As Colombia continues to distance itself from its tumultuous past, it’s becoming an increasingly desirable vacation destination. A visit to Colombia means getting to know a country that still flies under the radar of most tourists, so you’ll get an authentic experience. With that in mind, the tourism industry is developed enough to accommodate international visitors.
Read the following five reasons every traveler should visit Colombia:
Most people are unaware of the vast differences between Colombia’s regions. Some know about the tropical beach vibes that swirl around Cartagena and the rest of the Caribbean coast, but Colombia boasts other breathtaking landscapes. The Coffee Region is home to vibrant green mountains where Colombia’s famous coffee is cultivated. The capital Bogotá and second-largest city Medellín also are tucked between the mighty Andes Mountain Range. To the south, visitors will enjoy exploring the Amazon. Colombia also has beautiful sweeping plains and unique ecosystems.
Colombian culture is vibrant and fascinating. It almost seems stereotypical to describe the passion most Colombians have for soccer, how most are eager to grab a partner and show off their salsa dancing or how many Colombian families are tight-knit, but that’s just how it is here. Moreover, Colombians are known for being warm and welcoming. It’s not unusual for Colombians to invite visitors to partake in a homemade dinner, especially in smaller cities.
Range of Luxury Levels
Whether you’re a backpacker, seek the crème de la crème or something in between, your needs will be met during a vacation to Colombia. As more tourists are discovering this South American gem, more luxury hotels and boutique lodging spots are popping up around the country. There are also plenty of hostels and modest hotels to accommodate budget travelers.
Fun Tour Activities
There are so many day-to-day activities visitors will enjoy on a tour around Colombia. Birders will appreciate the more than 1,900 species of birds in Colombia. There’s whitewater rafting, rocking climbing and parasailing near San Gil. Coffee lovers can get an up-close look at the coffee production process on a tour of the Coffee Region. Plus, other tours to destinations like Sesquile, the Amazon and the Lost City let visitors learn about Colombia’s indigenous people with local guides.
Starting Point in South America
If you want to explore multiple countries in South America, Colombia is a good place to begin. Its location in the north of South America means it is closer to the Unites States and Europe so visitors can start in Colombia, then work their way south to other countries either by plane or bus.
Plus, Colombia is a good starting point if your Spanish isn’t the best. The Spanish in Colombia is said to be clearer and easier to understand compared to other Hispanic countries, so it is a nice place to tune your ear to the language before setting out to explore other countries.
Simply entering the Museum is enough notice its magical character. Part of legacy of mysterious cultures of which we only have fragmentary visions is right there in plain sight of visitors.
The little that remained after all the barbarity and looting is exhibited – a treasure many pirates would have dreamt about. Hundreds, millions of pieces that survived the fog of many days and the rust of time lead us to think that these people, our ancestors, should have been named “People of Gold”.
The Bogota Gold Museum contains close to 34,000 gold pieces, plus 20,000 bone, stone, ceramic, and textile articles belonging to 13 Pre-Hispanic societies: Tumaco, Nariño, Cauca, Calima, San Agustín, Tierradentro, Tolima, Quimbaya, Muisca, Urabá and Chocó, Malagana, Zenú, and Tairona.
FIRST FLOOR OF THE GOLD MUSEUM
We are on the first floor, in the Metalworking Hall. Our guide is Juan Osorio. He is a paisa (that is, he comes from either the Café Triangle or the department of Antioquia) who has traded his carriel for an Arhuaco Indian mochila.
He tells us we are entering one of the world’s most important collections of Pre-Hispanic metalwork. And that is exactly what we see when we observe the tools made from iron and copper alloys, the bowls, and the mats.
SECOND FLOOR OF THE GOLD MUSEUM
Juan takes us to the second floor, where we admire the use of metals in the political and religious organization of these peaceful peoples who hunted for their dinner and adored the Sun and the Moon.
THIRD FLOOR OF THE GOLD MUSEUM
On the third floor, in the Cosmogony and Symbolism Hall, when we approach the mentality of these natives, their attires, nose ornaments, pectorals, anthropomorphic diadems, ceramic seals, spindle flyers, and knife grinders amaze us.
We approach The Shamans, forever seated, permanently ecstatic and entranced, when their ears become rattles and feathers appear on their bodies. Perhaps, a long time ago, they dreamt about a future, they saw themselves as eternal and immortal in a timeless museum where people from all over the planet would travel to listen to their message.
THE OFFERING AND THE EXPLORATORIUM
We still have to go to The Offering, the space where various elements common to all the cultures are carefully preserved, and to The Exploratorium, a place for youngsters and children can have fun and reflect on the meaning of the Museum. An hour has gone by and Juan bids farewell and asks what we think about the sample. In truth, I confess, as any foreigner would, that it is marvelous… That day I discovered, as all Colombians should have, something to feel proud about, our Gold Museum.