In some areas of the world, white water rafting means bouncing over a few rapids that are just wild enough to get your heartrate up, but far from an ‘extreme’ adventure. San Gil is not one of those places. In San Gil, you can take on true Class IV and V rapids on the Suarez River. Paddle too late or too weak on some of these rapids and your boat will flip in an instant! If you prefer a tamer experience, you can opt for the Fonce River, which is Grade II and III rapids.
Cabo de la Vela – or ‘Cape of the Sail’ – has perfect conditions for kite surfing year-round. With constant, strong winds and vast stretches of flat, shallow water, it’s a paradise for those who like to get their adrenaline pumping while skimming across the water. Onshore, the desert landscape makes the experience all the more magical. La Guajira, where Cabo de la Vela is located, is famous for its giant dunes and seaside cliffs that crash into the Caribbean Sea.
Tayrona National Park is a stunning protected area on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, where turquoise and emerald waters are dotted with rocky landscapes that rival the Seychelles in their beauty. It’s marine diversity is as captivating as it’s beaches, making diving there a ‘bucket list’ worthy adventure. From the town of Taganga, you can organize dive trips to 22 sites, all with plentiful coral and unique species to find, like lobsters, pufferfish, and angelfish.
Chicamocha Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world, having been formed a staggering 46 million years ago. Within this sandstone canyon, you can find La Mojarra climbing park, which offers over 200 routes rated from Grade 5.7 to 5.14. With beautiful views and high-quality rock, it’s considered the best place to climb in Colombia by a long shot. The region is also home to one of the best ultramarathons in South America – the Chicamoca Canyon Race, which has half-marathon, marathon, 100K, and 100-mile distance options.
In Colombia’s Santander region, there is a cave system that will open your eyes to a vast underground world. While there are numerous caves well-worth exploring – including Cueva Antigua, Cueva del Indio, and Cueva de los Aviones – one stands out above the rest. This is La Cueva de la Vaca, where you can climb and crawl through a series of connected caverns, each one unique from the last. The highlight of the journey is a short underwater passage you have to swim through, trusting in the rope to guide you to safety.
Storyland Festival is a unique electronic music festival set on Colombia’s Caribbean coast in January. It’s one of Colombia’s biggest music events, and the lineup has reflected this popularity. Past headliners include David Guetta, Hardwell, Steve Aoki, and Afrojack. If you like EDM and beach parties, Storyland is the place to be!
Barranquilla, located a few hours from Cartagena, is home to the second largest Carnival celebration in the world. Just like Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, you can expect parades, over-the-top floats, vibrant costumes, and lots of music and dancing. The official dates are four days before Ash Wednesday, but the festivities often start early. A few of the Carnival highlights are La Guacherna, La Batalla de Flores, and La Gran Parada.