I had the pleasure of living in Colombia for four months while I explored both Colombian culture and explored the tourist attractions of the entire country. Being a person that has grown up around Colombians it was a pleasure to be put in a situation where I could learn not only about the country but the people as well. If you are planning on visiting Colombia there are a few things that you should consider on your trip.
The Rise of Tourism
Understand that tourism is just now beginning to explode in Colombia. The dangerous image that Colombia once held on the world stage is starting to diminish and tourism is starting to flourish. Tourism companies have starting to sprout up left and right to offer unique services and tours to tourists, especially in the lesser known areas. Understand that everything isn’t going to work perfectly and sometimes you may have a problem.
One of the most unique things to see in Colombia is its people. Most countries around the world have spectacular tourist attractions to visit and take pictures of. When you visit cities like Cali and Medellin you may not find as many tourist attractions as you are accustomed to. While all Colombian people are some of the most open and gracious people on the planet, in these two cities I’d recommend you try to explore the people and their culture a bit more. You won’t be disappointed.
Nightlife in Latin America is completely different than most places in the world and Colombia is no exception. Don’t be surprised if you see people as old as your father and grandparents out at the nightclub with you. I can guarantee you that some of them will arrive before you do and leave after you. If you are older, don’t be hesitant to go out and have a good time with the younger crowd. If you are younger don’t be surprised to see Abuelo (your grandfather) dancing better than you. Make sure to go out and experience this unique side of Colombian culture.
Safety in Colombia
First let me tell you that you are safe in Colombia. Just like any other country in Latin America you want to keep an extra eye out for unusual situations. There are some cities that you want to be extra cautious in like Bogota and certain regions outside of Cali. Stay away from the coastline around the city of Turbo as that can be a very dangerous area for tourists. Other than that, just use common sense and you should be okay.
There are very unique things to see in the Colombian countryside as well as the coast. When planning your trip try not to rush through cities like a usual tourist. You may even want to spend an entire week at a certain location getting to know everything about a specific city or area. One very unique thing to see are the pueblos around the city of Medellin. You are able to get to most of them in a few hours (by bus or car).
Author Marcello Arrambide is a day trader and travel blogger who runs the Wandering Trader Travel Blog. He lived in Colombia for 4 months and plans to return and live part of the year in Medellin, Colombia.