Colombia offers one of the most mega-diverse scenarios for tourism, not only because of the variety of landscapes but also for our well-known multicultural identity.
From Indigenous traditions and Spanish legacy to our contemporary urban culture and natural paradises, there are many places to be discovered and activities to be performed that will connect you with our essence. ¡We’re waiting for you!
In Colombia you will see several traces of the ancient cultures that used to own our territory before America was discovered, even some of their descendants are still alive and their customs are being protected.
San Agustín is the most recommended site to explore ancient cultures; a place where totems bring to life the culture of a tribe that dates back to 1000 BC and that used to live in Huila and Caquetá regions. Large sculptures symbolizing gods and goddesses filled with mystery and magic make of this park a world’s heritage site.
Ciudad Perdida (the lost city) in Sierra Nevada, is another interesting site not to be missed keeping the remains of the Tayrona Empire. A place where you will marvel at the impressive construction of walls, balconies, terraces, bridges and pathways in stone that blend with nature in perfect balance.
The Gold Museum located in Bogotá, exhibits an amazing collection of masterpieces in gold made by all the ancient tribes inhabiting our territory. Of its kind, it is the largest collection in the world with 34.000 pieces of goldsmith work, and now it has been declared a national monument. If you have ever heard of “El Dorado” legend, this is the place where you will see it come to life.
If you have time, don’t miss Guatavita Lake, the place where the legend takes place; a lake that is so deep that it is still a mystery whether there is more gold in the bottom which has been impossible to reach.
If instead you are curious to understand how indigenous communities live now a day, there are several settlements spread through the territory. You can either visit the Arhuac tribe in Sierra Nevada, the Wayuu in Guajira, the Emberá in Chocó, the Tikuna in Amazonas, among others.
A Travel Back in Time
To have an overview of our cultural background and the unique blend with the Spanish culture, explore our most beautiful towns kept as they used to be since colonial times. Choose from our network of heritage towns the places that are most convenient for you to visit. Barichara, Santa Fé de Antioquia and Villa de Leyva, are some of the places that will delight you with their colonial architecture and the uniqueness carried by their heritage.
Just to name a few, two good examples are in the Colombian northern coast. First, our most famous site, Cartagena also known as the “Heroic City”; a walled city that with its charming architecture leaves behind the struggles of the past and creates a romantic atmosphere filled with exclusive hotels, restaurants and beautiful houses that will take you back in time.
Nearby Cartagena, you will find Mompox, one of the most beautiful yet not so touristic sites in Colombia; a place with impressive architecture and skillful artisans that master the filigree technique in gold and silver. Besides, Mompox is a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1995.
But our cultural blend can also be explored through our traditional expressions. Carnivals, food, music, dances and handicrafts from different regions result in an impressive patchwork filled with symbolism from our indigenous ancestors, Spanish colonizers and African slaves reinterpreted through modern times.
If otherwise you would like to explore the contemporary face of Colombia, the biggest cities exhibit an interesting mix between the old-style and the latest tendencies.
In Colombia, you can find:
- Music festivals, such as Estéreo Picnic in Bogotá or Berbetronik in Barranquilla, where new bands mix foreigner rhythms such as swing, rock and jazz, with local instruments such as the drums and the accordion.
- Art and performing festivals such as ArtBo and Hay festival, where the best local artists exhibit their work next to international artists.
- A wide gastronomical offer in which chefs merge European or Asian dishes with local ingredients.
Definitely, this is a place where new things are happening, where trends are being set; a unique urban vibe with the classic Colombian taste.
If you are looking for an amazing cultural experience, Colombia is the answer; the perfect balance between sites that are stopped in time and cities with a vibrant spirit rushing to be in sync with the world’s rhythm.
This is just a glimpse into the cultural offer that you will find in our country. For further information take a look into the culture tab, which contains detailed information about all the interesting aspects of our folklore.