Why Do Travelers Fall So In Love With Colombia?

by Stephanie Walsh on July 16, 2013 · 20 comments

in Colombia, South America, Travel Thoughts, Travels

Why do travelers fall in love with Colombia?

There’s just something about Colombia. It’s just a beautiful, colourful, friendly, welcoming, fun, energetic and lovable country.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve come across through the blogging world and in ‘real’ life, who have fallen head over heels in love with this beautiful country. In fact, many of those travelers now call Colombia home, including me (even if it is only temporary!).

So why do travelers love Colombia so much? I have already spewed publicly about why I’m in love with Colombia, so this time I thought I’d give the perspective of other travelers, to see what they find so alluring about this country. I turned to my Colombia loving, travel blogger friends and asked the questions ‘What do you love about Colombia?

 

So here are their reasons for falling in love with Colombia:

 

“I was a newspaper reporter for six years in England and specialised in serious issues, including crime, poverty, drugs and conflict. I realised I needed a rest and decided to travel to South America, but not to Colombia – I wanted to travel from Ecuador around to Brazil and, from there, onto Asia. I came to Colombia because I met a lovely Paisa girl in the Galapagos and she advised me not to miss Colombia. And she was right – Colombia is such an incredible country, with such incredible diversity and a great attitude among the people. I have been here for three years now and my ´To Do´ list is growing longer by the day. But there are many countries with great tourism opportunities and that doesn´t necessarily mean you want to live in them. The real reason I chose to live in Colombia is Bogotá. I love the city and knew within a week of being here that it was the city for me. I love the feeling that change is in the air, that things are happening in Bogotá and that anything is possible in Colombia because it has such a bright future ahead. Bogotá is a lively, interesting city too where it is impossible to be bored and impossible not to be inspired to contribute something to what is happening all around. I am so grateful to live here and so happy that the city I love happens to be the capital city of such an amazing country too. I win on all fronts.” – Vicki Kellaway, Great Britain

Vicki Kellaway´s blog, Banana Skin Flip Flops features beautifully written personal posts about her often-hilarious life in Bogotá. If you’re looking for some interesting insight into what life in Colombia is like, make sure to visit her site.

 

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“There are a lot of things I love about life here in Colombia (or more specifically Cali) but the one that really appeals to me most is the connection that people have with music and dance here. Music has a big role in Irish culture but it’s taken to a whole new level here in Cali. Music permeates ever aspect of daily life and here, dancing is the social activity of choice as opposed to the drunken last resort at the end of the night that it often is in Ireland.

In Cali you can enjoy so many different types of music (although salsa is most definitely numero uno) like reggaeton, chacha, bolero and the very traditional pacifico music. These musical genres are heard so frequently that it’s almost a natural reaction for people to break into a little sway when they hear a song they like or all out dance if they can get away with it.

Learning to dance (along with learning Spanish) is by far the best way to integrate into life in Cali as the vast majority of Caleños can dance to some degree or another and compliments about your dance abilities are a huge show of respect. Maybe that’s one (conceited) reason why I like being a Dancing Irishman in Colombia. The locals don’t expect foreigners to be able to dance so when one can and does it like they do, it makes them much more likely to approach you for a chat.

Dance has helped me get to know the vast majority of my friends here and I’m very grateful that I live in a country that gives me such a fantastic social outlet. Even if I do eventually leave Colombia I know that every time I here certain songs or music I’m going to remember the great times I’ve had and great friends I’ve made while dancing here.” – Richie Kirwan, Ireland

Richie Kirwan, a fellow Irish in Cali, writes regularly about learning (and now teaching!) salsa in ‘The World Capital Of Salsa’, as well as fitness and diet tips. You can check out his great blog at The Dancing Irishman

 

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“Colombia is full of sheer beauty. The coastline at Tayona National Park, the colonial buildings in Cartagena, and the famous Las Lajas Cathedral in Ipiales are all stunning. But the most beautiful thing in Colombia is the people, and I’m not even talking about their beauty queens! Colombia is the only country I’ve been that I’ve felt accepted me instantly, despite my origins. At my apartment building I was offered to join strangers for dinner, you can’t be seated on a bus without striking up conversations with your neighbours, and getting through a grocery store takes twice as long as anywhere in the world because there is always a friendly chat to be had. Though Canada will always be my brithplace and my homeland, to date, I’ve never felt “at home” anywhere the way I felt in Colombia.” – Brendan Van Son, Canada

Brendan Van Son has been traveling all over the world for over 4 years, while documenting his travels on his blog Brendans Adventures. Make sure to check out his impressive daily video blogs, It’s My Life 365, too.

 

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“What we loved about Colombia, aside from its beauty and culture, was how welcome we felt. Because the country has really only recently opened to wider tourism, the people there were so excited to have foreigners. We had people coming up to us on the street to say hello and ask whether we were having a good time. You don’t often get that kind of interaction with the locals on a day-to-day basis.” – Andrea Spirov, United States

Andrea Spirov, is one half of the travel duo at Inspiring Travellers. She and John write about ‘laid-back luxury’ travel around the globe and they hope to inspire their readers to get up and experience the world too.

 

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Cartagena, Colombia is one of my favorite cities in the world because it’s practically dripping with history and culture. From the centuries-old fort to the Spanish Inquisition Museum, it’s one of the most beautiful examples of Spanish Colonialism we’ve visited in our travels. The fact that the people and the nearby Rosario Islands are equally beautiful makes Cartagena a gem!” – Bret Love, United States

Bret Love and his partner Mary are passionate about ecotourism and conservation, and it shows in their fantastic blog, Green Global Travel. They hope to inspire people to traveling responsibly and sustainably.

 

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“I love the people, and the wildly variant climates Colombia has. I love that I can see animals I have only seen on Discovery, and some I have never seen before and can’t find info on online (most poisonous or pretty sure they are nasty). I also love Medellin for the unbelievably clean and efficient metro and bus system, and that there always seems to be some sort of random music or cultural thing going on. I just wish there was a way to find out when these things are happening. They never seem to be promoted. You just have to be lucky enough to happen upon them.” – Dani Blanchette, United States

Dani Blanchette of Going Nomadic is a self-proclaimed “horrible tourist”. Like many others, she also visited Colombia and ended up staying in Medelíin for quite some time and like myself, she’s also fallen in love with a Colombian.

 

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“I enjoy the people, the character, the food and nature. Even the cities have charm, like Bogota with the Cerro de Monserrate overlooking the city, or Cartagena with its old city and spectacular Playa Blanca. It is there that I discovered my new favorite fruit in the world, lulo, and how about those wax palm trees in Valle del Cocora? So much to do in a country that is not that big… I wonder what the west coast has to offer as it is mostly unpopulated…” – Koki A, United States/Spain

Koki, born in the USA but raised in Spain, has traveled extensively all over the world. He too fell in love with Colombia and has even written a free travel guide to the country for readers of his blog, Mai Travel Site.

 

Thanks to all of the above travel bloggers for contributing to this post. Make sure to check out their great blogs for some travel inspiration.

And in case you missed it, check out our other post on 101 Reasons To Love Colombia!

 

Have you been bitten by the country’s love-bug yet? If so, why did YOU fall in love with Colombia?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Naomi July 16, 2013 at 10:22 am

There are too many reasons why Colombia is an incredible country. The people are warm, genuine and extremely friendly, the culture is second to none, the fact that there is always an excuse to dance and celebrate and the differing and amazing landscapes. Colombia has a massive part of my heart and it is a country I will return to again and again!
Naomi recently posted..Tejo: A Unique Colombian ExperienceMy Profile

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2 Stephanie Walsh July 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Well that’s another great quote within itself Naomi! Thanks for contributing! Are you in Colombia now?

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3 Kimmy @ AfterGlobe July 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

Mmmm, this makes Colombia sound delicious. I was already wanting to go there before, but after reading this, even more now. It’s good to know it’s loved by so many and for so many wonderful reasons. I’ll make sure when I finally get there, I plan for a good amount of time in Colombia.
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4 Stephanie Walsh July 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Glad we helped to make you want to visit Kimmy! You should definitely try stay at least the 3 months that the initial tourist visa allows!

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5 Mig July 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Colombians are warm people. When I first met a few traveling, I told them that I’d love to visit their country, but I heard it was dangerous. They got defensive and invited me to visit them. Fast forward six years later after keeping in touch on FB, I met up with one of them in Bogota and they opened up their home. Traveling in various parts of the country, I felt comfortable. It’s one of my favorite countries and I’m headed back later this year. Check out the Lost City and Carnaval de Barranquilla if any of you plan to go.
Mig recently posted..Street entrepreneurs in ColombiaMy Profile

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6 Stephanie Walsh July 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Wow, great story Mig and glad you had a great time here with your Colombian friends! I haven’t had the chance to visit the Lost City or the Carnaval de Barranquilla yet, but I would love to some day! :)

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7 Federico July 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

It’ a beautiful country indeed, lovely culture and people! BTW, you found my post on FB right, it’s where I have that nickname! Thanks for the mention!
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8 Frank July 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm

My reasons for loving Colombia: http://bbqboy.net/colombia-summary/
Always enjoy your posts and I just subscribed!
Frank (bbqboy)
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9 flipnomad August 27, 2013 at 5:49 am

I have never been to South and Central America before and this post makes me wanna go and visit :D

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10 Jeremy G. September 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

My wife and I are heading to Colombia in December. It took me a while to talk her into it, so I’m hoping she falls in love with it too.

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11 Stephanie Walsh September 16, 2013 at 8:12 am

Amazing!! I’m sure she’ll love it! Have a great time!

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12 Anwar September 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Everyone I know who’s been there has loved it. I have not been myself yet, but it is certainly on my list of places to go. Sadly you don’t really hear too much about the great aspects of the country, so its nice to read all these positive reviews.
Anwar recently posted..Friday Photo: Wanderings at the MonasteryMy Profile

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13 Stephanie Walsh November 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Exactly Anwar. That is why I only talk about the positive aspects of Colombia on my blog because there are enough people and news papers out there covering the negative things that it’s nice to hear the other side of the story. Thanks for stopping by again! :)

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14 Rob September 24, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I’m always telling people how great Colombia is and how welcoming the locals are. 5 Years ago hardly everyone came to Colombia now it’s becoming the hottest new destination in South America to visit and even more so to learn Spanish. Colombians speak a purer form of Spanish and with such welcoming locals you’re never short of an opportunity to practice with them. Like many of us you might even fall in love with the country and end up staying (or at least returning).

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15 Stephanie Walsh November 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Couldn’t agree more Rob! Colombian Spanish sounds beautiful and it is really easy to understand compared to many dialects. It’s the perfect place to learn, like you said :)

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16 Sand In My Suitcase October 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm

So nice to hear that the people of Columbia are warm and very friendly. Cartagena has been a place we’ve wanted to visit for some time… Good post!
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17 Stephanie Walsh November 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I hope you get to visit there soon! :) Thanks for commenting!

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18 Kate Robson November 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Colombia is like the world in one country. Snow-capped peaks rise from palm-fringed beaches; deserts, rain forests and everything in between form habitats for plants and animals in one of the most biodiverse nations on earth; and the culture is as varied and vibrant as the land. With adventure, relaxation and welcoming, friendly people Colombia is a paradise yet to be discovered by most of the world.

I blog about my latest travels there, why it is a great destination for travel with children and about adventurous travel for the chronically ill here: http://colombiadiaries.wordpress.com/

Thanks for posting about why others so love the country. I’ll check out your other posts too and subscribe!

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