Juan Valdez, Shakira, cocaine: Erase any preconceptions you might have about Colombia. Here is a nation of vibrant modern cities and sweltering Caribbean beaches, high-altitude hiking and Amazon safaris, whitewashed colonial villages and crashing Pacific waves. Only a few areas of the country remain unsafe for travel, mostly border or certain mountainous regions; any local (or smart Google search) can advise you where to avoid. And the comida? From simple, savory fresh breads and hearty empanadas to rich seafood feasts, you won’t be disappointed. EYW’s coverage begins with some typical Colombian street foods and snacks that you’ll find nationwide.
From left: colorful Cartagena; whitewashed Barichara; the Camino Real hike to Guane