Monteria

The beautiful coastline of Monteria, Colombia.

Photo by: mallox, Creative Commons

Ever since the location of what is now known as the city of Monteria, Colombia was discovered and settled by Spanish explorers, the city has been nicknamed The Pearl of River Sinu or La Perla del Sinu to the locals. The city is probably one of the most diverse cities in the country in terms of culture and economic activity. The city’s unique vibe is a result of the blend between Spanish settlers, African plantation workers, Zenu Indians and Arab migrants. This blend led to the emergence of a national icon, the Vueltiao hat and local Porro folklore music.

Its strategic location along the Sinu River gave rise to the middle class lifestyle enjoyed by the city’s residents whose livelihood mostly depend on cotton farming and cattle ranching. Many of the cattle farms and ranches around Monteria,Colombia promote the prestige of the local cattle industry by celebrating an annual Livestock Show and festival every June.

In recent years, Monteria, Colombia has enjoyed an urban renewal drive which led to the creation of the First Avenue park along the banks of the Sinu River. Visitors to the city can enjoy the scenic walkways along the length of the park that lead to colorfully landscaped gardens of varying designs, quiet footpaths, refreshing cycling paths and charming restaurants. The First Avenue Park is open twenty-four hours a day and is illuminated at night with colorful street lights that enhance the area’s tropical atmosphere. Another park which is present in the city is called the Simon Bolivar Park which serves as a refuge for wild monkeys and sloths.

Monteria, Colombia is also a perfect jumping point for travelers who would like to visit the natural wonders of surrounding areas.. A unique transport system for residents and tourists alike is embodied in a ferry system locally known as Planchones. This ferry system mainly consists of wooden rafts that travels along the Sinu River using nothing but manual cable tows. A trip on these local boats is an easy and convenient way to relax in the resorts around the region such as the one found on the Playa Blanca. A brief cruise on the Sinu also reveals the natural preserve of Bethlehem Island which is known for its diverse bird populations.

A visit to Monteria, Colombia can truly become a holiday treasure for anyone regardless of whether they would like to enjoy the laid-back pace of the city’s lifestyle or to bask in the unspoiled natural beauty that fringes this urban oasis by the river.

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