Travelzoo, one of the largest publishers of travel deals has recently announced its top locations to visit to get the best value and not surprisingly has included Colombia in its 2013 international list along with Ireland and New Zealand.
Destinations were chosen based on industry projections, recent trends and consumer buzz including having a strong number of travel deals that will impress consumers.
Factors relating to Colombia making this list were international flights decreasing in price from major air carriers such as JetBlue, LAN, Spirit, Taca, Avianca and American Airlines. With a stable economy and commitment to safety there have been new routes from major air carriers. As well new properties from international hotel chains, such as JW Marriot and the Hilton, have been appearing, making tourists feel comfortable that they know the level of service they will receive once they arrive.
It is not surprising that Colombia made the list with improvements in safety, infrastructure and international investment in the country. If you have never been to Colombia before you may want to consider these destinations:
Known to many as the jewel of South America, Cartagena is one of the most beautiful cities in Colombia. This walled city is perfect for walking around with a camera and settling into a café when your feet begin to tire. It is also a great jumping off point for the many beaches in Colombia such as Playa Blanca, San Andres and Tayrona.
The capital city of the country, Bogota is a city on a world-class level with lots of opportunity to experience art, culture, fine dining and night life. Many travellers come to Bogota and spend days in the museums and art galleries for which the city is known for, particularly the Museo del Oro or Gold Museum which houses over 30,000 pieces on display at the Banco de la Republica. If you want to see pre-Colombian gold artwork there is no better place to go.
This city is most famous for two things: Pablo Escobar and its world-class level of salsa dancers. If you are interested in history there are many tours you can take to learn about the infamous Pablo Escobar and his drug cartel. However, the real draw for many to this city is its wonderful night life. Around the world, Cali is known for its particular style of salsa with intense footwork and passionate dancers. If you have never salsa danced before have no fear there are many options to learn to salsa dance from drop-in group classes that can begin at $2 a class to private classes in schools that have taught winning teams of salsa dancers around the world.
This is a small city but well worth visiting. Many people first notice it's appearance, known as the white city all of the major buildings around the centre square are painted white. A colonial style of architecture dating back to the Spanish conquest, Popayan is a gorgeous city like no other. The best time to visit is during Easter, known as Semana Santa as there are elaborate celebrations but the city is fantastic to walk around all year long. A tip for vegetarians: there are many restaurants here that are vegetarian-only or understand vegetarian needs.
Much like all of Colombia, Medellin has a bad reputation as it was once considered a very dangerous city. Unfortunately this reputation has been slow to change and it is a pity as this is often traveler's favourite city as it the home to some of the best night life. The day is perfect for wandering around and visiting great artwork at the Botero museum but the night is endless and perfect for more salsa dancing.