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Colombia has emerged from its narco-state notoriety of the 1980s and 90s, shedding its risky image and flourishing into a travel destination that cultivates a "Colombia is magical realism" tourism slogan, a nod to the country's most famed writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It packages Amazon forest, coffee plantations, a cosmopolitan capital at 8,529 feet, an ancient lost city, a salt cathedral, colonial old towns and Caribbean islands into a seductive destination.

The capital Bogota and other major cities have thriving and openly gay scenes, but traditional attitudes in this predominantly Catholic country prevail outside the cosmopolitan areas. The country's laws have come a long way in extending equal protections. Consensual homosexual activity was decriminalized in Colombia in 1980. In 2011, congress passed a law against discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2016, the LGBTQ community took to the streets to celebrate when Colombia became the fourth country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. Gays and lesbians may serve openly in the military, adopt, donate blood, and change gender identity after surgery. Several openly gay politicians have held major positions in the government.

Be inspired

La Candelaria, Bogota, Colombia

La Candelaria

Bogota, Colombia

La Candelaria neighborhood in the center of downtown Bogota is the "old city," rich in cultural attractions and well-preserved colonial, baroque and art deco...
  • 4.5
  • 3
Salt Cathedral, Bogota, Colombia

Salt Cathedral

Bogota, Colombia

The Salt Cathedral - the first wonder of Colombia - is a Roman Catholic church built in the tunnels of a salt mine in a mountain about 30 miles (50 km) from Bogota. It...
Tayrona National Park, Santa Marta, Colombia

Tayrona National Park

Santa Marta, Colombia

Twenty miles (34 km) from Santa Marta, this seaside national park is a 15,000-hectare (37,065-acre) nature sanctuary with beautiful Caribbean beaches, perfect for...
  • 5
  • 1
San Agustin Archaeological Park

San Agustin Archaeological Park


Located in the department of Huila, this collection of 500-some stone statues and tombs dating from the 1st to 8th centuries, offers a view into the rites and customs of...
Las Lajas Sanctuary

Las Lajas Sanctuary

Las Lajas Sanctuary is a visually stunning basilica church built in the Gothic Revival style inside the canyon of the Guaitara River in southern Colombia. Although the...


A town in the Bolivar Department of northern Colombia, located on an island in the Magdalena River 135 miles to the south of Cartagena. Mompox, founded in 1537 as a safe...
Cabo de la Vela

Cabo de la Vela

La Guajira

An off-the-beaten path ecotourism spot on the La Guajira Peninsula for the more adventurous, Cabo de la Vela is a relatively untouched destination where the desert meets...
Ciudad Perdida, Santa Marta, Colombia

Ciudad Perdida

Santa Marta, Colombia

Located 40 km (25 miles) from Santa Marta, Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) is one of the largest pre-colonial cities discovered in the Americas, dating back to the 11th-14th...

23 community reviews / Colombia

General impression