What to do around Guaduas, Colombia?

Guaduas, in Cundinamarca, is another heritage town of Colombia. According to historians, the Villa de Guaduas was founded on April 20, 1572 on the old Camino Real that led from Honda -one of the most important ports on the Magdalena River- to Santafé (today Bogotá).

Along the Camino Real that crosses it, the old Guadueros saw the passage of viceroys and independence leaders – with Policarpa Salavarrieta and José Antonio Galán at the head – to the members of the Botanical Expedition who, led by José Celestino Mutis, had in Guaduas one of their main research centers.

In fact, one of the most remembered personalities of this town is the painter and botanist Javier Matiz, who masterfully captured images of the wide variety of the country’s flora on plates.

Its historic center, declared a national monument in 1959 (today an Asset of Cultural Interest), and its surroundings tell all this history through its monuments, mansions and vestiges, including a long cobblestone stretch of the Camino Real, which is still preserved.

Aware of the patrimonial value they have in their hands, and of its tourist potential, inhabitants, merchants and hoteliers have taken on the task of rehabilitating it little by little, and of projecting Guaduas as an ideal destination, in every sense of the word.

Discovering Guaduas

The town had 3 moments of foundation: the first foundation was in charge of Andrés Díaz Venero de Leiva, in 1572, and a second moment, given in December 1610, in charge of the Franciscans founded the convent of Nuestra Señora de Guaduas, located on the road to Honda. Finally in 1644, in the place called Villa de San Miguel de Guaduas.

Guaduas is located in the northwest of the department of Cundinamarca; the town has 2 areas that describe the geographical conditions that you will be able to enjoy; on the one hand the proximity to the Magdalena River and a flat, slightly undulating area of exuberant vegetation and warm climate. On the other hand, the area to the east comprises a mountainous system belonging to the Cordillera Oriental.

Guaduas is the birthplace of important figures of the country, among them Policarpa Salavarrieta, La Pola (Guaduas, 1797 – Bogotá, 1817), patriot heroine, apparently born in Guaduas. Also, Francisco Javier Matís (Guaduas, 1774 – Bogotá, 1851), painter and botanist of the Botanical Expedition, among other important figures.

Guaduas is considered as the little Colombia, thanks to the history and historical events that occurred there.

How to get to Guaduas

To get to Guaduas you must take a 3-hours road trip from the west of Bogotá city for 180 km, it is the same route you will take to Hinda, so you will be able to enjoy the different thermal floors and beautiful landscapes on your way.

Where to stay in Guaduas

In Guaduas you will find a great infrastructure, depending on your budget and personal tastes you can choose; our recommendations for you are: Camino a Santa Fé and Matisia Hotel Boutique.

Guaduas Attractions and Activities

La Pola’s House

You can find different articles that belonged to Policarpa aswell as to the members of her family. The house is humble and in keeping with the time, consisting of two rooms, a kitchen and patio. An ideal place to pay homage to such an important heroine.

Julia Castillo’s handicraft workshop

If you visit Guaduas you can not miss the opportunity to experience a unique clay handicrafts workshop, pieces of handmade collection, for the kitchen and home, the most curious thing about this workshop is that the base figure of the crafts is the figure of the hen kika.


You can spend a pleasant time for 30 or 45 minutes over the skies of the Magdalena River, you will have a beautiful panoramic view where you can not only appreciate the Magdalena, Guaduas and Honda.

Patio del Moro Museum of Arts and Traditions

During the tour in each of the rooms of this museum you can appreciate different pieces of collection of the colonial era such as clothing, beauty accessories and home accessories, being very typical for the inhabitants who once inhabited the town.

House of the Viceroys

It is considered a house of great importance in the town, since great celebrities lived there, among them Manuelita Saenz, who had a relationship with the liberator Simón Bolivar.

Piedra Capira Viewpoint

Is a beautiful viewpoint located 20 minutes from the center of Guaduas, where you will find a huge rock with a cross from where you will be able to appreciate a beautiful view of the Magdalena River, the snow-capped mountains of Ruiz, Santa Isabel and Tolima.

El Salto de Versalles Waterfall

The waterfall near the village no more than 40 meters high, here you can practice torrentismo and other ecotourism activities; is considered one of the most beautiful sector of Cundinamarca and an ideal place for photography lovers.

Santa Fe Royal Road

It is one of the most representative of the national routes that were made during the colonization period. It joins Bogota with the municipality of Honda, this road crosses the municipalities of Facatativá, Albán, Villeta and Guaduas.

During the tour you will be able to distinguish each of the marked stations: the Plaza de la Constitución as its center and longitudinally structured by the Camino Real, the Calle de la Pola and transversely by the Calle Real that links it with the Cemetery sector through the San Francisco Bridge.

Cathedral of San Miguel Arcángel

Its construction was initiated by the presbyter Justiniano Gutiérrez in 1809, from the design and the plans of Fray Domingo de Petrés. Its facade, of neoclassical style and impeccable white, has become one of the most recognizable images of Guaduas.

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If you want to know more about Colombia, or wants to book your trip, please contact us.

  • Colombia Travel
  • Network of Colombian Heritage Villages
About the author

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

What to do around Honda, Colombia?

Placed in the department of Tolima, Honda is known as the “City of Peace” or “City of Bridges”. The colonial architecture is an indelible imprint of its past. It is said that a casual stroll through its colonial streets evokes the old Cartagena or Andalusia in Spain.

Honda is a natural paradise and historical heritage of Colombia. It was considered in the past as the first port of Nueva Granada (old Colombia), and currently it still retains a large number of bridges and buildings of the colonial era.

It keeps a past full of legends and glory, its development is growing in the tourism industry. In this guide you will have the necessary information for your visit to Honda.

Discovering Honda

The municipality of Honda is located 3 hours and 30 minutes from the city of Bogota.

The town of Honda was founded on August 24, 1539 under the name of Villa de San Bartolomé de Honda by Francisco Nuñez Pedroza. Honda is located in the north of the department of Tolima and borders the departments of Cundinamarca and Caldas.

Placed in the banks of the Magdalena River, Honda is part of the Network Colombian Heritage Towns. There you can walk the colonial neighborhoods which are full of history.

A Place in History

Honda has great importance in the history of Colombia such as the arrival of the first steamboat to the port of Caracolí in 1854, being considered the first river port of the country in the nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth century. Also the construction of the Navarro Bridge that was inaugurated in 1899.

The architecture and other data represent the economic, social and cultural importance that the town of Honda had.

A Very Hot Place

Bear in mind, the average temperature in Honda is between 24 ºC (75 ºF) and 35 ºC (95º F), which indicates that it is a town with high temperatures as well as humid. For this reason, we recommend you to wear clothes according to the temperature, sun protection elements and keep hydrated.

Gastronomy and Culture around Fish and the Magdalena River

Due to its proximity to the river, dishes based on fishing such as Viudo de pescado, Sancocho de pescado (fish stew), and other typical dishes such as Tamal tolimense, Sancocho de Gallina, Lechona and the traditional raspado (frozen juice). There are also other typical dishes such as Tamal tolimense, Sancocho de Gallina, Lechona and the traditional raspado (frozen juice).

The cultural carnival and popular pageant of the Subienda is a celebration that takes place during the first semester of each year to celebrate the massive arrival of fish to this port on the Magdalena River.

During the festivity you can enjoy handicraft samples, horseback riding, cultural presentations, sports competitions, nautical promenade, the traditional parade of the candidates and their troupes, their boards with the popular verbena and presentation of musical groups.

In turn, the national pageant of the Magdalena River is held in October and also commemorates the fishing season.

How to get to Honda

To get to Honda you must take a 4-hours road trip from the west of Bogotá city for 180 km, during your journey you will pass through different thermal floors and you will be able to marvel at the beautiful landscapes; when you cross the majestic Magdalena River you will know that you have arrived at your destination.

Where to stay in Honda

In Honda you will find a great diversity of accommodation options depending on your budget and personal taste. Our recommendations as follows:

El Virrey Hotel Boutique, Hotel Boutique Posada Las Trampas, Casa Celeste Honda, Waka Hotel Rural and Hotel Calle Real Honda.

Honda Attractions and Activities

Among its cultural centers are:

  • The Magdalena River Museum.
  • The Alfonso López Pumarejo House Museum and Cultural Agency.
  • The Banco de la República Library

Great Colombian personalities have been born in Honda, such as: former President Alfonso López Pumarejo, bullfighter Pepe Cacéres, writer José María Samper, former Mayor of Bogotá Alfonso Palacio Rudas, politician Jaime Pava Navarro, General Abraham Varón Valencia, among others.

Historical tour

The streets of Honda have many stories so you will love walking in the historic center of the town, especially the Calle de las Trampas, this was a colonial sector where it is considered that the Viceroys of Spain lived.

You will also be able to visit the municipal market square, called the ‘Parthenon’ of Tolima for its republican architecture with Greco-Roman influence; there you will be able to have lunch, shop for handicrafts, clothes, fruits or vegetables.

Calle De Las Trampas, in the Colonial zone.

It has a sinuous and zigzag topography, with a stone floor evoking the Andalusian constructions. This was the sector par excellence of a wealthy “elite”. The typical two-story houses were distributed, starting from the main door on the street, in the living room, bedroom, kitchen, windows overhanging the street, corridor sill, stairs and bedrooms on the second floor.

Although some had a balcony with a corridor facing the courtyard instead of the lot, the latter was rare in the central part of the Villa where the houses were built without leaving space between them, forming a kind of wall along the streets.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary

It dates from the middle of the XVII century, and it was a work financed with the tolls on the Magdalena River and the contributions of the neighbors. On October 7, 1989 its temple was consecrated Cathedral of the Diocese of Líbano-Honda. Its patron saint’s day is August 24.

Market Square

This building is similar to the Greek Parthenon and was used by the Franciscan convent of San Bartolomé. With the earthquake in 1805 it was destroyed and was provisionally taken over as military barracks and later converted into the market square by the English engineer Henry Valsint, taking 18 years to finish (1917-1935).

It has 148 columns (76 external and 72 internal) being the external ones of Doric capital and Ionic base while the internal ones 36 are smooth and 36 similar to the external ones, 108 doors, several arches, it is of green and white color and because of its shape it was called the Parthenon of Tolima.

In 1996 it was declared a cultural asset of national interest. Inside it is a little messy and sometimes even dirty but despite that it is still interesting culturally, historically and architecturally.

Rapids or Honda Falls

This natural wonder is a geological fault, which divides in two the navigation of the Magdalena River. This natural phenomenon allows the famous “subienda” to occur every year: the rapids prevent the thousands of fish that each year fulfill their natural cycle in the waters of the Magdalena from rising easily.

Walking on the bridges of Honda

Honda is known for its variety of bridges, among which there are 3 that you can not miss: Navarro, Alfonso López and Luis Ignacio Andrade.

Alfonso López Bridge

This one in particular owes its name to the former liberal president Alfonso López Pumarejo, who was born there in 1886. The bridge is over the Gualí River, very close to the market square.

Luis Ignacio Andrade Bridge

It is located over the Magdalena River, and connects with Puerto Bogotá, Cundinamarca. It is important for land transportation, so it is usual to see tractor-trailers crossing it.

Navarro Bridge

More than 100 years old, it is the oldest bridge in South America. It was declared a National Monument in 1994 by Decree 936, thanks to its technical and aesthetic merits and the relevance that this important engineering work has had for the National history. Built between 1894 and 1898, it joins the departments of Tolima and Cundinamarca.

This bridge has a particular history. It was bought in New York from the same company that built the one in the city of San Francisco. The government gave it in concession for its exploitation for 99 years by charging tolls according to the type of cargo to be passed. That did not last long because the Thousand Days War came and changed all the conditions.

The bridge has an iron and steel structure of the type called Cantilever cornice, with a length of 167.65 mts, 5.20 mtZ wide and a height of 18.30 mts over the river.

You will find the Navarro Bridge 200 meters from the historic center of the town.

Visiting Museums in Honda

Magdalena River Museum

The museum tells the history of the river, in your tour you will learn about the animals that inhabit and inhabited the river; the articles used by the fishermen, besides learning about the fishing culture of the inhabitants of the town.

It is a colonial construction of the XVIII century, where “La bodega El Retiro or Puerto de El Retiro” worked, which provided its services to the merchants of the town in the Upper Magdalena, docked and sailed brigantines, steamboats, champagne, canoes, canoes, canoes.

At the end of the XIX century it was the headquarters of the Gendarmerie Barracks, then it was the library and municipal archives, and nowadays it houses the River Museum.

Alfonso Pumarejo House Museum

Faithful witness of the passage of several generations, today it is the scene of a remembered Colombian colonial era.

This building is representative of the classic Andalusian colonial architecture, whose construction dates back to the XVII century. It has a single floor, with a clay tile roof, a four-sided roof and a central patio, built in adobe, with a load-bearing wall system, exposed gutters and downspouts, and colorful columns of fine wood.

Birdwatching is also another activity you can do in Honda. Visit our entry about the birding routes in Tolima to know more.

If you want to know more about Colombia, or wants to book your trip, please contact us.

  • Colombia Travel
  • Network of Colombian Heritage Villages
  • Tolima Government Website
About the author

Sara Colmenares

The current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism-environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services, and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.

What to do in and around Jericó, Antioquia?

Known as the “Aldea de Piedras”, name given by the locals of the town. Jericó is on the list of “Network of Colombian Heritage Villages“, when you visit Jericó you will get to know its history and culture, the ecosystems and natural reserves, the gastronomy and local commerce.

In this guide you will have the necessary information to visit this adorable town.

Discovering Jericó

Jericó is in the southeast of the department of Antioquia. Bordered on the north by the municipalities of Tarso and Fredonia, on the east by the municipalities of Fredonia and Támesis; on the south by the municipalities of Támesis, Jardín and Andes and on the west by Andes and Pueblorrico.

Jericó was found in 1850 but there are records of its colonization since 1825. It is located approximately 108 kilometers southeast of Medellin.

The town is known in Colombia for being home to a large number of churches and colorful streets which you will enjoy on your tour.

Bear in mind, the temperature generally ranges from 11 °C (51ºF) to 37 °C (98ºF). The best times of the year to visit Jericho for dry season activities are from mid-May to early July and from early September to late October.

How to get to Jericó

Take a 1,5-hours flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to José María Córdova International Airport (MDE) at Rio Negro city.

Once at in Rio Negro you take an approximately 3-hours ride (108 Km) to Jericó.

Where to stay in Jericó

In Jericó you will find numerous accommodation offerings for all budgets and personal tastes; our recommendations for you are:

Jericó Attractions and Activities

Las Nubes Ecopark

Located 1.3 km away from the center of town with a walk of approximately 22 minutes, at an altitude of 2,250 meters above sea level you will be able to appreciate a breathtaking view of the Cauca River canyon.

In this natural reserve is part of the group of families that offer the service of ecological tours where you can meet countless species of fauna and flora.

In the ecopark you will be able to see deer, butterflies, birds, howler monkeys, armadillos, bush dogs, among others. Also, in its more than 4,000 hectares you can find sarros, eucalyptus trees, seven-horned trees and a great variety of ferns.

Tour to La Nohelia

In the company of the guides of La Nohelia you will discover the coffee culture in a tour through a coffee farm. Where you will learn about the whole process of harvesting, washing, drying and roasting of special coffee for the world, and finally you will taste a cup of high quality coffee.

Too you will visit the roasted coffee processing plant where you will learn the process to highlight the attributes of coffee from various growers (coffee growers) of the municipalities of Jericho, PuebloRico and Tamesis.

Cristo Redentor Viewpoint

It is a beautiful monument of white color that adorns the hill of ‘El Salvador’, it was inaugurated in October of 1828. The meaning of the locals is that his raised arms is the silent guardian that protects Jericho.

It was also erected as a protest and reparation, after the destruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, during the religious persecution in Mexico. It is a worthy expression of faith, hope and goodness.

To get to this point you only have to walk for 10 minutes from the center of town, from there you will have a beautiful panoramic view of the town.

Visit the Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes Cathedral

This beautiful cathedral was built in brick and its most relevant feature is the height of its columns, it has an organ with 1,235 flutes, a crucifix made in 1880 and an oil painting of the Virgin of Las Mercedes, brought to the country in 1850. It is the main temple of the municipal diocese.

In addition you will be able to appreciate a giant poster of the Saint Laura Montoya, having clear that Jericho is the cradle of the believers of the first saint of Colombia.

Museum of Religious Art

This museum is  in the lower part of the cathedral and inaugurated in 1976. It is a place that you will love because it houses and preserves representative elements.

Among the most valuable elements that you will see is a French censer from the end of the 19th century, which belonged to the old cathedral since 1893; A naveta, used to carry incense and the high places of worship, from the 20th century, of French origin; Vestments of Monsignor Francisco Cristóbal Toro and some purple bonetes, used by the bishops in the ceremonies.

You will learn much of the history of the town as the great religious history of Jerico, if you are a devout person it will be a magical experience.

Los Balsos Botanical Garden

The garden includes a butterfly garden, a cactus garden, exhibition spaces, a library and a pond.

It is an ideal place to learn about the flora and fauna present in the town, besides to enjoying the tranquility of the garden.

What do to Around Jericó?

Visiting Támesis

A very beautiful town in the Cartama Valley in the southwestern region of Antioquia, approximately 3 hr from Medellín. It is a town surrounded by a spectacular nature that invites you to stop and enjoy the views of the beautiful landscape green and natural and old houses with typical facades of many colors.

Since Támesis is 25 km from Jericó you must take a 1-hour road trip. In Tamesis you can do adventure activities such as:

Caverns of the San Antonio River

The caverns of the San Antonio River, which have beautiful formations and crystal clear water sources at the bottom. You must keep in mind that to perform this activity you must have change of clothes.

Route of petroglyphs

The route of petroglyphs is located inside an indigenous settlement of the Embera Chamí tribe. There you will be able to learn more about the indigenous culture and customs that are still preserved there.


You can do this activity to appreciate the beautiful landscapes in this sector of the department of Antioquia.


You will be able to make a descent through the Rio Frio in a rubber tire to appreciate the beautiful scenery.

Sport fishing

Támesis has La Parcelita, a place where you can do sport fishing.

If you wish you can do several of these activities in one day and return to Jerico. Moreover, if instead you want to stay for a couple of days we recommend Acantos Country Hotel.

  • Colombia Travel
  • Network of Colombian Heritage Villages
About the author

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

The Magical Realism of the Macondo Route in the Colombian Caribbean

Macondo does not appear on maps, and could be any town in the northern Caribbean of Colombia. Everything seems to indicate that Macondo is inspired by Arataca, a municipality in the department of Magdalena where Gabriel García Márquez was born. So, the Macondo Route is recently developed as a touristic project, since 2017.

What does it mean Macondo?

Macondo comes from makonde, which is the plural of likonde, a word used to refer to the prenominate fruit in the millenary Central African language, which literally means ‘devil’s food’.

The Macondo Route

The Government of the Department of Magdalena has designed the Macondo Route, which will take you to each of the places present in the book One Hundred Years of Solitude, by the Colombian novel winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This project integrates 8 municipalities that you will have the opportunity to discover.

You can also enjoy an eco-village in Macondo and the Mauricio Babilonia’s butterfly farm. This tour promotes the growth and development of these towns, in addition to promoting the protection of the environment.


The town is located in front of the Caribbean Sea, near the Cienaga Grande. Ciénaga has historical, colonial, archaeological and natural sites to visit; the beaches on the shores of the Caribbean Sea offer a moment of peace and tranquility. It is part of Colombia’s network of heritage towns.

Ciénaga can be reached from Santa Marta or Barranquilla by car or bus. From Santa Marta it is 17 kilometers, while from Barranquilla it is 62 kilometers. To get to Ciénaga from Bogotá you must take a 1-hour flight from the city of Bogotá at El Dorado International Airport (BOG) to Simón Bolívar International Airport (SMR) in Santa Marta. From the airport you have to take a cab to Ciénaga, 33 km away (40 minutes).

It can be said that Ciénaga has the privilege of possessing an invaluable historical and cultural heritage. The Templete, the Chapel of the Santa Teresa School, the Old Railroad Station, the Church of San Juan Bautista, the Masonic Lodge, “La Casa del Diablo” transport us to past times and accompany us in the present with its colonial air.

Its colonial style houses show the former prosperity of the sector and is testimony of the economic boom that Cienaga had since 1900, through the export of bananas. It went from being an indigenous town in a state of colonial occupation to become the third most important city in the Colombian Caribbean.

García Márquez’s grandparents arrived in Ciénaga in the first decade of the 1900s. Although García Márquez only lived a short time in Ciénaga, the municipality is full of tributes to him.

One of the most visited places by the local people is the Balneario de Costa Verde, a place with beautiful landscapes and natural pools, where the Cordoba River flows into the Cienaga Grande and its countless pipes.

You can not forget to take a tour of the historic center of the town along with its streets, which will transport you to another era full of history.

The Cemetery of the Rich

The tomb of Remedios, la bella, is located in the San Miguel de Ciénaga cemetery, better known as the cemetery of the rich. According to local guides, the name of the person who gave life to the character in the book is Rosario Barranco, who was the first Miss Magdalena, in 1934.

Many stories related to her unparalleled beauty were told about her, hence the nickname ‘Rosario, la bella’ (Rosario, the beautiful). Some say that García Márquez took the reference and adapted it to ‘Remedios, la bella’, because for him she was so beautiful that she was a remedy for ugliness.

Their deaths even resemble each other, unmarried, flying between white sheets. Rosario collapsed in front of the church of San Juan Bautista, of a fulminating heart attack, from her shawl Garcia Marquez created a sheet for Remedios, in which she flew to heaven.

Banana-growing Zone

It has a natural and historical wealth that marked the territory with the inclusion of the railroad train and the cultivation of bananas. It also has the privilege of having three basins that are maintained with water throughout the year.

Most of the banana towns were built on the sides of the railroad, so there is an element that connects the Colombian Nobel’s magical realism literature and the passage of the train loaded with bananas that transformed Macondo.

Nowadays, in terms of agriculture there is corn, rice, beans, fruit trees, horticulture and cassava, in addition, there is an important area planted with bananas and oil palm.

The Riofrío Commissariat

The Riofrío Commissariat is located in the Riofrío district, in the banana-growing zone. There, the day laborers of the United Fruit Company, the U.S. multinational that marketed fruits grown in Latin America, went on strike in order to improve their working conditions.

The company’s managers did not comply with their demands and twenty-four days later, on December 6, 1928, one of the most chilling events in Colombian history took place: The Banana Factory Massacre.

The nonconformity of the workers were narrated in One Hundred Years of Solitude explaining the state of mind of the workers, who needed a change. And although they only demanded that their rights be respected, no one supported them.

The most frequent activities take place in Rio Frio, Sevilla and Tucurinca, where you can enjoy a swim in crystal clear waters, you can also make kayak tours that end where the Sevilla and Rio Frio river basin joins.

To get to Zona Bananera you must take a 1 hour flight from the city of Bogota at El Dorado International Airport (BOG) to Simon Bolivar International Airport (SMR) in Santa Marta. From the airport take a cab to Zona Bananera, 59 km (1 hour).

Varela, municipality of the yellow butterflies

Near the commissary stop, and still next to the train tracks, is Varela.

“After the massacre of the banana plantations the quantities of bananas that remained on the plants uncut began to decompose. This caused the proliferation of many butterflies of different colors, being the yellow ones the predominant ones“, says a local guide.

It is in Valera, where a mechanic of the United Fruit Company lived and who in One Hundred Years of Solitude appears as Mauricio Babilonia, who is in love with Renata Remedios Buendia. The yellow butterflies preceded Mauricio Babilonia’s appearances, indicating to Remedios when she could meet her forbidden love.

City of the “gringos” and Casa Museo de Sevilla

After crossing the Aguja and Frío rivers, you arrive at the city of the “gringos”.

As “Gabo” once recounted, Prado Sevilla was a privileged place in the banana region. The high officials of the United Fruit Company, who were generally American, French and German citizens, enjoyed a swimming pool, bilingual school, golf course, the only movie theater in the region, heliport, electric light (which none of the other towns had), a military battalion that guarded its inhabitants all day long, a clinic and buildings completely different from the other workers’ camps.

There you will find the Casa Museo de Sevilla, which still preserves the original furniture that the United Fruit Company provided to its employees.


There in Zona Bananera is a small village called Macondo. Its inhabitants tell that Garcia Marquez knew it, and that he simply didn’t give them the credit out of interest or embarrassment.

At the entrance of the village, which is located in the heart of the banana zone, there is a giant, colorful sign that reads: “I love the real Macondo. Land of inspiration that gave birth to the magical Macondian world. Fertile land blessed by God on the banks of the Sevilla River”.

In an interview with Gabriel García Márquez asking him where Macondo was, he answered that it existed in everyone’s mind. For this reason, the inhabitants of this village consider that he was not loyal to them. And, although Macondo generates a lot of money for the film, manufacturing and literary industries, the inhabitants of the real Macondo are impoverished.


Aracataca is the birthplace of the writer Gabriel García Márquez. It is located in the north of the department of Magdalena, in the sub-region of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the temperatures range between 33°C and 36°C.

Many of the places in Aracataca pay homage to Gabriel García Márquez. The most recent is the Macondo Linear Park, which was founded in 2019. There you can see a colorful artistic path of 350 meters with more than 30 murals that capture some fragments of the author’s most representative works.

There is also the Gabriel García Márquez Public Library, the Remedios la Bella Municipal Library, the statue of Remedios la Bella, the Railway Station and the Telegraph House, where Eligio García, Gabo’s father, worked.

The first place we recommend you to visit is the Gabriel García Márquez House Museum, where the famous writer lived. Admission is free but they ask for a voluntary donation for its maintenance.

You can also go to the old Casa del Telegrafista (Telegraph House), where the Colombian writer’s father worked, the entrance is also free. Finally, you can take a tour through the streets of the town in the company of a guide, who will tell you the stories of Gabo when he lived in the town.

To get to Aracataca you have to take a 1-hour flight from Bogota city at El Dorado International Airport (BOG) to Simon Bolivar International Airport (SMR) in Santa Marta. From the airport you have to take a cab to A, 84 km (1.5 – hours).

Other places you can visit around the Mancondo Route

Sitionuevo and Puebloviejo

Sitionuevo is a municipality of the department located in the department of Magdalena, is on the right bank of the Magdalena River is one of the ideal places to enjoy nature in the Caribbean.

Puebloviejo It is located in the north of the department of Magdalena, linked by an isthmus to the city of San Juan (Ciénaga). It has an incalculable hydrographic wealth, as it is surrounded by the waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta.

The villagers summarize the essence of the true fishermen of the country, so when visiting this town you can learn about traditional fishing techniques and hear many anecdotes of veteran fishermen.

To get to Sitionuevo you must take a 1-hour flight from the city of Bogota at El Dorado International Airport (BOG) to the Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport (BAQ) in Barranquilla. From the airport take a cab to Sitionuevo, 37 km away (1-hour).

To get to Pueblo Viejo you have to take a 1 hour flight from the city of Bogota at El Dorado International Airport (BOG) to Simon Bolivar International Airport (SMR) in Santa Marta. From the airport take a cab to Puebloviejo, 37 km away (1 hour).

Via-Parque Isla de Salamanca

Near this town is the Via-Parque Isla de Salamanca. This park is located on the right side of the Troncal del Caribe highway, 110 km from Santa Marta and 10 km from Barranquilla after crossing the Pumarejo bridge. It is full of exuberant trails with unique fauna and flora of the Tropical Dry Forest.

Along the way you will find a considerable variety of freshwater vegetation, as well as mangroves and the aquatic community of floating species, water lettuce, freshwater grasses and swamp forest.

In terms of fauna, mammals are represented by the presence of 14 families and 33 species. The park has a record of 241 bird species, and since 1964 it has been declared a refuge for birds and amphibians.

El Retén

El Reten is located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta subregion. This town has two large rivers, the Aracataca River to the north and the Fundación River to the south, both of which originate in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and flow into the Ciénaga Grande.

During your visit to these lands you can dance and enjoy the cumbia and other rhythms enlivened by flutes, bagpipes, drums and others; you can wear the typical costumes and enjoy a rumbero atmosphere.

You will have the opportunity to visit the natural reserve El Chuval which, in turn, borders the Ciénaga Grande. In this wonderful place you can find a diversity of fauna and flora, you can go fishing, or just to see the view.

To get to El Retén you must take a 1 hour flight from the city of Bogotá at the El Dorado International Airport (BOG) to the Simón Bolívar International Airport (SMR) in Santa Marta. From the airport take a cab to El Retén, 97 km (2 hours).

Santa Marta

Santa Marta, officially the Tourist, Cultural and Historic District of Santa Marta, is the capital of the department of Magdalena, Colombia. It was founded on July 29, 1525 by the Spaniard Rodrigo de Bastidas, which according to the texts, makes it the oldest standing city in Colombia. It is located on the shores of the bay of the same name.

Santa Marta is known by the slogan The magic of having it all. In addition to several beaches and sites of historical value, it has the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which has archaeological sites such as Ciudad Perdida.

Its most famous beaches are El Rodadero and Taganga, the latter being the entrance to the Tayrona National Park.

In the Plaza de Bolivar, next to the boardwalk, is the Casa de la Aduana, where the body of Simon Bolivar rested in a burning chamber. It currently houses the Tayrona Gold Museum of the Bank of the Republic.

The city also has several sites of cultural interest. Among them are the San Juan Nepomuceno Cloister, the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, from 1830, and the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Marta, built in the 1760s. This temple houses a small urn containing the heart and entrails of Simón Bolívar.

Where to stay?

You can visit the Casa D’ Remedios La Bella hotel boutique in Ciénaga, where each room is named after the female characters of the work One Hundred Years of Solitude, or visit the Amaranta Restaurant, which includes other elements in honor of “Gabo”, such as a clock that gathers 12 of his books.

Want to plant your trip to Colombia? do no hesitate to contact us!

 About the authors

Sara Colmenares

The current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism-environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services, and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.

Salamina the ‘City of Light’, is the perfect alternative to Salento

In the midst of the mountains of northern Caldas, the ‘City of Light’ of Colombia, Salamina, declared a National Monument and a National Asset of Cultural Interest, highlights its cultural and historical legacy through its colonial houses, balconies, steep streets and its extensive religious tradition.

This municipality, founded in 1825 and today inhabited by more than 18,000 people, was the birthplace of Mother María Berenice Duque, the nun who is in the process of beatification by Pope Francis since 2018.

The catholic temples have given way to the construction of the cultural identity of this beautiful municipality. Wwhile other municipalities in Caldas exhibit and are recognized for their panel, coffee or mining culture, the people of Salamina proudly preserve the religious legacy of their history.

In this guide you will have the necessary information for your visit to this beautiful town, and also how to get to know the wax palm neat to it.

Discovering Salamina

The town was founded in 1825, Salamina is known as “The City of Light” of Caldas. Its name “the city of light” is due to the fact that many famous poets and actors have come from this traditional paisa town.

One of the most traditional and important events for the people of Salamina is the celebration of Holy Week, which enjoys great renown at the departmental and national level, as well as the “Night of Fire”, the celebration of the day of the Immaculate Conception, patron saint of this municipality.

The night of every December 7 and 8, the streets and balconies of the town are decorated with thousands of lanterns and lights to pay homage to the Virgin Mary.

Salamina is located north of the department of Caldas and has a township called San Felix is located 74 Km away from Manizales, the capital of the department.

Moreover, Salamina is a beautiful town with streets of iconic wattle and daub houses and clay tiles, the average temperature in Salento is 23 ºC (73ºF) and it is located at an altitude of 1,775 meters above sea level.

Salamina is considered a representative of the paisas’ traditions and customs because of its well preserved 19th century architecture.

How to get to Salamina

Take a 1-hour flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to Airport La Nubia (MZL) at Manizales city. Once in Manizales you take an approximately 2-hours ride (75 Km) to Salamina.

Remember that you can get to Manizales from any of the major cities in the country by air.

In addition, if you wish to take the overland route from Bogota, the journey takes 9-hours and 365 Km.

Where to stay in Salamina

In Salamina you will find a great infrastructure, depending on your budget and personal tastes you can choose; our recommendations for you are:

  • Las Marias Family Home
  • La Estancia Hotel Boutique
  • Hospedaje Casa Real

Salamina Attractions and Activities

La Pila de Salamina

It is a fountain that you cannot miss, it is located in the central square of the town and is an imitation of another one that can be found in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. It is considered the most beautiful fountain in Colombia.

It is said that it was brought to the country via Barranquilla and transported by the Magdalena River to the department of Tolima where it was then transported by mule to Salamina.

Visit to the Rodrigo Jiménez Mejía House of Culture

It is considered the most important architectural jewel of Salamina thanks to the wood finishes, beautiful balconies, majestic doors, lintels carved with figures and lanterns complete a wonderful set.

Visit the San Esteban Cemetery

It has a chapel of gothic architecture, beautiful gardens and a relaxing view of the mountain.

When you walk through the cemetery you can notice the socio-economic differences of some tombs, since in ancient times the dead were buried in certain places of the cemetery as a distribution of the social classes of the former inhabitants of the town.

The Natural Forest of Wax Palm La Samaria

Wax Palm Forest

Located just 30 km away from Salamina’s urban, this forest is one of the most amazing and best preserved corners that the department of Caldas offers.

Unlike the Cocora Valley in Salento, Quindio, in this forest there is not much noise, nor commerce around. It is a place with more tranquility, more contact with nature, a solitude that will help you to have that encounter with yourself.

Besides, the forest is the habitat of one of the most beautiful birds in America, the yellow-eared parrot lives in the canopy of these immense plants.


We recommend you visit the  “Mirador de la Samaria”, where you will be able to do birdwatching, and check one of the most representative birds of the region, the woodpecker and one of the most beautiful birds of America, the yellow-eared parrot that inhabit the tops of the immense wax palms.

The entrance fee to the forest is COP 10,000 and you can stay in the forest for a maximum of 7 hours.

Taking into account the above you can decide when you can know the beautiful town of Salamina. Plan your trip with us!

  • https://colombia.travel/en/salamina
About the author

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

What to do in Salento in the Colombian Coffee Triangle?

In the department of Quindio you will fall in love with one of the most beautiful towns in Colombia: Salento, which historic center was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the “Coffee Cultural Landscape” in 2011.

It is perhaps the most important municipality for tourism in Quindío, due to three fundamental reasons:

  1. The first, the beautiful and preserved architecture left by the Antioquian colonization;
  2. the second, the imposing Cocora Valley, which is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Colombia;
  3. and the third, the contagious atmosphere of peace and well-being that permeates immediately upon arrival.

In this guide you will have the necessary information for your visit to these beautiful town, and also how to get to know the wax palm, the national tree of Colombia.

Discovering Salento

Located 26 km from Armenia, on the western side of the Central Mountain Range and to the northeast of the department, Salento is like a historical account of the region, since its streets reflect intact the tradition of the initial settlers.

Tradition that even today many still strive to preserve so that the place projects its full charm. This town of colorful houses and balconies adorned with flowers has among its residents some foreigners who one day arrived and decided to remain trapped by the charm of the place.

And speaking of charm, Disney released its new movie, called Encanto, inspired by this place.

Salento was founded on September 16, 1842 but its creation would only take place until 1908. Moreover, Salento is the oldest municipality among the 3 departments that make up the Eje Cafetero (Quindío, Risaralda and Caldas). In addition, it is the gateway to the Cocora Valley and one of the entrances to Los Nevados National Natural Park.

Bear in mind, the average temperature in Salento is between 17 ºC (63ºF) and 23 ºC (73ºF) and it has 2 dry season periods, one from mid-June to early September and from late December to mid-January.

How to get to Salento

Take a 1-hour flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to El Edén International Airport (AXM) at Armenia city. Once in Armenia you take an approximately 45-minutes ride (25 Km) to Salento.

Remember that you can get to Armenia from any of the major cities in the country by air. In addition, if you wish to take the overland route from Bogota, the journey takes 6.2 hours and 305 Km.

Where to stay in Salento

In Salento you will find a great diversity of accommodation options depending on your budget and personal taste. Our recommendations as follows:

  • Hotel El Mirador del Cocora
  • Montana Glamping
  • Hotel Terraza
  • La Cabaña Ecohote
  • Hotel Kawa Mountain
  • Hotel Real

Salento Attractions and activities

Tour the town

We recommend that you start the tour walking through the beautiful streets of Salento, where you will see the predominance of adobe and mud houses with colorful wooden balconies and gates decorated with flowers. On your walk you will be able to appreciate the authentic architecture of the traditional coffee towns from the beginning of the 20th century.

Walk along the Calle Real (Royal Street)

This is the main street of the municipality. On your walk you will be able to appreciate beautiful restaurants, coffee shops, handicraft stores and commercial passageways.

At the end of this street you will find some colorful stairs that take you to one of the viewpoints of Salento, the viewpoint of Alto de la Cruz. From the viewpoint you will be able to see a large part of the town and its church, and if you are lucky you will be able to see part of Armenia and the mountains of Los Nevados National Natural Park.

Visit the Cocora Valley

This beautiful tourist place is something you cannot miss on your visit; it is a world-class tourist attraction for its majestic beauty and it is one of the last cloud forests that are home to the Ceroxylon quindiuense or Quindio wax palm, the tallest in the world.

The Cocora Valley is an important habitat for many animals such as the yellow-eared parakeet, the toucan and the spectacled bear, hence its importance of protection.

That is why we recommend you to have a lot of respect for the flora and fauna, and to walk ONLY along the areas allowed by the park rangers.

To get to the Cocora Valley you must take the road that takes you to the access point, the trip takes 25 minutes by car 11 km from Salento.

Visit Acaime and the hummingbird house

Acaime is a natural reserve full of native flora and fauna, located on the Central Mountain Range 4 Km from the Cocora Valley.

In this reserve you will be able to appreciate a great diversity of hummingbirds, as well as other species of the region and beautiful streams.

The entrance fee is COP 5,000, which is redeemable for a traditional snack (panela water with cheese or a delicious coffee).

Visiting the Los Nevados National Natural Park

It is one of the most beautiful National Parks in the country, where you can visit beautiful landscapes and see the greatness of the most important snow-capped mountains where you will connect with nature and its majesty.

For more information on how you can make the most of this beautiful National Park you can read our blog:  Best Things to Know Before Visiting Los Nevados National Natural Park.

Go to Santa Rita Waterfall

This beautiful waterfall of no more than 20 meters high has a natural with a quiet and romantic atmosphere for its visitors.

In the village of Los Andes, 4 km from the center of Salento, at this point there is a walk of 1.5 km, on the way to the waterfall you will see tunnels, suspension bridges, water sources and the old train track.

The entrance fee is COP 5,000.

El Mirador Ecopark

It is an obligatory point of visit because from there you can observe the Cocora valley that is born between the mountains of the Central mountain range and slides parallel to the Quindío river; it is possible to arrive by car and park it in the parking lot of the place, which also has public restroom.

The structure, in the form of a balcony, is built in guadua, thus representing an excellent tribune to admire the landscape, even through some telescopes rented by the locals. From the lookout point, a short trail leads from the lookout point to the Alto de la Cruz.

There they sell delicious sweets, honey, wafers and candies for the cold. The best way to get there is to ask any inhabitant.

Coffee Process and Coffee Tour at Finca Hotel El Ocaso

Finca El Ocaso is located on a hill just 4km from Salento (20 minutes by car or one hour walking), with a unique landscape surrounded by mountains and adorned by the murmur of the Quindio River that passes along the farm 300m downhill.

It has a typical coffee house with more than 100 years of history and tradition where lodging services are provided for a maximum of 10 people. Finca El Ocaso has extensive gardens with a great variety of flowers and native trees and several hectares of coffee.

Enjoy the trails that go to the bamboo forest, to the hill (viewpoint), to the water source and to the Quindio River where you can do bird watching and learn about the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest.

Alto de la Cruz Viewpoint

Through the more than 200 steps that start where the Fieal de Salento street ends, you can access this site that allows you to get an idea of the magnitude of the Cocora Valley, and at the same time offers a panoramic view of the town.

During the breaks in the tour, the images of the Way of the Cross that Jesus traveled on his way to Mount Calvary appear. The viewpoint, besides being a tourist attraction, is a permanent pilgrimage destination.

Morrogacho Hill

This is the stage before Los Nevados Park, which can only be reached on foot from the Cocora Valley and by a difficult road on which all precautions must be taken.

The hill, of unique morphological characteristics, is located at an altitude of 3,450 m, in the midst of a dense Andean forest landscape that makes it one of the favorite natural destinations of the people of Quindio.

The cave represents the mystery of having been a cemetery and ritual center of the Quindos Indians who once lived in the area. It is recommended that the expedition be accompanied by a guide.

La Explanación Bridge

Around 1948 this western railroad crossing was built as part of the road project between Buenaventura and Bogota. Currently, the structure, with arched bases, is a national monument belonging to the Boquía trail. It is also known as the Amparo Bridge.

Quindío National Road

When in other times communication between east and west was required, this road was the most important articulation route. Although since the 18th century Viceroy Pedro Messia de la Cerda was interested in its creation, it was not until 1823 that the work began, while in 1830 it was Simón Bolívar who ordered its opening. The old road extends between the Boquía trail, the river of the same name and the Quindío River.

Bird watching

The upper canyon of the Quindío River is the habitat of endemic and near-endemic species and specimens that captivate with their colors, shapes and behaviors. In the vicinity of the Cocora Valley, near the canyon, you can go on hikes to observe birds such as the torrent duck and the blackbird.

Along the same route, going up on horseback, the Acaime nature reserve is home to birds such as the masked saltator, the Golden-plumed parakeet, and the White-capped tanager. Other special birds can be observed along the Estrella de Agua, La Montaña and La Picota nature reserves, considered one of the best corridors for bird watching.

The Ocellated tapaculo, the Mountain cacique, the Grey-breasted mountain Toucan and the Chestnut-naped antpitta, are special birds that fly through this landscape.

  • https://colombia.travel/en/salamina
  • https://www.colombia.travel/en/salento
About the author

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

Naturally Mummified Bodies of the Museum of Mummies in Colombia

When you think of mummies, you surely think about Egypt, and its famous mummified pharaohs buried in their imposing pyramids. Yes, Egypt is known for its magical history and its gigantic cultural contribution, with their special techniques to mummify their bodies. But did you know that you can find naturally mummified bodies in the museum of mummies of Colombia?

In a hidden village, approximately 99 km from Bogota, there is San Bernardo, a cozy village with very friendly locals. In the cemetery of San Bernardo, many of the dead become mummies for unknown reasons. It happens so often that the Church decided to build a mausoleum to keep them in glass urns, when the families allow it.

It is known for being the only town in Colombia where the dead buried there have a layer of skin between white and brown tones that gives them a very peculiar appearance.

In San Bernardo, death acquires a fantastic and mystical touch, since there is no scientific explanation for this process.

The following is the information you need to make the most of your visit to San Bernardo, the town of mummies in Colombia.

Exploring San Bernardo

The municipality of San Bernardo is the agricultural pantry of Sumapaz region, charming, magical and quiet land. Its gastronomy is recognized regionally and its agro-ecological fairs are the best in Sumapaz.

Its landscapes offer a great variety of climates and agricultural products; a natural paradise rich in natural niches such as the Sumapaz National Natural Park, its people are friendly and welcoming and always welcome you with open arms.

San Bernardo is the only place in Colombia where there is a natural mummification process that has not been explained.

Why are they mummified?

It all started in the 1950’s, when the new cemetery was inaugurated. The old one was on the banks of a river in the lower part of the municipality, but the current swept away some of the dead when the waters rose.

When they began to remove bodies for exhumations, mummified bodies began to appear.

Environmental Context for Mummification

The context in each case may be different, but in principle an extreme environment is needed: very hot, very dry or very cold.

After death, our cells begin to break down and release all sorts of substances – including enzymes – that create an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi, which enter this mixture and begin to break down the body.

In most cases, enzymes need an aqueous environment to work. But if the temperature is too high, the body dehydrates before the enzymes can take action, and this results in mummification.

When the temperature is too low this can also happen because the cold inhibits bacterial activity. Especially if the body remains covered with ice or snow.

Swamps (wet by nature) are another natural environment that favors mummification. This is because they are generally cold, acidic and anaerobic environments.

Another influencing factor is the composition of the soil, e.g. the presence of heavy metals in the soil can retard the action of enzymes. The material of the coffin, as well as the textiles that cover the body and absorb the liquids, can also have an impact on the process.

Finally, it also depends on the body characteristics of each individual.

What can be happening in San Bernardo?

San Bernardo lies on the hills of Sumapaz, in the south of Cundinamarca, and the cemetery was built on the side of a mountain where it smells of pine trees and flowers. This cemetery is placed in the highest part of the village, near to the Paramo.

The gravedigger tells that the dead are exhumed every five years, and it always happens that they are intact… when they are cut they still have blood, they have flesh and they have everything. Even the eyes!

But there is a particular detail, according to the gravedigger, when the bodies come out “exact”, there is a thin layer of ice that covers the whole body. His testimony may suggest the very cold environment cause for mummification.

However, there are no studies to support the hypothesis of freezing, in spite of the testimonies.

Funerary and Cultural Heritage

Recently, the mummies of San Bernardo, and all the natural process is proposed to be declared as Funerary and Cultural Heritage.

The aim is to promote the Mummies of San Bernardo as Funerary and Cultural Heritage given the characteristics of the phenomenon that occurs naturally and the manifestations and identities that derive from it.

It is Funerary Heritage because it generates alternative visions of the meaning of death and the transcendence of the body after death. It is Cultural Heritage because through popular and daily orality emerge all kinds of myths connected with others transmitted by generations about the reason for the phenomenon. The mummies are the living memory and identity of a region that resists oblivion.

How to get to San Bernardo

The town is located in the south-east of the Department of Cundinamarca in the Sumapaz Province. San Bernardo has an average temperature of 21°C (69º F), making it a pleasant climate for tourists.

To get to San Bernardo you must take a 3-hour road trip from the south of the city of Bogotá for 99 km. On your way you will pass through towns like Fusagasuga and Arbelaez. When you passing Arbelaez  you must take an unpaved road that will take you to the center of town.

Where to stay in San Bernardo

Being a very small town we tell you to dedicate a whole day to walk the streets and points of interest.  In the afternoon you can stay in the town of Fusagasuga which is to 36 km away. In Fusagasuga we recommend you to stay in the following hotels:

Attractions and activities in San Bernardo

San Bernardo has two attractions that you will have the opportunity to visit. So we recommend some other nearby activities and attractions that you will love.

Mausoleum José Arquímedes Castro, or the Museum of Mummies

Mummies of the Mausoleum of Mummies © Mausoleum of Mummies

This is a museum that exhibits the mummies. Their bodies did not decompose but were calcified, keeping the skin and some parts of the body intact.

Currently, there are 14 mummies exhibited, since their number was reduced for health reasons, but at some point there were about 180.

The inhabitants of the village believe that the origin of the mummification is based on the diet of the Sanbernardinos, based on the consumption of Guatila and Balú. Both foods are part of the food tradition and grow wild and naturally, without chemicals that alter them.

However, all the surrounding municipalities consume the same food, and do not present mummified dead, thus refuting this local hypothesis.

The Mausoleum is open every day except Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The entrance fee is 5000 pesos for adults and 4000 pesos for children. It is recommended to visit early in the morning so that you can make your visit at your leisure.

Before visiting the museum of mummies remember:

  • The mummies are deceased people so it is very important to maintain the due respect.
  • Avoid taking pictures of the mummies out of respect for the deceased and their families.
  • Do not throw garbage on the floor during your trip.
  • Your early visit allows you to go to places in and around San Bernardo with beautiful scenery.
  • Keep your hands clean and wear your mask correctly.

Macaracuay Ecological Farm

At the farm you can learn about the flora and fauna present in the village, have a sample of each of the products that are harvested. You will learn about the traditional farming techniques used in the village. It is possible to have contact with the animals of the farm and eat typical food of the area.

Water activities

In the Negro River, near the village, you can do activities such as rappel, rappel and hike through caves near the river. You should keep in mind that these activities can only be done with certified guides that you can find in the different agencies located in the center of town.

Horseback riding

If you are a horse lover you can take the horseback riding service available in town, the marked trails will take you through traditional paths used by the villagers to get around. In addition, you can also ride to the Rio Negro River or the Macacuay Ecological Farm. Please note that most horseback riding hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

La Chapa Viewpoint

In the neighboring town of Pandi, you will find an imposing viewpoint, from which you will have a view of the Sumapaz River canyon, the municipalities of Pandi, Icononzo, Venecia, Alto de Boquerón, Chinauta and the Natural Park of the Nevados del Tolima, Ruiz and Santa Isabel. It is located 8.3 km (26 minutes) from the center of San Bernardo, so it is necessary to take a car service to reach this point.

Green and Aquatic Park

This beautiful park is located 3 km from the town of Fusagasuga and 40 km from San Bernardo (1.5 – Hours); during your stay in the park you can enjoy beautiful and unimaginable landscapes, abundant in water, and a majestic diversity of green in the mountains.

You will be able to do activities such as hiking where you will be able to do bird watching and recognize the species thanks to the information offered by the park guides. You can have the opportunity to stay in individual cabins or there is also a camping area.

Quinini Hill

In the municipality of Tibacuy is this beautiful nature reserve with a beautiful viewpoint, located 60 km from San Bernardo (2 – hours). Quininí refers to the “Sacred Mountain of the Moon or Moon Goddess”, which is what it means in the language of the indigenous communities that lived there. Quinini is also a recommender destination for birdwatching near Bogotá.

About the authors

Sara Colmenares.

Current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences and Specialist in Tourism Management and Nature Tourism. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism – environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody

Travel Guide to the “Ciudad Vanidosa”: Ciénaga, Magdalena, Colombia

Ciénaga is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Colombia, it was the setting for the inspiration of the book One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Walking through the streets, squares, and houses of Cienaga you can bring to life the characters and events that are narrated in the book.

Founded in 1751, its historic center, consisting of 76 blocks, was declared National Heritage in 1994. Ciénega was also declared a Heritage Town in 2012 for its history, culture, and architectural richness, which further boosted tourism.

Within its architectural heritage, you can find the Templete, the Chapel of the Santa Teresa School, the Old Railroad Station, the Church of San Juan Bautista, the Masonic Lodge, and the Casa del Diablo (House of the Devil).

At the cultural level, its main events are the Cienaguero Cayman Festival held every January 20th and the National Guitar Music Festival that pays tribute to Guillermo Buitrago every June.

Besides, Cienaga has the magic to make you travel back in time for its historical, architectural, urban, environmental, and social values. In this guide, you will receive the necessary information to make the most of your visit to this special heritage town.

Exploring Ciénaga

This town and its surroundings have gone through difficult situations of violence and armed conflict in the past. Today, ecotourism, cultural tourism, and community-based tourism are economic bets for the people of the region.

Ciénaga Magdalena is known as the “Ciudad Vanidosa” because it has an endless number of water mirrors around it that reflect its beauty from any point you look at it.

It is located in the department of Magdalena, 33 km from Santa Marta, on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, and next to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, at the northeastern end of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, a Ramsar area of Colombia and one of the biosphere reserves present in Colombia.

Ciénaga is wealth in water, with reserves coming from the Caribbean Sea, the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, the Toribío and Córdoba rivers. It also has the hot springs Volcano, located in the village of Cordobita, just ten minutes from Ciénaga, which is the only hot spring in the Caribbean region.

The average temperature in Cienaga is between 23 ºC (73ºF) to 35 ºC (95 ºF) and the best time of the year to visit Lórica for hot activities is from mid-December to the end of February.

How to get to Cienaga Magdalena

  • Bogotá – Santa Marta– Cienaga

Take a 1,5-hours flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to Simón Bolivar International Airport (SMR) at Santa Marta city. Once at in Santa Marta you take an approximately 40 – minutes ride (33 Km) to Cienaga Magdalena.

  • Bogotá – Barranquilla – Cienaga

Take a 1.5 hour flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to Ernesto Cortissoz International  Airport (BAQ) in the city of Barranquilla. Once in Barranquilla, it takes approximately 1,5 – hours (72 km) to Cienaga Magdalena.

Where to stay in Cienaga Magdalena

Ciénaga has a low hotel demand but we recommend the hotel: Casa D’remedios La Bella Hotel Boutique.

Thanks to its proximity to the city of Santa Marta we recommend these hotels in the city:

  • Hotel Nueva Granada,
  • Oasis Fresh Hotel,
  • Placita Vieja Hotel Boutique,
  • Hotel Boutique Don Pepe and
  • Hotel Santorini Casablanca Santa Marta.

Attractions and Activities in Ciénaga, Magdalena

This beautiful town is a place where you can still breathe colonial air and where you can see the most beautiful landscapes due to its location at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Visit the Cienaga Grande, Biosphere Reserve of Humanity 

Ciénaga del Magdalena view from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

It is possible to enjoy this beauty, thanks to a tour called The Tour of Nature, which allows you to visit all the rivers that are tributaries of the swamp complex which concentrates a large number of important species of flora and fauna.

Visit the Palafito Villages of the Ciénaga Grande

Here you will experience a cultural exchange with fishing communities on a trip that includes land and boat transportation. The palafito villages of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta have colorful wooden houses, and canoes are a vital part of the landscape.

Nueva Venecia, Buenavista and Trojas de Cataca are the only palafit towns in Colombia. Their streets are made of water and can only be moved by canoe, the only bridge that exists connects the school and the church.

Nueva Venecia

It is a magical town on the water, where you can discover a different reality in the country, with a surprising lifestyle. To get there you must do it by the river, it takes approximately 2 hours from the point of Tasajera.

Walking through its streets in canoes you will be able to explore and get to know a new reality. This place has an infinity of species in flora and fauna; it has its own Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, a magical place to connect with nature.

Nueva Venecia is completely fluvial, amphibious, and palafitic. To cross the town, visit neighbors, go to the store or to the police station, you must necessarily go by canoe.

Cultural and Architecture Places

Ciénaga, Magdalena, Colombia. Photo by Edgardo Perez Diaz, CC BY-SA 4.0

Historic Center of Ciénaga

Touring the historic center is to marvel at the magical realism that inspired the Nobel Prize winner in literature to recreate Macondo, the splendor of its buildings, there are also corners and moments taken as if from a book. You can enjoy sunsets with shades of yellow, red, and orange painted in the sky.

The Santa Cruz de Papar Farm

This is one of the places you can’t miss, it will transport you to colonial times thanks to its architecture. It was a hacienda where sugar was planted and alcohol was produced for export.

Centenario Square

This square has an ecclesiastical style, giving it the shape of an eight-pointed star, designed by the French architect Eduardo Carpentie. You will also be able to appreciate four water fountains, donated by the Italian colony, bordering this square.

San Juan Bautista Church

It was built in 1612 at the request of the indigenous people of Ciénaga to the representatives of the Spanish crown. The walls of this church have stucco murals. According to historians, its construction lasted several decades, due to the multiple battles that plagued the town.

Municipal Palace

It has a republican style, it was built in four stages. Its plans were designed by the firm Parrish of Barranquilla. What stands out the most is its tones have varied between a strong yellow and white, color that is already established for the buildings that are the heritage of the country. What will impress you the most are its arches, wooden doors, and floor.

Ruins “Casa del Diablo”

It is a corner mansion with two floors and republican style, white facade with 14 Roman columns and crowned by a pediment with zither shapes, built by Manuel Varela.

Its name is due to the fact that the inhabitants of Cienaga say that every year Manuel Varela sacrificed a worker from his banana plantation to Satan as payment for the prosperity granted to him.

Despite being a possible myth, other versions speak of some 300 dead, and some estimate that there were thousands, a tragedy that remained in the history of Colombia as “The Massacre of the Banana Plantations”.

Gabriel García Márquez was also tempted by this myth and therefore also referred to this event, unreal or not, in his book One Hundred Years of Solitude.

About the Authors

Sara Colmenares

The current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism-environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services, and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

Travel Guide to Santa Cruz de Mompox, Mompós or the Land of God

Mompox is one of the most beautiful heritage towns in Colombia and has one of the best-preserved historic centers in Latin America. Santa Cruz de Mompox or Mompós has the typical architecture of the Spanish Colony, with white facades and beautiful windows covered with wrought iron railings.

This architectural beauty, as well as its excel of conservation, led Mompox to be declared a National Monument in 1959 and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995.

When this town was built in 1540 it was an important port. With time it became isolated, and that allowed it to preserve its architectural heritage. It is the magical place that so often inspired our Colombian Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez.

It is also known as the first town of the Viceroyalty of the New Kingdom of Granada to give the cry of absolute Independence from Spain.

Santa Cruz de Mompox, the largest river island in Latin America, also holds in its streets a unique cultural treasure in Colombia. The Mompox Jazz Festival launched in 2012, enhanced the tourist vocation of the town, attracting travelers from around the world.

Below you will receive the necessary information you need to make the most of your visit to Santa Cruz de Mompox.

Exploring Santa Cruz de Mompox

Momopox is located in the department of Bolivar, 320 km from Cartagena by land. It is on the list of “Network of Colombian Heritage Towns” a place full of history and culture. Its name comes from the indigenous Malibu language, “Mompoj”, and since the XVIII century it is called Mompox or Mompós in the official documents of the country; it is also known as “La Tierra de Dios” i.e. The Land of God.

It is located in the Department of Bolivar, 248 kilometers from Cartagena, and is bordered by the municipalities of Magangué (Bolivar), Pinillos and San Fernando (Bolivar), Santa Ana, San Zeno, and San Sebastian de Buenavista (Magdalena), with the Magdalena River in between, and with the municipality of Talaigua Nuevo (Bolívar).

The average temperature in Santa Cruz de Mompox is between 23 ºC (73ºF) to 38 ºC (100 ºF) and the best time of the year to visit Mompós is from mid-December to the end of February.

How to get to Santa Cruz de Mompox

You can take a direct flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to San Bernardo Airport (MMP) at Santa Cruz de Mompox with a duration of 1,5 – hours.

Other alternatives to get to Mompox are:

  • Bogotá – Cartagena – Mompox

Take a 1,5-hours flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG) at Cartagena city. Once at in Cartagena you take an approximately 5,5-hours ride (273 Km) to Santa Cruz de Mompox

  • Bogotá – Sincelejo – Mompox

Take a 1,5-hours flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to Las Brujas Airport (CZU) at Sincelejo city. Once in Sincelejo, you take an approximately 3-hours ride (148 Km) to Santa Cruz de Mompox.

Where to stay in Santa Cruz de Mompox

Bioma Hotel Boutique, Mompox, Bolívar, Colombia CC Bioma

In Mompox you can find several lodging options, among those are hotels that preserve the local architecture, we recommend:

Santa Cruz de Mompox Attractions and Activities

Historical and Cultural Activities in Mompox

In “La Tierra de Dios”, you will be able to appreciate the Andalusian architecture of the XVI century, considered one of the most precious cultural and historical jewels of the Caribbean.

The Culture House

It has civil architecture. It has been in operation since 1962, and keeps, as its director shows us, elements of the historical archive, antiques, works of Candelario Obeso, the black poet, and one of the maximum referents of the momposina culture, homemade swords, elements of tailoring of the time and indigenous crafts, among others.

Te Deum House

Its name comes from the Latin inscription that its owner Don Pedro Martinez de Pinillos placed on its façade: “Té Deum Lauda mus Te Dominum”. Renowned for its gardens and the huge sun tree in the middle of the courtyard, refuge of the howler monkeys, a species that moves around the city and emits a particular sound.

House of the Portals o the Marquesa de Torrehoyos

It is a group of houses (four) that is undoubtedly a permanent attraction in the city, is clearly distinguished by the portals or external gallery that runs along its facade and that prints an architectural character of its own and very different from the homogeneous silhouette of the city.

Rosario Cemetery Mompox, Bolivar, Colombia . Alcaldia Mompox, CC BY-SA 4.0

Mompox Rosario Cemetery

Usually, cemeteries are not tourist places but the cemetery of Mompox, along with that of Barichara, are among the most beautiful in Colombia.

A space full of cultural and historical heritage, besides having beautiful burial constructions and is inhabited by many cats. During the Holy Week season, it becomes the scene of the traditional serenade to the deceased.

San Anselmo Fort

Possibly it was built as a simple warehouse or deposit of merchandise. It is owned by an Austrian who, after sailing around the world in his sailboat, arrived and stayed in Mompox. At the next table, there are four old men, who with a slow coastal accent greet us, while they evoke, in a pleasant gathering, an epic Santa Cruz de Mompox.

Church of Santa Bárbara

It has a balcony that is undoubtedly the most impressive element. It is located in the square of Mompox, and it is also the place of legends among the locals.

Immaculate Conception Church

Built-in 1541 and despite having been rebuilt several times. In the interior you can notice several aspects, among others, the way the central nave was covered, using for it the armor of pair and knuckle.

Santo Domingo Church

It was built as a straw temple by the friars of the Dominican order, the first to preach the gospel in America. Years later its roofs were covered with bricks that remained useful until August 19, 1846, when it collapsed. Ten years later in 1856, the temple was restored.

San Francisco Church and Convent

This beautiful church is a clear example of momposina elegance, its walls are covered in red ochre in contrast with its white lines. A cultural jewel, worthy of knowing and appreciating.

San Juan de Dios Church

Built-in the XVII century. The church officiates on Holy Thursday, the mass for the sick and disabled to participate in the Momposina Holy Week.

Natural Attractions in Mompox

Mompos, Bolivar, Colombia. A town surrounded by swamps and rivers.

Pijiño Swamp

It is a backwater where different species of birds coexist, approximately 20, it is possible to find the white heron, the brown heron, the little brown heron, and also the kingfisher; in addition to the presence of reptiles.

This marsh has an area of approximately 1,350 hectares. Bird watching excursions are part of a program to show the world the richness of Colombia’s biodiversity and are promoted by the National Tourism Fund (Fontur) and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

Margarita Island

This island is located in the geographical situation called the Momposina depression, bathed by the waters of the Magdalena River, with the arms of Loba, Mompox, and Chicagua; and has an area of 2600 square kilometers.

The island is home to fish species such as barbudo, bocachico, mojarra amarilla and mojarra lora, and amphibians such as babillas, galapagos, turtles and otters. The flora is composed of cantagallo, mangrove, bell pepper, coquillo or cocuelo and campano.

If you want to come to Colombia contact us and plan your trip with us.

About the Authors

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

Colombia’s Kibbe-flavored Caribbean town: Santa Cruz de Lorica

Lorica or Santa Cruz de Lorica, is a heritage town of Colombia located on the banks of the Sinú River, bathed by the Ciénaga Grande del bajo Sinú, in the department of Córdoba. It has an enormous cultural value, both for the influence of the Sinu River and the different groups that have inhabited the region.

This town of Lorica receives several names such as the Ciudad Antigua y Señorial (i.e., Ancient and Lordly City), the Capital of Bajo Sinú, the Capital of Bocachico and even as Saudi Lorica, as a result of the arrival of Lebanese immigrants in the late nineteenth century.

Santa Cruz de Lorica is known by both its architectural majesty and by its gastronomy. Regarding gastronomy, the Bocachico fish is an elemental ingredient of typical dishes such as Bocachico Sinuano and Sancocho de Bocachico.

Besides, since the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century, Lorica stood out as one of the great fluvial ports of the country. If you visit this town, we recommend you to visit the banks of the Sinu River, for a magical walk.

Below you will receive the necessary information you need to make the most of your wonderful visit to Santa Cruz de Lorica.

Heritage town of Colombia since 2010

The Land of Mixed Waters

Lorica was founded in 1740, and its historic center presents a mixture of Republican and Arabian styles, offering a beautiful spectacle to those who visit it. For its architectural beauty it was declared a National Monument in 1996.

In Lorica you can find beautiful places that transport the tourist to the Middle East, such as the Municipal Palace, the Cathedral and the Afife Matuk Building.

An emblematic place of Lorica, on the banks of the Sinu River, is its market square, also called the Ranchon, which not only offers the best of local cuisine, very varied indeed.

Lorica’s Jewels of architecture

Its architecture combines a style that merges the Republican with the vernacular and Mudejar, a mixture of Andalusian and Arabic constructions.  This place is a faithful exponent of a cultural legacy that shows the dynamics of the mid-twentieth century, product of the heyday of activities such as navigation and trade.

Its great architectural constructions are the legacy of some foreign settlers who imposed a unique stamp that has been maintained over the years. In fact, Syrian-Lebanese immigrants who, with the desire to build their own properties, gave shape to their culture and marked the identity of this region.

Sustainable Destination

In 2020, with support from FONTUR, the Historic Center of the municipality of Santa Cruz de Lorica was certified as a Sustainable Tourism Destination, after meeting the requirements of the Sustainable Tourism Sector Technical Standard NTS TS-001-1.

This represents a tool for the promotion and strengthening of the tourism sector in the destination, which allows to offer all visitors a quality tourism, generating confidence and satisfaction when walking the streets of this magical municipality.

Exploring Santa Cruz de Lórica

Santa Cruz de Lorica is on the list of “Network of Colombian Heritage Villages” a place full of history and culture. Lorica has a unique architecture between Republican and Lebanese, so it is charming to walk through its streets.

This town is located in the department of Córdoba, 60 km from Montería. It is recognized as the treasure of the Caribbean, for its important fluvial artery which is the Sinu River.

Bear in mind, the average temperature in Santa Cruz de Lórica is between 23 ºC (73ºF) to 35 ºC (95 ºF) and the best time of the year to visit Lórica is from mid-December to the end of March.

How to get to Santa Cruz de Lórica

Lorica that is located in the department of Córdoba, 63 kilometers from Montería and 55 from Sincelejo. There are two airports near to city you can arrive traveling from Bogota.

Bogotá – Monteria – Santa Cruz de Lórica

Take a 1,5-hours flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to Los Garzones International Airport (MTR) at Monteria city. Once at in Monteria you take an approximately 1,5-hours ride (61 Km) to Santa Cruz de Lórica.

Bogotá – Tolú – Santa Cruz de Lórica

Take a 1.5 hour flight from El Dorado (BOG) in Bogotá to Golfo de Morrosquillo Airport (TLU) in the city of Tolú, with ADA Airlines. Once in Tolú, it takes approximately 35-minutes (30 km) to Santa Cruz de Lórica.

Where to stay in Santa Cruz de Lórica

In Santa Cruz de Lórica you can find hostels and hotels that preserve the local architecture, we recommend Hotel Boutique Beteska and Onoma Hotel.

Santa Cruz de Lórica Attractions and Activities

Historical Center

The most striking attraction with eclectic buildings of Arabic influence and similar to those found in the city of Cartagena. Their fine elements and details make them imposing.

Public Market

Built in 1929, this building of republican architecture with certain Arabian touches, covers an entire block of the historic center, located on the banks of the Sinu River. Due to its importance and uniqueness, the Government, in 1996, named it a national monument.

Parish of Santa Cruz de Lorica

Built before 1800, and had to be remodeled in 1896. An important fact for when you visit this parish is that its bells were brought from Portugal, the bronze images of the facade are of French origin, and the clock, brought from Italy, was donated by the Syrian-Lebanese colony around 1929.

Gonzalez Building

It was owned by one of the wealthiest families in the region. It has an area of 540 square meters and it displays a republican style which highlights the facade and its internal spaces. You can take beautiful pictures in this imposing building.

Lorica Club

It is located in a corner of the Plaza de la Cruz, formerly where the Syrian-Lebanese immigrants organized their social gatherings. Nowadays it is open to the population where nightly events are held.

Afife Matuk Building

Placed on the banks of the Sinu River and adjacent to the public market. This building was finished in 1929, and it remains intact to date. Inside, you will notice how the light blue and white colors stand out in small walls that separate each space, with arabesque figures. It also has a room with a large window where you can see the waters of the Sinu River.

The Malecon of Lorica

It is the complement of the patrimonial buildings of the Historical Center and the Public Market, it has an extension of 5 km around the banks of the Sinu River. It was declared of Cultural Interest in 1998; during your walk you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the river and the beautiful buildings.

Gastronomic delights in Lorica

Immigrants played an important role in Lorica’s gastronomy, so it is possible to enjoy very typical dishes of the region such as bocachico stew, the popular sarapa, mote de queso (whose main ingredient is Creole yam and coastal cheese) and food such as kibbes (prepared with ground beef, wheat, onion, mint, salt and pepper) that characterizes the immigrant culture.

Craft traditions in Lorica

In Lorica, primitivist painting is its maximum artistic expression. It reflects the popular imagination, dishes, objects and colors of the peasant culture. Its main exponent was Marcial Alegría Garcés, a man who dedicate himself to painting. Marcial’s paintings are present in more than 18 countries, becoming one of the emblems of Lorica’s art and tradition. You will appreciate his history and works in the village of San Sebastian. Marcial also applies his art to ornate pottery pieces that are made and sold there, as well as canvas paintings and wooden frames.

Nature Destinations Near Lorica

Lorica is surrounded by a complex landscape of swamps and marshes mixed with pastures with extensive cattle ranching and patches of flooded forests. The area is very susceptible to water level variations in the marshes and the Sinú River as a result of seasonal changes in rainfall. The main habitats in the region are swamps and marshes.

Visit the Nearby Marshes and Natural Reserves

34 km from the town you can visit the swamp of La Caimanera, with 2000 hectares of mangroves, herons and reptiles. it is possible to kayak and canoe along the river.

There is also La Leche swamp, ideal to see monkeys, snakes, tigers and deer.  Finally, the Sanguaré Natural Reserve, with 110 hectares of tropical dry forest surrounded by mangroves, coastal freshwater lagoons, sea grasses and reefs.

Ciénaga Grande de Lorica is another big swamp, which is home to numerous species of birds, mammals, fish and reptiles. It is shared by five municipalities and fed by lagoons and streams and the Sinu River. It has an extension of more than thirty thousand kilometers, and it is home to the Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) when they arrive from Alaska.

Swamp complex of the western margin of the Sinú River

This region was declared Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). Despite conservation efforts, the land is mainly used for extensive cattle ranching and fishing, subsistence agriculture and timber extraction. From 1997 to 2002 a project on sustainable use of wildlife was developed in the Bañó swamp, where a community-based tourism program was key. However, the place has no the expected recognition as an ecotourism destination.


Bañó marsh alone registers a total of 142 species of birds. However, the number of species may be higher, as many marshes remain uninventoried.

There are large flocks of Fulvous whistling duck (Dendrocygna bicolor), Black-bellied whistling duck (D. autumnalis), White-faced whistling duck (D. viduata) and a large number of waterfowl in general. The area is potentially important for reproduction and long-term maintenance of the Northern screamer (Chauna chavaria) population, as well as five other species of ducks. More than 20,000 waterbirds congregate there.

Other fauna

Besides birds, it is possible to find some threatened fauna species such as Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis) (DD), Gray-bellied night monkey (Aotus lemurinus griseimembra) (VU), Dahl’s toad-headed turtle (Phrynops dahli) (CR), Magdalena River turtle (Podocnemis lewyana) (EN), Hicotea (Trachemys scripta callirostris) (LR/nt). Two characteristic species of flora are: Pithecellobium lanceolatum and Thalia angustifolia.


There are more than 17 dive sites where you can admire the largest variety of virgin corals in the Caribbean, nurse and whitetip sharks, turtles, fire and brain corals. It stands out Bajo Bushnell, a reef where barracudas, giant gorgonians and horn coral colonies abound. Other interesting diving places are: Burbujas, Los Pargos, Grieta del Socorro, Fondo Loco, Bajo Mariajo, Los Venados, Los Bayones. Moreover, for advanced divers, Bartolo reef and El Orion.

Beatiful Beaches of Coveñas and Tolu

Thanks to its proximity you can visit Coveñas and Tolú. To get to Coveñas you must take a 45-minute (30 km) road trip. There you will be able to develop the following activities:

Relaxing at the beaches of Coveñas

The beaches you can visit in Coveñas are La Coquerita and Punta de Piedra. You can practice activities and sports such as jet skiing, scuba diving, donut riding, jet skiing, among others.

Marine Infantry Museum Park

It is a museum that has a very attractive architecture, where the work of the armed forces is exhibited as well as part of the history of the country. You can enjoy 22 exhibition rooms and other spaces where the history of the Colombian infantry is shown from independence to the present.

San Bernardo Archipelago

You can also visit this paradise, a group of islands in the Gulf of Morrosquillo where you can enjoy everything from gastronomy to water sports. For more information visit our blog Travel Guide to El Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park.

Las Cuevas Toluviejo

There are 7 caverns where you can go spelunking and explore the mysteries hidden inside, also formed by millenary formations of stalactites, stalagmites and dolomites in its depths, dating from the Miocene and Pliocene periods.

If you want to plan your trip to Colombia do not hesitate to contact us, visit our Plan your trip page!

About the Authors

Sara Colmenares

The current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism-environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services, and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.