Colombia: To Go or Not to Go?

 

Article first published as Colombia: To Go or Not to Go? on Technorati.

When I mentioned we are leaving to go to Colombia in two weeks, nearly everyone replies, “Is it safe to go there?” The Lonely Planet starts its section on Colombia by saying, “Colombia’s back. After decades of civil conflict, Colombia is now safe to visit and travelers are discovering what they’ve been missing.”

Pete Gomez wrote about his amazing adventure in Colombia, for the November 2010 NEXT magazine in the Travel section. He reports that “friendly and enthusiastic, Colombians are eager to point out that the dark days of ‘la violencia’ and warring drug barons are firmly in the past.” I am thinking it’s a go!

Adam Seper wrote for Bootsnall, “After learning more about Colombians and their culture, I think they are just embracing the chance to be happy. After living under so much violence, after their country was torn apart over the last several decades by drug cartels and paramilitary groups, they are rejoicing.” His month long journey included many friendly people and no issues and he was warmly welcomed by all locals. I want to meet friendly locals!

mapAn expat friend of ours who lives in Thailand said, “Are you only going to Colombia? Are you going to be traveling near the Darien Gap? if so, BE CAREFUL! I am jealous of you as that is a country on my top 10 list!” Yes, we are going and no, we are not going to Darien Gap near Panama.
While many first think of kidnappings, murder and drug lords as the norm for Colombia, Gomez continues his article by saying “Colombia is safe to visit and rewards travelers with a fascinating mix of vibrant cities, white-washed colonial villages, steamy Amazon jungle and Caribbean Islands and palm-fringed beaches.”

In early 2011, I will report back on the World Heritage site of Cartagena’s old town in the heart of the city which is the location for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. I personally prefer Isabelle Allende’s The House of Spirits, but cannot wait to see Cartagena and all Colombia has to offer.

Since Anthony Bourdain and his show, No Reservations, visited, many want to try out his choices of eating at La Cevicheria and enjoying the market, Basurto Market. I think they will be at the top of my list!

playaIt will be amazing to compare the beaches of Playa Blanca with the other Caribbean islands and to enjoy Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona.
Ringing in the New Year in Cartagena, I hope will be a memorable first wedding anniversary for only good reasons.

So should we go to Colombia? Yes!

But we are taking suggestions for what to do and for where to go next !

PS: Check out my article at Science Isn’t Scary called:

Holiday Gifts: Are Educational Toys Always Geeky?

 

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

10 responses to “Colombia: To Go or Not to Go?

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience.I also have a wish to travel to Columbia and most probably next year during my vacations.My friend had his travel to Columbia this year he didn't face any problem during his travel.

  2. Thank you for your comments! I hope you will visit Colombia! We will write all about our journey after we get back!
    Happy Holidays!
    Lisa

  3. I just can say they you made a excellent choice! I am sure you will have a great trip. Colombia is becoming a great travel destination. Parque Tayrona will be wonderful i think. Still i ve to see a lot of places in Colombia.

  4. I came here for the first time in 2005. Soon after, I chose to move to Medellin and never looked back. We would love to syndicate your travel stories on our site so that more people can see that Colombia is a great place to visit and live!

  5. Dear Ernesto and Discover Columbia, Thank you for your comments and YES we want to share more stories!
    Thanks so much!
    Lisa

  6. Hi Lisa and George!

    I'm so thrilled you decided to come visit my beautiful country!! Please dont hesitate to send me any question you'd like to get answered about travelling in Colombia, I'm a Trip Advisor Expert in many Colombia destinations and my passion in life is to tell the world about all the beauties of my homeland.

    Abrazos!

    Marcela

    http://colombia-travel-marcela.blogspot.com/

  7. Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

    – Daniel

  8. Daniel wrote: "It appears that you are an expert in this field, your remarks are very interesting, thank you."

    Thank you Daniel! We hope you keep reading and traveling!
    Lisa and George

  9. Go go go! Colombia is such a great country. We have a very rich and diverse culture. It is a modern city where you can find everything you would in any other touristic spot. Bogota tours has lots of museums, parks, and universities, thus it is called “The Athens of South America”. And at the same time you can visit the wild part of Colmbia with a rich natural environment and lovely beaches. ¿My advice? Come! 🙂

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