Overhead view of Cali, Colombia.

Photo by: valentine_tull , Creative Commons

Colombia had been plagued by civil conflict for many decades. The country’s tourism industry suffered significantly during the lengthy war-ravaged times, but all those are things of the past now. Today, Colombia stands proudly in the Caribbean region as one of Latin America’s most prosperous, most promising, and most beautiful nations. Its tourism has greatly improved since the republic’s restoration; many people from all over the world come and visit Colombia and the different wonders it offers.

One of the infinite things that astonish tourists once they are on Colombian soil is the highly noticeable diversity of the country’s very vivid culture. With a past that’s as rich as their coffee plantations, it is not hard to understand why many tourists fall in love with the country and extend their vacations for an indefinite period of time. There are just so many places to see in Colombia, so many things to do and try, that it could get quite difficult to leave. This explains the continuous building of upscale hotels, quaint inns and hostels all over – indeed, the country’s tourism industry is enjoying significant improvement.

One of the places that must be visited when traveling in this lovely country is Baranquilla, Colombia. Baranquilla is lovingly known throughout the Caribbean as Curramba, La Bella – and rightly so. Music is one of the city’s greatest offerings, and notable musicians hail from here, including the Billboard award-winning rock band The Monas and Grammy award-winning solo act Shakira. There are several music festivals worth attending, including the Baranquijazz (for jazz enthusiasts) and the Miche Rock Festival (for lovers of all things rock and roll, including punk, pop, and metal), both of which have enjoyed stellar audience clamor for the past years. Back in the day, Baranquilla, Colombia was greatly responsible for spreading salsa in the Caribbean region. Today, it is an amazing mecca of traditional Caribbean rhythms and the birthplace of new sounds, including raspacanilla, mecumbre, and porro.

All throughout the city are bohemian hangouts where artists meet, converse, and create masterpieces. Nobel recipient Gabriel Garcia Marquez once lived in Baranquilla (early on during his career as a journalist) and has confessed the city’s substantial role in his literary production. His old hive, La Cueva, has been properly restored and is now open to the public as a charming art bar. Meanwhile, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Baranquilla has artworks by contemporary artists. The city also attracts more tourists during April with the Carnaval International de las Artes, an international arts festival. Indeed, to this day, Baranquilla, Colombia offers beauty that inspires.

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