Description Region Central - Andes
The Andes run through the territory of Colombia, directly behind the coastal areas from south to north. They are divided into three mountain ranges. The landscape is dominated by fertile valleys, rolling hills with lush, colorful flowering meadows, bright blue lakes, dark green forests and the white, snow-capped peaks that reach 5,300 meters.
Bogotá is the capital and also for most visitors the gateway to Colombia. The city lies in a fertile plateau of the Andes and is home to about eight million inhabitants. Candelaria, the historical center of Bogotá, with its historic buildings and squares, gives us fascinating glimpses into the period of Spanish colonialism, but also the modern side of Colombia. Around the ‘Plaza Bolívar’ are grouped numerous churches and public buildings, such as the neo-classical cathedral, the Palace of Justice and the Archbishop's Palace or the Jesuit Church of San Ignacio.
Besides the National Museum and the ‘Museo de Arte Colonial’, the ‘Museo del Oro’, which opened in 1938, is one of the finest museums in the city. With 38,000 exhibits, it houses the world's most important collection of pre-Columbian gold art. Many of the exhibits come from the so-called El Dorado lagoon of Guatavita, which is one hour away from Bogotá and can still be visited today.
In addition, there are some old colonial villages in the region to be visited. Worth mentioning is Villa de Leyva, considered one of the most beautiful villages in all of South America. There is also a unique monument in the north of Bogotá with the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira. It was excavated in a salt mine and is 120 meters under the ground! Nature lovers will find one and a half hours south of Bogotá, the town of Fusagasugá and a tropical warm climate. There is a beautiful farm to be visited, where the rich local flora with a variety of bromeliads and orchids can be seen, as well as a typical coffee plantation, where you can learn about coffee growing. The National Parks Chingaza, Chicaque and Sumapaz are a paradise for nature and hiking enthusiasts. Located near the capital, the parks offer day trips. The pristine forest landscapes, beautiful lagoons and barren Paramo can be explored in various walks.
The National Park Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is suitable for light as well as for demanding excursions, also for professional climbing.
Surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Andes, there are hidden, very well preserved colonial villages. The village Barichara gets its charm from the stone-built houses and churches, narrow streets and small shops. From here, a hike to Guane, a small colonial village, can be done. The two villages are connected by the so-called Camino Real, a stone path built in the framework of the Spanish colonization and runs through the enchanting green landscape. Also located in the region of Santander, San Gil is a worthwhile trip. Adventurers will find everything their heart desires there. It offers extreme sports such as paragliding, water-rafting and abseiling from the waterfall.