Travel

Top 10 Things To Do In Colombia

Colombia is an exciting and diverse destination. If you’re a traveller who loves adventure, welcoming people, beautiful scenery and affordability, then Colombia is for you. We fell in love with this South American country after 6 weeks of travelling here. There are so many things to do in Colombia that we could have stayed much longer.

1. Trek to the Lost City (one of the most amazing things to do in Colombia!)

The Ciudad de Perdida (the Lost City) is located deep in the jungle of the Sierra Mountains. The point of the 4 day trek is to reach the fascinating, hidden ruins that were built in 850AD by the Tayrona people. The 4 day journey is epic. Be prepared to sleep on bunk beds, trek through the mud and cross rivers. This is an adventure you’ll never forget. Of all of the things to do in Colombia, this was our favourite.

2. Make Friends

The people of Colombia are incredibly welcoming. On numerous occasions we had chats with the locals – whether it was at our hostel, on the street or on the bus. They are eager and willing to chat with foreigners. Speak to anyone who has travelled to Colombia and they’ll agree, the people of Colombia are wonderful. More likely than not, you’ll forge lifelong friendships

3. Hiking and swimming at Tayrona National Park

Moving north to the Colombian Caribbean coast, we spent a day hiking and swimming at Tayrona National Park. The first part of the day includes a trek through tropical forest, where you might find monkeys — red howlers, capuchins, and titis — and if you’re lucky, an agouti, a large forest rodent known for enjoying fruit so much that it forgets where it has buried its stash.

4. Appreciating street art in Bogotá

While many people use Bogotá solely as a transit point, we suggest that you spend a day or two there, particularly if you appreciate street art. The quantity and quality of street murals in this city is impressive; they’ll often carry an underlying social or economic message, giving you a sense of the political pulse of the city.

5. Dance until dawn

Colombians love a good party, and plenty of excellent nightclubs throughout the country keep the party going until the early hours. Whether it’s salsa, electronic, reggaeton, it’s just not a trip to Colombia without dancing as the sun comes up.

6. Extreme Sports in San Gil

Bungee jumping, canyoning, white-water rafting, paragliding, and much more—San Gil is an adventure playground for adrenaline junkies, and it’s definitely worth scheduling three or four days there to make the most of all of the activities on offer.

7. Learn to kitesurf in La Guajira

The calm waters of Cabo de la Vela in La Guajira are one of the world’s premier kitesurfing destinations, with several kitesurf schools operating in town. Whether you sign up for an intensive course or just a few lessons, kitesurfing in La Guajira is an unbelievable experience.

8. Stay at Casa Elemento in Minca

Casa Elemento, a hostel in the mountains above Minca, has become Instagram-famous in recent years due to its amazing giant hammock (read: world’s biggest) offering stunning views over the distant Caribbean. It’s also a great place for a party, so make sure to visit.

9. Get muddy at Volcan del Totumo

Who doesn’t want to get covered in mud at an mini mud volcano before getting hosed down in warm Caribbean waters? …Probably quite a few people, but forget them and head to the Totumo Mud Volcano for a great day trip from Cartagena. Just don’t wear your best bathing suit.

10. Take the Bogota Craft Beer Tour

Bogota’s best beer tour visits excellent bars and craft breweries throughout the city, exploring the culture of craft beer in Colombia (and sampling a fair few ales along the way). While this tour works for any age group, being in your twenties definitely helps with the inevitable hangover!

Whatch the video below for more inspiration!

What other places in Colombia should have been on this list. Leave a comment!

10 Ways To Save Money Traveling

How to save money on travel is one of the most common questions I get asked.

Who doesn’t like to save money when possible? Traveling can be expensive, but with the right strategy you can bring down the cost. Try these 10 tips on your next vacation and your wallet will thank you.

 

1. Travel Off-Season

There’s something to be said for going to Ibiza in the summer or Vermont in the winter, but the upside to traveling off-season is that it’s much cheaper. Plus, you might discover lesser-known attractions and get to know the locals when there aren’t so many tourists around.

2. Look for free activities

If you do a little research, you’ll see there are often lots of free activities in the area. Look at community calendars to see what is going on in town while you are there. Do a self-guided walking tour to familiarize yourself with your destination. Museums often have a ‘pay what you can’ day once a week and sometimes have discounted admission after a certain time of day.

3. Screen car rentals

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you even need a car rental. If the answer is a definite yes, you should take the time to look through discount booking sites in order to get the best possible deal. You will also need to familiarize yourself with the local laws and what, if any, assistance your insurance company will provide if you are in an accident. This will make it easier to avoid adding on insurance that you do not need.

4. Book a room with a refrigerator/microwave or kitchen area

Although some people might not like to cook while on vacation, I don’t mind making breakfast in my room. I love having a cup of coffee on my deck, but room service can be very pricy. I’d rather eat-in for breakfast and lunch and then splurge on a fancy dinner. A microwave and fridge will also be helpful for reheating leftovers.

5. Shop at farmer’s markets and local stores

Farmer’s markets often lower the price of their food towards the end of the day. Also, shopping at local stores allows you to taste the local cuisine without having to pay the price of a restaurant. Buy some local fish and cook it up at your condo.

6. Set up an automatic travel savings account at your bank

I keep my savings account invisible/inaccessible from my internet banking so that I never have the temptation to transfer money over and spend it. Accessing the money would mean physically going to a bank to make the transaction, and I’ve never been tempted enough to do that. I only use it for travel.

7. Use Facebook in a big way

Remember, friends of friends are often people who will warmly open their door to you – so get connected with people from your past and present, and cut out all that expensive accommodation. Yeah, it might cost you a dinner and a few beers, but how good is that!Plus, since you’re living local, you won’t feel like just another tourist – and you’ll make and keep friends for life.

8. Look for city tourism cards

Depending on the card, you can gain free entry to top visitor attractions, discounts at restaurants and shops, skip-the-line options at busy attractions, free public transportation, and even free guidebooks. Depending on your itinerary, it might be worth the money.

9. Have a picnic in the park

Just pick up a variety of fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses or other local specialties from a farmers market in the city you’re visiting. It’s so much cheaper than a restaurant, and just as fun! Plus, the food can be absolutely delicious – not to mention traditional.

10. Carry a reusable water bottle

You need to stay hydrated when traveling and buying water every day gets expensive. Get a metal water bottle or reuse your plastic water bottle a few times to save money. I usually use a plastic water bottle for about four days, or more if I can find a place to clean it. Instead of buying three bottles a day, I usually buy two per week. I may only be saving a small amount of money each time, but over the course of a long trip that can really add up. Moreover, I reduce the amount of plastic I use, which is also good for the environment. It’s win-win.