For a long time, Colombia was not amongst the top destinations of international travelers. Crime, safety issues and civil war scared away most tourists. Nowadays, however, Colombia is recovering from its violent past and developing towards a very attractive destination. Just recently, Colombia was voted second best country to visit in 2017 (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel/countries). And this is no surprise, because Colombia indeed has a lot to offer. It is the only South American country that has beaches both on the Caribbean and Pacific Coast, it is home to the highest variety of birds in the world and you can find ruins older than Machu Picchu. But this is only to get you started. Let’s take a look at why Colombia truly qualifies as one of the top destinations 2017.

 

Vibrant Culture

Colombia’s culture is a mosaic. Indians, Palenqueros, Africans, Mestizos – all put their part into the definition of Colombian culture, creating unique identities and traditions. Although much of the culture was influenced by the Spaniards, there are also numerous indigenous groups and over 60 native languages. This immense ethnic variety and mix creates a cultural calendar full of vibrant, exotic and artistic events. Wherever you travel, you will encounter colorful rituals, tasty food, dances and music. Colombia is a fascinating pot of different identities that together form a strong, passionate and captivating culture.

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Picture Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2014-01/04/c_133018292.html

 

Warm Hospitality

Whoever travels to Colombia will immediately feel welcome. As tourism is still a relatively new phenomenon, especially in the remote regions of the countries, Colombians welcome every visitor with arms wide open. If you are lost, need help or just are up for a little chat – no doubt there will always be a local around to give you useful tips or nice company. And even if you speak only a little Spanish, in Colombia you will feel the warmth in the smiles and gestures of the Colombian people.

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Picture Source: http://thezeroboss.com/5-reasons-colombia-is-awesome-and-safer-than-you-think

Incredible Biodiversity

When it comes to nature, Colombia is simply unique. It is one of the worlds “megadiverse” countries with an impressive richness in life forms. In fact, Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the whole world. The varied geographical conditions of Colombia have created living space for more than 55000 different plant and animal species. For example, the country is home to the greatest diversity of birds in the world. You can find Andean flora and fauna in the highlands surrounded by glaciers and volcanos, beaches and crystal clear waters on the coastlines, sandy desert in the North and rich rainforests in the South. To break it down, in Colombia there is nothing you cannot find. For nature lovers and explorers, this place is a true paradise.

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Picture Source: http://www.oneseedexpeditions.com/blog/be-a-know-it-all-7-fun-facts-about-colombia

 

Endless Possibilities

In a country so diverse, rich and friendly, there are many opportunities opening up for tourism. Whether you love the outdoors and search adrenaline adventures, whether you like to interact with locals and experience the true and authentic Colombia or whether you prefer relaxing on pristine beaches and stunning natural countries – this country has so much to offer for all tastes. It is this unique combination of culture, hospitality and diversity that makes Colombia undoubtedly one of the best countries to visit in 2017.

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Picture Source: http://www.thespanishcat.com/learn/index.php/learn-spanish-blog/10-things-to-see-and-do-in-colombia