Vacationing in Colombia: Why Colombia is becoming the hottest travel destination

In a recent poll, popular online travel sites were asked to choose their recommendation for a travel destination in 2009. Of all the destinations recommended, Colombia appeared to be a popular choice, chosen by Frommers, the Lonely Planet, BootsnAll and Travelmuse.
For most people, this may seem like an odd choice since Colombia has mostly been known for its cocaine trade and the violence and crime accompanying it. But that has changed dramatically in recent years due to a government and military crackdown on the crime and violence. As a result, the Colombian city of Cartagena actually has a lower crime rate than Philadelphia.
Colombia is in South America. It is surrounded by Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama and Peru. It also borders on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The language spoken is Spanish. Colombia has a very moderate climate, with very little fluctuation in temperature all year long. The elevation of the region is what causes the temperature to vary. The coastal cities are the warmest with daily temperatures in the 70s and 80s, whereas the inland cities tend to average 60 degrees all year long with cold nights.
Colombia is known for its beauty, from the mountains, waterfalls and lush terrain to the historic cathedrals and cobblestone streets. CheapTickets says best time to go to Colombia is in June although that is when rainfall is highest but usually followed by sunny afternoons.
The recommended places to stay in Colombia include the quaint town of Cartagena as well as the islands San Andres and Providencia in the Colombian Caribbean. The city of Cartagena is popular for its beaches as well as its safety as it is bordered by water on three sides with only one way in and out of the city, and this road is heavily patrolled by both police and military. The areas tourists are recommended to avoid are mostly in the southeastern region of the country, near the Ecuador border, and the rural areas near the cities of Cali and Medellin.
Currently, the exchange is 2,254.50 Colombian pesos for one U.S. dollar. The eating and shopping in Colombia is quite inexpensive, however, hotel and resort prices are typical of other tourist areas but do vary with the time of year. Popular places to stay in Cartagena include the Alfiz Hotel, Hotel LM, and the Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara. In San Andres, the Decameron Boutique Los Delfines and the El Dorado San Andrés Isla Hotel as well as the Sirius Hotel in Providencia have all been well reviewed by travelers.

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