Home to tropical and dry landscapes and world-famous coffee, Colombia’s geography, climate, flora and fauna tops the lists of eco-friendly destinations. Its portion of the Amazon is largely untouched and the country’s 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites encourage Colombia’s tourism bureau to push for sustainable tourism and help to conserve the country’s abundance of natural resources. Explore the gateway to South America, enjoy a variety of eco-friendly activities, and see Colombia’s vast biodiversity while staying green.
The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world and must-see on any South American trip. See the forest’s extensive array of plant and animal life, and discover native Amazonian communities while visiting its remote forests, caves, and waterfalls. Excursions and tours are offered by local operators who provide eco-friendly adventure experiences ranging from sailing, dolphin watching, horseback riding, or sleeping in treehouses. Take a boat ride to Monkey Island or visit Amacayacu National Park, home to more than 100 mammal species and 400 species of birds. Take a leisurely walk or hike at your own pace in the vast jungle. Just be sure to “leave no trace” to keep Colombia’s Amazon pristine.
Extreme Sports in Santander
Thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline rush should look no further than Colombia’s capital of extreme sports, Santander. Located in the Andean region of northeastern Colombia, Santander tour providers offer adrenaline-inducing, eco-friendly activities that include river rafting, paragliding, caving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, spelunking, and more. Those looking for less intense experiences can enjoy ecological walks, visits to colonial towns, and camping in cabin accommodations. From the casual outdoorsman to the adrenaline junkie, the beautiful mountainous region of Santander has something for everybody.
Coffee Experiences and Plantation Tours
Colombian coffee is world-renowned and one of the country’s biggest exports. Locals pride themselves on quality coffee and offer their beans organically and with fair trade practices. Head to the Colombian Coffee Region, also known as the Coffee Triangle, and see the country’s picturesque countryside. A variety of coffee plantations and distributors offer tours and experiences that offer a glimpse into the production of coffee in Colombia. When selecting your coffee tour, be sure the plantation is certified organic, sustainable, and ethical. Coffee experiences are also available in the cities that provide workshops and coffee tastings.
With access to both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Colombia is blessed with numerous stunning islands. Many of these islands make for the perfect vacation getaway, with a variety of relaxing or active eco-friendly things to do. Head to the jungle island of Gorgona for an unmatched diving experience among rich coral with the chance to see a variety of sharks, manta rays, turtles, eels, and more. For an idyllic beach day, head to Isla Fuerte, an approximately half-hour boat ride from Cordoba. The sparsely populated island boasts pristine beaches, perfect for basking under the sun. Diving and snorkeling activities are also available.
La Ciclovía in Bogotá
Explore the country’s capital of Bogotá by bike and join in the local tradition of La Ciclovía. Bogotá is a very bike-friendly city, and every Sunday morning and afternoon, miles of streets are shut down and more than 1 million people participate by biking, skating, jogging or even walking on the Cicloruta, one of the longest networks of bike paths in the world. A tradition dating back to 1974, this is a great way to join the locals, get outside, and keep it green. If you need to escape the hustle and bustle during your stay in Bogota or need a break from cycling, take refuge in Simon Bolivar Park.