#54 best destination in the world

Cartagena

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  • Colonial walled city and fortress
  • Settlement by indigenous people dates back to 4000 BC
  • Served as a place of expansion for the Spanish empire
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

El Totumo

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  • Small active mud volcano popular for its alleged healing mud bath
  • The mound has a prominence of about 49 ft and it is accessible via a staircase that leads to the crater, which can accommodate about 10 to 15 people at a time
  • Tourists bathe in the dense, warm mud and have the option of receiving personal massages from the attendants
  • The experience is then followed by a bath in a nearby lagoon to remove the mud

Santa Cruz de Mompox

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  • Spanish colonial town reached in 1812 which recruited nearly all the able bodied men to form the basis of the army for victory in Caracas
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Metrocable (Medellín)

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  • Gondola lift system with the purpose of providing a complementary transportation service to Medellín Metro
  • Designed to reach some of the city’s informal settlements on the steep hills that mark its topography
  • Considered to be the first urban cable propelled transit system in South America
  • These ideas date back to the use of cable-car technology for exporting coffee starting in the 1930s between the city of Manizales, to the south of Medellín, and the Cauca River 6,600 ft below
  • Its initial conception was indirectly inspired by the Caracas Aerial Tramway which was designed primarily to carry passengers to a luxury hotel in the 1950s

Guatapé

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  • Resort town known for its houses decorated with colorful bas-reliefs
  • It sits by the vast, man-made Peñol-Guatapé Reservoir, a busy water-sports center
  • Piedra del Peñol, a giant granite rock southwest of town, has hundreds of steps to the top, where there are sweeping view

Gold Museum, Bogotá

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  • Museum that exhibits a selection of pre-Columbian gold and other metal alloys
  • #23 of the top 25 museums in the world
  • Contains the largest collection of gold artifacts in the wrold
  • Also features pottery, stone, shell, wood, and textile objects made by indigenous cultures

Monserrate

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  • Mountain 10,341 ft above sea level where a 17th century church with a shrine has been built
  • Considered sacred in pre-Columbian times when the area was inhabited by the indigenous Muisca
  • Pilgrim destination and major tourist attraction
  • Can be reached by funicular and aerial tramway

Tequendama Falls Museum

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  • Museum and mansion that overlooks Tequendama Falls on the Bogotá River
  • Before renovation, the building was an abandoned hotel, known as the Tequendama Falls Hotel
  • Built in 1923, as a mansion to elite citizens of the 1920s
  • The building functioned as a hotel from 1928 until its abandonment in the early 90s for more than two decades due to Bogotá River contamination

Tatacoa Desert

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  • Desert renown as a rich deposit of fossils
  • The Tatacoa Desert has two distinctive colors: ocher in the area of Cuzco and gray in the Los Hoyos area.
  • The Tatacoa, or the Valley of Sorrows, as it was called in 1538 by the conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, is not just a desert, but a tropical dry forest
  • The name “Tatacoa” also given by the Spanish, refers to its rattlesnakes
  • During the Tertiary Period, it was wetter, with thousands of flowers and trees, but has been gradually drying up to become a desert

Tierradentro

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  • One of the ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia
  • It started to flourish around 200 BC, and continued into the 17th century
  • Contains a hypogeum that has an entry oriented towards the west, a spiral staircase and a main chamber, usually below the surface, with several lesser chambers around, each one containing a corpse
  • The walls are painted with geometric, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic patterns in red, black and white
  • Some statues and remains of pottery and fabrics can be seen scarcely due to grave robbery before the hypogea were constituted as protected areas
  • The pre-Columbian culture that created this funeral complex inhabited this area during the first millennium AD
  • Tierradentro Archaeological park features hypogea dating from 6th to 9th centuries AD
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

San Agustín Archaeological Park

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  • Contains the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in Latin America
  • World’s largest necropolis
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Caño Cristales

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  • Colombian river known as the “River of Five Colors”
  • Quartzite rocks formed 1.2 billion years ago
  • Fast river with many rapids and waterfalls

Costs

Number of Days: 32 days

Best Time To Fly: Feb-March

Airline tickets: $797

Seattle -> Cartagena (one way) $278
Cartagena -> Medellín $24
Medellín -> Bogotá (one way) $21
Bogota -> Neiva (one way) $47
Cali -> Bogota (one way) $22
Bogota -> Seattle (one way) $405

Food: $10/day x 32 days = $320

Entertainment/tours: $1,108

Airbnb: $77/day x 31 days = $2,387

TOTAL: $4,612