published 11.13.23 – By Clara Ferance
When people think of traveling to South America, they typically don’t think of Colombia! There are so many popular destinations such as Machu Picchu, Rio de Janeiro, or the Galápagos Islands that tend to attract the most tourists. But for an equally beautiful, off-the-beaten-path kind of trip, Colombia is an enchanting country with a dynamic blend of culture, nature, and history. Rosedale Travel has released a new travel itinerary to highlight how much this hidden gem has to offer! With stunning World Heritage sites, coffee plantation tours, a visit to Barú Island, and many other exciting excursions, a trip to Colombia is an immersive cultural experience that is truly unforgettable. Here’s an overview of the highlights:
This colorful city is the capital of the Risaralda province in the “Coffee Triangle” region of Colombia. It’s known for its local coffee farms, nearby hot springs, and temperate climate. Pereira and its neighboring towns are all part of the Coffee Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO recognized area where you can learn about the robust coffee culture and its production throughout the country, while sampling different types of grounds. Not a coffee person? No problem. You’ll want to make it a priority to visit the Mirador La Colina Iluminada that shows breathtaking views of the Cauca river valley and the eastern mountain range of Los Nevados National Natural Park. Whether you want to relax in a thermal bath in Santa Rosa de Cabal or learn more about the local flora and fauna with a “bosque de palmas” guided hike, this city is perfect for getting outside and exploring the natural beauty of Colombia.
- Our Hotel Recommendation: Movich Pereira
This modern, upscale retreat combines a warm Colombian hospitality with top-notch amenities while being conveniently located in the heart of downtown.
As the most famous island of Colombia’s Rosario archipelago, Isla Barú is a jaw droppingly gorgeous paradise. With easy access from coastal city Cartagena, the tropical island boasts sandy white beaches, crystal clear water, and vibrant marine wildlife. Relax and unwind on the beach with some fresh ceviche or spend the afternoon checking out the village with the expert insight of a local guide. For those interested in water sports, there are activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, or jet-skiing as a family. Enjoy the biodiversity of the island by swimming in the coral reefs, scuba diving in the Caribbean, touring the mangrove forests by boat, or simply birdwatching. Schedule a day trip to another part of the archipelago or go further inland to explore additional beaches and museums.
- Our Hotel Recommendation: Las Islas Hotel
Perch in your own private treetop room or reserve a sea-level bungalow with a private jacuzzi. This retreat is truly one of a kind, including exclusive dining services, spa treatments, and a white-glove concierge experience.
Along Colombia’s Caribbean coast lies the port city Cartagena, which was colonized by Spain in the late 16th century. Its strategic location made it a vital part of the West Indies mercantile route, which is why the city’s walled Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site with carefully restored colonial buildings. The fortress, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, is a must-see: it is still one of the most impressive colonial military structures in the Americas, complete with exquisite panoramic views from the topmost ramparts. In addition to historical landmarks, local markets with handicrafts, and vibrant nightlife, the bay has scheduled boat tours each night. Board the Sibarita to cruise the waters while savoring a full course dinner with drinks, music, and the twinkling lights of the city in the distance. Cartagena is most definitely a unique blend of colonial past and contemporary Colombian energy. Here you’ll find plenty of high-end boutique hotels with luxury accommodations, fine dining, and access to dozens of beaches available.
- Our Hotel Recommendation: Casa San Agustin
This sophisticated boutique hotel offers an intimate stay in Cartagena’s Old Town, featuring charming rooms, historic art & architecture, and a tranquil courtyard and pool. Plus, for those visiting Barú, book a special package for private beach access!
Wander through lush coffee plantations in Pereira, immerse yourself in the rich culture, food, and history of Cartagena, and let go of lingering stress with a massage on the beach in Barú. No matter where you go, it’s the welcoming people and their joy in sharing their traditions that will make you fall in love with Colombia.
Schedule a meeting with our Rosedale Travel team and we’ll create a Colombian getaway for you that’s the perfect balance of sightseeing and relaxation.