The Colombian capital is located in the center of the country at approximately 2650 meters above sea level in the area known as the Savannah of Bogota. The east side of the city is flanked by the Cordillera Oriental, a branch of the Andes Mountains. In terms of land area, Bogota is the largest city of Colombia as it extends more than 40 km from south to north, and 20 from east to west. It is not only the main economic and industrial center but also the political heart of the country as it houses the National Legislature, the Supreme Court of Justice and the residence of the President of the Republic (Casa de Nariño). With its 8 Million inhabitants the city is the most populous of the country and hosts a varied cultural offer represented by its great number of museums, theaters and libraries, some of them the largest in the country.
VILLA DE LEYVA
Villa de Leyva is where time stands still. It is a charming old colonial city in Boyacá that was founded in 1572 by Hernán Suárez de Villalobos and named “Nuestra Señora de la Villa Santa María de Leyva”. It was declared a national monument in 1954. Villa de Leyva is one of the few towns in Colombia that conserved all its colonial architecture and virtually no modern architecture exists. The result is a colonial town par excellence – a place where the streets are still cobbled and the walls still whitewashed. It enjoys a healthy, mild climate, although sometimes it can get a little windy and colder in the evening. Villa de Leyva’s proximity to Bogotá has made it a popular weekend destination for tourists. It’s easy to see the place in just a day, but many travelers find themselves caught in its magical grasp and hang on for several more. In Villa de Leyva and its surroundings you can do a great variety of different activities. You can get to know “El Fosil”, the skeletal of a Kronosaurus that farmers found in 1977, visit the Natural Park Iguaque or explore the “Desierto de la Candelaria”, a desert-like area, by mountain-bike or motocross. You can also do horse-riding, ecologic hiking trips, canoeing and a lot more.
Cartagena de Indias, was founded in 1533 and today is probably the most attractive city in South America. In the old part of the city, “the walled city”, Cartagena conserves the beauty of its colonial past, in narrow streets flanked by heavy oak doors and pretty flowered balconies. Cartagena is the perfect combination of colonial history and up-to-date Caribbean joie de vivre plus beautiful beaches lapped by crystal clear water on the Rosario Islands, warm and friendly people and a large variety of excursions and tours to choose from.
He famous Coffee Triangle is located at the Western side of the Central Cordillera, absolutely unique thanks to its typical haciendas, volcanoes of 5.000 meters of height and traditional hamlets. This fertile land that produces the most recognized coffee brand of the world spreads out from Caldas to Quindío and Risaralda and reflects the image of a country full of opportunities. In one of the numerous coffee fincas you can be a witness of the complete coffee process. A tour through a typical coffee plantation will be followed by a detailed explanation of the cultivation and production of coffee – from the coffee bean to the cup. With breathtaking landscapes the Cocora Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Colombia. Here we will find the impressive “Palma de Cera” (wax palm), the Colombian national tree and one of the tallest varieties of palms in the world.For our lovers of nature and mountaineers a visit is to the National Natural Park Los Nevados is indispensable. It is situated in the highest part of the Central Cordillera and covers a surface of approximately 58.300 hectares including the sanctuary for the conversation of the “dantas”, deer and “colibríes” besides the “oso de anteojos” bear and 13 condors in routes of reproduction. The area includes five impressive craters: The Tolima, Santa Isabel and Nevado del Ruiz as to mention the most outstanding.
Close to the small town of San Agustín you can find the recognized and but still almost unexplored archaeological remains of the Agustín culture. In this region, between 6 and 14 of our era, a mysterious culture developed, which has left its traces - nowadays observable in the form of grave chambers and impressive stone sculptures. In Tierradentro you can find grave chambers, decorated with geometric patterns, which go up to 7 meters into depth.
Medellin the capital of the Antioquia department is located in northwestern Colombia and lies cradled in the Aburra Valley, bisected by the Medellin River which runs North and South. With its year round warm temperatures it is also known as the “City of Eternal Spring”. It´s population is about 3 Million, which makes it the second largest city of the country. In addition, the city stands out as one of the major cultural centers in Colombia as it hosts national and international recognised events such as the Flower Fair, the International Poetry Festival, and many more.
Cali located on the Valley of the Cauca River is the third largest city in the country. On the east side it is flanked by the river and on the west side guarded by the famous Farallones de Cali, part of the Western Andes Mountain range. The location in the valley, the presence of the river, its tropical climate and mountainous terrain make the city an area of great natural wealth. In addition Cali is regarded as the country’s capital for salsa dancing, an annual international Salsa Festival takes place in the city and being part of it is a very important part of Cali´s culture and traditions.
SAN ANDRES AND PROVIDENCIA
The Island of San Andrés is the major one of the islands that form part of San Andrés Archipelago together with Providencia and Santa Catalina, with a total length of 26 km ². Situated in the Caribbean Sea it is one of the most beautiful destinations in Colombia. The capital of the archipelago, San Andrés, is a magic island, where attractions spring up in every corner. San Andrés provides beautiful postcard images of unique contrasts, such as its typical colored houses inhabited by the "raizales" who greet visitors with their fluent creole, a tongue derived from English. Providencia is a small island considered a pleasant place that seems to have been extracted of one of Robinson Crusoes adventures. With its virgin beaches of dream it is the ideal place to be disconnected of the rest of the world and let your mind wander. The population of approximately 5.000 persons, descendants from the slaves, speaks English. This is the paradise of the Caribbean!
Santa Marta was founded on July 29, 1525 by the Spanish conqueror Rodrigo de Bastidas, it is the most ancient existing city of Colombia. Its location is close to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, with the highest summits of the country, and the Caribbean. In this area you can also find the Tayrona Natural Reserve as well as many places of cultural and historical interest. As an important fact, Simón Bolívar died in a finca called “Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino”, in the surrounding area of the city, on December 17, 1830.