Named after Christopher Columbus, Colombia is one of South America’s hidden gems, adorned with magnificent landscapes and coasts on both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans as well as tropical rainforests and snow-capped Andean peaks that tower over fertile valleys.
A short drive away from Cartagena you’ll find a mud volcano in which you can lie and receive a full body massage. Unusual, to say the least, but relax, lie back and enjoy a massage from an experienced local and you will soon be drifting off into a hippo-like state of well-being.
East of Cartagena, head into the nearby mountains on horseback and experience the beautiful Tayrona National Park where you’ll find hidden beaches and a true off the beaten track setting.
A perfect island escape is San Andres which is only 11km long and consists of coral coves and beautiful beaches. El Cove is the island’s deepest anchorage and was reputed to be a hiding place for pirates’ treasure. At La Laguna there is a plethora of wildlife surrounded by palm and mango trees. Good diving facilities are also available for those who want an adrenaline rush.
Other highlights include the whitewashed village of Villa de Leyva, Medellin and nearby colonial Santa Fe de Antioquia. For the ultimate lateral trip head into the depths of the Lost City (Ciudad Perdida) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.