The thrill seekers will fall madly in love by discovering all that Colombia reserves them. Between the different snow-capped mountains to climb, the wild rivers to tame and the coral-rich sea beds to explore… Colombia has not finished surprising you. To be safe, make sure your insurance covers extreme sports. Here are our top 10 activities and extreme sports to practice in Colombia…
Many places in Colombia are naturally predisposed for the practice of paragliding thanks to the different warm winds, the high reliefs and above all to its magnificent landscapes. The departures are generally at high altitude and often above a cliff, accompanied by a tandem instructor. You will also need to have good weather on the day of the flight, otherwise the experience may be cancelled; so beware of the rainy season. The flight can be longer or shorter depending on your budget and can include 360° stunts, spins and loops. You will regularly be offered to film yourself during the flight which is a great idea to immortalize your reactions.
The most famous places to go paragliding are: Canyon Chicamocha close to San Gil, Territorio Paraíso close to Cali, San Felix or Jericó or Jardín close to Medellin, Sopó not far from Bogota etc.
2. Rafting & Kayaking
The important relief with which Colombia is endowed, makes the country particularly propitious to practice Rafting and Kayaking. Not far from the pleasant city of San Gil, you will find the Colombian reference in terms of rapids, located in the department of Santander. You can enjoy the “Rio Fonce, Rio Suarez & Rio Chicamocha”, three rivers with rapids ranging from class 2 to 4+. Without forgetting other known sites such as Rio Magdalena in the department of Huila, Rio Barragan in Quindio or Rio Negro in Cundinamarca.
From mountains to jungles to deserts, Colombia’s landscapes are extremely varied and this makes it a particularly rich and diverse destination for hiking. How better to escape the air pollution and noise than to be in the middle of nature? The change of scenery is guaranteed! Here we will list some of the most wonderful hikes to do in Colombia: the Lost City – its jungle and ruins, the Cocuy National Park – its snow-capped mountains and glaciers, Purace National Park – its wildlife and volcano, the Cocora Valley – its gigantic palm trees populating green plains, the Tatacoa Desert – its amazing landforms, the Amazon – its virgin forests, the Tayrona Park – its breathtaking flora and fauna etc.
Thanks to its 3000 km coastline on both the Pacific and the Caribbean – and its many islands, Colombia offers you a very wide choice of sites to dive. Especially around Providencia and San Andres (third largest barrier reef in the world listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Isla Malpelo, Capurgana, Sapzurro, Barú and Taganga. The country’s seabed is ideal for beginners as well as for advanced divers. Indeed, there are different levels of difficulty ranging from the sites of Old Providence and MC Bean Lagoon, to the San Andres Biosphere Reserve, to the wild waters of the Pacific Coast and its gigantic schools of sharks – more addressed to advanced divers. In terms of rates, dives on the Caribbean Coast are very affordable. It is necessary to count around COP$650.000 for a week of PADI certification. Be sure to check the seriousness of your dive center before registering.
Cycling is a sport very much appreciated by Colombians. This common passion is made possible by the well-maintained roads as well as the mountainous terrain that has allowed Colombians to become strong cyclists, regularly participating in the Tour de France. The most popular places to practice mountain biking are (San Gil with the Chicamocha Canyon course, Armenia with the Peñas Blancas course, Medellin with the Santa Elena and Guatape, Salento with the courses of Alegria and Simon Bolivar etc).
6. Kite Surf
You can also kite surf in Colombia, and yes! There are excellent kite sites on the Caribbean coast between Carthagena de Indias with La Boquilla and Isla Baru, Barranquilla with Puerto Velero and the famous site of Santa Veronica as well as further east with Guajira, you have the choice. A wide selection of kite surfing schools are available, perfect for beginners as well as advanced levels. Indeed, some places of the coast gather the ideal conditions to practice this discipline, wind, waves and warm winds in side shore. All this in idyllic settings that will suit all tastes, from the lively city of Cartagena to small fishing villages and coconut palms. Be careful, however, to respect the right season for this practice, which extends from December to May.
Explore the depths of the caves of Rio Claro (Antioquia), Cueva de la Vaca (Santander) or Cuevas Caja de Agua (Huila), go deep into the rock through small narrow tunnels leading directly to rooms sometimes more than 20 meters high. You will have the opportunity to discover a fauna living in total darkness as well as breathtaking rock formations, thousands of years old.
What better way to discover the different landscapes that Colombia has in store for you than to take to the road on a motorcycle? You can take advantage of the country’s roads to discover the coast from Santa Marta, or Cabo de la Vela or to explore the surroundings of Guatape. It is also possible to discover the desert of Tatacoa and its surprising colors by motorcycle. Why not also discover a colonial town such as Villa de Leyva and its surrounding nature. Some routes can be difficult to remember, so consider taking something to orient yourself with – a GPS or a phone.
Colombia has incredible surfing beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, suitable for all levels. The practice sites are easier to access on the Caribbean coast, which also means that they are more frequented but more suitable for beginners: Costeño beach, Cartagena Jetty, El Muelle, El Bolsillo … while those on the Pacific coast are more difficult to access and therefore quieter, mainly concentrated around Nuqui and a more advanced level with Termales, El valle, Pico de Loro etc. The best season for surfing in Colombia is from December to March and July to September.
Canyoning is an adventure sport that is practiced in the middle of nature. The objective is simple: you have to go from upstream to downstream of sites such as canyons, rivers, waterfalls, gorges etc. and overcome the various obstacles that present themselves to you by alternating walking, swimming, climbing, abseiling, jumping and sliding. This activity falls into the category of sensational sports. It is a demanding discipline that needs to be practiced with certain safety instructions. We therefore recommend that you choose your excursionist carefully. The most popular places in Colombia for this sport in Santander
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