I want you to imagine walking by the beach at a sunset, your feet sinking in white and warm sand. Imagine the sound of the sea water hitting the rocks, while you feel a breeze on your face that almost has a tropical scent. While you walk, you see a spectacular landscape in which the color of the sunshine covers the sea and an ancient city behind you looks like if everything were made out of gold. This magical place is real and it’s called Cartagena, one of the many touristic places in Colombia. Today I want to inform you about Colombia, some of its facts, the different places, activities, and food that my country has to offer to the tourists. In fact, according to the British magazine Wanderlust Colombia was named the second “best country” to visit in 2014. As a Colombian I feel that is my duty to help to improve the country’s image, especially because the U.S is a country that has a great variety of cultures and people from all around the world that maybe haven’t had the opportunity to learn about my country. First some facts about Colombia:
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Colombia is the only country in the American continent named after Christopher Columbus Colombia’s capital is Bogota and it is the largest city in Colombia, also it is one of the biggest in Latin America Colombia is located on the northwestern South America, and is bordered by Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. The famous Legend of El Dorado was originated in Colombia and told the story of the Muiscas people (native people who inhabited Colombia in the sixth century. B C). In fact, the gold museum in Bogota who has biggest collection in the world of pre-Hispanic gold work collection displays this famous Muisca raft.
Now that we know a few facts about Colombia I’m going to talk more in detail about the important events and activities to do by destination.
Colombian Amazon: according to the Encyclopedia Britannica , The Amazon rainforest is one of the “the world’s richest and most varied biological reservoir, containing several million species of insects, plants, birds, and other forms of life, many still unrecorded by science”. For this reason the Colombian amazon is one of the best spots for those interested in science, adventure and extreme sports. Barranquilla: This city is known by the Colombians as the happiest place in the country, because its people have a deeply joyful character. This city celebrates once a year one of the most important events in Colombia called Barranquilla Carnival in which all cultural varieties and folklore of the Caribbean coast of Colombia are expressed by parades and theatrical shows.
According to the Proexport Colombia a government site that promotes the tourism, “on November 7, 2003, UNESCO declared the carnival a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Also, in this Caribbean place was created one of Colombian icons, el sombrero vueltiao that could be translated roughly as “turned hat”. Medellin: Is the second most important city in Colombia, known as well as the eternal Spring City, in 2013 Medellin was “named the world’s most innovative city in a competition organized by the Wall Street Journal newspaper and banking group Citi”. Likewise, Medellin hosts one of the most important fashion events in Latin America called Colombiamoda.
On the other hand, near to Medellin city you will find buildings, theme parks and plantations to please to the coffee aficionado Bogota: Finally the city where I am from: Located in the center of the country is the largest city in Colombia. According to the New York Times Bogota was declared as one of the 31 destinations to visit in 2010. Bogota has become in the host of many important cultural events. Some of them are: The Ibero-American Theater Festival that is one of the largest performing arts festivals in the whole world. Another cultural event is Rock al Parque one of the most important rock festivals in South America. Last but not least the International Book Fair that is the center of business for the publishing industry and the ideal stage to promote reading.
One last topic I want to cover is the variety of foods available. These are some Colombian dishes and beverages.
The Bandeja Paisa which includes rice, beans, pork rind, grilled steak, sausage, fried egg, avocado, plantain, and arepa. Even though this dish does not seem very healthy I can swear is the perfect combination of flavors in your mouth. The Ajiaco, It is a soup made of chicken, potatoes flavored with a locally grown herb called “guasca”. This dish is served with white rice and avocado. Aguardiente is an alcoholic drink made with anise-flavored liqueur derived from sugarcane and contains 29% of alcohol And of course, Colombian coffee is known for its quality and distinct flavor. A great amount of the world’s quality coffee beans come from Colombia. Colombian people like to sweeten its coffee with panela that is unrefined whole cane sugar.
Now that you have an idea about Colombia as a destination to the tourist, perhaps when planning your vacation you can consider Colombia as one option. I hope this little summary helps you see how Colombia and its people have a lot to offer. Because once you are there the only risk is wanting to stay.