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colombia vacations are back

 

Chances are you’ve skipped over it on a map countless times. But my Hottest Destination Tip for 2013 is the still relatively undiscovered South American country of Colombia.

Despite its troubled past, Colombia has made huge strides in reviving its tourism industry. Foreign airline passenger arrivals for Colombia vacations have doubled over the last decade reaching more than 2 million last year.

For intrepid travellers, a vacaction in Colombia offers a huge range of activities and landscapes. Its mountains, rivers, jungles and rainforests are a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise, while its city’s colonial architecture and booming coffee industry offer something truly unique for culture vultures. From modern cities with skyscrapers and nightclubs to Amazon safaris, mountain trekking and whalewatching, there’s more adventure here than you can shake a stick at.

If you’re just as keen to fly and flop, Colombia’s idyllic coastline and islands boast some of the most pristine beaches this exotic continent has to offer. And while in recent years Colombia has received plenty of press for the wrong reasons, the biggest rebel group (FARC) has recently announced an end to kidnappings and a desire to open up discussions aimed at ending the 48-year-old civil conflict.

san andres colombia Two of Colombia’s top Caribbean beach locations have been nominated in the Best Beach Destinations in South America category for the World Travel Awards. San Andres, an island covering 27sqkm situated 700km from the Colombian mainland, and Tayrona National Park, a protected beach area near Santa Marta on the country’s north coast, will compete against each-other for the prestigious award.San Andres is a miniature paradise with influences from England and Spain and consists of perfect beaches, excellent water-sports, diving and ecotourism. One of Colombia’s most popular national parks, Tayrona is situated on the jungle-covered coast at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The park stretches along the coast from the Bahía de Taganga near Santa Marta to the mouth of the Río Piedras, 35km to the east. The scenery varies from sandy beaches along the coast in the north to rainforest at an altitude of 600m on the southern limits of the park.


Two Trips Worth taking a look at…

colombia vacations hotel 1. Aimed at coffee connoisseurs, DialAFlight is offering seven nights accommodation on a mixed-board basis in Colombia from £1549 ($2434) per person. Valid for selected departures until 24 May, the price includes flights to Bogota with Iberia (via Madrid), boutique accommodation, guided coffee tours, internal flights and transfers. Beginning in Bogota, the vibrant Colombian capital, enjoy three nights in the arty Hotel Casa Deco and take advantage of a free tour of the city.
colombia vacations Next, hop over to Manizales to begin a fascinating four-day coffee tour.  Staying in boutique haciendas each night, dine on local specialities surrounded by dramatic mountains, lush coffee and yucca plantations and soak up the rural atmosphere of the stunning countryside. Take guided tours of coffee fields and factories, learning about everything from the planting and picking to the toasting and tasting of the beans which keep this country ticking.
 
2. For white sand beaches surrounded by coconut plantations, dream-worthy diving around pristine coral reefs and laid-back Caribbean days sipping coconut water in the shade, hit the rustic Colombian Caribbean islands. DialAFlight is offering the ultimate Colombia vacation beach break on a bed and breakfast basis from £1599 ($2512) per person. Valid until 31 May, the price includes five nights at Hotel Sirius on Providencia, two nights at Hotel San Luis Village on San Andres, flights to Bogota with Iberia (via Madrid), internal flights and transfers. A world away from the bustle of Colombia’s main cities, life on the coast is relaxed.  On this trip spend two nights on San Andres admiring the bright wooden houses before hopping by plane to the mountainous islands of Providencia, packed with dramatic waterfalls ramshackle towns and excellent diving opportunities.

For more information on where to go and what to do on a Colombia vacation, visit http://www.colombia.travelen/


For more inspiration on a Colombia vacation, go get lost recommends
Lonely Planet Colombia (Country Guide)
Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia

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