Why This Surprising South American Country Is Breaking All-Time Tourism Records

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Americans have been flying to South America en masse for their sunny getaways lately, a continent best known for its wild nature and huge biodiversity, colonial heritage, affordable consumer prices, and of course, that warm Latin culture.

Nearly every single South American country has posted a record surge in tourist arrivals this year, but few have gone as far as breaking previously-set records, with a 23% growth over previous record years.

Aerial View Of The Guatape Lake Region, Colombia, South America

Colombia currently ranks number one for tourism recovery in South America and eighth worldwide, and in case you’ve been wondering why…

Colombia Is Perfect For Nature-Based Getaways

Racing ahead of its South American peers, not only has Colombia reopened for visitors much earlier than Brazil or Chile, two of its largest competitors in the field, contributing to renewed demand as early as 2022, but it’s made sure it’s prepared for the ‘next phase’ of tourism.

According to Arturo Bravo, vice-minister for Tourism, travelers are now looking for more ‘conscious’ and ‘regenerative’ experiences; in simpler terms, wellness is at the top of their minds when booking international trips, and Colombia’s one of those places where they’re spoiled for choice.

A Colonial Mansion And Lighthouse In Santa Marta, Colombia, South America

It offers numerous award-winning relaxation retreats, undisturbed protected reserves visitors can use to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities, and quaint towns surrounded by rolling hills, coffee plantations, and an abundant nature.

Colombia Is Everything And Then Some

Another factor acting in Colombia’s favor is its diverse geography.

Depending on where you are in the country, you will come upon rainforests, or arid, Mars-like red deserts extending as far as the eyes can see, or lake districts, or a mountainous, snow-capped Andean hinterland, or even a Caribbean coastline.

View Of A Tropical Island In The San Andres Archipelago, Colombia, South America

You don’t need to take a cross-border trip to neighboring Brazil to travel down the Amazon River as you spot rare wildlife, go all the way to Peru for hiking, nor break the bank on a Punta Cana vacation when you have a beautiful, unspoiled San Andrés Island as an alternative.

Colombia combines everything that is great about other South and Latin American spots as a whole into a single destination, and it does so without compromising quality: whether you’re into adventurous jungle excursions or you’re simply looking for a beach holiday, you will not be disappointed.

Tayrona National Park, Colombia, South America

Ready To Sample Some Culture?

Colombia is known among locals as Tierra Inolvidable, and we’re sure most tourists would agree: it only takes a couple of hours strolling Cartagena’s bright-colored Old Town, dating back to the Spanish Empire, or Bogota’s cobblestone-laden Candelaria district to fall in love with the ‘Unforgettable Land’.

Culture plays a huge role in advancing Colombia’s tourism campaign, and its energizing city breaks, gorgeous colonial settlements, and world-class museums leave no room for doubt: this is one of the most inherently fascinating destinations in the nether half of the Americas.

Historical Colonial Town Of Barichara In Colombia, South America

Some of the unmissable cultural hotspots in Colombia include Barichara, a whitewashed town in hilly Northern Colombia; Guatape, a colorful settlement set against the dramatic backdrop of the Peñol Rock; and Salento, a traditional Andean town famous for its coffee estates.

An Affordable Tropical Getaway

Colombia is also rising in popularity with long-term travelers and digital nomads, who are flocking to the country in search of a better quality of life and in an attempt to escape the soaring prices and cost of living crisis in the Northern Hemisphere.

Woman standing in front of Colorful walls in Cartagena, Colombia

Travelers have reported expenses of around $1,557 per month living in Medellin; combined with the lively social scene, thriving expat community, and cafe culture, affordability makes the city a highly sought-after nomad destination.

Short-term visitors are not being left behind, either: unlike in countries like Mexico or Costa Rica, where a one-week stay can cost a couple thousand dollars, American couples visiting Colombia for seven days spend on average $620, excluding flights.

The Only Downside To Colombia Is…

Colombia is an incredible country of many contrasting realities, welcoming locals, and delicious regional delicacies.

Aerial View Of Medellin, The Capital City Of Antioquia, A Department In Colombia, South America

Perhaps its only downside is how unsafe it can be compared to other South American states like Argentina or Chile.

It remains at Level 3 in the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory listings, which means Americans must reconsider visiting due to crime, and when doing so, they must exercise a higher degree of caution, particularly in large urban centers where violent acts are more frequent.

With that being said, a majority of travelers are not affected by crime, but in order to improve their safety, they often adhere to common safety guidelines, such as avoiding non-touristy suburban areas, not taking part in ‘slum tourism’ unless supervised, and keeping valuables at the hotel.

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