Colombia is a paradise for those seeking adventure!

Are you an adventure traveler?  Look no further than Colombia – a paradise for those seeking heart-pounding outdoor recreation!

Colombia has indeed become a popular destination for adventure seekers in recent years, thanks to its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and a wide range of outdoor activities.  Following are several suggestions for thrill seekers.

For the serious hiker, there’s no better trek than the strenuous four day climb to the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City of Teyuna).  Only 160 hikers per day are permitted at the site, giving you unique access to the protected ruins of the ancient Tairona people.  On the way, you’ll experience the sights and sounds of the deep jungle, brave rushing river crossings, and visit remote Kogi villages in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  You’ll camp along river banks, sleep in hammocks, and learn about this remote environment and culture from your local guide.

Another unique hiking experience can be found in the Tatacoa Desert which features picturesque, unusual scenery during the daytime and unparalleled stargazing at night.  During the day you’ll traverse fossilized clay canyons and scale gray and red sandstone peaks and stone formations.  Snakes, scorpions, lizards, turtles and ocelots inhabit this dry region – cacti are plentiful, but most other vegetation has disappeared, making the landscape somewhat other-wordly.  At night the complete absence of light pollution allows visitors to identify over 80 different constellations and witness thrilling meteor showers.

Take a two day white-water rafting trip down the Chicamocha River which cuts through the second largest canyon in the world.  Battle your way through the rushing rapids on the 30 mile journey to San Gil, Colombia’s adventure capital.  You can spend days here in this relatively uncrowded area to experience bungee jumping, ziplining, paragliding and kayaking.  The scenery is spectacular, and if you need a little break from risking your life, take a half day to visit the quaint town of Barichara for a walking tour to admire its beautiful architecture, and make a stop at a local watering hole for a pitcher of refajo (refreshing cocktail made with local beer).

Cabo de la Vela is found on a peninsula at the northernmost tip of South America.  It’s a popular destination for eco-tourists because of its amazing biodiversity, but adventure seekers flock to the Guajira Peninsula because the kite-surfing and wind-surfing experiences here are hard to beat.  Warm waters and brisk prevailing winds provide the perfect environment for these sports.  You can book a kite “safari” that will introduce you to several beaches and small villages along the north coast  where you can experience local Colombian culture.

Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will love the San Andres and Providencia islands which give access to the third largest barrier reef in the world.  The islands are part of the UNESCO Seaflower Biosphere Reserve featuring complex coral reefs and a diverse population of marine creatures, birds and plantlife.  Dive the Blue Wall up to a depth of 200 feet and explore its varied blue holes, caves and shipwrecks.

Rock climbers will have a hard time deciding between the many climbing destinations in Colombia.  Suesca, about an hour from Bogota, is the oldest and most developed of the choices, with over 400 climbing routes to conquer.  It welcomes all styles of climbers – sport, traditional and multi-pitch climbers.  The town itself has many amenities to keep you occupied on rest days.  El Penol de Guatape is located about 2 hours from Medellin.  It is not as developed as the Suesca site, and as a result is less crowded, especially during the week.  It has approximately 100 climbing routes of all types, and it also offers a rather daunting switchback stairway to the top if you have a companion who is not a climbing daredevil!   Macheta’s 300 climbing routes offer several different climbing styles and degrees of difficulty.  For a little change of pace, try climbing at Ventanas del Tizquizoque.  This is the site of an ancient cave spiked with immense stalactites.  It’s located near the beautiful town of Florian, a rather remote and undeveloped region that is mainly farmland.  The climbing here is exclusively sport climbing with unmatched scenic vistas of waterfalls and challenging rock faces.

Colombia is calling all adventure lovers to experience its myriad opportunities for a truly wild vacation experience.  Get your thrill-seeking buddies together and call a Travel Leaders expert for more information.

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