Colombia is 2018's Top Family Vacation Destination | ViaHero
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Colombia is 2018's Top Family Vacation Destination

ViaHero · October 18, 2018

Should you feel comfortable planning your next family vacation to Colombia? Absolutely! Colombia is full of family-friendly activities, interesting historic sites, and wonderful places to stay. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to take on Colombia with the whole family and feel great about it. Still have questions? Message us for information on all things 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.

Colombia is much safer than you think

After decades of civil war between the government and the paramilitary group FARC, Colombia is now a country at peace. Together with years of wide-sweeping economic modernization and crackdowns against crime and corruption, this peace has brought Colombia into a period of unprecedented cultural renewal. The tranquility of Colombia and its citizens is easily visible through increased tourism, top-notch medical standards, and a family-friendly environment—read on for more information about safety in Colombia!

Colombian culture is extremely family-oriented

For most Colombians, family is the most important aspect of life. This translates not only to love and care given to one’s own family, but to the welcoming nature and warm-hearted treatment of other families as well. Colombians often live at home until marriage, and open-door policies for friends and relatives are the norm. Suffice to say, Colombians love making friends—especially with foreigners—so your family is sure to feel right at home in this beautiful country! In fact, some people even say that the only risk is never wanting to leave!

There are tons of safe and fun places to stay

There are so many family-oriented lodging options in Colombia, it’ll shock you. From international hotel chains to cozy local accommodations, there are a wealth of fabulous choices for family getaways throughout the country. Additionally, Colombia is packed with all-inclusive beach resorts, stunning eco-lodges, and intimate mountain inns that cater to travelers of all types. But if you prefer a more homey experience, don’t worry - Airbnb is everywhere! Many families love the perks that Airbnb provides such as kitchens, multiple rooms, and vast amounts of space, so ask one of our Heroes for an expert opinion on family-centered accommodation in Colombia.

Colombia is full of family-friendly activities

The Outdoors

Colombia is packed with outdoor activities for all ages. Due to its incredible biodiversity, there are amazing options for outdoor exploration all over the country. From hiking in cloud forests to luxuriating on white sand beaches, families have a load of great adventures to choose from.  Many coffee plantations offer hands-on experiences, and there are tons of Amazon jungle lodges that cater specifically to families. But if you want to experience Colombia’s outdoor charm without the hassle of a long trip with the family, El Salado Ecotourism Park offers a wonderful taste of beginner hikes, as well as a bounty of exotic plants and flowers. Additionally, every Sunday, roads are shut down throughout Bogota for the Ciclovía—an event that allows Bogotanos to walk, bike, or rollerblade through a total of 76 miles of streets. This family-friendly outing has been an ongoing tradition since 1974 and continues to get more popular every year.

Museums and more

Colombia is rich in history, and that richness is clearly reflected in its incredible museums. Bogota’s amazing Gold Museum, for instance, is home to the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world. The Caribe Jewelry and Emerald Museum in Cartagena offers a similarly astounding exhibition of riches, and as part museum/part jewelry store, it offers a marvelous way to live out all of your luxurious accessory fantasies. For a more hands-on experience, Parque Explora is a delightful place to visit with your family. This interactive science museum offers an incredible look at Colombia’s unparalleled biodiversity and houses the largest freshwater aquarium in all of South America! And if a trip to the Amazon isn’t on your itinerary, the Bogota Botanical Garden offers a fabulous way to see much of Colombia's flora in just one stop.

Shopping

Whether you’re looking for a mall or a more traditional outdoor market, Colombia has it all. Located in one of Bogota’s more upscale neighborhoods, Centro Comercial Andino offers entertainment for all ages including games, food, and over 230 shops spread over 4 floors. For a more authentic scene, Mercado de Pulgas San Alejo is the perfect place to go on a Sunday. Here, you can find anything from vintage clothing to authentic Colombian vinyl records and everything in between. For a fun and authentic food-focused experience, go grocery shopping with the locals at Paloquemao Market in Bogota; this market displays a tremendous amount of fresh and colorful foods, and is truly a treat for the senses.

It’s easy to travel to Colombia with your baby—and their car seat!

Since you can check car seats and strollers for free on most major airlines, traveling with small children is essentially worry-free. Many Colombian bus lines, however, ask that you book your child their own ticket—so make sure to check with your local travel planner of choice if you plan to travel Colombia by bus!

Don't hesitate to use Uber

Although taxis are everywhere in Colombia, they can be a bit of an adventure. So, for a more reliable way to get around, stick with Uber. Not only is Uber safe and dependable, it also eliminates the need to exchange currency first hand—so no local currency, no problem!

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Check out Bogota’s unparallelled graffiti

In 2011, the Mayor of Bogota took a novel approach to the age-old issue of graffiti. Instead of imposing strict laws that limited creativity, the government actually legalized street art in many areas. This freedom of expression has resulted in a wealth of meaningful murals throughout the capital—and has also created the ideal environment to snap “insta-perfect” pictures. To get the inside scoop on exactly where to see the best graffiti in the Bogota, reach out to your Hero for a custom map.

Get in on Colombia’s hipster-fabulous coffee

If you’re into coffee, Colombia is the perfect place to one-up your typical Starbucks game. On a daily basis, most Colombians drink tinto, a strong black coffee often sold by omnipresent street vendors for as little as $.10 a cup. However, if you happen to find yourself wanting a more extravagant java experience, stop by one of Colombia’s many hip, locally-sourced coffee shops. If your go-to drink is a latte, order a perico or pintado for the Colombian equivalent. For a more adventurous coffee experience, though, you can always take a trip to a coffee plantation and learn exactly how this magical beverage ends up in your mug every morning! Reach out to a Colombian trip planner to find the ideal family-friendly coffee experience to include in your trip.

Squash the ‘hangryness’ with Colombia’s incredible food

There’s no such thing as a bad meal in Colombia; the food is excellent and beloved by families of every taste. Some of the most popular Colombian dishes include arepa—a delicious cornmeal pancake, hearty soups like ajiaco—made with chicken and potatoes and topped with avocado, and traditional churros which are often enjoyed for breakfast! You can’t go wrong with Colombian fare, and even the pickiest palates will find something to enjoy.

In case of emergency

Should you experience any unpleasantness while exploring Colombia, here are some numbers to call for assistance!

  • National Emergency Number: 123
  • Tourist Police: (1) 3374413
  • Information: 113
  • U.S. Embassy in Colombia: (+57) (1) 275-2000

Have more questions about family travel to Colombia? Here is a list of our Colombia travel experts who can help, or you can message us directly! And before your trip, make sure to check out:

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