Andean Region of Colombia
The Andean region of Colombia is the most populated of the country and contains the majority of the country’s urban centers. The Andean region is also the location of the most significant pre-Columbian indigenous settlements.
Beyond the Colombian Massif in the south-western departments of Cauca and Nariño, the Colombian Andes divide into three branches known as “cordilleras” (from the Spanish for mountain range): the West Andes run adjacent to the Pacific coast and is home to the city of Cali. The Central Andes run up the center of the country, between the Cauca and Magdalena river valleys (to the west and east respectively) and includes the cities of Medellín, Manizales and Pereira. The East Andes extend northeast towards the Guajira Peninsula, and includes the cities of Bogotá, Bucaramanga and Cúcuta.
The climate and vegetation of the Andean region of Colombia varies considerably according to altitude, but as a general rule the land can be divided into the tierra caliente (hot land) of river valleys and basins below 1,000 meters altitude; the more temperate conditions of the tierra templada (temperate land, approximately 1,000 m to 2,000 meters) and tierra fría (cold land, 2,000 m to 3,200 meters), which include the most productive land and the majority of the population; and the alpine conditions of the zona forestada (forested zone, 3,200 m to 3,900 meters), páramos (3,900 m to 4,600 meters) and tierra helada (frozen land, 4,600 meters and above).
Places to Go – Things to Do – The Andean Region of Colombia
Medellín, capital of Antioquia department, has a pleasant climate of around 24°C; offers modern transport systems like Metro and Metro Cable an efficient infrastructure which has allowed it to host world-class events such as OAS and IDB meetings. Located in a valley surrounded by mountains, this city is always friendly to visitors.
From the mountains that surround the capital of Antioquia you can see how the Medellín River runs parallel to the Metro, which connects various parts of the city. There is an abundance of parks, libraries, museums and public spaces where many Cultural events take place. Flowers have their own fair and in the surrounding villages life is simple with relaxing landscapes and nature reserves.
Ingenuity is a quality which the people of Antioquia prize, so it is not surprising that in 2013 Medellín was named the most innovative city in the world in the Wall Street Journal’s City of the Year Contest. The ‘City of Eternal Spring’ is also notable for the wide range of goods on offer for those who like modern shopping malls.
Bogotá is the capital and largest city in Colombia. A melting pot of people from around the country, it is diverse and multicultural, with a blend of modern and colonial architecture. The predominant colors in Bogotá are the green of the city’s many parks and the eastern mountains overlooking the sanctuaries of Monserrate and Guadalupe, and the rich red of its many brick buildings.
The landscape of Bogotá, marked by the green of the Andes to the east, is spectacularly one-of-a-kind. Apart from the many outdoor spaces in Bogotá, travelers find it an ideal place to do business, or explore history, food, culture and many other local customs.
In Bogotá, the seat of Colombia’s government, visitors can visit the Gold Museum, which houses an important collection of pre-Hispanic objects. Visitors to the capital also experience the city’s juxtaposition of history and modernity and the local and the cosmopolitan; it is a great destination for high-end shopping as well as shopping for fresh fruit in Paloquemao Square.
Coffee, a product from Africa that came to this region of central Colombia in the early twentieth century and spread across the mountains, is a symbol of the culture of Manizales, the capital of the Department of Caldas. The rugged geography of the surrounding area is reflected in the city’s steep streets, from which you can see the peak of Nevado del Ruiz volcano.
Founded on October 12, 1849 by settlers from Antioquia, Manizales is known for hosting a wide variety of cultural events, including the popular Manizales Fair, which takes place every year in January, and the International Theater Festival. The city is one of the most important bird watching sites in the country, and travelers can enjoy nearby hot springs.
Manizales is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the coffee culture in haciendas, where they can learn about the cultivation of this grain emblematic of Colombia. The city also offers a variety of shopping centers and is close to Los Nevados National Nature Park, one of 26 National Parks that cater to visitors wishing to indulge in ecotourism.
Built between 1887 and 1895, the wooden Western Bridge, which is suspended over the Cauca River, welcomes visitors to Santa Fe de Antioquia, a Colombian Heritage Village founded on December 4, 1541 by Jorge Robledo and considered the “cradle of the paisa (Antioqueño) people.” This town of cobblestone streets and colonial architecture lies 35 miles northwest of Medellín.
With a pleasant climate and average temperatures of 80°F, Santa Fe de Antioquia is a good destination for walking. Tourists admire the white and ochre walls, and the high-reaching doors, windows, and wooden doors of the houses, and enjoy a refreshment of tamarind juice between walks. This acidic fruit is also used to make a delicious candy.
Visitors to Santa Fe de Antioquia should not miss walking across the Western Suspension Bridge, created by José María Villa, an engineer born in Sopetrán who also participated in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Other ideas for travelers include visiting the cathedral, resting in the main park, and navigating the Cauca River.
Founded on August 30, 1863, Pereira is part of the territory in 2011 UNESCO declared World Heritage Site: the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia. This city, the capital of the department of Risaralda, Antioquia is the result of colonization, whereby its inhabitants retain features of the culture of the carriers, like kindness and entrepreneurship.
Mountains planted with coffee and bananas; and valleys where bamboos and sugarcane crops are those who come to Pereira are. In this city and surroundings traveller can practice adventure sports; relax in hot springs and visit nature reserves and dedicated to culture, inter alia spaces. You could even see snow.
Pereira is a destination designed for travellers to come into contact with the coffee culture in estates where they can learn about the cultivation of this grain that has given Colombia a good name in the world. Some farms shows visitors how to prepare the coffee of these lands known worldwide for growing the best smooth Arabica coffee.