Hi friends! ❤ I just got back from an amazing Summer trip to the beautiful country of Colombia. It was my second time visiting, and I fell even more in love the second time around. I toured the cities of Bogota, and Cartagena. I could honestly say this one my absolute, favorite trips. The people, and the culture were truly the highlight. Can’t wait to go back! I miss it already.
Tips from the locals:
- The country name is Colombia, not Columbia.
- Outside of tourist locations, do not consistently have your phone out, it increases the chances of someone robbing you.
- Do bargain with street vendors, it is common in their culture.
- English courses are required in Colombian schools, so you’ll be able to get by if you do not speak Spanish.
Tips from an outsider (me):
- Have fun, and don’t be afraid to explore! Being open, and respectful to other’s cultures is the best thing you go do while being abroad.
- It’s always Spring in Bogota, so pack a jacket if you plan on visiting.
- It’s always Summer in Cartagena meaning every day is over 90 degrees in Fahrenheit. So pack all your swim suits, and crop tops!
B O G O T A , CO
This is the capital of Colombia, so it’s mainly business. However, they still have tons of sights to see!
These cobble stone streets, and brightly colored houses are located in downtown Bogota. Candelaria is the historic center of the capital, serving as the origin of the city, and was built in 1538! I spent hours roaming these streets. I’m a New Yorker at heart, so I felt right at home, and yes I did it in high heeled boots. 🙂
Plaza de Simon Bolivar is within Candelaria. The Plaza is named after one of the revolutionaries that freed the Colombian people from Spain. One thing I took note of while on my trip, was that all throughout the country their freedom was broadcasted. The people themselves although distinct from one another were all unified, and identified as one. It was a beautiful thing, and I hope one day the U.S. could follow in their steps.
C A R T A G E N A, CO
Okay now Cartagena was where I really fell in loooovvvee. It’s always Summer here so it’s clearly my kind of city! It was humid, but the bearable type. This part of the country is the most traveled to destination in Colombia, and for good reason. The historic city is filled with sites, history, and blue waters.
Isla Baru, is an Island within Cartagena. It was by far one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. You can visit the Island by bus, which is what me and my group did. The water was C L E A R, and the perfect temperature. It was luke warm, which was still refreshing. One of the highlights was getting to ride a jet ski! The locals of the island rent them out, as well as boat rides. We rented one, and it was pretty scary (but exciting) just because I noticed there was no life guard on duty. However, due to an abrupt halt me and my friend fell off the jet ski straight into the Caribbean sea. For a second I feared for my life, until the life jacket pulled me up, and I saw some locals immediately pull up in their boats to check to see if we were okay. So even though there was no official life guard, the people of the island still look out for one another, and that warmed my heart. ❤
This was el Centro Historico. This part of the city is Cartgena’s oldest town. The whole area is surrounded by stones walls, which were built in the 1500s to protect the city. I felt like if I had stepped into colonial Europe! The streets were cobble stone, and each home had a uniquely vibrant color. Being able to tour such a big part of history had me geeking out! We had ice cream on one of the building’s rooftops (at Crepes & Waffles a must when in Colombia) and it felt like a dream.
Those are my top MUST SEE places when visiting Colombia. I’ve had lots of friends ask me about my travel experience here as a foreigner, and I can’t praise this place enough. I left with a new admiration for life. If it isn’t already, Colombia needs to be on your travel bucket list.