Photo: N i c o l a
Colombians love their pastries and baked goods, but not all croissants are born equal. From the famous pan de chocolate of German-style Brot to the fresh-baked baguette at sunny Masa, some of the capital’s pastry shops and bakeries simply rise above the rest.
By Carlos Serrano, in Magazine
Photos by: Alvaro Delgado
With a cool, new vibe that has earned it the nickname “JetSetManí,” this neighborhood represents the best and most cosmopolitan aspects of the city where Gabriel García Márquez wrote some of his most memorable stories.
Photo: Laura Cahnspeyer
Blessed with two very different coasts bordering two different oceans, Colombia is a surfer’s paradise. From the white coastline of the Caribbean to the more intense, dark-sand beaches of the Pacific coast, there are beaches for all levels of surfers, from newbies to those who grew up in the water.
Though Colombia may be best-known for its tasty beverages and unparalleled rumba, one of the country’s biggest strengths is its natural beauty. With Caribbean islands, tropical beaches, dense rainforest, soaring snowcapped peaks, rumbling volcanoes and sprawling plains – to name just a few of the country’s many ecosystems – Colombia has no shortage of natural wealth. Don’t miss the chance to see these wonders firsthand – enter now for the chance to win a two-week G Adventures trip to Colombia, complete with a personal wildlife excursion guided by a local Wildlife Conservation Society naturalist!
Photo: nicole tarazona
One of the joys of walking down the street just about anywhere in Colombia – or really, anywhere in Latin America – is the street food. If you get hungry rounding a corner, there’s sure to be a vendor waiting just across the street to satisfy your hunger pangs.
Colombia is famously a nation of distinct regions – and perhaps even more famously a nation of strong musical tradition. Every part of the country has given rise to or adopted its own distinct musical style, from cumbia on the Caribbean coast to the piping Andean melodies in the southwest. But perhaps no place takes its musical birthright as seriously as the northern city of Valledupar, the proclaimed cradle of the folk style known as vallenato.
If you go to Valledupar looking for something other than vallenato, you may run out of activities fairly quickly, but there’s a certain charm to taking a long lunch – and then maybe a nap to avoid the brutal midday heat – and relaxing in the central plaza with a cup of icy pineapple juice.
Photo: Hernan Garcia Crespo
Bogotá is quickly becoming a major player on the street art scene, drawing international artists as well as creating plenty of homegrown talent. The central Candelaria neighborhood and the major thoroughfare of Calle 26, as well as many other neighborhoods, are living canvases, constantly evolving and adding new works.
Visitors and locals alike have long marveled at the innovative works coming out of the Colombian capital, and the international community is finally starting to take notice as well, with Bogotá popping up on lists of the world’s best cities for street art. With a long history, plenty of cause for social commentary and ever more buildings springing up across the city, local artists are unlikely to run out of inspiration – or canvas – anytime soon!
Here are some of the best places to see Bogotá’s best free art, and a few of the big-name artists to look out for. Who knows – one of them could be the next Banksy!
As if Ciclovía weren’t already enough to make Sundays in Bogotá magical, the second half of the weekend is a shopper’s heaven in the capital. From north to south, there are tons of options for browsing antiques, handcrafts, jewelry, bags, leather, housewares and all those weird things that will probably never get sold.
The US gets a lot of (well-deserved) attention for its stellar breakfast food, but Colombia knows how to hold its own when it comes to the most important meal of the day.
From the bustling central cities to the laid-back Caribbean coast to the rural campesino communities in the south, everyone stocks up on energy food – and, of course, lots of carbs – before heading out to greet the day. Any Colombian will tell you that food here varies immensely by region – and the battles between different areas for culinary supremacy are fierce. Each part of the country has its own spin on the beloved arepa, its own fruit juices, its own cheese, bread, potato dishes, rice – you get the picture. This is just one of the many things that makes traveling throughout Colombia such an adventure: you’re always trying new flavors and dishes, no matter where you go!
It could take pages to go through all of the options available for morning foodies, but here’s a quick primer on a few of the most typical Colombian breakfast dishes, ranging from the positively mouthwatering to the ones that might make you wish you’d never gotten out of bed. Of course, all of them come with a fresh-brewed cup of Colombian coffee!
Photo: Omar Baez Camarena
Colombia is a music-loving country. From the northern tip of the Guajira peninsula to the southern reaches of the Colombian Amazon, the nation pulses with the beats of drums, guitars, percussion and, yes, accordions.
But it’s not a homogenous sound – rather, it’s a symphony of different rhythms, instruments and beats. Each region of the country has its own distinct musical tradition, developed from different cultural influences and the backgrounds of the people living there.
Sometimes it seems like each and every individual town has its own particular musical styling. One of the most important and uniquely Colombian genres, however, is cumbia, a traditional rhythm that blends the musical influences of many of the diverse cultures and ethnicities on Colombia’s Caribbean coast and continues to provide inspiration for many of the most popular Colombian bands today.