Think for instance of rejuvenating mud baths in small volcanoes, visiting the nature and bird reserve El Dorado and soak up some real Afro-Colombian culture in the beautifully historical Cartagena de Indias. Forget about sightseeing tours in buses, but instead wander around the cobbled streets of the old town, with its many shaded plazas, and guide yourself to former working class neighborhood Getsemaní with its plentiful street art, energetic main square and charming boutique hotels. Cafes and street carts are always around when you need a coffee break, cold pressed fruit juice or filling arepa con queso.
Once you feel ready to escape the hotness of town, boats are waiting to bring you to the heavenly Playa Blanca and the Islas del Rosario. Stay a night or two on the islands if you want to wake up in paradise without sharing it with the crowds just visiting for the day.
In need of more paradise feeling? Then book a flight to the white sandy islands of San Andres and Providencia, where a seven colored sea, beautiful beaches, coral reef and coconut drinks will await you. It does not get more Caribbean than this.
Whether you plan your beach days in the beginning or at the end of your holiday, some serious hiking in between will make the reward of Caribbean relaxation even bigger. The colonial port city of Santa Marta forms the perfect base for starting your active days.
Think of strolling along the raw and stunning beaches of Tayrona National Park, backed by tropical rainforest as well as rare tropical dry forest. Or plan a day hike through the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a pyramid shaped mountain on the most northern tip of the Andes mountain range, considered to be the heart of the world by the native Arhuaco and Kogi Indians. Still not enough? Hike in four to five days to Colombia’s lost city, la Ciudad Perdida, to witness the archaeological remains of what once was the flourishing heart of a network of villages of the original inhabitants.
For more Caribbean inspiration, please click on either one of the five areas in which we divided the northern coastline: Golfo de Uraba, Cartagena and surroundings, Santa Marta and surroundings, La Guajira and San Andres & Providencia.