Colombia  Travel Guide : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach

You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the Colombia .

Colombia is a country in South America. It is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, the northwest by Panama, the south by Ecuador and Peru, the east by Venezuela, the southeast by Brazil, and the west by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia is composed of 32 departments and the Capital District of Bogotá, the country's largest city. It covers an area of 1,141,748 square kilometres (440,831 sq mi), with a population of 50 million. Colombia's rich cultural heritage reflects influences by various Amerindian civilizations, European settlement, African slaves, and immigration from Europe and the Middle East. Spanish is the nation's official language, besides which over 70 languages are spoken.

Colombia has been inhabited by various indigenous peoples since at least 12,000 BCE, including the Muisca, Quimbaya, and the Tairona. The Spanish landed first in La Guajira in 1499 and by the mid-16th century colonized parts of the region, establishing the New Kingdom of Granada, with Santafé de Bogotá as its capital. Independence from the Spanish Empire was achieved in 1810, with what is now Colombia emerging as the United Provinces of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903, leading to Colombia's present borders. Beginning in the 1960s, the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict and political violence, both of which escalated in the 1990s. Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security, stability, and rule of law, as well as unprecedented economic growth and development.

Colombia is one of the world's seventeen megadiverse countries, and has the second-highest level of biodiversity in the world. Its territory encompasses Amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands, and deserts, and it is the only country in South America with coastlines and islands along both Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Colombia is a member of major global and regional organizations including the United Nations, the WTO, the OECD, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, the Andean Community, and a NATO Global Partner. Its diversified economy is the third-largest in South America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects.

Foods in Colombia :
(1) Bandeja Paisa : 

Bandeja Paisa is a traditional meal from the Paisa region of Colombia, which includes the cities of Medellin, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Guatape and Jardin. In fact it is so well-loved it has been adopted as Colombia’s national dish. This hearty meal usually contains white rice, red beans, ground or minced beef, plantain, chorizo sausage, corn, pork crackling, fried egg, arepa and an avocado. The ingredients can vary between cities and restaurants with certain ingredients being added or taken away. Portion size can also vary between the full meal and half or a quarter of the traditional plate size.

(2) Lechona : 

Lechona is a mixture of chickpeas, pork meat, spices, and occasionally rice (depending on the area) which is often served with an arepa. Traditionally this mixture of ingredients is slow cooked for up to 10 hours inside a whole pig roast which infuses all the flavors together and creates a delicious platter. While Lechona can be found in restaurants all over Colombia, it originates from the Tolima region, which is south-west of Bogotá and contains the major cities of Ibagué and Espinal.

(3) Ajiaco : 

Originally from the Bogotá and Andes Mountains region of Colombia but more recently found all over the country, this traditional soup is ideal for the cooler mountainous locations. This dish is a white soup made with chicken, a variety of two or three kinds of potato, corn, sour cream, and is usually served with white rice and avocado.

(4) Sancocho : 

Sancocho stems from the traditional Spanish dish and is popular all over South America and each country has a unique take on the dish. Colombia is no different: the Colombian dish varies between fish on the coast and different kinds of meat in other regions. It always contains yuca, corn, potatoes, and plantain, and is usually served along with white rice. This dish originates from the Valle de Cauca region that contains the cities of Cali, Buenaventura and Tulua.

(5) Changua :

This breakfast soup originates from the Andes region and in this cooler, mountainous area this soup provides an idea start to the day. The milk-based soup is made with water, milk, egg, onions and coriander and is often served with bread and hot chocolate.

Weather & geography in  Colombia  :
Colombia is a generally warm country. Almost 80% of its territory lies below 1,000 m above sea level in a wide variety of Colombian regions, with an average temperature of 27°C (80,6 °F). Cartagena de Indias, one of Colombia's crown jewels, is also known as “The Heroic City”.The Republic of Colombia is situated largely in the northwest of South America, with some territories falling within the boundaries of Central America. It is bordered to the northwest by Panama; to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; and it shares maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

Colombia has a land size of 1,138,910 km2 (439,740 sq mi) and it is the 25th largest nation in the world and the fourth-largest country in South America (after Brazil, Argentina, and Peru). Colombia's population is not evenly distributed, and most of the people live in the mountainous western portion of the country as well as along the northern coastline; the highest number live in or near the capital city of Bogotá. The southern and eastern portions of the country are sparsely inhabited, consisting of tropical rainforest, and inland tropical plains that contain large estates or large livestock farms, oil and gas production facilities, small farming communities, and indigenous tribes with their territories. Colombia has the 35th largest Exclusive Economic Zone of 808,158 km2 (312,032 sq mi).

Per day Cost in Colombia  :
You should plan to spend around CO$138,923 ($36) per day on your vacation in Colombia, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, CO$35,122 ($9.17) on meals for one day and CO$24,519 ($6.40) on local transportation.

History of Colombia :

The history of Colombia includes the settlements and society by indigenous peoples, most notably, the Muisca Confederation, Quimbaya Civilization, and Tairona Chiefdoms; the Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of annexation and colonization, most noteworthy being Spanish conquest of the Muisca; ultimately creating the Viceroyalty of New Granada, with its capital at Bogotá. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 the "Gran Colombia" Federation was dissolved. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886; as well as constant political violence in the country. Panama seceded in 1903. Since the 1960s, the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict, which escalated in the 1990s, but then decreased from 2005 onward. The legacy of Colombia's history has resulted in a rich cultural heritage; while varied geography, and the imposing landscape of the country has resulted in the development of very strong regional identities.

Language in Colombia  :

More than 99.5% of Colombians speak Spanish. English has official status in the San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina Islands. In addition to Spanish, there are several other languages spoken in Colombia. Sixty-five of these languages are Amerindian in nature.

Culture of  Colombia  :
Many aspects of Colombian culture can be traced back to the early culture of Spain of the 16th century and its collision with Colombia's native civilizations. The Spanish brought Catholicism, the feudal encomienda system, and a caste system that favored European-born whites. After independence from Spain, the criollos struggled to establish a pluralistic political system, between conservative and liberal ideals. The conservatives supported the involvement of the Catholic Church in the state, while liberals favored the separation of these. The conservatives managed to outsource public education to the Catholic Church, and for many years, the church controlled the country's education system.

Both parties engaged in multiple civil wars resulting in a slow development of the country and the isolation of regions until the end of the 19th century. Ethno-racial groups maintained their ancestral heritage culture: whites tried to keep themselves, despite the growing number of illegitimate children of mixed African or indigenous ancestry. These people were labeled with any number of descriptive names, derived from the casta system, such as mestizo, mulatto and moreno. Blacks and indigenous people of Colombia also mixed to form zambos, creating a new ethno-racial group in society. This mix also created a fusion of cultures. Carnivals for example became an opportunity for all classes and colors to congregate without prejudice. The introduction of the bill of rights of men and the abolishment of slavery (1851) eased the segregationist tensions between the races, but the dominance of the whites prevailed and prevails to some extent to this day.

Place to visit in Colombia  :
(1)  Cartagena

(2) Tayrona National Park

(3) The Lost City (La Ciudad Perdida)

(4) Salento

(5) Cocora Valley

(6) Cali

Hotel in Colombia  :
(1) Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena

(2) Hilton Cartagena

(3) Hotel NH Collection Medellin Royal

(4)Grand Hyatt Bogotá 

How to reach in Colombia  :

The citizens of India are required to obtain a visa to enter Colombia. Visas may be obtained from the Embassy or Consulate of Colombia in India. A Colombia visa for Indians can be private, tourist, business and work – depending on the purposeof a visit.

Travel Guide for Colombia  : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).