Take everything you know about the country of Columbia. Does drugs, war, and crime come to mind? However, Columbia is becoming the next tourist hotspot. Here is a look at the facts.
Within the last ten years, Columbian drug production has decreased by nearly 60 percent. For comparison, United States cities, St. Louis and Detroit, have two times the murder rate than what was recorded in Colombia. And in 2016, there was a low of only two hundred and five kidnappings recorded compared to over 3,000 reported in 2000 according to the US Department of State. A tourist could be two times at higher risk traveling within the United States than Colombia yet, stereotypes have put the perspective that Colombia is still a terrible place.
I was able to travel to Columbia and see it for myself. The biggest question…. To see if our perception of Colombia held to be true. What I came to find is that it was one of the best trips I have ever taken. The major areas I visited were Medellin, Manizales, Bogota, and Cartago where the sightseeing at each location was absolutely breathtaking. Due to the currency exchange, one United States dollar is currently worth 2860 Colombian peso allowing for an extremely affordable yet safe trip.
The Nightlife in Manizales was filled with streets of clubs, bars, and young people. While the Santa Fe mall in Medellin had five levels of over 300 stores for shopping. Throughout the country, awesome vintage cars and motorcycles roamed the streets.
All of the fruits and meats had such of an incredibly fresh taste to them, Unlike anything I have ever tasted here in New Jersey. The mineral hot springs in Manizales made for a relaxing and refreshing spa trip costing only ten American dollars. However, the hiking trip up rolling mountains surrounded by fresh air was by far the most memorable.
The one lesson I hope to share is to stop believing all of the rumors that we hear about foreign countries. Like all places, even the United States has areas that could be considered in poverty or dangerous. But the facts are showing the progress Colombia is making as a country. Do not be misinformed and miss out on an incredible place to visit. Always do the research before and remember to make a decision for yourself.
Steve McCarthy traveled to Colombia in 1992. Steve explains the major shift between the past compared to the present state of Colombia.
Trevor Cardone – Thoughts on Colombia – “The first thing that comes to my mind when I heard about Colombia is their crime and drug trade, but after seeing recent videos and photos, I now think Colombia would make an awesome tourist spot.”
Montclair State | Columbia