Going to Colombia? Get Off The Beaten Path With These 3 Gems | ViaHero

Going to Colombia? Get Off The Beaten Path With These 3 Gems

ViaHero · May 10, 2018

A few decades ago, Colombia was as unsavory as it gets. Now, the country is one of the hottest and safest travel spots for families, young people, and solo travelers! No matter what your ultimate week in Colombia looks like, you’re going to have a miraculous time. To that end, read on to learn about 3 hidden gems in Colombia that nobody ever talks about—but that you need to explore. Afterward, feel free to message us with any questions you still have about traveling to Colombia!

Want to make the most out of your trip? Tap into our network of local travel planners—Heroes—who build unique, locally-curated trip plans, designed just for you. Get started.

Hidden Gem #1: Choco and The Pacific Coast

Choco: a practically uninhabited paradise

Colombia’s beach scene may be well-known for its Caribbean Coast, but you definitely need to check out its pristine Pacific shore! Nestled just south of Panama, the department of Choco is truly one of the country’s hidden gems because it’s one of the few places in Colombia you can’t get to by road. Because of this, Choco has endless immaculate beaches that remain practically uninhabited. To that end, it’s home to colorful coral reefs, stupendous sea turtle nests, and multitudes of humpback whales. As humpback whales give birth just offshore each summer, a trip to try and catch a glimpse is something you shouldn't miss on your Colombian trip!

The Pacific coast is home to pristine beaches, unparalleled wildlife, and incredible sights

For those who want to do more than soak in the sun, you can walk along the shore to find Utria National Park, a lush rainforest environment full of diverse flora, fauna, and indigenous people that would be happy to show you around. Or if you’re more of a DIY person, have no fear! Choco has activities for every type of traveler. You can take a one hour hike—past Panama—to the northernmost part of the department called Capurgana. Here you’ll be able to find the celestial waterfalls at El Cielo and bathe in La Piscina de los Dioses, which translates to the Pool of the Gods. While you’re relaxing in the divine water of the gods, make sure to look around and catch Colombia’s colorful fish and tropical birds in their natural environment! With so many excursions to choose from, our local travel experts will make sure your trip to Choco is heaven on Earth.

Dart Frog, Choco

Hidden Gem #2: Suesca

Suesca is Colombia’s rock climbing capital—and so much more!

While you can’t miss seeing Colombia's major cities, make sure to experience Colombia’s smaller communities as well. Although the smaller towns won’t feature Bogota’s boastful nightlife or Medellin’s luxurious food scene, indigenous people all around Colombia have amazing culture to share. There’s no better way to learn than to immerse yourself in Suesca! Perched a little north of Bogota, Suesca is recognized as the birthplace of rock climbing in Colombia—something that’s become incredibly popular in the area. You don’t have to be an expert to climb Suesca’s sandstone cliffs, though; whether you’re a beginner or an advanced climber, you can face your fears and mount the rugged red walls!

Suesca boasts incredible extreme sports—and tremendous indigenous history!

If you’re afraid of heights but still love adventure, Suesca has plenty more options to choose from like whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and trekking. The pueblo is a perfect destination for extreme sports, so have one of our Heroes plan out your perfect action-packed trip! Once you’re done adventuring, indulge in the town’s eerie history. Lake Suesca was known to be a place where the pre-colonial Muisca Civilization would meet to perform religious rituals… sometimes including human sacrifice. It’s said that the Muisca people would collect the heads of their enemies as trophies and offer captives to appease their gods. If one thing’s for sure, Suesca is not for the faint of heart!

Hidden Gem #3: Gorgona Island

Gorgona Island is a remote national park brimming with biodiversity

With seas so crystal clear, the beaches of Gorgona Island are undeniably one of Colombia’s finest highlights. Gorgona Island is also on Colombia’s Pacific coast, south of Choco and closer to the Ecuadorian border. The island was once a prison, explaining its remote location, and the whole island stands at only 10 square miles. You can get there by boat from Buenaventura or by plane from Cali—but whichever you choose, it’s worth the commute. Because the whole area is now a national park, the peninsula’s subtropical forest, brimming biodiversity, and endemic vegetation are protected and among the most pristine in the world.

The diving in Gorgona is unreal

While Gorgona is an amazing area to enjoy wildlife, (sloths, monkeys, and snakes abound among other animals), the most common reason people come to the island is to dive! The scuba diving, snorkeling, and even free diving off Gorgona are unparalleled due to the regions phenomenal aquatic life—and its remoteness! To wit—due to the isle’s tiny size, it only holds 80 travelers at a time, meaning its diving spots are totally unspoiled. You absolutely have to ask one of our local travel experts to plan you a custom trip out to Gorgona—it’s a gem that simply can’t be missed!

Can’t choose between all of Colombia’s amazing activities? Our Colombian trip planners can take care of everything, or feel free to just message us with any questions you have. And before your trip, make sure to check out:

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