Each one of the country’s six natural regions has much to offer the inquisitive tourist. The geological contrasts to be discovered here could not be starker. Frozen highlands in the mighty Andean mountain ranges, or cordilleras, are more than 15,000 feet above sea level, whereas Colombia’s pristine beaches line its coastlines lapped by both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The three Andean cordilleras that run north-south separate the western coastal lowlands from the almost empty eastern plains.
|VISITORS CAN COMBINE EXPERIENCING THE SOPHISTICATED CITY ATMOSPHERE OF BOGOTA WITH A SWIM IN CRYSTAL WATERS OR TREK THROUGH RAINFOREST, AS COLOMBIA TRULY IS A DIVERSE DESTINATION|
Colombia also has some incredible islands on both its Pacific and Caribbean sides that have fascinating combinations of nature and history. Gorgona Island, a former island prison, is now a unique ecotourism destination, whereas San Andres has beautiful white-sand beaches and all-inclusive resorts.
The nation’s rainforests teem with wildlife and biodiversity, as well as being the home to numerous indigenous ethnic groups.
City life is no less spectacular. The capital Bogota is the country’s largest city and the third-highest in the world. It has some of the continent’s best museums, universities and restaurants, and is taking on an even more international character as increasing numbers of multinationals set up shop there.
Cali, in western Colombia and the capital of the Cauca Valley Department, is the second largest city in the country and the number one place for salsa music. Medellin is one of Latin America’s most progressive and innovative cities, while UNESCO-listed Cartagena de Indias on the northern coast is a national treasure with magnificently preserved colonial architecture.