In recent years, tourism in Colombia has exploded. Since the country has become safer, more and more travelers want to discover Colombia. The usual tourist route leads travelers past Salento, Medellín, Cartagena and Parque Tayrona. Beautiful places, nowadays overrun by tourists. Almost every traveler makes the same route, but the country is big. So there is much more to discover, off the beaten path. In this series, I list for you beautiful places that are often skipped by foreign travelers. Places that introduce you to the country in a different way. Today part 1 of Colombia off the beaten path!
1. Rock climbing in Suesca
Only about a 1.5-hour drive from Bogotá, you will find a beautiful rock outcropping where every weekend and during Colombian holidays active Colombians strapped to ropes climb the high cliffs. Few tourists take the time to plan a day trip from Bogotá to practice this extreme sport. Yes, you have to arrange for a guide and rent shoes, but once you hang onto the steep rock you will have the time of your life! Read all about climbing in Suesca here.
2. The hummingbird garden in San Francisco
Also close to the city, 1.5 hours by bus, you will find a village called San Francisco. A beautiful place not yet discovered by the tourist. The village itself is not very special, except for the beautiful blue church and good food, but typically Colombian. Walking around here gives you a good idea of normal Colombian life, without tourists. In addition, you can hike and swim in the area. But what makes this village even more special is the small hummingbird garden you’ll find here. The garden was founded by a woman who is fascinated by birds, and so she can tell you all about it (in Spanish). So would you like to see hummingbirds near Bogotá? Then visit San Francisco! Read all about the hummingbird and hummingbird garden here at San Francisco.
3. The spectacular Lake Guavio
I think one of the most beautiful places in Colombia is Lake Guavio. Not only is it impressively beautiful, it is also very off the beaten path. There are almost no hotels, the climate is very changeable, the road there is long and bad and transportation limited. But when you get there, you will be totally amazed. To get here, you need patience and time above all, and perhaps a rental car. You will hardly encounter foreign tourists here, if at all. Curious? Check out this article about this impressive place off the beaten path!
4. The Museo de “El Chicó” in Bogotá.
There are also plenty of places in Bogotá itself that are rarely visited by foreign tourists, Museo de “El Chicó,” for example. You have to travel a bit to the north of the city, but then you have a very nice museum with an interesting history. In addition, you will find the red English bus containing bakery Brot (not anymore in 2023). The museum is not geared to the foreign tourist, as both the information in the museum, the video and the tour are only in Spanish. Click here to learn more about this beautiful museum in Bogotá!
5. Parque Chicaque
Parque Chicaque is a natural park located south of Bogotá. In a beautiful place with magnificent views, you can easily spend a whole day hiking here. There are also other activities, such as ziplining and horseback riding. A guide is not necessary, but it may be nice to be somewhat accustomed to the altitude. The park has the occasional foreign visitor, but more Bogotans who want to escape the city for a day and, during the week, groups of schoolchildren who want to learn about nature. Do you envision a day trip hiking from Bogotá? Click here for more information!
How do you travel off the beaten path in Colombia?
Usually it is not difficult to go off the beaten path in Colombia. Yet almost no one does it. After all, it takes more time, more research, and if you don’t speak Spanish, it can be quite difficult to understand exactly where to go. For example, you can rent a car yourself. Hearty fun and it immediately gives you more freedom. Would you like to travel off the beaten path, with pre-arranged transportation and transfers? Then booking a trip at Local Hero Travel is a very nice, reliable and unique opportunity to really get to know the country. They can arrange transportation for you and plan your trip as far as you want. Enter your travel needs here and a local will contact you.
Are you already inspired to get to know Colombia even better? Check out the other parts of “off the beaten path in Colombia“!