Colombia holidays : introduction
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Colombia is an entrancing country of superb beaches and mountains, emerald rainforest, historic sites and the world’s best coffee.
The romantic walled city of Cartagena, with its colonial buildings and narrow cobbled streets, is beautifully situated beside the Caribbean. It was immortalised by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in his novel Love in the Time of Cholera and is just as magical today. Literature lovers can plan their trip to coincide with the De Indias festival, organised in partnership with Hay-on-Wye!
A little further east is Santa Marta, famous for its lovely bay, coral reefs, Simón Bolívar’s mausoleum, and the oldest house in the Americas. It’s also the access point for nearby Tayrona National Park, in the shadow of the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada and a varied haven for wildlife, with dense jungle and sandy beaches where turtles come to lay their eggs.
The capital Bogotá, built on a high Andean plateau, has an attractive colonial quarter, with fine museums and art galleries. Nightlife pulses with rumba, salsa and cumbia rhythms. By contrast Medellín is a modern metropolis with lively street markets, fascinating museums, a renowned flower festival and a delightful climate. Between the two is the Magdalena valley and Colombia’s coffee region, where a stay at a traditional hacienda provides yet another dimension on a visit to this friendly and welcoming country.
Climate and when to go
The climate largely depends on altitude, since Colombia lies between the Equator and 12 degrees north. The dry season, from December to June, is known as 'summer', and the rainy season as 'winter', although rainfall never lasts long and it usually a welcome relief in the hotter areas.
“Colombia is so beautiful, and the people are so kind. Thank you very much!” - JD
“We returned on Monday from a memorable and marvellous fortnight in Colombia. We are so glad that we ignored the rather intimidating title of your company, 'Last Frontiers', and decided to 'go for it'. You gave us a brilliantly varied and interesting itinerary - from Bogota on its high plateau to the coffee plantations around Hacienda San Jose to the lovely city of Cartagena and finally to the beach-and-jungle paradise of Tayrona. I took nearly 450 photographs, which tells its own story, and very many of them seem fabulous indeed in the context of this grey English winter! We found that the Colombians amply justified their reputation for friendliness and happiness, we saw plenty of armed police but no guerrillas and very few mosquitoes, we enjoyed our meals and plenty of South American wine - and we suffered no ill consequences of our self-indulgence.So thank you very much indeed for organising such an excellent journey for us!” - PT