Colombia has a population of 49 million which are predominantly Roman Catholics. It is a former Spain colony and the official language is Spanish. Colombia is divided into five regions, namely: Caribbean, Pacific, Amazon, Llanos Orientals and Andean region. The Andean region houses the capital and largest city, Bogota.
Colombia’s weather can be unpredictable and there are little temperature variations throughout the year. Differences in weather is based on altitude with mountain highlands such as Bogota having a cool wet climate and coastal beaches such as Cartagena having a hot and humid weather. Dressing should be based on weather. Although certain cities are known to have a unique style, Medellin is known as the fashion capital and dressing here is usually trendy. Flip flops are not often worn.
Air travel is an easy option to travel intercity, while taxis are the most comfortable option to explore a city, buses are also available but are slower than taxis. Although Colombia has a bad reputation due to drug wars, it is not as bad as it once was as many tourists rave about the country. Nonetheless, it is advisable to stick to popular tourist sites and avoid areas close to the border of Ecuador and Venezuela. Some popular places to visit are:
- Archaeological Park of San Agusta, a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Tayrona National Park, a protected area with stunning views and beautiful landscape
- National Coffee Park: where you can learn about the history of Colombian coffee
- Colombia National Museum: located in Bogota, here, you can learn about art, culture and history of the country.
Music and dance is a big part of Columbia culture, so much so that Cali, its third largest city is named the salsa capital of the world. Colombian dishes consist of different varieties with different dishes popular in different regions; a meat barbeque called Terrara Illanera is popular in Llanos, Ajiaco, a chicken soup with potato and a local herb, guasca is popular in the Andean region.
A wide range of activities can be enjoyed in Colombia, such as: hiking, mountain biking, shopping, kayaking and other water sports. Attending one of the many festivities in Colombia is also a great way to enjoy and explore Colombian culture. Some of the festivals include:
- Barranquilla carnival
- La Feria de Cali
- Petronio Alvarez festival
- Rock al Parque
- Ibero-American Theatre festival
- Feria de las Flores
- Silleteros Parade