Colombia’s Transformation: A Must Visit Travel Destination According to The New York Times

Colombia NY times travel

In recent years, Colombia has undergone a remarkable transformation that has turned it into a popular and safe travel destination, earning a coveted spot on The New York Times’ 2023 list of must-visit places. This South American nation, once notorious for its turbulent past, has emerged as a shining example of resilience, progress, and a vibrant cultural tapestry. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating journey that has brought Colombia into the global spotlight and examine the compelling reasons behind its newfound popularity as a tourist hotspot.

A Rich and Diverse Tapestry

Colombia’s resurgence as a travel destination can be attributed to its incredible diversity, both in terms of geography and culture. From the lush Amazon rainforests to the towering peaks of the Andes Mountains and the pristine Caribbean coastline, Colombia offers a breathtaking array of natural wonders. This ecological diversity has earned it the title of the second most biodiverse country in the world, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

Beyond its natural beauty, Colombia boasts a rich cultural heritage that has been shaped by a mix of indigenous, African, and European influences. Its vibrant cities like Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena are teeming with history, art, and a lively atmosphere. Travelers can immerse themselves in the country’s diverse music and dance traditions, from the sultry rhythms of salsa to the folkloric melodies of cumbia.

Colombia’s transformation from a nation plagued by drug cartels and violence to a cultural powerhouse is a testament to its people’s determination to overcome adversity. This transformation has been a key factor in its growing popularity as a travel destination.

Safety First: A Remarkable Turnaround

One of the most remarkable aspects of Colombia’s resurgence is its dramatic improvement in safety. For decades, Colombia was synonymous with drug-related violence and crime, and tourists largely stayed away. However, in recent years, the Colombian government has made substantial efforts to improve security and stability across the country.

The government’s commitment to addressing security issues and promoting tourism is reflected in the significant decrease in crime rates, particularly in major cities. Colombia’s security forces have worked tirelessly to dismantle drug cartels and insurgent groups, leading to a noticeable reduction in violent incidents. Travelers now feel safer exploring Colombia’s cities, jungles, and beaches, and this newfound sense of security has played a crucial role in attracting tourists.

Innovative Urban Transformation

Colombia’s cities have undergone a remarkable urban transformation, making them not only safer but also more appealing to visitors. Medellín, for instance, has gone from being one of the most dangerous cities in the world to a model of urban innovation. The city’s government has invested in infrastructure, public transportation, and community development, turning once-neglected neighborhoods into thriving cultural hubs.

The Medellín Metrocable, a network of cable cars that connect the city’s outskirts to its center, has become an iconic symbol of the city’s transformation. It not only provides convenient transportation but also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, making it a must-visit attraction for tourists.

Similarly, Bogotá has invested in a comprehensive network of dedicated bike lanes, parks, and public spaces, encouraging outdoor activities and creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment. This focus on urban renewal has not only improved the quality of life for residents but has also made Colombian cities more welcoming to travelers.

A Culinary Renaissance

Colombia’s culinary scene has experienced a renaissance that mirrors the country’s overall transformation. Traditional Colombian cuisine is a flavorful fusion of indigenous, African, and Spanish influences, and it has seen a resurgence in recent years, drawing attention from food enthusiasts worldwide.

One of the most iconic Colombian dishes is the arepa, a versatile corn-based bread that can be served in countless variations. Street food vendors offer mouthwatering arepas filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables, giving tourists a taste of authentic Colombian flavors. In addition to arepas, Colombian cuisine features dishes like bandeja paisa (a hearty platter of rice, beans, meat, and more), sancocho (a savory stew), and a variety of tropical fruits.

Colombia’s coffee is another star attraction. The country is famous for producing some of the world’s finest coffee beans, and coffee tours in the lush coffee-growing regions offer visitors the chance to learn about the coffee-making process and enjoy freshly brewed Colombian coffee.

A Growing Tourism Industry

Colombia’s growing popularity as a travel destination has also been fueled by its expanding tourism industry. The Colombian government, recognizing the economic potential of tourism, has made concerted efforts to promote the country as a top-notch travel destination.

Infrastructure development, including the expansion of airports and the improvement of road networks, has made it easier for tourists to explore Colombia’s diverse regions. Additionally, the government has implemented policies to attract international airlines and simplify visa requirements, making it more convenient for travelers to visit the country.

The promotion of Colombia’s tourism industry extends to marketing campaigns showcasing its natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary delights. These efforts have effectively captured the attention of travelers worldwide and have played a significant role in boosting the country’s popularity.

The New York Times Stamp of Approval

Earning a spot on The New York Times’ list of recommended travel destinations is a significant achievement and a testament to Colombia’s remarkable transformation. The influential newspaper’s endorsement has undoubtedly contributed to the country’s surge in popularity among international travelers.

The New York Times has highlighted Colombia’s diverse offerings, from its enchanting landscapes and vibrant cities to its rich cultural heritage. Travel articles and features in the publication have piqued the curiosity of readers and inspired them to consider Colombia as a top travel choice.

In addition to The New York Times, other prominent travel publications and influencers have also recognized Colombia’s allure, further solidifying its reputation as a must-visit destination.


Colombia’s remarkable transformation from a nation marred by violence to a popular and safe travel destination is a testament to the power of resilience, innovation, and the indomitable spirit of its people. The country’s diverse landscapes, rich culture, improved safety, and culinary delights have collectively contributed to its newfound status as a top travel hotspot.

As Colombia continues to evolve and flourish, it invites travelers from around the world to explore its lush jungles, hike its majestic mountains, dance to its infectious rhythms, and savor its delicious cuisine. The recognition by The New York Times and other travel authorities is a well-deserved accolade for a country that has undergone an inspiring transformation, offering a warm welcome to all who seek to experience its unique charm and beauty.

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