When you think of Colombia the first things that often come to mind are coffee, football (or soccer), the Amazon Rainforest and the various misconceptions surrounding the cocaine industry. However, Colombia's idyllic Caribbean-esque beaches often remain overlooked and forgotten about. So today, on #TravelTuesday, we've opted to highlight this beautiful part of Colombia and show you it's delights.
Colombia is a country with many sides to it, each as fascinating as the last. It covers a region of the Amazon; has coasts in both the Caribbean and the pacific and even holds some of the Northern Andes ranges. The cultural capital of Bogota is frequently one of the most visited areas for it's culture, yet many tourists would overlook the North Coast sat on the Caribbean, were it not for the historic centre of Cartagena.
A World Heritage Site, the city is brimming with stunning examples of architecture waiting to be discovered from the traditional cobblestone streets that guide it's visitors. Surrounded by nearly 7 miles of walls, Cartagena also has a strong cultural scene, hosting a selection of festivals completely devoted to classical music and film. This city of tradition also knows how to party and it's simple enough to find somewhere to practice your salsa - even if it's just in the streets listening to music from somebody's house.
The Caribbean Flair is stronger across the coast however, especially in bustling Barranquilla where it's not uncommon to see spontaneous dancing outside of Carnival. A more traditional taste of the Caribbean can be found in nearby Santa Marta, where you can discover a range of spectacular beaches and the Tayrona National Park.
Head to Cinto Beach and be whisked across the ocean as you experience white sand beaches and the crystal clear waters often believed to be exclusive to the traditional Caribbean islands. Elsewhere, Concha Bay will provide you with ample diving and snorkelling opportunities to experience gorgeous coral reefs and a spectrum of differently coloured marine life.
This area of Colombia offers unforgettable sailing excursions, where you can take in some of the most glorious coastal views on the calmest of waters - ideal for a romantic trip. Whilst you're going offshore, it would be a shame to miss out on the island of San Andrés. Seahorse-shaped and bustling with excitement, San Andrés offers even better diving opportunities and is but a short trip away from the best local beach on Johnny Cay. Explore San Andrés by bike for a day of sheer joy, seeing the natural blowhole - Hoyo Sopladór and the windswept beaches of San Luis are both an absolute must.