The history of Colombia is far from dramatic and you should know all about Colombia before travel.
As the entrance to South America, Colombia is thought to have been pioneered by first human settlers on the continent, however, with few lasting monuments and artifacts, not much is known about these people.
Despite never having visited the country, Christopher Columbus played an important role in the establishment of the name, Colombia. A companion of the explorer, Alonso de Ojeda, ventured onto the foreign South American soil in 1499, after brief exploration he grew aware of the riches that the local tribes seemed to possess.
Their stories of riches hidden in a treasure trove awaiting discovery were the start of the myth of El Dorado. These stories captured the attention of the Spanish soon after they arrived, leading them to colonize quickly as they searched, tirelessly, for treasure. Soon, Colombia became a hot spot for Spanish mercenaries lured by tales of gold and emeralds.
In 1533 building began on Santa Marta, the first town, and Cartagena, the first center of trade, was founded. A battle for control ensued shortly after, but in 1550 King Carlos V of Spain managed to establish control of the colony via members of the Viceroyalty of Peru. This short battle for control resulted in the quick expansion and the establishment of many towns in a relatively short period of time.
Although they declared independence in 1810, Spain conquered Colombia again between 1815 and 1816. Three years later, the Spanish were defeated and the Republic of Colombia was formed, but it didn’t last long. Internal rifts caused the new Republic to dissolve after just eleven years, and Colombia cut ties with Venezuela and Ecuador.
During the 19th century, Colombia struggled to maintain peace. Plagued by civil wars and two parties from opposite ends of the political track, unrest ravaged the landscape. Coupled with a recession and furious drug trade, the future of Colombia was unclear right up until last year when the violence began to decline.
As their economy recovers from last year’s recession, and their land from the devastating flooding they experienced in the last year, the future for Colombia is looking bright, and tourism is growing rapidly – but you knew that, didn’t you?
There are a few options for accommodation in Colombia. The first (and best) option is always to stay with a friend or relative, so you can experience true Colombian hospitality and culture.
Failing that, there are a few other options you can try:
Before you book a hotel in Colombia vary in size so it is advisable to check that what you’re getting is actually a hotel and not a guest house.
Speaking of Guest Houses, if you can find one that offers bed and breakfast, book it. Often these offer the best insight into Colombian culture as they are run in an extension of someone’s home – a sneak peek into the kitchen of a typical Colombian family is something you need to experience to appreciate.
If you really do prefer your own cooking, a self-catering place might be best for you – experience live a Colombian as you source ingredients to make your favorite dishes.
Of course, you could always go camping in Colombia, but it is not recommended in all areas due to safety concerns. Youth Hostels are an option for younger people, and then there is the option of staying (and/or working) on a farm.
Where do you like to stay in Colombia? Do you have an accommodation type preference or even a favorite spot?
you can keep it in your family. As long as you keep returning to Colombia, we don’t mind.