|Currency:||Colombian Peso ($)|
Caste aside your stereotypes and prepare to put a gap year in Colombia to the top of your “must visit” list. Forget the thoughts of drug dealers and danger – that is thankfully fading into the past – and instead think of pristine scenery, vibrant cities and people regarded as some of the friendliest on earth. Colombia is one of South America’s gems, and a place itching to be explored by intrepid travelers and explorers, keen to stray off the usual tourist path.
So, what brings the world’s most adventurous travelers to Colombia’s shores? Bogota, for starters. This vibrant capital city place host to everything – colonial culture, sizzling dances, hedonistic nightclubs and fine local food (make sure you try ajiaco) – and nothing costs a fortune. Make sure to visit the University City of Bogota, a tentatively listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the beautiful Parque Central Simon Bolivar. Then, when night falls, head to Theatron, the largest nightclub in Colombia.
Don’t limit yourself to Bogota though, as the real Colombia is found in the rainforests, coasts and mountains of this beautiful country. Want to see the awesome sight of the Amazon? Colombia has it covered. What about swimming, surfing and diving in pristine waters? You guessed it: Colombia is the place for you. There’s even picturesque snow-capped mountains – such as El Cocuy – if you’re the sort who likes a good trek into the sky. And then there’s Cartagena, the jewel in the crown of the whole country – a picture-perfect colonial city where culture comes in huge quantities.
Working in Colombia
Working isn’t something that most backpackers do while in Colombia, as it doesn’t have a huge number of opportunities. Of course, there are the usual teaching jobs in schools and homes (especially if you have good qualifications), but aside from that, there’s not much. Volunteering, however, is something that a huge number of backpackers do, and there are opportunities in many different fields. From sports coaching through to conservation projects, you’ll find a scheme to suit you when you are on a gap year in Colombia.
Colombia is perfectly located for travellers looking to head off in any direction through South America – a springboard for many future adventures. There’s Brazil and Venezuela to the east, Peru and Ecuador to the south, plus easy travel options for those looking to get to any other country on the continent. If you’ve already travelled through South America though, you can head north through Central America, or hop on a plane to the USA or even Australia. Take your time to explore Colombia first though – there’s more to this country than meets the eye…