Populated with some of the friendliest and hospitable folk on the planet, this long and vast land has everything: ancient ruins, fascinating culture, and a general buzz that’s just intoxicating.

Colourful Colombia has long been an exciting destination for Aussie travellers, attracted by that exotic allure that South America has in spades. (Think you know South America? We dare you to try this epic quiz!)

If you’re heading over to the continent soon to tick some more countries off your travel bucket list, then don’t forget to make some time for Colombia – you’re going to love it!

To help you get started on your planning, here are five suggestions on what to do and where to go once you first set foot in this dynamic country.

 

1. Take a coffee tasting course in Quindio

coffee

Besides cocaine, there’s another stimulant Colombia is famous for: caffeine. Mmm coffee…

Satisfy your taste buds, get hyped up, and learn all about the dark bean at the same time by taking a coffee tasting course at Recuca coffee farm in Quindio. There’s an art and a science to making the perfect cup of joe, so learn from the best and impress your hipster mates back home with your new-found coffee expertise.

Warning: you may come back a coffee snob.

 

2. Float in a volcanic mud bath in Totumo

float

An easy day trip from Cartagena, the Totumo Mud Volcano is guaranteed to soothe the body and calm the mind, and offers travellers a truly unique Colombian experience.

The entrance fee is just $2, and although the mud doesn’t look or smell good, it’s great for your skin.

After your float and soak, local women will help you get the mud off your body with a scrub at a nearby lagoon.

Heaven.

 

3. Learn all about the famous Pablo Escobar

pablo

In the past, even mentioning the name Pablo Escobar in passing could be enough to arouse suspicion and put you in danger.

But not anymore.

Since the Colombian drug lord’s death in December 1993, things have changed, and now it’s possible to learn all about the famous drug baron through an organised tour – some of which even allow you to meet Pablo’s bro, Roberto!

Pablo Escobar tours take tourists around the old Escobar compound in Medellin, giving them an intimate insight into the life and times of one of Colombia’s most notorious criminals. It’d be criminal to miss this fascinating tour…

 

4. Find the lost city

lostcity

Make sure you pack your hiking boots and set off on the four-day Lost City trekking tour into the Sierra Nevada and discover the remains of a 1200-year-old city in Teyuna that was once the home of the Tayrona civilisation.

Pre-dating Machu Picchu by 650-years, the Lost City was only recently discovered in 1976 by a group of Colombian archeologists and has since become a National Archaeological Park. Expect to walk between three and four hours a day on the hike.

 

5. Spend a few nights in Capurganá and Sapzurro

beaches

These two idyllic villages are perched on the stunning Colombian coastline and are backed by jumbles of mountains, offering travellers an escape from the chaotic business of Bogota and the country’s other major cities.

Quiet and populated with friendly locals, there isn’t much to do in either Capurganá or Sapzurro besides unplug and unwind, turning a golden brown and eating delicious food in the process. And that’s just what you need sometimes, especially if you plan to tie the knot in South America whilst over here on holiday!

Have you been to Colombia? Leave your recommendations on things to see and do in the comments below…