Unique Places in Colombia
Colombia – the gateway to South America, is one of the world’s most unique and diverse countries to ever exist on this planet. With two oceans, a range of climates, buzzing cities, fascinating wildlife, and activities to suit all walks of life, it is the perfect destination for explorers, eco-lovers, culture enthusiasts, and adventurous travellers. Read on to see what natural wonders can be found in this colourful country!
Known as the ‘river of five colours’, Caño Cristales is a unique and simply stunning biological wonder. During the short span between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, a unique species of algae that lines the river floor called Macarenia clavigera produces an explosion of vibrant colours. Bursts of red, yellow, green, black and blue peek out beneath the crystal clear waters, making it one of Colombia’s most unique and exciting tourist attractions! Due to its location, deep within the Serrania de la Marcarena National Park, a plane ride and a tour guide are needed but it’s well worth a visit if you have the time and money.
The Volcan de Lodo El Totumo
Looking for the ultimate spa day? Colombia has you sorted! Found 45 minutes outside of Cartagena, a bubbling 15-foot diameter vat invites visitors to climb into its caldera to enjoy its naturally-heated volcanic mud. According to the local lore, El Totumo used to erupt with molten lava until a cunning local priest, who saw the bursts of flame as the Devil’s work, poured Holy Water into the fiery mouth and turned it into a volcano of mud. Nowadays a visit to the Volcan de Lodo el Totumo will leave you with baby-soft skin with locals insisting that the therapeutic baths bring numerous health benefits thanks to the mineral-rich soupy mud! Dreamy!
El Peñon de Guatape
Seen for miles around, the gigantic El Peñon de Guatape rises up 650ft out of the flat earth, making it one of the most unusual rock formations in the world. Back in the day climbing this huge stone took five gruelling days but lucky for us, some brave and very determined people managed to wedge a 649-step staircase into the huge, almost-entirely-smooth rockface making it much more attractive for tourists. Once you reach the top you are met with some of Colombia’s most stunning vistas, overlooking a dramatic series of lakes and islands. Be prepared to have your breath taken away, literally and figuratively…
Wax Palms of Cocora Valley
Swap out your sandals for walking shoes and hike into the stunning Cocora Valley. There you’ll be met by the world’s tallest palm trees, The Quindío wax palm. These enormous, slender trees look like the whimsical kind of plant you’d find in the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. The Quindío wax palm can grow up to 200ft tall and thrives in high-altitude places and is also an excellent home for endangered birds like the yellow-eared parrot, making it a must-see when visiting Colombia.
Transport yourself to Mars without leaving Earth! A visit to the arid, stunning red landscape of the Tatacoa Desert is certainly a surreal experience that’ll leave you in awe of the stars above. As It’s home to some of the world’s best stargazing experiences. The stars are amazing from anywhere in the desert, but the best place to experience a true Tatacoa stargazing experience is from the astronomical observatory in the heart of the red desert. There is even an area where a series of massive rocks appear to have taken on lifelike shapes, including a dog’s head and a crocodile.
The Amazon Rainforest
Did you know almost a third of Colombia is made up of dense, vibrant jungle forests? Snaking its way through the country, the Amazon river is an incredible place for tourists who seek intense contact with nature and get to know some of the most representative cultures of the country. A boat ride down this river will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder. From strange and exotic plants to every type of animal imaginable, the jungle is home to over 212 species of mammals and 195 reptiles, making it the perfect place for nature lovers.
If you are curious to learn more about this colourful country, check out our amazing 14-night Colombia Experience here.
Written by Lucy Kaufmann, Untravelled Paths