Colombia is a country of staggering diversity. In species terms, there are more birds here than in any other country in the world – some 1,800 species in fact of which 100 are found nowhere else. Mammals are similarly abundant and diverse and new species of frog and insect are being discovered on a regular basis.
Colombia’s geographical diversity is a key reason for its biodiversity. Uniquely, Colombia’s Andes divides into three separate ranges and it is the only country on the South American continent with both Caribbean and Pacific, with more than a thousand miles of coastline. On the edges of each range, cloud forests have evolved in quite different ways. There are also two significant and lowland rainforest ecosystems: the Amazon in the south east and the Choco along the western coast. Whilst a third lowland rainforest area of the Magdalena Valley has suffered significant deforestation, the Amazon and Choco of Colombia remain in a remarkably pristine state.
The colonial city of Cartagena de Indias sits on the Caribbean coast and no visit to Colombia would feel complete without a stay in this ‘jewel in the crown’ of South American cities. One could feel compelled to visit the city for its character and atmosphere alone, with its cobbled streets, stunning architecture and fascinating history; but Cartagena has on its doorstep the beautiful National Park Corales del Rosario and San Bernardo.
From a marine perspective Colombia’s Pacific islands of Malpelo and Gorgona sit within a region of ocean which retains possibly the most pristine tropical pelagic environment. Enormous schools of sharks and fish can be found at Malpelo in particular making it one of the best, yet least visited, dive spots in earth. Our approach to Malpelo is from Costa Rica and Panama.
In the Caribbean Sea lie the isolated islands of San Andres and Providencia. These are closer to the border of Nicaragua than Colombia and although Providencia can only be reached by small aircraft, it offers the best taste of how the Caribbean was a decade or so ago. Native forest still covers most of the island from the hilly peaks to the sandy shores and the people are friendly with Rastafarian culture adding to the islands laid back charm. There is some very good Caribbean diving here with excellent visibility and some fun snorkelling.
Our Colombian itineraries are ever growing and totally tailor-made. At this time they are most suitable in combination with trips to other Latin American Countries we offer.
Photographs kindly provided by Chloe Burnett, Doug Gueldner , Laercio Horta & Dan Holden
Colombia - Bogota - Rosario Islands - Birds - Endemic - UNESCO - Emerald - Gold