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Colombia Is Ripe for Tourism

Colombia Is Ripe for Tourism

Struggling with bad press in the last several decades due to rampant drug cartels and civil unrest, Colombia has made huge strides in cleaning up its act and providing safety and security not only for its residents, but visitors as well. Sustainable travel company G Adventures is leading the way in putting Colombia back on the tourism map with more than 13 itineraries that include working with indigenous communities in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to help them benefit from tourism while protecting their sacred land. 960 1280

G Adventures  

Take a Dip in Totumo Volcano

Take a Dip in Totumo Volcano

Just an hour outside of Cartagena, lies Totumo’s otherworldly volcano mud bath – a mile-deep mix of thermal water and subterranean minerals. After you enjoy a muddy massage (part of the experience, but tips are expected), join the rest of your mud people getting bathed rigrously by the local women in the nearby lagoon. 960 1280

Timothy Chan  

Visit a Colombian Coffee Farm

Visit a Colombian Coffee Farm

See where all that great coffee you’ve been drinking for years comes from with a tour of a coffee plantation in Armenia, the heart of Colombia’s coffee region. Learn about the entire coffee process, including how to know when a coffee bean is ripe for picking, before you enjoy a tasting of the various brews. 960 1280

Sergio Posada / EyeEm  

Stroll Through Cartagena’s Stunning Streets

Stroll Through Cartagena’s Stunning Streets

Cartagena lives up to the hype with its bougainvillea-lined balconies and charming cobblestone streets. This is the place to throw out your itinerary and let the day take you as you hop from one open-air cafe to the next, until you make your way to the legendary Cafe del Mar located directly on the Old City’s fortress walls to watch the sun melt into the Caribbean Sea. 960 1280

G Adventures  

Take in Bogota’s Street Art

Take in Bogota’s Street Art

While this artsy city is known to hold art exhibitions in some unexpected places, including hotels, warehouses, hair salons and even churches, Bogota is most known internationally for its prolific street art, and graffiti artists from all over the world congregate here to work on their urban art form. Take the Bogota Graffiti Tour to get the story behind the city's staggering street art. 960 1280

Kathleen Rellihan  

Bask on Colombia’s Beautiful Beaches

Bask on Colombia’s Beautiful Beaches

Colombia’s Caribbean Coast offers beaches galore – from Santa Marta’s tourist-friendly El Rodadero beach to islands such as Islas del Rosario and San Andres that offer crystal clear water, fresh seafood, and less urban distractions than mainland. 960 1280

DC_Colombia  

Tour Modern Medellin

Tour Modern Medellin

Colombia’s second-largest city, Medellin, transformed since its crime-ridden past into one of the most innovative and creative cites in South America. A thriving art and culinary scene, Medellin is changing by the minute. Hop on the Metrocable for sweeping views of this modern city in the mountains. 960 1280

piccaya  

Support the Local Artisans

Support the Local Artisans

Take home a one-of-a-kind souvenir from Colombia with a colorful mochila bag handmade by the indigenous Wayuu women using their unique art of weaving that has been passed down for generations. The bags, traditionally used to carry food and water, can take up to 20 days for a Wayuu woman to make. 960 1280

Kathleen Rellihan  

Trek to the Lost City

Trek to the Lost City

Explore the tourist-free (at least for now) ruins of Colombia’s Lost City or "Ciudad Perdida" with sustainable travel company G Adventures. Sleep in hammocks, visit the indigenous communities, and climb the 1,200 steps to get to the Lost City for breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 960 1280

PetraKosonen  

Hike in Tayrona National Park

Hike in Tayrona National Park

After a day trekking through the lush jungles of Tayrona National Park, rest your feet in the sand on the park’s pristine beaches that you’ll have all to yourself. Don’t want to carry a tent? You can rent the most eco-friendly accommodation in the park – a hammock. 960 1280

DC_Colombia  

Enjoy Traditional Colombian Music

Enjoy Traditional Colombian Music

You can’t come to Colombia without participating in the country’s national pastime – dancing. While the coastal city of Cali is known as Colombia’s salsa capital, you’ll find live music and dancing in the streets all over the country. 960 1280

Shereen Mroueh  

Climb Monserrate for Mountain Views

Climb Monserrate for Mountain Views

The best way to take in the sweeping views of Colombia’s capital city Bogota is from the mountaintop of Monserrate, which can be reached by train, cable car or, for the fit, a pilgrimage up to the peak on foot. A beautiful white church is the focal point on Monserrate, but there are also restaurants at the top and vendors selling souvenirs and coca leaf tea, the local’s recommendations for high-altitude sickness. 960 1280

G Adventures  

See Old World Treasures in Bogota

See Old World Treasures in Bogota

In the heart of Bogota’s historic center, lies the expansive Plaza de Bolivar, a great place to take in Colombian culture from the surrounding colonial buildings to the young street performers. Nearby is the Museo del Oro or Gold Museum, home to the largest gold collection – more than 55,000 pieces – from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. 960 1280

Mariusz Kluzniak  

Montreal's popular Jean-Drapeau Park, located on the Saint Lawrence River, is the city's largest park, making it the perfect spot to host many cultural and sporting events. 960 1280

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Visitors traveling on Montreal's metro can hop out at the Bonaventure station to see the Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde or Cathedral-Basilica of Mary, Queen of the World. 960 1280

  

The Biosphere, located at Pac Jean-Drapeau on Saint Helen's Island, was the former United States pavilion for the 1967 World Fair Expo in 1967. It is now an interactive museum dedicated to major environmental issues related to water, climate change, air, eco-technologies and sustainable development. 960 1280

  

Montreal has dozens of museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts (pictured), Museum of Archaeology and History, Chateau Ramezay Museum and McCord Museum of Canadian History. 960 1280

Reuters  

Montreal's Olympic Stadium was built for the 1976 Summer Games and is now the place for sports enthusiasts to catch a football, baseball or soccer game. 960 1280

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The Montreal Insectarium, 1 of the most popular tourist attractions, is the largest insectarium in North America. It features a large quantity of insects from all around the world, including both live and dead insect collections of butterflies, bees and ants. 960 1280

  

Atwater Market, a farmers' market located in Montreal's Saint-Henri neighborhood, has an interior and outdoor market that sells flowers, seafood, cheese, wine, produce and much more. 960 1280

  

Place des Arts is a major performing arts center in Montreal. It's home to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Opera de Montreal, and apparently it's also a great place to hang relax and catch some rays. 960 1280

  

Montreal Casino, located on Notre Dame Island, is the largest casino in Canada and of the largest casinos in the world. The casino is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to patrons 18 years old or older. 960 1280

  

Pick up some fresh veggies at Jean Talon Market. The open-air market stays open year-round and has 300 vendors, mostly farmers from the countryside around Montreal. 960 1280

Augustine CHANG  

Travelers who visit Montreal during the winter can go ice skating at the Bonsecours Basin's outdoor skating rink. It's a perfect spot for a date and casual Sunday strollers. 960 1280

  

Montreal's riverfront welcomes over 7 million visitors per year. Old Port was once a French fur traders post in 1611. Now it's the site for the Bonsecours Market, walking, cycling, roller-blading, and multiple cultural events. 960 1280

  

Architects Henri-Maurice Perrault and Alexander Cowper Hutchinson were the masterminds behind the 5-storey Montreal City Hall building, built between 1872 and 1878. 960 1280

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The Montreal Botanical Garden is 185 acres of thematic gardens and greenhouses, including the Japanese Gardens' beautiful waterfalls and magnolias. 960 1280

  

The Notre-Dame Basilica, located in the historic district of Old Montreal, has some of the most dramatic Gothic Revival architecture in history. The grand and colorful interior, which includes stained glass windows that depict scenes from the city's religious history. 960 1280

  

Welcome to St. Maarten

Welcome to St. Maarten

A small building welcomes visitors to beautiful St. Maarten. 960 1280

Walter Bibikow, Getty Images  

Philipsburg

Philipsburg

Philipsburg, the capital of the country of St. Maarten as seen from above. The salt pond is at left, and Great Bay is to the right. 960 1280

Tan Yilmaz, Getty Images  

Jet Flying Over St. Maarten Beach

Jet Flying Over St. Maarten Beach

Jet planes fly close to the beach as they prepare for landing at Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten. 960 1280

Jake Warga, Getty Images  

Stores at St. Maarten

Stores at St. Maarten

A variety of stores can be found on St. Maarten. 960 1280

Bernhard Limberger / LOOK-foto / Getty Images  

Oyster Pond, St. Maarten

Oyster Pond, St. Maarten

Oyster Pond, St. Martin (St. Maarten), Netherlands Antilles, West Indies, Caribbean, Central America 960 1280

Michael DeFreitas, robertharding, Getty Images  

St. Maarten's Orient Bay

St. Maarten's Orient Bay

On a beautiful, sunny morning, the view of St. Maarten's Orient Bay from Anse Marcel is stunning. 960 1280

Katherine Gendreau Photography, Getty Images  

St. Maarten Beach Bar

St. Maarten Beach Bar

Cozy up to the Big Wave Beach Bar on St. Maarten. 960 1280

Richard Cummins / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Oyster Pond Yacht Harbor

Oyster Pond Yacht Harbor

Oyster Pond Yacht harbor at St. Maarten. Caribbean 960 1280

PetePhipp/Travelshots, Getty Images  

St. Maarten Beach

St. Maarten Beach

Philipsburg, St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean 960 1280

Holger Leue / LPI / Getty Images  

Colorful St. Maarten Restaurant

Colorful St. Maarten Restaurant

Colorful restaurant in Philipsburg, St. Maarten 960 1280

Richard Cummins / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

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