city streets of colombia with church

A country celebrated for its vibrancy, history, and rich tradition, Colombia is one of South America’s most sought-after destinations for adventurous travellers, and is growing in popularity with each passing year. Sharing its borders with a number of other countries, Colombia’s culture is eclectic and loud, home to both chaotic cities and tropical beaches; it is a country of vast contradictions, split into 5 geographical regions which each boast a varied climate and ecosystem.

At Zaftyg, we want to make sure you get the most from your trip to Colombia. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide, leading you through the sprawling avenues of Medellín to the colourful alleyways of Guatapé. Read on to discover our 5 best destinations in Colombia.

Cartagena

Located along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, this port city is famous both for its quirky, incredibly picturesque old town and for its postcard-perfect beaches, where the water is so clear the boats seem suspended in mid-air. Short boat trips take visitors to the nearby Isla de Barú and Islas del Rosario, which are known for their soft, white-sand beaches and quintessential palm trees.

Medellín

The country’s second-largest city, Medellín is perched high up in Colombia’s mountainous Antioquia region, overlooking the vast Aburrá Valley. Once reputed for being one of the world’s most dangerous cities, Medellín today is an entirely different story. With its up-and-coming bars and quickly-growing economy (one of the fastest of any South American city), Medellín has now become a coveted vacation destination.

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Envigado

A small city tucked just below bustling Medellín, Envigado is lively and community-led, framed by a view of the surrounding mountains. Although one of Colombia’s quieter cities, Envigado still clutches tightly onto its rich traditions, and is known for being one of the country’s most welcoming, friendly destinations. Visitors should make sure to head to the striking Iglesia Santa Gertrudis and El Salado Ecological Park: a jumble of lush greenery and rocky waterfalls located just south of the city centre.

Jardín

This compact, quirky town is best-known for its rows of coloured houses, which seem almost to have leapt from the pages of a picture book. If the vibrant architecture weren’t enough, the aptly-named Jardín (meaning ‘garden’ in Spanish), is also splattered by flowers, rendering its mountain-top location all the more beautiful.

Guatapé

Arguably the most awe-striking location in Colombia, Guatapé is characterised by its otherworldly setting, which hangs above the Peñol-Guatapé Reservoir: a lagoon-like body of water which stretches to the horizon, speckled by tiny, green islands. Like much of Colombia’s architecture, Guatapé’s houses are painted in vibrant shades; no trip to this town is complete without climbing the hundreds of steps of the Piedra del Peñol, and absorbing the unbelievable view from the top.

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