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Colombia locals and frequent visitors share their travel tips on Travel Notes.

Best Beaches in Colombia

For really incredible beaches you need to head to some of the islands off the coast of Cartagena.

Purchase a ticket and jump on one of the boats going to Baru Island and when the boat docks, head to Playa Blanca. Enjoy the sand then hop into the water and go snorkeling.
Sent in by Jorge Enrique Aguayo - Cartagena Apartments.

Touring Colombia

If you're tired of doing the same thing year after year, and feel you're due for a change, why not think about spending your holidays on an adventure travel tour.

There was a time when a visit to Colombia was only for the most adventurous of travellers. Now it's once of many countries in South America that more and more tourists are choosing for vacations.

It even has a Caribbean coast, if you're considering a beach holiday - with culture.

Where at one time tours were relatively new, they are now very commonplace for vacations. Instead of driving with a map and travel brochures on your lap, let the tour guide do the driving for you.

Bogota

Colombia's bustling capital city offers several excellent museums such as the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) and the Museo Nacional.

Colombia is famous for its pre-conquest gold work and you can still see many original pieces. Another featured attraction is the Jardin Botanico Jose Celestino Mutis, which besides being a mouthful to pronounce is also a stunning botanical garden featuring a variety of national plant life.

50km to the north-east of Bogota lies the famous Laguna de Guatavita, the birthplace of the El Dorado myth and the sacred lake of the Musica Indians.

Cartagena

Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage site is Colombia's most visited tourist spot. Founded some 500 years ago to transport the riches of the Americas onto the Caribbean, this colonial gem features as one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the world.

Visit the old town and the original coral stone fortifications or head out to one of the city's many nightspots. Cartagena has long been the intellectual and cultural hub of Colombia and - as the first city in the Americas to offer residence to freed slaves - it boasts a diverse ethnic mix.

Take a ferry to the nearby beach of Playa Blanca - where white sands and crystal blue sea await you. Head out further to the Islas de Rosario and lay right back in a truly Caribbean atmosphere.

Santa Marta

Santa Marta, the city of contrasts, allows you to walk to the base of the Sierra Nevada - Colombia's highest mountain - one day, and snorkel amongst nearby coral reefs the next.

From here it is possible to visit the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) of the Tayrona Indians via a six day trek.

Be aware that some rural areas have been the scene of Guerilla activity in the recent past, and check the FCO advisory for Colombia before travelling (US State Dept).
Sent in by Prabu.

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