We have a selection of guidebooks to some of our most popular countries in Latin America. Written by our specialists, they detail destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send this via a PDF to your email.
Top 5 things to do in Colombia
Colombia is a patchwork of picturesque coastlines, bustling cities, diverse landscapes and colonial charm. With much to see and do, our specialists have shortlisted their top five things to see and do in Colombia.
Explore the old colonial town of Cartagena
Cartagena, located on the northern coast of Colombia, is a beautiful seaside city and UNESCO world heritage site that brims with history. The walled town is home to countless examples of colonial architecture and churches, plazas and mansions all jostle for space along the colourful streets. Take a leisurely wander around the old town, admiring the richness of its buildings, stopping to browse the local shops, cafes and street food stalls along the way. Once you’ve finished exploring the old town, take a boat from the beach to explore the nearby islands, such as the Islas del Rosario which are surrounded by beautiful coral reef.
Stay at the Sofitel Santa Clara – a 17th century converted convent that offers luxury and charm and is a great base to explore the colonial charm of Cartagena.
Trekking to the Ciudad Perdida
The trek to the Lost City or ‘Ciudad Perdida’ is easily one of the most adventurous and breath-taking treks in Latin America. Built by the Tayrona people, this pre-Colombian town was abandoned around the time of the Spanish conquest, and only rediscovered in the 1970’s. Hidden in the depths of the Sierra de Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains, this archaeological site is accessible only by foot and takes four or five days to complete. Hiking through the lush green jungle, wading through crystal clear rivers and swimming in fresh natural pools, is what makes the journey so special. To guide you through this untouched and varied terrain, an indigenous guide from one of the local communities will lead you to the ruins and offer a personal insight to their indigenous culture and history of their lands. If you like adventure, spectacular scenery and doing something completely different then the lost city trek is not to be missed. But be warned, this journey is back to basics, with accommodation being limited to hammocks or bunk beds and basic facilities.
Visit Tayrona National Park
Visiting Tayrona National Park is an absolute must whilst on holiday in Colombia. This beautiful marine and coastal park has a unique landscape, with deserted rugged beaches backed by spectacular mountains.
Due to the vast size of the park there are plenty of fantastic walks and nature trails to embark on. We recommend trekking through the jungle before taking a dip in the warm Caribbean waters. Tayrona National Park is the perfect place for beach lounging, with deep bays, pelican strewn white sands, coconut palms and glistening waters. The enormous variety of flora and fauna on offer here, as well as the park’s rich culture, mean there is plenty to keep everyone fascinated.
We recommend staying at Ecohabs – this ecological hotel perched on a forested hillside within the park is definitely the best option in the area and the perfect base from which to explore.
Head to the Coffee Triangle
Colombian coffee is second to none and a trip to the Coffee Triangle cannot be missed. The triangle encompasses the cities of Armenia, Manizales and Pereira, but the main draw is its rural areas and vast coffee plantations. Most of the accommodation in these areas is in converted farm houses or haciendas which tend to have fantastic views and serve delicious, seasonal food. Take a tour of the coffee farms and order a little cup of ‘tinto’ (a thick black coffee that Colombia is famous for) in the cafés and restaurants. After a day of learning about Colombia’s coffee, why not enjoy relaxing in one of the region’s natural hot springs. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, a trip here would not be in vain; the coffee triangle is also home to rare fauna and flora, including the surprisingly tall and spindly wax palm trees of the Valle de Cocora.
Our favourite place to stay is Hacienda San Jose Pereira – a family-run coffee Hacienda located in the heart of the region and adorned with colonial décor.
Be dazzled by Bogota’s Museo de Oro
Undoubtedly one of the most interesting museums in Latin America, Bogota‘s Museo de Oro, houses artefacts made of gold and other materials from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. In total, there are more than 55,000 pieces of gold in the museum – making it the richest collection of pre-Hispanic gold anywhere in the world and by far the best gold museum in Latin America.
We really like Hotel de la Opera – located in Bogota’s historic La Candelaria district (the most charming neighbourhood in Bogota), this beautifully atmospheric colonial boutique hotel makes the perfect base for exploring the churches, galleries and restaurants of Colombia’s capital.