Must See: Cartagena is the most important tourist destination in Colombia. In this magical city, you can experience authentic and restored architecture from the Spanish Colonial times and direct access to 26 virgin islands, just 45 minutes away by boat. Cartagena's modern side is also the venue for large international events year-round.
Barranquilla's Carnival is the second largest carnival in the world. During 4 days in February each year, the entire city celebrates the mix of music and dances from the multiple cultural influences in the north of Colombia: African, Indian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern.
Other eco-tourism options in Colombia: Cabo de la Vela; Home to the Wayuu people. Cabo de la Vela is a one-of-a-kind vista where the desert meets the Caribbean sea. Stroll along untamed beaches and sleep underneath the starry skies in your chinchorro; a hammock made locally. Also, the National Tayrona Park, home of the Tayrona people.
Lodging: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara - The jewel of Cartagena, the Sofitel is a converted monastery from Spanish colonial times. It offers incredible views of the old city and the new high-rises across the bay and is equipped with the latest technology for events and conventions.
Ground Transportation: After landing in your private jet Colombia is best experienced by diving into the local culture and arranging a Chiva Bus, which is a local tradition where Latin bands play live music from the back while revelers party their way through the streets and bars along the way to your hotel.
Packing Tips: Colombia has a range of different climates from the tropical coast to the temperate mountains. You'll want to bring a range of clothing to prepare for any temperature. Jeans an long-sleeve shirts will be needed in Medellin, but beach clothing will be needed for Cartagena.
Recommended Books: Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1985) - The Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author tells a story of love in all of it's forms; small and large, passionate and serene through the main character's lifetime.
Currency: The Colombian peso is the local currency
Calling Code Colombia: 57
Best Travel Dates: The dry season in Colombia ranges from December to March, so this is the recommended time to travel, especially if you're planning eco-tourism hikes in the interior. However, Colombia is a year-round destination, particularly along the northern coast where good weather can be expected any time you travel.