Colombia will celebrate its extraordinary biodiversity and colorful culture with an exhibition at the world’s largest travel and tourism fair.

Visitors to the World Travel Market will discover why they should visit Colombia and explore cities such as Bogotá, Medellín, Cali and Cartagena. These Colombian cities are brimming with culture, nature and adventure and the warm and welcoming spirit that characterizes Colombian tourism.

Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the World Travel Market and discover Colombia’s top destinations and the best things to do in Colombia, especially in terms of nature and biodiversity and the unique culture that characterizes the country. 

La Macarena neighborhood in Bogotá, the city for everyone
Photo by: Javier Crespo

The city for everyone

Both Bogotá and Medellín boast busy cultural calendars. Bogotá is home to the Bogotá International Book Fair, the ArtBo art fair and the bi-annual Ibero-American Theater Festival, as well as celebrations focused on film, music, gastronomy, crafts, agriculture and more. The capital is the meeting point for cultures from across the country and it has a thriving economy and vibrant nightlife.

Bogotá, with more than eight million inhabitants, is home to a distinctive local cuisine as well as gastronomy from across the globe. There’s art on every corner thanks to the street art that adorns city neighborhoods, often painted by world-famous artists.

There is so much for visitors to experience, with museums such as the Gold Museum, National Museum, Botero Museum and Coin Museum, among others. It’s also possible to enjoy the region’s fresh mountain climate and visit Chingaza National Park, Monserrate mountain, the Quevado waterfall and the stunning Virgilio Barco library. There is also the elaborate Colon and Jorge Eliecer Gaitan theaters, as well as the Cinemateca Distrital, which screens various short and feature-length movies.

Flower fair parade in the streets of Medellin
Photo by: ProColombia

Land of color and flowers

Medellín’s annual Flower Festival is a vibrant celebration of the work of the country’s farmers, who showcase their work on the city’s streets every August. The City of Eternal Spring is a must-visit at Christmas too, when its illuminations draw thousands of visitors to share in its festive fun. Medellín captivates thanks to the warmth of its people, the beauty of its scenery and the vast range of activities it offers, from visits to flower farms and landmarks like the Peñon de Guatape to tours of historic areas such as the Pueblito Paisa and opportunities for para-gliding. And, of course, the city is at the heart of the Coffee Cultural Landscape.

Medellín was named City of the Year by the Wall Street Journal in 2013 and continues to compete on the global stage in terms of innovation, fashion and educational, cultural, social and urban investment.

With a pleasant 24°C climate all year round, Medellín offers many opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in culture, including at the Antioquia Museum, dedicated in a great part to the works of painter Fernando Botero. Some of the city artist’s immense sculptures are on display in the Plaza de la Esculturas too.

Clock tower and streets of the walled city of Cartagena
Photo by : Monica Hernandez Ahman

Welcome to the walled city

Cartagena de Indias is one of the world’s most romantic cities, a colonial marvel on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Its charming narrow streets are filled with the scent of tropical blooms hanging from its balconies and a wander along the imposing wall that encircles the old city is an unmissable experience.

Every Cartagena street carries a clue to the coastal city’s past. Nearby San Felipe Castle offers a fascinating tour of its dungeons and each of the city’s churches has its own story to tell. Cartagena’s thriving cultural calendar includes the Cartagena Film Festival, the Classical Music Festival and the literary Hay Festival.

Foodies will find everything their stomachs desire in Cartagena. The city’s wide and varied gastronomic offering is influenced by its diverse heritage. Typical Cartagena dishes carry all the hallmarks of its indigenous, European and African roots.

Explore Cartagena’s stunning scenery and vast flora and fauna with trips to the Los Colorados nature reserve, the Rosario islands, Playa Blanca (or White Beach) Barú, Bocagrande and the Enchanted Lagoon. There’s no doubt a trip to the Caribbean coast is one of the top things to do in Colombia.

Niche's trumpets, a monument to salsa in Cali
Photo by: V Granta

Salsa and culture

Cali is the world capital of salsa dancing and the ideal place for visitors to learn. The city is one of Colombia’s top destinations in the New Year, thanks to the renowned Cali Fair, a celebration of culture, music and joy that encapsulates the city’s welcoming spirit. But there’s more to Cali than its lively music and world-beating dance moves. Its cuisine stands out, as do the striking landscapes in the surrounding Cauca Valley.

Among Cali’s delicious and traditional dishes are the chicken sancocho soup, pork risotto, plantain fritters and the marranitas (stuffed and fried green plantain balls). The city’s desserts are unmissable too, as are the cooling cholado and champú drinks. In terms of places to visit, the Cali Zoo, Ermita Church, the King Christ Monument and the Cat Park, are excellent options for any visitor to the city.

The World Travel Market brings together exhibitors from across the globe to share their tourism tips with visitors keen to discover new countries and cultures.

Colombia’s is one of the most biodiverse places on earth, and one of the best things to do in Colombia is experience its flora and fauna and its outstanding natural beauty, from the Caño Cristales ‘rainbow river’ and whale watching in the Pacific Ocean to exploring the snow-capped peaks of the country’s many national parks.

There’s never been a better time to share Colombia’s infinite tourism opportunities with the world and encourage visitors to discover the culture and wildlife of this incredible part of the world. Attendees will learn all this and more at the World Travel Market, held November 5-7 at ExCeL London.