By Kelly GalaskiÂ
I wanted to look up some of the places Iâ€™ll be traveling to in Colombia, to give you an idea of what part ofÂ the countryÂ Iâ€™ll be visiting. As you can imagine, it is a country of great diversity with remote dense rainforests, mountains, big city centres with bustling culture, and indigenous heritage. Also, the worldâ€™s third largest barrier reef lies just off the Atlantic coast among Caribbean islands. Since the focus of my particular trip is scuba diving, that’s where I’ll be headed. How I love the Carribean.Â I decided to do a little research on http://www.colombia.travel/Â about some of the specific stops which include:
– Tayrona National Park near Santa Marta, on the Caribbean coast
– The Island of San Bernardo, near Cartagena, Colombiaâ€™s best preserved architecturalÂ jewel
– The islands of San AndrÃ©s and Providencia on the Caribbean Coast, which lay next to the most extensive coral reef system in the world.
Tayrona National Park
Lonely Planet Publications chose this lovely nature reserve as one of the ten destinations to visit in 2010. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and consists of 15,000 colorful hectares, 3,000 of which are marine. The park has over 108 species of mammals, among which howling monkeys, ocelots, corn monkeys, deer and over 70 species of bats stand out. Bird species, including the white and lone eagles, number over 300. Close to 110 coral, 471 crustacean and 700 mollusk species live in its oceans.
The Tayrona Indians were deeply aware of the environment. They channeled mountain water to their houses in an organized way and designed cities and cultivation terraces with the aim of protecting nature always in mind. Visitors to the park have access to the ruins and can attest to their creative abilities.
The Corals of Rosario and San Bernardo National Natural Park is perfect for observing colorful coral reefs in shallow waters. Located at 45 kilometers from Cartagena, the park protects underwater ecosystems, mainly the coral reefs, which are fragile ecosystems, inhabited by a multitude of invertebrate species and a variety of fish whose movements and colors resemble ballet choreography.
San Andres and Providencia
The singular coloring of the coral reefs and the mangrove lagoons have conferred upon the sea of Providencia the name of â€œsea of seven colorsâ€. Providencia is a beautiful Caribbean island located seven hundred kilometers from the city of Cartagena. In the underwater part of the park, the barrier reef that protects the coast of the island from the onslaughts of the sea may be admired in its entire splendor. In its land area, the park comprises a small hill by the name of Iron Wood and the McBean mangrove area. The prodigious coral reef and the McBean mangrove lagoon paint the sea with a spectacular gamut of colors, from deep blue to aquamarine to turquoise.
After that Iâ€™ll be whisked off to the city for an all day meeting where I will try to build relationships with Colombian operators that we can work with to design an itinerary and start sending people on trips!
Excerpts from http://www.colombia.travel/