Diverse, friendly and romantic Colombia won two top prizes at the prestigious World Travel Awards. Colombia was named the continent leader for LGBT travel and Cartagena de Indias won South America’s best honeymoon destination.

The 25th annual World Travel Awards were presented at a glittering black tie event at the Palacio de Cristal in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where Colombia was recognized for its welcoming and gay friendly approach to LGBT vacations, offering a wide variety of opportunities for gay travel, including beach getaways, cultural city breaks and adventure tourism.

Colombia beat Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru to be crowned South America’s Leading LGBT Destination 2018, with the prize reflecting both the diversity of its gay and lesbian friendly travel scene and Colombia’s warm, welcoming and LGBT friendly attitude towards its visitors.

Magical Cartagena de Indias, the jewel in Colombia’s Caribbean crown, scooped the prize for South America’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2018 and was also nominated for South America’s most romantic destination.

Cartagena dazzled the judges with its impressive colonial architecture, its cobbled streets with their vibrant colors and flower-filled balconies and its imposing walls that protect and encircle the old city. Couples can wander the wall, explore Cartagena in a horse-drawn carriage and dine in its many award-winning restaurants, all of which make it perfect for honeymoon travel.

Colombia was nominated in several continent-wide World Travel Awards categories that praised its status as a nature destination, culinary hotspot and cruise port of call. The country was also nominated for South America’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination and Leading Youth Travel Destination.

San Andrés island was nominated for the continent’s top beach destination, a prize it won in 2014 and 2015. Bogotá and Medellín were both nominated for top city break, which Bogotá won in 2015 and Medellín in 2016, and both cities were also nominated for South America’s Leading Festival and Event Destination 2018.

Bogota and Cartagena were both finalists for the continent’s top cultural city prize, with events’ calendars that include the International Bogotá Book Fair, ArtBo and the Ibero-American Theater Festival in Bogotá and the film, classical music and Hay literary festivals in Cartagena.  

Colombian businesses were honored for their contribution to the country’s buoyant tourism industry. Avianca won South America’s leading airline brand, the Conrad Cartagena won South America’s leading new hotel and the Grau Suite at the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena scooped the 2018 hotel suite award.