Colombia

Colombia’s Economy

Colombia has a thriving market economy based primarily on oil, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing. Growth over the past decade has been a robust, placing it solidly as a middle-income country. Here’s a brief look at the country’s economic history, with a more in-depth focus on developments and policies in the last two decades.

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Diving Santuario de Flora y Fauna Malpelo

Santuario de Flora y Fauna Malpelo is the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, making it one of the top places for diving in the world. There are 11 main dive sites, including the most important site, La Nevera, where it is common to see scores of hammerhead sharks. Malpelo is for experienced divers only; to get there you must coordinate with one these authorized outfitters in Colombia.

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Villa de Leyva’s Dinosaur Museums

During the Cretaceous period (66-145 million years ago), the area around Villa de Leyva was submerged in an inland sea. Today there are a handful of paleontological sites worth visiting, where you can view fossils of parts of massive dinosaurs to small ammonites, of which there are thousands–excavations still continue. If you have kids, don’t miss the informative park geared towards them.

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Discover Cali, Colombia

Cali’s relaxed place is evident everywhere you go in this diverse city of three million. This is not a city packed with must-see sights, yet tourists keep falling in love with the “Sultan of the Valley.” Is it that late refreshing afternoon breeze? The people? Or is it the salsa? We do know this: Discovering Cali for yourself is the best way to find out.

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Colombian Food in Villa de Leyva

If you’re looking for a taste of deliciously authentic Colombian food, Villa de Leyva and the surrounding area play host to a plentiful array. While there are upscale restaurants in the area, sticking to the same path the locals tread gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the experience, and it’s far easier on your wallet.

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Tunja’s Historic Churches

Tunja is a city of churches, with over a dozen that date to colonial times. Everything you need to see here is located in its centro histórico, and make sure you arrive during church visiting hours, as the city does not have much else to offer. And most importantly, learn about the beautiful architecture and history of each one before you see it in person; you’ll appreciate your visit so much more for it.

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Where to Eat in Cartagena’s Old City

Seafood reigns supreme in Cartagena cuisine, and though many restaurants in the Walled City sport Manhattan prices, an inexpensive meal is not impossible to find. Here are local favorites from Caribbean-influenced dishes to always-popular pizza and pasta to truly authentic fritos, all with an Old City touch and a perfectly-matched drink.

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Plan a Visit to Colombia’s Parque Nacional Natural Utría

Colombia’s Parque Nacional Natural Utría has a spectacular location on the edge of the jungle but close to some great beaches. The best way to experience the park is to stay in one of its cabins during the week, allowing you unfettered access to all the guided nature walks, kayaking, snorkeling and more, as well as immersing yourself completely in this beautiful landscape.

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A Taste of Salsa in Cali

In Cali, there are many ways you can get a taste of (and very likely get hooked on) salsa. From cabaret-style environments to open-air freebies to salsatecas—clubs where it’s all about salsa and nothing more—here are the best venues to seek out for a true salsa experience.

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Featured South America Travel Guide

Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Ryan Dubé

Ryan Dubé

Ryan Dubé first arrived in Peru more than a decade ago, as an exchange student in Lima. He was captivated by the country’s diversity and history and charmed by the kindness of its people. After completing his degree in Latin American studies and anthropology, Ryan returned to Lima where he now lives with his wife, Tatiana, and their sons, Ticiano and Benicio.

Using Lima as his base, Ryan has traveled throughout Peru—both its most famous sites and lesser-known attractions. He has hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, explored the islands on Lake Titicaca, and slept under the stars in the Amazon. He has traveled to Chincha and El Carmen, the home of an annual Afro-Peruvian music festival, and Pozuzo, a remote village in the high jungle.

Ryan currently works as a journalist, specializing in economics, business, and politics. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, The Globe & Mail, and BNamericas, among others.