Colombia Tours

Why visit? Often associated with Caribbean resorts and coffee making but usually overlooked for its rich history, colonial architecture and mind blowing nature, Colombia can introduce you to one of South America’s roads less travelled. 
 
Generally, Australians start their Colombia tour in Bogotá, the country’s capital. Blessed with one of the most gorgeous settings any city can have, being surrounded by the Andean mountains, Bogotá draws visitors with its cultural vibrancy. Apart from boasting some of the country’s most important historic landmarks such as the Salt Cathedral and Villa de Leyva, the city impresses with its impressive street art and a thriving food and bar scene.
 
Up in the north of the country, Cartagena is a charming seaside city on the Caribbean coast, known for its picturesque ‘old town’ where you can find some of Colombia’s finest examples of historic architecture whilst also being home to stunning resorts along the Caribbean coastline.
 
A bit further up the Caribbean coast, Tayrona National Park ticks all the boxes for the adventurous explorer with its narrow forest trails leading travellers along seemingly untouched nature, palm-shaded coves, coastal lagoons, rainforest and rich biodiversity.
 
For an insight into archaeology, head to San Augustin and Popayan in the south of Colombia where you can explore ancient sites and enjoy the views of charming historic small towns. 
 
How to get there? Being in the north west of South America, it is almost as easy to get to Colombia from Los Angeles as it is from Santiago, Chile. Which route you take is probably more likely to be determined by what you’d like to do en route - Patagonia or Peru, go via Santiago, Mexico or the US, go via LA. QANTAS actually offer a split fare into or out of LA, returning via Santiago – for those who want to do a loop.
 
More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for Colombia and multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.
 
Still wondering? Contact us: You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you.
 
#Livefortoday and book your Colombia tour with us today. Chimu Adventures is Australia’s leading Latin America and Polar specialist and can put together an itinerary to suit you.
 
Read Reviews (Avg 4.3 ★)
 
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Articles On Colombia

Colombia From the Beginning

Posted on Fri, 05 May 2017

Colombia is one of the most enigmatic countries in all of Latin America, a land shaped by hundreds of year of migrations, conquests and struggles. Much like its neighbours, Colombia boasts a rich ancient history and suffered through a tumultuous colonial era, before declaring independence and striving to carve out its own, new, identity. Yet unlike many of its fellow …

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Secret Wonders: Presenting Castillo San Felipe, Colombia

Posted on Sat, 24 Dec 2016

Ready to discover one of South America’s most secret of wonders? Presenting the Castillo San Felipe of Cartagena, Colombia, one of the most awe-inspiring fortresses in the whole continent. Dominating the hill of San Lazaro, overlooking the vibrant city of Cartagena, the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is one of Colombia’s most famous and formidable sites. The colonial-era castle will …

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Colombia: Is it safe to travel?

Posted on Thu, 05 May 2016

Colombia seems to be one of those countries that have been on every western government warning list since time immemorial. It’s probably no wonder then, that “Is it safe to travel to Colombia?” be one of the most often-asked questions we face here at Chimu Adventures. Like all countries plagued by decades of political instability and national unrest, Colombia is …

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12 Days in Colombia

Posted on Wed, 10 Jun 2015

As far as South American travel goes, Colombia is one of the roads less traveled. It still features on many ‘Don’t Travel’ lists and is perceived as dangerous, due to its history of violence and drug trafficking. But with a drastic and continued reduction in violence over the last decade and its government dedicating real money towards tourism and safety, …

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Colombia Reviews

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cartagena, Bogota, Villa de Leyva My husband and I loved the towns we visited in Colombia. Everything ran smoothly, all the transfers and tours. Cartegena was super lively and interesting, we could walk everywhere in the old town and felt safe. Would recommend asking for a quiet room in the back of your hotel as Cartegena parties late. Our guide, George, who collected us from the airport and then was our tour guide for Bogota and Villa de Leyva and everywhere inbetween was fantastic, very knowledgeable and just really easy to get along with. Villa de Leyva was beautiful. The salt Cathedral was just amazing, so much more than what we were expecting.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! Colombia is more than we expected. Chimu offered an incredible journey through the country and we were simply wowed at every turn. Big thanks to Clare in the Sydney office for putting this together for us. It was a dream.
Date published: 2015-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Colombian Love! Colombia, incredible destination and loved our time in the country. Cartagena was an absolute highlight and not to be missed. Warm, friendly locals, spectacular scenery and wonderful food.. I will be back!
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cool Colombia We found the Colombians to be very hospitable hosts and the standard of accommodation and guides was also very good. We didn't get to explore as much as we would have liked due to timing, but we really impressed with Cartagena. A wonderful city, teeming with history! Food was very good and guides excellent. We also enjoyed the hotels we stayed at in Bogota and Cartagena. Luis was a good guide also in Cartagena. Would recommend.
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Colombia! Loved every minute of this spectacular country. Coffee Triangle and our guide were the highlight! Cartagena was also incredible, loved exploring the city and dinner on top the city walls is a must. Would love to go back!
Date published: 2016-05-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst organised trip I have ever been onn Worst organised trip I have ever been which is rather unfortunate as Colombia is a beautiful country. My advice would be choose another travel agency to help plan your trip
Date published: 2015-06-03
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Country Information

When to go to Colombia
  • Colombia was named in honour of Christopher Columbus, following the Italian version of his name (Cristoforo Colombo). Columbus never actually set foot on the current Colombian territory, but visited Panama on his fourth voyage, part of Colombia until 1903.
  • Colombia was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 – the others were Ecuador & Venezuela.
  • Colombia’s population is now close to 50 million.
  • Colombia controls the land access between Central and South America.
  • Colombia is twice the size of France and slightly less than twice the size of Texas.
  • Bogota is the 3rd highest capital city in the world.
  • Colombia is part of the Ring of Fire, a region of the world subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
  • Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, behind Brazil which has an area approximately 7 times that of Colombia.
  • Colombia is the only country in South America with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
  • The lowland areas of the Llanos savanna and the Amazon rainforest comprise over half Colombia’s territory but contain less than 3% of the population.
  • Colombia is the largest source of Latin American refugees in Latin America.
  • The national symbol is the Andean condor.
  • Colombia is the third largest oil producer in South America.
  • Bogota was declared World Book Capital by UNESCO.
Weather in Colombia

Colombia was originally inhabited by many major indigenous cultures such as the Tayrona, Muisca and Quimbaya. The area that is now Colombia was colonised by the Spanish after their arrival in 1499, and the social structures of the areas were radically altered by colonisation. The Spanish brought war and disease, resulting in the indigenous populations shrinking dramatically in size. They also brought European settlers and African slaves.

The country gained independence from Spain in 1819. It was one of five countries liberated by Simón Bolívar, along with Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia.

Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama formed the first Republic of Colombia, but by 1830 "Gran Colombia’’ had collapsed with Ecuador and Venezuela declaring their independence from Colombia. Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada, with the new Republic of Colombia being declared in 1886. Panama declared independence in 1903.

Following independence, the history of Colombia was marked by several civil wars. These conflicts, together with problematic social issues, early state repression against rural communities and world polarisation caused by the Cold War, culminated in a communist insurgent campaign by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN to overthrow the Colombian Government. The years of the conflict were marked by heavy fighting between the communist guerrillas, the Colombian state and military, right-wing paramilitaries and several drug cartels giving the country a terrible reputation.

In 2012 the government and the FARC began peace talks aimed at bringing the 50 year old Civil War to an end. Colombia is currently in a process of recovery, and is finally becoming the tourist destination that it deserves to be.

Colombia Culture & Customs

The geography of Colombia is characterized by its six main natural regions that each present their own unique characteristics - the high Andes mountain range region, the Pacific coastal region, the Caribbean coastal region, the Llanos (lowland plains), the Amazon Rainforest and the insular area, comprising islands in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Colombia is bordered to the northwest by Panama, to the east by Venezuela and Brazil and to the south by Ecuador and Peru. It is the only South American country with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

Galeras, at an elevation of 4,276m is one of Colombia’s most active volcanoes. It erupted in 2009 and 2010.

The highest point in Colombia is Pico Cristobal Colon at 5,775m, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The mountain is part of the world’s highest coastal range.

Colombia’s natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds and hydro-power.

Colombia History

Colombia is ethnically diverse with a diverse cultural heritage. The population is comprised of the descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, Africans originally brought to the country as slaves as well as 20th-century immigrants from the Middle East and Europe. Very strong regional identities are also as a result of Colombia's varied geography and the imposing landscape of the country. The majority of the urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but Colombia also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.

Spanish is the first language of Colombia and is spoken by over 99% of the population. Other languages include 2 Creole languages, 65 Amerindian languages and the Romani language. In San Andres, Providential and Santa Catalina Islands, English is also stated as an official language.

Colombia’s predominant religion is Roman Catholic accounting for about 70% of the population.

Colombia’s music is an amalgamation of sounds and rhythms, drawing on Indigenous, European and African influences, resulting in a dynamic musical mix.

Colombia’s cuisine is also varied, being influenced by the cultural traditions of the various ethnic groups as well as by the country’s diverse flora and fauna. Colombian dishes and ingredients vary widely by region. Common ingredients include rice, maize and tubers such as cassava. Popular dishes include patacones (fried green plantains), empanadas, tamales and papas criollas al horno (roasted Andean potatoes).

Colombia Geography

The Colombian economy has been growing at an average rate of 4% in the past few years, but as the country depends heavily on mining and energy exports, it is vulnerable to a fall in commodity prices.

Colombia is the fourth largest exporter of coal in the world and Latin America’s fourth largest oil producer. The country is rich in natural resources, its main exports including mineral fuels, oil, precious stones, forest products, coffee, cereals, cotton and sugars. Colombia is an important global source of emeralds and 70% of the USA’s imported cut flowers are Colombian.

Colombia’s main trading partners are the United States, India, China, the European Union and some Latin American countries. It is a founding member of the Pacific Alliance.

Colombia has an unemployment rate close of 8.5%, one of Latin America’s highest. The country’s most significant challenges include inequality, poverty, drug-trafficking as well as its infrastructure.

Tourism & Sustainability

Colombia is a presidential representative democratic republic. Government is divided into three branches – executive, legislative and judicial. There are 32 departments and 1 capital district. The President of Colombia is the head of the executive branch and serves as both the head of state and head of government. The president is elected by popular vote for four-year terms, limited to a maximum of two terms.

Universal suffrage is granted to those 18 years of age.

Colombia Food & Drinks
  • Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena – Roman Catholic Saint
  • Gabriel García Márquez - Author
  • Simon Brand – Film Director
  • Manuel Marulanda Vélez (nickname Tirofijo meaning Surefire) - Guerilla (Leader of FARC)
  • Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara - Actress & Model
  • Shakira - Singer
  • Radamel Falcao García Zárate, Víctor Hugo Aristizábal Posada - Soccer Players
  • Mariana Pajón Londoño - Olympic Cyclist
  • Edward Niño Hernández – Guinness Book of Records for shortest living man
  • Fernando Botero – Master Painter

Frequently Asked Questions

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