Colombia is a rising star in the “bucket-list” charts, and it’s not hard to see why. A trip to Colombia is an adventure, an escapade, a journey off the beaten path. It’s full of hidden gems, friendly locals, memorable day trips and activities you’ll want to tell your grandkids about one day.
Colombia is a country with history, and whilst it may not have been a popular destination 20 years ago – it is somewhere that has risen in popularity hugely in the past decade. Colombia has seen a cultural shift like no other, and it’s now a fascinating, cultural, inspiring country with plenty to offer travellers and backpackers alike.
If you’ve got a trip to Colombia planned sometime soon (lucky you!) you might be wondering what the best day trips are, and how you’re best spending those precious vacation days. Well, we’ve been chatting with Nidia one of our Colombian tour guides and we’ve got all the juicy details on where to spend your time in this beautiful part of the world.
La Boquilla in Cartagena
According to Nidia, you can’t come to Colombia without trying your hand at fishing. Fishing is a huge part of local culture, and experiencing a day fishing with the local communities is a perfect way to immerse yourself in Columbian life. Our day tour “La Boquilla Fishing Village Cartagena” is ideal for this, and comes highly recommended by Nidia who describes it as a chance to see the ‘real’ Colombia, outside the touristy hotspots.
“Cartagena is a very touristic city and usually when you go there, lets just say here it’s very fancy. When you go to La Boquilla, for this fishing experience, it is 30 minutes outside the city, and you see the real Colombia”
You’ll spend the day learning the best fishing techniques from local fishermen who’ve spent decades perfecting their craft, and you’ll be taught the true artisanal way, not the modern methods which are more widely known. That alone, is worth the trip, but as well as fishing, you’ll get to know the local area and local marine life, and you get the chance to explore by traditional canoe too.
Later in the day, whatever you catch will then be used to prepare a traditional Caribbean coastal lunch, made with love by the locals in the village. It’s delicious, unique, and a true taste of local cuisine. This day trip in Colombia is a chance to see the working life of locals, and appreciate and get to know the people that make this beautiful country so special.
Comuna 13 Medellin
Colombia had a somewhat violent history, and the area has been going through constant positive changes in recent years. Comuna 13 is a symbol of these changes and makes for a fascinating and educational day trip, that simply can’t be missed. Nidia recommends this day trip in her top 5 experiences, and has told us that it’s a key part of Colombian history.
The Comuna 13 neighbourhood was once synonymous with crime, gang activity and violence – but is now a sign of solidarity, change and positivity. The neighbourhood feels completely different to how it did a decade ago, and miles apart from how it felt 20, 30 or 40 years before. Comuna 13 is now a vibrant neighbourhood where artists paint the history of the region on the walls that make it, creating a brighter, inspiring and more beautiful future for everyone who calls it home. It’s a fascinating space for anyone who loves history, and anyone who loves urban art.
Our Comuna 13 tour also includes lunch at the flowers farm, with the resident family. It’s a perfect chance to squeeze in a little bit of learning, as you’ll explore Colombian gastronomy and what locals love to eat.
The variety of this tour, from the urban art, to the delicious food is what makes this day trip unmissable.
Colombian Coffee Farm
If you’re a coffee fan (let’s face it, who isn’t?) then you won’t want to miss the coffee farm day trip we offer in Colombia. Coffee is a huge trade in Colombia and makes up a massive slice of the local economy, and heading out to the countryside to explore these farms presents so many wonderful opportunities to see and interact with local Colombian culture.
Nidia describes this trip as the perfect opportunity to learn about true Colombian life…
“This is a clear example of how to understand true Colombian coffee and really understand what is behind a cup of coffee. When you go to the community, you learn a bit about the process of each farm, and there is a lot of history in this area to soak in. There is pre-hispanic history too, as there were loads of indigenous communities living in this area, and you see the remains of this when you explore. It’s very interesting, I like it a lot.”
This day trip is a perfect blend of culture and learning – and seeing how the different farms and traders operate and function is an eye-opening experience to behold. You’ll of course be cooked lunch, and even get to sample (and cook yourself) the delicious ‘arepas’ – which is a ground maize dough cooked to make a soft bun, and eaten with accompaniments like grated cheese, meats, sauces and avocado. It’s a favourite dish amongst the local community, and a tasty way to stay energised during the day.
We have many other experiences available on our website to explore, each one as exciting and unique as the last. We hope to see you soon on your next Colombian adventure!
Bogota Cooking & Food Tour
We start the food tour by taking you to Plaza de Paloquemao – one of Bogota, Colombia’s oldest and largest traditional markets. Then it’s off to a cooking school! You’ll take part in a hands-on cooking class where you’ll learn to make a traditional Colombian dish.
Immerse yourself in some of the most interesting things to do and see in Medellin, Colombia. Start the day by visiting Comuna 13, once a dangerous neighbourhood, but now an area with fascinating art and urban culture. A local will lead you through this humble and interesting area while explaining how the government and community turned Comuna 13 into a must-see destination. After a traditional Colombian lunch, we will venture out of the city and into the countryside to a flower farm.