This lush green country at the northern end of South America is a far cry from what it was in the 1980s and 1990s, when the cocaine trade and guerilla groups made Colombia synonymous with drugs and violence. Traveling there in 2018, we encountered colorful towns, rode horses under soaring palm trees, learned all about coffee, stayed on a rustic Caribbean island, spent Christmas in a village where farmers ride up to the local bars on horseback, and met lots of friendly, welcoming people, who made up for the country’s so-so food.

When we visited

December 2018 to January 2019

Major stops

Cartagena, Isla Grande, Bogota, Filandia, Chinchina, Jardin, Manizales

Memorable Moment

Swimming in the ink-black waters of a little bay at night, looking up at the stars and down at the bioluminescent plankton that flashed in the water around us

Did you know?

Colombia is the only country in South America that has coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

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