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Emerging Hotspot

Colombia

South America's rising star shines with new boutique hotels and big-name resorts

Word of Mouth"Cartagena is fantastic, the walled city is spectacular," raves Fodorite pecavo. "Have been twice and would go back . . . Bogota is a very cosmopolitan city with a lot to see and wonderful mountains just outside the city."

Why Go NowA notion of apprehension has been replaced with straight-up excitement when it comes to Colombia travel. For many, this change in perception is not only due to the country’s drastic decrease in crime (particularly in the cities), but to the wave of sexy new boutique hotels and big-name resort brands in Cartagena and Bogotá, fusion restaurants (Andres Carne de Res, Bogotá); and salsa clubs (Quiebra Canto, Cartagena); designer spas (Cartagena’s Tcherassi Hotel & Spa opened in 2009); and crumbling Colonial splendor rebooted. The cut-rate pricing is also pretty convincing all on its own.

Where to StaySofitel Cartagena Santa Clara, a 17th-century monastery turned 121-room luxury hotel with a choice Latin-French fusion restaurant; the stylish, modern 245-room Hilton Bogotá; or the 118-room Sonesta Hotel Cartagena, the fourth Sonesta’s property in Colombia, which opened in 2011. See more Cartagena and Bogota hotel reviews.

Insider TipIn the Sierra Navada de Santa Marta mountains, the Lost City La Ciudad Perdida (estimated to be six centuries older than Machu Picchu) is accessible via a six-day hike or three-hour helicopter ride from Cartagena.

When to GoTravel from December to April to avoid the scorching summer heat.

Plan Your TripVisit Fodor's Colombia Travel Guide to access the latest hotel, restaurant, and shopping reviews in Bogotá and beyond.

Photo: Holger Mette/istockphoto

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