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Orest Gorbachev
Orest Gorbachev

Best Things To Buy In Colombia

The best place to buy a handmade Mochila is in the north of Colombia where the Wayuu live, around Santa Marta and the coast. However, you can find these bags absolutely everywhere, at markets and shops all around the country.

best things to buy in colombia

To remind you of the joys you experienced on the trip, you might want to take a few souvenirs home with you! Here are the best Colombian souvenirs and gifts to pick up while in Colombia, the Gateway to South America!

When thinking about Colombia, one of the most common things to consider is the dazzling colors. Nothing demonstrates this better than the Mochila, the gorgeous shoulder bags created by local artisans. While online exports of these bags can get expensive, they are a great bargain when purchased in Colombia directly from the producers.

Before traveling to Colombia for the first time, we did a ton of research on the best Latin American foods. We looked up what and where to eat in each country throughout South America. And oddly enough, in most of the articles we read, Colombia got the shaft.

From the fish soups on the Caribbean coast of Cartagena to the heartier fare high up in the frigid mountains of Bogotá, each region has its own specialty. Soup was always the best tipico Colombian fare that we had!

There are some things America really screws up: healthcare, treatment of minorities and women, gun control, and ceviche. Before our fateful dance with Colombian ceviche, Lia was convinced ceviche was rubbery shrimp with some sort of weird cold tomato soup. Thankfully, she now knows better!

Calle Real is the most famous street and one of the top things to do in Salento! The pedestrianized street is lined with two-story white houses that have had their windows, balconies, and doorways painted in beautiful bright colors.

Get a group together from your hostel, drink a beer, and enjoy a bit of competition with one of the top things to do in Salento. There are a few places you can go and play, and it should only cost under 10000 COP for a round of Tejo. Los Amigos is one of the most popular places to play in the area (here is the location).

Guatapé, Colombia is a unique little town that every tourist should visit. It is the most colorful (literally) place I have ever been to! But besides the picturesque streets, the tiny town offers visitors many different things to do and see.

We paid 50,000 COP ($11 USD) each for the boat tour and it lasted about 2.5 hours. For me, it was a really fun tour and definitely one of the best things to do in Guatapé, Colombia. Note that the company we went with is no longer running, but you can book a similar tour in town by speaking to your accommodation.

We recommend renting a kayak for a whole day (about 100,000 COP/$22 USD for a double kayak) and packing a lunch and going exploring! Find islands, go for walks, enjoy the peace and quiet and even go for a dip! Spending a day out on the water just exploring is easily one of the top things to do in Guatapé!

Guatapé, Colombia is quite a trendy town with cafes on every corner and tons of options for places for vegetarians and vegans to eat. We went to a place called Namaste Vegan one morning and had the best fresh juices ever!

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Nobel Prize-winning author who was born in Aracataca, Colombia in 1927. He is best known for his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, which tells the story of seven generations of the Buendia family.

You can stay active and get moving in several different ways, from salsa dancing in the city where it was born, to hiking up to the best viewpoints in town, to visiting the Río Pance in the nearby national park. Along with a riverside walk right through its downtown, Cali has its share of palm tree-lined plazas, great cuisine, and bustling markets where you can while away the day.

Known as one of the best places for high-quality and delicious coffee, Colombia is one of the top producers in the world. Embracing the café culture and tasting coffee while visiting Cartagena is a must.

The best way to get a sense of the culinary offerings, though, is to take a food tour. The True Colombian Experience takes you on a food-tasting extravaganza that lasts three hours, stopping at seven different eateries within the La Candelaria neighborhood.

Bogotá is all about its street art. Walk around areas like La Candelaria or Las Aguas area (by the TransMilenio station) and there are tons of beautiful murals. To get the best experience and context, check out Bogotá Graffiti Tour. The tour operates by donation, using the money raised to reinvest in future community art projects.

Book Your AccommodationYou can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. My favorite places to stay are:

Tayrona National Park is one of the most picturesque locations in Colombia and far removed from the hustle and bustle of heavily urbanized areas. It really is one of the prettiest areas and the best things to do in Colombia.

Hacienda Venecia is a plantation that offers tours (by reservation online) with hands-on activities, a detailed history of the coffee industry, and delicious cups of their fresh-grown joe. It really is one of the best things to do in Colombia if you love coffee!

This was the original city gate entrance to the old walled town. The clock has been in place since the 18th century, although the tower was begun in 1601! There was also originally a drawbridge that linked the city to Getsemani. This area now links the old town of Cartagena and the Getsemani neighbourhood. The light on this gorgeous tower is best earlier in the morning or late afternoon.

If you have a sweet tooth then you really need to head here under the arches, opposite the Torre del Reloj in the Plaza de Los Coches. Homemade sweets, lots of sugar, lots of arequipe. Nom Nom. One of the best things to buy in Cartagena de Indias

Essential for the tropical and Amazonian regions. An effective mosquito repellent brand with DEET is Jungle Formula. If you want to avoid chemicals, then go for the All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Repellent which is often voted as the best natural mosquito repellant.

In addition to Playa Grande, Taganga has excellent access to some of the best beaches in Colombia. It is close to Tayrona National Park, home to some popular beaches (like Playa Cristal, a nice white sand beach with clear waters and in a lovely, small protected bay, and Cabo San Juan).

With how many beautiful beaches are found in the area, it should be no surprise that there are also some great snorkeling spots and indeed one of the best things to do in Taganga is snorkeling. Many people love to snorkel in Tayrona National Park. However, finding the best weather for a calm snorkel day can be challenging.

One of the best things to do in Taganga is to actually go on a day trip to Tayrona National Park, which is only 18km (11 miles) from Taganga. It is easy to get to Tayrona by boat or bus. If you just want to visit some famous Tayrona beaches, hop on a boat or take a day trip to your favorite ones.

My key objective for my Guatape visit was to get as many great photos of super cute colourful houses in this little town as possible. Guatape is quite small and easy to wander on foot but it is helpful to have a sense of where the best concentration is of cute houses.

The rest of the streets with the cute houses are on the other side of the square. There are probably about 10-12 streets in Guatape colombia that are extremely photogenic and most of them are linked.

Manizales, Pereira and Armenia are the three largest cities in the Eje Cafetero. These can be used as logistical and transportation hubs to get around the region. Each also has sights worth visiting in their own right: you can do walking tours or museum visits. The real reason to visit the area is to spend time in the small villages and towns listed below. Between these areas, you can enjoy the best activities in the region. For more details on where to stay, when to visit and how to get around, see our Ultimate Guide to the Coffee Region.

Sleeping accommodations include El Lugar Hotel Boutique, which offers comfortable rooms, highly personalized attention and gourmet Danish food. The best budget option is Hostal Kolibri, which offers both private rooms and dorms. If you are heading in the direction of Armenia, one accommodation option is Finca Villa Nora (40km south of Pereira), a working farm that produces coffee, avocado, and guava.

The small pueblo of Rio Sucio has both Spanish and indigenous culture. It's best known for the biennial Carnival del Diablo. According to legend, the carnival began with a feud between two communities. The priest said, "God help us or the Devil will take us." The priests of the two churches came together and created the festival to overcome the feud. During this festival, you will see a big parade of the "devils," which take the form of large "puppets." The rest of the year you will enjoy mountain views, local cuisine and the occasional farmers market. The town is a 2.5-hour drive from Pereira, and not an essential detour unless you want to really explore some off-the-beaten-path towns in the Coffee Country.

Since 2015, Adrien, Alejandra, and I (Tom) have been helping travelers explore Colombia. Every year, I spend thousands of euros to find the best experiences and allow you to contact these agencies directly!

Although you can plan a Safari in several places, I recommend flying to Yopal, Casanare. This city, easily accessible from Bogotá, is surrounded by incredible hatos and natural reserves. Here is a list of the best things to do from Yopal.

Be prepared to ride many hours by jeep to enjoy the best tours that La Guajira can offer: Run down the dunes of Punta Gallinas, hike the mysterious Macuira Park, let yourself be carried away by its sunsets, and discover a culture very different from yours. 041b061a72


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