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9 jaw-dropping Insta spots in Colombia


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Love it or hate it, Instagram and travelling go hand in hand these days, providing an outlet and source of inspiration for explorers everywhere.

Whether you are a keen travel photographer or simply a wandering soul that loves discovering photogenic places, look no further than Colombia for unforgettable photo ops.

From the otherworldly beauty of the Tatacoa Desert to the bursting colours of Guatapé, a trip to any of these Colombian gems will leave you with an Insta stream that is the envy of all your friends:

1. Guatapé

This small lakeside town near Medellin looks like a piñata exploded all over it and stuck. Every house in the town is painted in a range of bright colours with intricate murals on the bottom, called Zocalos.

There are many towns in Colombia known for their beautifully coloured houses, but the murals are unique to Guatape. Every house is responsible for maintaining their own zocalos, and the murals are a mix of religious images, flowers, and icons from the local area. You won’t be able to help but take plenty of whimsical photos of these beautiful cobbled streets.

2. The Old City of Cartagena

Your photos from the inner walled town of Cartagena will look like you have stepped back in time. Wandering the romantic colonial streets, you’ll marvel at the charming colourful houses, overhanging balconies, bygone mansions and quaint plazas. Take your time exploring the old city, because you never know what you’ll find, from a hidden courtyard café to a beautiful façade that just has to be captured.

3. Tatacoa Desert

Family members and friends looking at your photos from the Tatacoa Desert will very likely wonder how you managed to transport yourself to Mars, and standing there yourself you will wonder at the desert’s otherworldly beauty. The desert is not made up of dunes but a maze rocky canyons in hues of hazy reds, ambers and greys.

In fact, the Tatacoa Desert isn’t a desert, but a dry tropical rainforest that dried up millions of years ago. The stargazing here is unforgettable, both with your own two eyes and at the observatory, which opens for visitors every evening so you can explore the sky through telescopes. Brush up on your nighttime photography skills and you will have the most unforgettable photos. 

4. Caño Cristales

For most of the year, the Caño Cristales river looks like any other, but for a short time every year, the river turns into a living rainbow. The natural wonder occurs because a species of plant that covers the river floor turns a brilliant red-purple colour, starkly contrasting the yellow sand and blue water. The waterway is known as “the river that ran away from paradise” and your Insta photos will look like you found Eden.

5. Catedral de Sal

This unique cultural oddity is exactly what the name describes, a cathedral of salt. The original cathedral was excavated out of a salt mine about a mile below the ground in the 1950s but was shut down in 1990 for being structurally unsound. However, a year later, a new salt cathedral began construction 200 feet below the original. The cathedral is a colossal open structure 25 metres high, with a giant cross carved into the far wall. At night the walls and decorations are lit up in hues of blue and purple, begging to be photographed.

6. Tayrona National Park

Take your beachy Insta vibes to the level at one of Colombia’s most popular national parks. Located in northern Colombia, Tayrona national park is known for its gorgeous palm-shaded beaches with aquamarine blue waters and idyllic lagoons, backed by lush mountainous rainforest. But take care, the crystal waters have strong rip tides, so make sure to look for markers signalling where it is safe to swim. When you’re not relaxing on the beach you can hike trails to see the Pueblito ruins of the ancient Tayrona civilisation.  

7. Bichacue Yath Arte y Naturaleza

At this art and nature reserve near Calí the mystical blends with the ecological. Wander whimsical forest paths and discover a magical world of fairies, goblins and other creatures among the trees and beautiful gardens. You’re Insta will look like you’ve just stepped out of a fairy tale and you’ll get to step back in time as you discover your inner-child.

8. La Cueva del Esplendor

La Cueva del Esplendor (The Cave of Splendor) is a mesmerising cave near the town of Jardín. Make your way through a mossy rock entrance to discover a subterranean oasis with a waterfall flowing through a hole in the roof. You can either hike to the cave (a long uphill trek) or more easily ride on horseback. If you’re feeling brave you can take a dip in the cool waters. Your photos will look like snapshots from an Indiana Jones film (minus the ancient gold treasure, unfortunately).

9. Capurganá

This remote idyllic town on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is the perfect spot if you want to really unwind and disconnect from the outside world.  You can only reach the village by plane or boat, and it is car-free. Here, pure white beaches with deep blue water meet luscious rainforest, and because the town is so remote, the beaches are relaxed and uncrowded.

If you enjoy diving or want to learn, Capurganá is the perfect place. The coral reef is remarkable and there are a number of diving schools that can take you to beautiful sites where you can (literally) immerse yourself in the rich marine biodiversity. Bring a waterproof camera to capture your underwater adventures. Near the town there are plenty of nature walks through the rainforest as well. Of course, a trip to Capurganá isn’t complete without a visit to Aguacate Beach, or Avocado Beach, which is named for its green water. Beaches and avocados…your Insta pics will be a Millennial's dream. 

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