Top 5 Experiences you NEED to do in Colombia
We recently spent a little over two months in the amazingly breathtaking country of Colombia. Neither of us knew what to expect prior to arriving but overall we were equally blown away by how diverse this country actually is. We had so many great times and so much great food that we wanted to share our top five experiences with you.
Hiking Cocora Valley
The Cocora Valley is home to the tallest palm trees in the world. Growing up to 60 metres, not only is their height a stunning sight, but they grow nearly 3000 metres above sea level, high in the mountains. Mingling with hearty evergreens, it’s not where you’d expect to find palm trees. Hiking this stunning valley is easily one of the best experiences in Colombia.
You can choose to do the short walk which is straight to the valley of palms which takes just over an hour round trip, which is great if you’re tight on time. Or you can opt for an amazing five hour hike through farmland and jungle before reaching the palms. We decided to go for the long hike to get the most out of the experience. Five hours of climbing up and down muddy hills, crossing swaying bridges over the river and then finally reaching the gorgeous view.
While pictures may tell a thousand words, no photo can accurately replicate the breathtaking views.
Paragliding over Medellin
Paragliding has been something we wanted to try for sometime and Medellin is a great destination to give it a go. With its amazing temperatures, cheap prices and gorgeous scenery, there is no reason not to.
Waking up early in the morning, we had a light breakfast of fresh fruit and began the long, winding drive up into the surrounding hills. After signing what seemed like far too many waivers, the nerves started to kick in… Was this really a good idea?
Getting strapped into our gear and a quick five minute how to, we were ready to jump off of the cliff. There was no waiting time, once you were strapped in they had you running. What an exhilarating experience: Running along the ground and suddenly it disappears from beneath your feet! We spent the next 15 minutes soaring nearly a kilometre above the city below. If you’re ever in Medellin, make sure paragliding is on your list!
Check out the video here!
Swimming in the Caribbean
The crystal clear water, perfect beige sand, and quiet, secluded coves are what you’ll find along the northern coast in Tayrona National Park. There are many beaches to choose from, while inside the park, located near Santa Marta, but all will please!
Make sure to bring snacks, water and sunscreen and stay all day. Or, if you have enough time, stay overnight in their camping area, you can rent a hammock and sleep under the stars, just remember to bring mosquito repellent!
There are food and beer hawkers that will approach you so you don’t have to worry about starving or keeping your own beer cold! Shade tents are available for a few dollars as well to keep out of the tropical sun while not swimming in the beautiful water.
Eating Bandeja Paisa
Oh, Bandeja Paisa.You are the best and worst meal we have ever had. The best because it includes the following: Chicharron (fried pork belly with crispy skin), baked beans, chorizo sausage, white rice, ground meat, fried plantain, arepa, avocado (to cut through the meaty goodness), all topped off with a fried egg.
It’s an incredible amount of food. A vegan’s worst nightmare. Nearly all meat and starch – and absolutely delicious
It is the worst because, well, you’re so full after consuming the massive platter of food you can hardly walk yourself home! However, it doesn’t take long before the craving comes back. And it always does.
It must be tried at least once while visiting Colombia.
You can’t leave Colombia without playing their National Sport, Tejo. The sport is relatively simple in concept, aside from a few finer details in scoring points. In essence, you’re throwing a metal puck into a mud pit filled with explosives.
The mud pit has a metal circle in the middle and on the metal circle there are packets of gunpowder placed just right, so when you hit a packet, it explodes. Oh, and also you have to play with beer, there is no Tejo without beer. So much so, that most of the time, playing Tejo is completely free, as long as you’re buying beer.
Beer and explosives. How can you beat that?
So head on over to Colombia, it is a definite not to miss destination. Also, if you are looking for more information about the amazing things to see and do in this wonderful Country check out our Colombia section at: http://theseforeignroads.com/south-america/
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