Top Reasons to Go

Archaeological Treasures: Archaeological sites and priceless artifacts testify to the cultural richness that thrived in Colombia before European domination. Duck into Bogotá's Museo de Oro to see the world's largest collection of pre-Columbian gold and a comprehensive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts from indigenous cultures. Also in Bogotá is the Museum of Archaeology, which houses splendid pre-Columbian ceramics. And in San Agustín, Huila, visit the marvelous anthropomorphic sculptures.

Beaches: The country's favorite beaches are along the northern coast and on the Caribbean islands of San Andrés and Providencia. These resort islands have gorgeous white-sand beaches that stretch along the coast for miles, and the water is crystal clear. While Cartagena has popular (if disappointing) beaches, Tayrona and Palomino, farther along the Caribbean coast, offer exquisite white sand.

Colonial Wonders: To truly delve into the country's past, take a side trip to either Mompox or Popayán—maybe coinciding with their famous Easter-week celebrations—to spy other fragments of the wealth the Spanish crown left behind.

Coffee Country: Colombia produces some of the world's best coffee and, thanks to increased security and growing tourism, coffee lovers can make a pilgrimage deep into the heart of this world.

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