Tough times largely behind it, this South American country is a stunner, from cosmopolitan Bogotá to the Andean cities of Cali and Medellín to the friendly Caribbean coast (especially the lovely preserved colonial quarter of Cartagena).

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Zipaquirá's astonishing Cathedral of Salt

Religious art and architecture at their best aim at the transcendental. But there are a few structures out there in the world that can quite compare to Colombia's Catedral de Sal, in the city of Zipaquirá, situated on a plain less than an hour from capital Bogotá. Part of the Greater Bogotá Metropolitan Area, this charming city of nearly 125,000 dates back to 1600 and still preserves a picturesque colonial core that alone would be worth the drive from Bogotá. But its main attraction - and one…

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Terrific Tayrona National Park & the 'lost city'

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta has been described as the world’s most important concentration of endangered wildlife on the planet. In the past, it was scarred by drug crops and off limits to tourists because of the dangers posed by Colombia’s notorious drug cartels. Now safe, it's also home to one of South America's most extraordinary archaeological sites, called the Ciudad Perdida (“Lost City”), Colombia’s Machu Picchu. read post

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  • Tom... I'm enjoying reading your blog. I'm currently planning an all-Colombia itinerary for 10 weeks to research a guidebook. Boondock safety is a paramount concern. I'd love to converse directly offline: cpbaker@earthlink.
  • David, Santa Marta is my favorite coastal city here. If you decide to come to Medellin, you'll have a free tour guide here!
  • Thanks on both counts, Mark, and I reciprocated, adding Latin Flyer to Ocolombia's blogroll. I have another expat resource, Perma Tourist, by the way!
  • Hi Tom,
    Cool blog -- I just added you to my blog link list on my own Latin America travel blog,!
  • Welcome, Tom! I've been getting to know Colombia steadily over the past 2-3 years, and have been mighty impressed. Medellín and Santa Marta are next on my list. We'll all be interested to hear your dispatches from the land of eternal spring!
  • Greetings! I'm new to Tripatini, but not new to Colombia. I've been living in the Medellin area since 2007. If there's anything you want to know about this city or Colombia in general, feel free to ask! You could also visit my web site at, where you'll get a lot of details on what it's like to live here.
  • Tripatini's Colombia coverage continues this week with a clever look at the country's biggest tourist magnet: Cartagena de Indias, on the Caribbean coast, with its UNESCO World Heritage colonial quarter. Check it out!
  • Tell me if I'm commenting too much .... my recent trip to Cartagena was WAY too enjoyable and productive! I even made a video of the torture devices at the inquisition museum ....
  • Has anyone checked out the new Website unveiled last week by the Bogota Convention & Visitors Bureau?
    Has anyone seen any similar sites in Latin America with such a social component. (They actually let people rate and comment on their official listings!)
  • Yes, Colombia is a stunner. I'm looking forward to researching, writing and photographing the National Geographic Traveler Colombia guidebook this summer. Contemplating using a motorcycle, a la my Cuba trip.
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