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 2 of Colombia off the beaten path. Enjoy!
1. Typical Colombian villages in Cundinamarca
From Bogotá, you can find many places off the beaten path in the department of Cundinamarca. One of my favorite places is definitely the region of Guavio. Not only the lake is spectacularly beautiful, so is the route there. You will pass through all kinds of villages where no tourist can be found, and thus where you can experience real daily life. For example, how about the villages of Gachetá, Gama and Gachalá? Gama in particular is really a little gem on this list. Like stepping right into history and also with beautiful nature surrounding it. And no tourist coming there…. So grab your chance and discover life without tourism! Click here for more information.
2. The spectacular Lake Neusa
Lake Neusa is really one of those places no one has ever heard of. Understandable, because despite being near Bogotá, this lake is located quite remote. To get there, a car is most convenient, as the bus will take you some time. But once you get there, it is really a beautiful place. On weekends many Bogotans come to barbecue and camp, but during the week you will have the lake and its surroundings all to yourself. Click here for more information and photos!
3. The salt mine in Nemocón
Everyone knows the famous salt mine in Zipaquira, with its beautiful salt cathedral underground. Now this is beautiful, but also very touristy and really ridiculously expensive. The cathedral is amazing, but I found the emphasis on religion and the huge influx of tourists a bit excessive. Not so far from Zipaquirá, however, in the colorful village of Nemocón, you will find another salt mine. This one is much less touristy, especially among foreigners, not as well known and also cheaper. Again, it discusses religion, but much more about the history of the area and the mine. The beauty of this salt mine is also the colored waters found underground. So do you want to travel a little more budget and avoid the big foreign tourist influx? Then head to the colorful village of Nemocón! Find more information here.
4. Stay at Casa Yerbabuena in Boyacá
If you really want to go off the beaten path, this is a very nice option. Further away from civilization is almost impossible. Near the equally unknown village of Toca in Boyacá, along a dirt road by a lake, you will find Casa Yerbabuena. This old finca is a real pleasure to stay: beautiful old rooms, many activities such as horseback riding, canoeing, tennis, badminton, barbecue and much more. There is almost no Internet and the first village is about 10 kilometers away, as is the first restaurant. However, you can eat delicious food in the finca or cook for yourself in the beautiful old kitchen. Waking up to the sounds of nature and an impressive view: who doesn’t want that? To get there takes some time, and without a car it’s a little tricky, but once you get there you live a dream. Extremely off the beaten path and absolutely worth it! Click here for more information.
5. Rafting in Tobia
Another one so wonderfully off the beaten path: Tobia. The foreign traveler goes to San Gil to raft, but many do not know that this can also be done much closer to Bogotá (and cheaper). Yes there are fewer hotels and they are also a bit more expensive, but guess what: you can just go rafting on a day trip from Bogotá. Outside the high season only on weekends and days off, but it’s worth it. Namely, a place that few foreign travelers still know about, much cheaper rafting and also beautiful nature! And all that just 2 hours by bus 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. 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, a reliable and unique opportunity to really get to know the country. Enter your travel wishes here and a local will contact you.