livar, Virrey, Botanical), shopping centers (Unicentro, Andino, Santa Fe), theater (with its famous international festival), concerts, art festivals and top world rated restaurants. Bogota is surely a city that will captivate its visitors.
2. San Andres Islas: Comprised of the coral islands of San Andres, Providencia, Santa Catalina and Jhonny Kay. Here both Spanish and English are spoken as there is great influence of the anglo culture prevalent on the Caribbean Islands. San Andres is a free port so purchases are not taxed. These islands have all the mystique of the Caribbean and their friendly people welcome visitors who can enjoy white sand beaches and relax in the sun. Many visitors delight in diving and aquatic sports. Places of interest are el Hoyo Soplador (blowing hole), Morgan’s Cave, Catton Cay, the island Museum, the aquarium, La Piscinita, and the Laguna Big Pond.
3. Cartagena: Famous for its colonial walled city, is today a World Heritage Site. Cartagena has become a magnet for European tourists as well as cruise ships. The old City has monasteries and nunneries turned into upscale hotels, colonial homes are now boutique hotels, and everywhere you look you may find gourmet restaurant and upscale stores. Worth visiting: Monument to Catalina Indian, the Dominican Cloister Church of Santo Domingo, Monument to the Old Shoes, La Popa convent and church (provides a magnificent view of the), Puerta del Reloj, Plaza de la Aduana, San Felipe de Barajas Castle, Palace of the Inquisition. Near Cartagena you may want to visit, Playa Blanca, islas del Rosario, Palenque and el Volvan de Lodo.
4. Medellin: known as the city of the eternal spring because of its climate. Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia. The city offers its colonial and modern neighborhoods. This is Colombia’s fashion and design city. Every August the city hosts La Feria de las Flores, a magnificent event where the city is filled people carrying intricate and fantastic flower designs in their backs. What to see and do: There is a controversial Pablo Escobar Tour, Plaza Botero which features many of the artist sculptures, visit the Cerro Nutibara, Carabobo Walkway, and discover the city using the metrocable mass transportation system. Further afield you can visit the towns of Santa Elena the home of the silleteros, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Guatape and El Peñon.
5. Santa Marta: the oldest Hispanic town in South America has many cobblestone streets and republican architecture homes, and beautiful beaches. This coastal city is near the Parque Tairona where the indigenous people of Santa Marta live in a unique virgin and exuberant ecosystem. What to see and do: San Pedro Alejandrino (Simon Bolivar’s home), La Casa de la Aduana, and the Cathedral among others. You can also enjoy the Rodadero beaches. Near the city you can visit Taganga a picturesque fishing town, or explore the Parque Tairona and the Sierra Nevada or the Valencia Waterfalls.
6. Villa de Leyva: It is arguably the best kept colonial town in Colombia, this whitewashed colonial town with cobble stoned streets can take you back in time. Its central plaza, one of the largest in South America, is to this day the center of town and the place where several festivals are held. One of the most well-known is El Festival de las Cometas held every August. Worth visiting are the fossil museum, archeological sites, an ostrich farm, El Infiernito, the nearby Candelaria desert with its Monastery
7. Cali: known as Colombia’s party or Rumba capital. While in Cali you should learn how to dance Salsa. The historical center known as San Antonio features Plaza de Caycedo, el Palacio de Justicia and the Catedral de San Pedro, among others. If you are interested in learning about Colombia’s indigenous fauna, a visit to the Zoo is worthwhile. The area around Cali is filled with sugar cane plantations, a great way to visit them is with the Tren Turistico Café y Azucar which offers sceninc excursions from Cali to El Cumbre. Further afield you can visit the Parque Nacional de Farallones and the town of Silvia with a large population of indigenous Ambaló, Guambía, Kisgo, Pitayó, Quichaya y Tumburao Indians.
8. Mompox: a World Heritage town located on an island in the Magadalena River has preserved its colonial features. Even today most of the colonial buildings are used for their original purposes. Very characteristic of this town is the iron work decorating doors, railings and windows along the streets (Calle de la Albarrada, Calle Real del Medio and Calle de Atrás). The town is well known for its hand worked filigree gold and silver jewelry. The best way to discover this town is to stroll along its streets.
9. San Gil is a fantastic place to get your adrenaline pumping. Known as the adventure sport capital of Colombia. People come here to go paragliding, bungee jumping, white water rafting, kayaking, caving, canyoning, and much more. Combine all these adrenaline sports with magnificent landscapes and quaint colonial towns nearby and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable adventure. Further afield is Barichara, a colonial town which has been used as the set for many movies and telenovelas due to its charm.
10. Leticia: is the main city in the amazon region and a great base for exploring the rainforest. It is near the cross point of Colombia, Peru and Brazil. The town features brightly colored houses. The best time to visit is July and August during the dry season. While in Leticia you should visit the Museo del Hombre Amazonico, the Tanimboca Reserve, Monkey Island, and take boat ride to the neighboring towns in Brazil and Peru.