6 Amazing Landscapes in Colombia
Colombia is beloved by so many travellers for its infectious energy, vibrant cultures and hypnotic cities. However, there are also so many amazing landscapes in Colombia, ranging from immaculate coastal scenes plucked straight from a postcard, to dense rainforests that are only just being discovered. Although it’s been a challenge, we’ve come up with 6 of the most amazing landscapes in Colombia here on the Discover Your South America blog, so read on to see just how beautiful this incredible country really is.
Tayrona National Park, the Caribbean Coast
A trip to Colombia simply wouldn’t be complete without visiting Tayrona National Park on the Caribbean Coast. This beautiful corner of Colombia encompasses golden beaches lapped by turquoise sea; dense rainforest sheltering rich biodiversity; and even ancient archaeological sites that beg to be explored. As Colombian landscapes go, Tayrona National Park hits all the high notes. Here, you can be as relaxed or active as you wish. Spend your days hiking through the jungle, witnessing myriad plant and animal species as you trek through one of the country’s most pristine ecosystems. Or, unearth the ancient site of El Pueblito, a preserved village dating back to when the indigenous Tayrona people thrived in the region. On the other hand, if it’s pure relaxation you’re after, then whiling away the hours on any of Tayrona’s unspoilt beaches is just the ticket.
La Macarena National Park, Meta Department
La Macarena is a Colombian national park most famous for its extraordinary ‘River of Five Colours’, Caño Cristales. The reason why this watery haven has been named so is because it really is like a rainbow, with natural pools coloured purple, orange, red, yellow and green thanks to the algae that thrives on the riverbed. And while Caño Cristales really is one of the most surreal sites in Colombia that you must visit while in the region, La Macarena shelters many other scenic sites too. Expect mighty mountains making up the Serranía La Macarena, towering up to 1,600m; mesmerising waterfalls; and wildlife including monkeys, birds and the Guayabero Caiman.
Cocora Valley, the Coffee Region
The Coffee Region is beloved by Colombians and travellers alike, which is unsurprising what with its lush rolling countryside and charming rural villages. One of the most iconic landscapes in the Coffee Region is the Cocora Valley, distinctive for its Wax Palm trees that reach high into the sky above – sometimes up to 60m! Cocora is located in Colombia’s Quindío province, and is fantastic for day hikes. This allows you to immerse yourself in the green scenery of Cocora, squinting up at the Wax Palms and getting treated to spellbinding vistas of the undulating pastures all around. In fact, some of the more challenging hikes take you through farmland and forests teeming with Hummingbirds; over suspension bridges and up hills to get the best views around. Overall, it’s well worth the effort, though be sure to pack sturdy boots and your camera, of course!
Chiribiquete National Park, the Colombian Amazon
Described as one of the last unexplored regions in the world, Chiribiquete National Park is a recently designated UNESCO Heritage Site that sprawls for a whopping 27,000sq km. This vast region is so pristine and impenetrable that it is thought many animal and plant species are yet to be identified – plus there might be indigenous tribes living here that have never had contact with the ‘outside world’.
It is a wonderfully wild place found deep in the Colombian Amazon, characterised by native forests, savannah, the rivers Cuñare, Mesay and their tributaries, waterfalls and – most distinctive of all – the Chiribiquete Mountains themselves. These ancient rock formations are table mountains that make up the Guiana Shield and rise above the tree canopy in a majestic display of nature, allegedly some of the oldest of their kind in the world. What’s more, as though it wasn’t already impressive enough, the Chiribiquete National Park is also the site of petroglyphs and pictographs, thought to be around 20,000 years old…
Providencia Island, the Caribbean
Flung far away from the northern coast of Colombia is the island of Providencia, a little slice of heaven with its white-sand beaches and warm, aquamarine seas. This 8sq mile island flaunts its own special identity, with a linguistic mix of Spanish, Creole and English that reflects Providencia’s cultural fusion. The unspoilt sandy beaches are sometimes dotted with colourful seafood shacks, while the island’s interior is lushly forested and even has a hill that you can hike up – El Pico – to get the best views of your surrounds. Back down at sea level, there are amazing snorkelling and diving opportunities to help you explore the vibrant underwater world, including at Cayo Cangrejo, Tres Hermanos Keys and Morgan’s Head. Simply divine.
Utria National Park, the Pacific Coast
When it comes to amazing landscapes in Colombia, there are plenty more coastal delights to uncover – including Utria National Park. A relatively isolated region, Utria is spread out on the Pacific Coast, close to Nuquí where the nearest airport is located. It’s a place of dense tropical forests and enticing hot springs on land, then coral reefs and abundant marine life out at sea; with tangles of mangrove flanking the two. Unsurprisingly, these ecosystems shelter a fascinating wealth of flora and fauna, including Turtles, Cohiba trees, Bromeliads and Humpback Whales. The whales tend to migrate here between July and November, so this is an excellent time of year to visit Utria National Park. Another wonderful thing about the region is that there are Afro-Colombian communities here, including Jurubira, a fishing village that is holding on to its unique culture and traditions.
Ready to discover the amazing landscapes of Colombia? Start building your trip now using our free online tool. Handpick the hotels and activities you want, adjust the durations depending on how long you want to stay in each place, and have fun in the process! Surtrek is always at hand to help out. Call us on 1 866 978 7398 (Canada and USA) or 080 8189 0438 (UK) to talk to an expert, and Discover Your South America with Surtrek!