8 reasons why Colombia should be at the top of your travel bucket list

There are so many reasons to visit Colombia. It’s one of Latin America’s emerging economies and a leading destination for expats, tourists, interns and adventurers. With improving safety, friendly locals, unmatched biodiversity and incredible landscapes, the only thing to fear about Colombia is never wanting to leave.

 

1. Warm, hospitable locals

How you’re treated in a foreign country can really set the tone for an international excursion. That’s why traveling and interning abroad in Colombia is hard to beat. Locals are friendly, welcoming and genuinely enjoy sharing their culture with foreigners, making it easier to feel comfortable and at home while abroad.

 

2. Gorgeous weather

Colombian cities like Medellín offer unbelievably beautiful weather – they even call it “the city of eternal spring”. Meanwhile, northern Caribbean cities have hot, sunny weather, making for perfect beach weather.

 

reasons to visit Colombia

 

3. Unrivaled biodiversity

Colombia is the second-most biodiverse country on the planet (trailing only Brazil). Colombia boasts more bird and orchid species than any other country on earth. Some 56,000 total wildlife species can be found in the country while nearly 10,000 of them are endemic to Colombia.

 

4. Delicious snack food

Arepas are a staple of Colombian cuisine, as there are some 75 different methods of preparing the greasy and delicious snacks. These fried, grilled or steamed dough patties are generally made with corn flour or sometimes yuca and often are served with cheese. Besides arepas, Colombia also offers an impressive array of exotic and tasty fruits, many of them unique to the region.

 

reasons to visit Colombia

 

5. The dancing

It’s no wonder Colombia is home to one of the world’s most famous hip-shakers, Shakira. Colombia is known for its fabulous dancing (and dancers), especially at salsa clubs featuring live music and popular reggaeton dance parties.

 

6. Clear, easy-to-understand Latin American Spanish

Unlike many other Latin American countries, in Colombia locals generally speak a very clear, well-enunciated Spanish with little slang, especially in Medellín. Although accents do vary depending on which city you’re in, Colombian Spanish tends to be the preferred Latin American Spanish for foreigners to understand and learn.

 

7. It’s safer than ever

Colombia is not the danger zone it once was – and it hasn’t been for decades. Every year the country becomes more stable, drawing in thousands of international tourists and students for short and extended stays. Moreover, the lingering isolated guerilla violence has finally met an end as a ceasefire and peace agreement have been signed.

 

 

8. Gorgeous landscapes

There are so many stunning places to see in Colombia, it can be overwhelming trying to fit them all in. Colombia’s coffee Region (Eje Cafetero), for example, offers a close-up look at how some of the world’s best coffee beans are grown, not to mention spectacular views of the steeply sloped green valleys of the Andes mountains. Meanwhile, on the northern Caribbean coast, the cities Barranquilla and Cartagena make up this warm and beachy region, which also includes the La Guajira Desert. In southern Colombia, on the other hand, visitors can witness views of the stunning Amazon rain forest.

 

These are merely a few of our favorite reasons to visit Colombia. Apply now to fall in love with Colombia yourself.

 

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity_of_Colombia, https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arepa, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/01/colombias-government-formally-ratifies-revised-farc-peace-deal, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombian_coffee_growing_axis

Photos

1. based on Jardin, Colombia, by Pedro Szekely, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Raquira, by Reg Natarajan, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Cartagena 2, by Francisco Osorio, CC-by-2.0

4. based on Guatape, by JoseDGL, CC-by-2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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