Some of the Sites to See – Colombia Day Trippin’
Here are some suggestions of day or short trips that you can plan from major city centres while visiting Colombia.
From Bogota :
Bojaca – Chivo Negro – precolombian rock pictograms in ocre
Guasca – La Capilla de Siecha – considered a National Monument
La Calera – really part of North Bogota
Nemocon – about 50 kms. – this area was the source of wealth of the Precolombian era – salt. See the salt mine and salt museum.
Macheta – Thermal Baths.
Sopo – desserts and artisans plaza
Suesca – rock climbing
Tocancipa – about 48 kms – ”Las Piedras de Sevilla” – caves and rock formations with pictograms.
Villa de Leyba – Fossil Museum, Plaza Mayor
Zipaquira – you can take the train on weekends and holidays – World famous Salt Cathedral
Some suggestions of excursions from Medellin :
El Carmen de Viboral – plates and ceramics painted by hand – a tradition since 1898
El Jardin – declared a National monument in 1985 for its colonial architecture.
El Retiro – quaint colonial town whose major industry is furniture and woodworking
Guatape/El Penol – Resort destination (large reservoir) and the Penol Rock, a monolith of over 200 m high
La Hacienda Napoles – former Escobar estate, now a tourist park, water resort and monument to his victims
Rio Claro – a natural river canyon – rafting, camping hiking, caves
Santa Fe de Antioquia – original capital of Antioquia for 250 years, the Bridge of the West – nominated as a World Heritage Site
Sopetran – La Ermita de San Nicolas – a small chapel built in 1622.
Outings from Cali :
Buga – the historical centre was declared a National Monument in 1959
Calima – El Darien – Calima lake and Archaeological Museum of Calima
Cartago – considered one of the oldest municipalities in Colombia – la Catedral de la Nuestra Senora del Carmen
Ginebra – renown for its Sancocho de Gallina – http://colombia.escapeartist.com/ginebra-valle-del-cauca/
La Union – one of the most important wine growing areas in the country
Palmira – the second most important city in the Cauca Valley – view the tourist sites from horse drawn carriages, sugar cane museum close by.
Tulua – Botancial Garden
Popayan – this city deserves a bit more than a one line description. It is 135 km. from Cali so it really is more than a day trip. It is called the ‘white city’ because of the colour of its beautiful colonial architecture. Close by is the Purace National Natural Park with hotsprings and waterfalls. The city was declared by Unesco to the first city of gastronomy because of its variety and meaning to the Intangible Patrimony of Colombian culture. UNESCO also declared the Easter Week processions as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Patrimony of Humanity.
From Cartagena plan to visit :
Barranquilla – about 2 hours from Cartagena – home of the famous Carnival
Baru – Playa Blanca
Manzanillo del Mar – typical local beach, great Sancocho de Pescado http://colombia.escapeartist.com/manzanillo-del-mar/
Rosario Islands – swimming, diving, aquarium
San Basilio de Palenque – Declared an area of a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Patrimony of Humanity by Unesco in 2005.
Santa Marta – 4 hours by road – El Rodadero Beach, Taganga – fishing village, Tayrona Park
Volcan del Totumo – volcanic mudbath
The Coffee Zone centres around 4 cities Manizales/Pereira/Caldas/Armenia besides the cities themselves consider :
Los Nevados National Park
Montenegro – National Coffee Park
Quimbaya – Panaca Agricultural Park
Salaminos – typical colonial homes and baroque doors
Salento – a typical Paisa village with beautiful multicoloured facades
Santa Rosa de Cabal – thermal baths
These are just to give you an idea of some of the trips that you can organize from major centres across Colombia. It barely scratches the surface and large areas of the country are actually excluded.
Practically, Barranquilla can be a hub to travel from as can Santa Marta. To think about going to Santa Marta from Cartagena for a day trip is not viable as you would spend most of your time travelling. However these three cities are close enough to easily visit each and the other sites of interest close by.