With its beautiful landscapes, tropical beaches, vibrant cities and welcoming people Colombia is rapidly earning the title of a unique tourist destination that it deserves to have. It is a fascinating melting pot of people, culture, music, traditions and gastronomy.Destinations
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- Colombia’s Best Beaches13 October, 2016Colombia is blessed with thousands of kilometers of coastline, split between the Caribbean and the Pacific. The beautiful Caribbean coast is home to the country’s very best beaches. There are the famous hot spots around Santa Marta and Cartagena, rarely visited beaches in La Guajira with its impressive dunes, and also the less visited Pacific Coast has a lot to offer. On a tour along the coast, you can explore so many lonely bays, crystal clear waters and wide stretches of sand. Where to go first? Here are some of our favorites. Tayrona Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada lies one of Colombia’s most famous national parks: The National Park Tayrona. Hidden behind lush jungles you can find most pristine beaches. Already the names are promising: “Cristal Beach” or “Playa Bonita” are great spots for swimming, diving and snorkeling. In order to get there, one must take a walk through the jungle, as no car or bus run all the way to the beaches. For the adventurous traveler, there are camping facilities and hammocks to spend the night under the stars. If you prefer to stay in a comfortable hotel, these beaches also make a great day trip from Santa Marta. Palomino Passing through Palomino on the highway you wouldn’t think of much. However, on the other side of the village lies probably one of Colombia’s most amazing beaches. This picture-perfect postcard beach was declared the most beautiful untouched beach in whole South America by roughguides.com (https://www.roughguides.com/article/must-visit-places-in-south-america-youve-probably-never-heard-of/). Located beneath the impressive coastal mountains of the Santa Marta, Palomino is one of the few beaches in the world from which one can see snow-capped mountains. This beach is an absolute must! (Picture Source: roughguides.com) Cabo de la Vela Located far west of the National Park Tayrona and Palomino, Cabo de la Vela is challenging to reach. However, for travelers off-the-beaten-track it is a truly unique destination. Its 5km long beach is bordered by sand dunes instead of palms, and instead of five star hotels you spend the night in hammocks or at a local ranch. One highlight: A hike to South Americas northernmost lighthouse! Definitely one of the best beaches of Colombia (Picture Source: thecitypaperbogota.com). San Andres y Providencia Another famous destination is the Caribbean Island of San Andres. Located more than 700km north of the Colombian coast, it forms a small paradise in the ocean: with just a few square kilometers of extension, this island offers white sandy beaches, beautiful coral reefs and magnificent sunsets. The natural environment makes San Andres not only a good surfer´s spot, but a great place for divers and snorkelers as well. If you like it a little quieter, take a Catamaran or plane to the neighboring island of Providencia. Brightly painted wooden houses and a postcard-like view are what makes this Caribbean pearl a wonderful experience (Picture Source: colombia.travel). Capurgana & Sapzurro This is a true insider tip: The two idyllic beaches of Capurgana and Sapzurro lie almost at the border with Panama, away from all the hustle and bustle of the Caribbean cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta. Hidden away in this isolated corner of the country, these beaches make up two of the country’s most beautiful (and least visited) Highlights Nuqui Nuqui is a small fishing village on the Pacific Coast of Colombia. One can only get there by a small plane. The beaches in Nuqui lure not only with relaxation and tropical ambiance, but also with numerous activities. Why? Because just behind the beach the tropical rain forest of Choco begins! Home to many wild animals, an enormous variety of plants and the perfect place for wonderful hikes. From July to October you can observe whales in Nuqui, as hundreds of humpback whales give birth to their whale babies in the warm waters. In addition, Nuqui is a great surf sport – what else do you need? To wrap it up, Colombia’s diversity in beaches is endless. Travel along the coast and explore the very best beaches yourself – and do not forget to let us know which is your favorite!
- The Top 5 Street Foods in Colombia5 October, 2016When traveling to Colombia, you will find them on every corner of the street: Little stalls of street food selling all kinds of fried delights, creamy drinks or varieties of fruits. As a tourist, you might even not know what exactly they are selling. However, if you are in Colombia, street food is an essential experience – at the end, you only get to know a country‘s culture by eating its street food! So here are the top 5 must-eats when traveling to Colombia. What you have to tryNumber one on the list: Arepas. You can find them anywhere in Colombia and there are at least ten different types in the country. The typical arepa is made of corn flour dough, mixed with water and salt. It is often served with cheese, but there are also stuffed arepas or arepas filled with egg. Did you know that according to roughguides.com arepas count as one of the best street foods on the globe? (See the map of the worlds’ best streetfood on http://www.roughguides.com/article/interactive-map-the-worlds-best-street-food/).Source: Seecolombia.Travel BlogThe all-day snack: Almojabana. The soft baked cheese bun tastes best when it‘s warm. You can see many Colombians eating it on the go, together with a coffee for breakfast or just as a snack during the day. On your journey to Colombia you should at least try them once!Source: Sarepa BlogA Latin American favorite: Empanadas. In contrast to many Empanadas, the Colombian ones are not made out of bread-based dough, they are made out of cornmeal. The deep-fried or baked little snack is filled with potato, chorizo or veggies.Source: Sarepa BlogThe sweet snack: Churros. This fried-dough pastry is sprinkled with sugar and eaten out of a paper bag. Although Churros originally comes from Spain, Colombians certainly know how to prepare them!Source: Sarepa BlogThe healthy alternative: Fruit. There is a huge range of different fruits in Colombia, many of which you might not even have heard of! Carambola, Chontaduro, Lulo, Tomate del Arbol… You can find sliced fruit almost everywhere. Delicious and healthy, the best refreshment on a hot day!Source: Streetfoodplanet.comThis list could go on and on, there is so much tasty food to discover on the streets of Colombia. When traveling to this beautiful country, it is best to just give it a try and figure out your very own favorite street food. Combined in a travel package by Palenque Tours, you can walk down the streets and let your taste buds explore the culinary world of Colombia. What are you waiting for?
- Colombia in the Rio Olympics16 August, 2016This year, the Summer Olympics take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the month of August, more than 11.000 athletes from 206 different nationalities participate in this famous event, competing in 41 different sport disciplines. Many travelers from all over the world come to visit this amazing competition – it is a tourism magnet. The Olympics in 2016These Summer Olympics have a unique vibe around them. They are the first Olympic games held in Latin America since the year of 1967, and Rio is the first South American city to ever host the Summer Olympics. A few new sports were added to the program, and also there are first time entrants like Kosovo or South Sudan taking part in the tournament.Prior to the games, there were some concerns about issues like the Zika-Virus, polluted waters, crime and corruption. Brazil actively tried to alleviate these problems, for example efforts were made to clean the bays in order to reduce sewage and pollution and the security situation was improved by the government. Some of these efforts were fruitful while other matters remained unattended. Although no substantial dangers or reasons to postpone or change the location of the games were identified, some athletes still decided not to participate in the competition based on the mentioned aspects.But despite the discussions, thousands of sport lovers and fans took their vacations to travel to Brazil and support their compatriots. What many international travelers do not know: Among the South American countries, Colombia is one of the favourites. Colombia in the OlympicsOf course, Colombia is participating in this major sports event. This time, 147 athletes traveled from Colombia to the Summer Olympics in Rio. So far, Colombias team was able to win three medals, one silver and two gold.The silver medal was won by Yuri Alvear in the discipline of Judo. The athlete from Valle del Cauca made Rio her highest victory yet. Although she could not reach for gold, the silver medal was an extraordinary success.The first Colombian gold medal in the Summer Olympics of 2016 was won in the discipline of weightlifting by Oscar Figueroa. After winning the medal in the men’s 62kg class, he burst out into tears out of emotion. The winning lift of 318kg was a result of year-long hard training. Having achieved this personal aim, Oscar Figueroa decided to retire after the Olympics. Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/rio-olympics-2016/1577606/rio-olympics-2016-colombian-weightlifter-oscar-figueroa-bursts-into-tears-after-winning-gold-in-the-62kg-category/, telemedellín.tvAnd on Sunday night, Caterine Ibargüen won the most celebrated medal of the Colombian team. Her leap in the discipline of women’s triple jump earned her the gold medal in Rio. She was the only one to clear the 15-meter mark and proudly celebrated her victory with a giant smile.The success of the Colombian team was also celebrated back in Colombia, by locals as well as tourists visiting the country.