In recent years, tourism in Colombia has exploded. Since the country has become safer, more and more travelers want to discover Colombia. However, most travelers follow the same travel route along the highlights of Colombia, including Salento, Medellín, Cartagena and Parque Tayrona. Beautiful places, but nowadays overrun by tourists. That while there is so much more to explore, namely off the beaten path. In this series, I list for you wonderful destinations that are often skipped by foreign travelers. Places that introduce you to the country in a different way. Today part 4 of Colombia off the beaten path!
1. Visit Toca, the safest village in Colombia
Somewhere in the beautiful department of Boyacá, far off the beaten path, you’ll find the so-called safest village in Colombia. Namely Toca. Located at an altitude of some 2,800 meters, the village was founded in the year 1555 and thus is known as the most secure in Colombia. The police are playing with the children on the street, and as a visitor you can quietly explore at your leisure. In the beautiful old village you won’t spend that long, but the surrounding area is another story. Stay in Casa Yerbabuena, go canoeing on Lake Copa and drive around the beautiful surroundings where cows are let out and you can see real Colombian farm life. Find all information about Toca and its surroundings here.
2. Enjoy beautiful views of Sopó and Guatavita in Parque Pionono
Although off the beaten path, this beautiful natural park is easily accessible. Namely from Sopó, the village in which I myself lived. Not only will you find the unique ecosystem páramo, but after a short hike you will be treated to insane views of Sopó, Valle de Sopó and the surrounding area. From Pionono you can also easily get to the place near Bogotá where you can go paragliding and from where you have beautiful views over Guatavita and Embalse de Tominé. Here you can find everything about Parque Pionono.
3. Girón: the white city of Santander
When you think of Colombia’s white city you quickly think of Popayan. But for white-city lovers, there is good news: Colombia is bursting with white villages and towns! One of them is Girón, the colonial town next to Bucaramanga in Santander. Stroll through the old streets, marvel at all that white and enjoy all the typical delicacies you can get here. It is also wonderfully warm, the surroundings are beautiful and it is easy to visit if you are passing through from Medellin to San Gil, from Santa Marta to San Gil or vice versa. For more information about Girón: click here!
4. Discover the underwater world of Lago de Tota
Lago de Tota is already beautiful above water and a perfect place to discover many authentic villages, but you can also dive. An unusual activity as the high altitude makes it freezing cold and exotic coral is missing, but no less fun. If you are looking for an original place to dive, this is definitely a must. See and read all about diving in Colombia’s largest lake here!
5. Stroll through the extraordinary cemetery of Chocontá
If you drive north from Bogotá you will automatically pass the village of Chocontá at some point. Not a whole lot to do, but the cemetery was a surprising discovery and well worth a visit. Not only typically Colombian and colorful, it is also extremely large and therefore ideal for wandering around and marveling at the large tombs and the colorful stones in the walls. You can find more about Chocontá and the cemetery here!
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 rather not rent a car, but do want to go 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 plan your trip the way you want it and arrange transportation. Enter your travel needs here and a local will contact you.