Colombia

Colombia

Etymology

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Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

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How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Colombian Cupid – This is definitely the best site for finding Colombians to date. Colombian Cupid is part of the Cupid Media family that owns sites such as Brazil Cupid and Afrointroductions (two sites that I’ve used in the past while living in Brazil and South Africa, respectively, with a lot of success). [visahunter]

Latin American Cupid – Latin American Cupid has a large selection of Colombians. Because it is also owned by the same guys who own Colombian Cupid, you will probably see some overlap in the women and men that show up in your search results. That will not be the case for everyone though, so for the best results, I recommend signing up for both sites. [visahunter]

Badoo – Launched in 2006, Badoo will be an OK option for Colombia. I tend to find the quality higher on the two sites above. To have any success on this site, you need to send out A LOT of messages as their filtering system for fake profiles is definitely not the strongest. [visahunter]

OKCupid – Sign up for this website if you’ve run out of options on the sites above. OkCupid is a free dating site that uses complex algorithms and an expansive question-matching system to find the best possible matches for its members. The huge user base (around 30 million) and lack of signup fees is both a plus and a minus. With so many people, your chances of finding a good match are high, however “free” also seems to attract a fair amount of spammers and suspect profiles. Because of this, it might take some time to sift through the chaff. [visahunter]

Tagged – Tagged is probably Badoo’s largest competitor in that they offer a product that is very similar. I know some people who have had quite a bit of success with Tagged in the major cities like Bogota, Cartagena, Cali, and Medellin. I like to leave no stone unturned in the dating search, so I recommend you sign up and give it a try when you’ve exhausted the other options above. [visahunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

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Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Visiting coffee country – When we sit down with our morning coffee, we don’t often consider where it came from or what went into making those beans. Our visit to Colombia’s coffee country helped bring a greater appreciation to and perspective on the process and people behind one of our favorite drinks. [gadventures]

Trekking in the Cocora Valley – Not too far from the coffee farms of Quindio, you’ll find the Cocora Valley; a cloud forest that the unique and towering – up to 68m (223 ft) tall – protected wax palm calls home. Our trek began in the valley, from which we climbed to almost 2,700m (8,858 ft) towards Acaime Peak. Along the way, we paused at overlooks to admire the atmosphere and views of towering cloud-wrapped palms. [gadventures]

Hiking and swimming at Tayrona National Park – Moving north to the Colombian Caribbean coast, we spent a day hiking and swimming at Tayrona National Park. The first part of the day includes a trek through tropical forest, where you might find monkeys – red howlers, capuchins, and titis – and if you’re lucky, an agouti, a large forest rodent known for enjoying fruit so much that it forgets where it has buried its stash. [gadventures]

Wandering through the streets of Old Town Cartagena – Cartagena – even the name itself sounds kind of steamy and exotic. Located on the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena is Colombia’s second-oldest city and was for centuries an important Spanish colonial trading center. Most importantly, this is where Spanish colonialists stockpiled their spoils – gold, in particular – before shipping it all home to Mother Spain. [gadventures]

Mud-bathing, Totumo Volcano – Does floating atop a “mud volcano” that is 2,300m (7,546 ft) deep sound like fun? It ought to. At the Totumo mud volcano near Cartagena, you climb down a ladder only to be engulfed in buoyant mud (you float, so it’s not in the least bit strenuous), get a mud massage for USD1.50, and then hang out suspended in the mud as your skin takes in over 55 different minerals. [gadventures]

Urban transformation, Medellín – Medellín was once a place synonymous with cocaine, drugs, and murder, especially during and just after the life of Pablo Escobar and the reign of his Medellín Cartel. But a lot has changed in Medellín in the last ten years, making this city one of the fastest-growing and entrepreneurial in the region. [gadventures]

Trekking to the Lost City of Teyuna – This 46km (28 mi) trek takes you through the jungles, hills, and rivers of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to reach the 1,200+ rock steps that lead you to the “Lost City” of Teyuna. This ancient capital city of the Tayrona civilization is believed to date back to AD 800. As there are no written records and tomb thieves looted much of the site in the 1970s, a good deal about this place remains a mystery. [gadventures]

Appreciating street art in Bogotá – While many people use Bogotá solely as a transit point, we suggest that you spend a day or two there, particularly if you appreciate street art. The quantity and quality of street murals in this city is impressive; they’ll often carry an underlying social or economic message, giving you a sense of the political pulse of the city. [gadventures]

Festivals

Festivals

Carnaval del Diablo – The town of Rio Sucio hosts the Carnaval del Diablo (Festival of the Devil) on odd numbered years biannually, in a party to ward off sadness. The event is a synthesis of indigenous pagan and Catholic beliefs and features feasts, costumes, dancing, music, and poetry under the spell of sugar cane liquor. Festivities end with the reading of the testament, a burning of the devil and the burying of the gourd. [iexplore]

Carnaval de Negros y Blancos – The Carnaval de Negros y Blancos, or Festival of Blacks and Whites, is one of the major events in Southern Colombia, celebrated in Pasto over a week in early January. It has earned UNESCO designation for being a masterpiece in oral and intangible heritage of humanity. The first day of the celebration involves the Colonies Parade, a rock concert where farmers offer tributes of flowers and songs to the Virgin of Mercy in return for a good harvest. [iexplore]

Barranquilla Carnival – Carnaval is held in the port town of Barranquilla over the three days leading up to Lent, the Catholic fast. Participants dress up in exotic costumes and take part in a grand parade with a queen, floats, salsa music, rumba dancing, food, drink and partying. [iexplore]

Santa Semanta – Easter holy week takes place at the end of March/beginning of April each year and is the biggest festival of the year in Catholic Colombia. The city of Popaya is widely considered to be the religious center of the country and is home to an Easter procession that is regarded by many as the finest in South America. Groups of up to eight people carry large wooden platforms depicting scenes from the bible through the cobblestone streets in a parade that lasts many hours. [iexplore]

Bogota International Book Fair – The Bogota International Book Fair is a two week event that has been taking place in in April or May since 1988. It is one of the world’s major literary festivals and is one of Latin America’s most significant cultural gatherings. Each year, a different country gets to be the principal character which turns Colombia into the biggest library on the planet, drawing writers, illustrators, publishers, editors, readers and book lovers from all over. [iexplore]

Festival of the Flowers – The city of Medellin has been hosting the Festival of the Flowers since 1957. Taking place over ten days in early August, there are concerts, parades, food and drink, an orchid exposition, and a competition amongst saddlemen bearing flowers on horseback. Common decorations include agapanthus, carnations, chrysanthemums, gladioli, lilies, orchids, roses, and sunflowers. [iexplore]

Day of the Candles – The Day of the Candles occurs on December 7 and marks the unofficial start of the Colombian Christmas season. At night, streets and homes are festooned with candles and paper lanterns, creating tunnels of light to honor the Catholic Immaculate Conception the following day. There are competitions for the best light displays and many towns hold concerts and fireworks shows. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

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Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

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Language Exchange

language Exchange

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LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

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Resources

Resources

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Places in Colombia

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