La Merced Chapel is one of the most important places to visit in Cali, as the city’s inaugural Mass was delivered here on July 25, 1536. A 15th century wood carved statue of the Virgin of Las Mercedes is kept inside.
An outdoor space in which the citizens of Ibagué converge to spend the afternoon is the Parque de la Música, located next to the Conservatory of Tolima. As the name implies, musical performances are usually held here.
A place where the artistic trends in this region are appreciated is the Tolima Art Museum, which has seven exhibition halls in which collections of Colombian painters and traveling works of different regional, national and foreign artists are exhibited.
The origins of the Cathedral Metropolitan Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary date back to 1927, when the French architect Julien Auguste Polti was entrusted to rebuild it after a fire in 1926. Construction began in 1928 and ended in 1939, after work was interrupted due to the Great Depression of the 30s. The Cathedral measures 25,833 square feet and can accommodate 5,000 people.
Bolívar Square lies at the center of Manizales and is surrounded by the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Governor’s Palace, among other buildings. In the square you can admire Bolívar Condor, a sculpture made in tribute to Simón Bolívar made by Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt, as well as ceramic murals by local artist Guillermo Botero.
The Colón Theater opened on October 27, 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America, and was reopened in July 2014 after a renovation that began in 2008. The restoration of the front curtain, which features "dolls" or "monkeys" drawn on a nineteenth-century linen cloth, was an important part of this renovation.
At the Banco de la República’s Gold Museum, visitors witness an unforgettable experience: as they stand in a dark room, bright lights suddenly switch on to reveal hundreds of gold ornaments. The museum features about 13,000 gold artifacts and 20,000 stone and clay objects originating from various pre-Hispanic cultures.
Small historical town located just 2 hours from Medellin. It was the capital of the region before the control of power was shifted to Medellin. If you’re interested in colonial architecture, white-washed walls, weathered churches (like The Catedral de Santa Fe de Antioquia, located in the main plaza) and old town squares then Santa Fe is a perfect day trip from Medellin.
If you’re looking for more than just a one day trip then Rio Claro is a great option. Just three hours east of Medellin Rio Claro offers the chance to get up close and personal with Colombian flora & fauna whilst also being able to participate in various outdoor activities such as rafting, caving and zip lining through the canopy.
The small town of Guatape is a colourful and tranquil pueblito (small town) perfect to enjoy a day trip (or two) from Medellin. Whilst the town is famous for the colourful designs on the facades of the houses it’s probably more recognisable in promotional material for the the large rock “El Penol” which you can climb to get an amazing view of the surrounding man-made lagoons.
Chicamocha National Park in Panachi, about 50km from Bucaramanga, to see the world’s longest cable cart. This cart is no less than 6 km long and contains 39 cabins, each of which has a capacity of eight passengers. The system covers the entire Chicamocha canyon from La Mesa de los Santos to Panachi and includes three stations in between, allowing people to get out for a moment and enjoy the park by foot.
San Gil, 96 km from Bucaramanga, you can discover other extreme sports. Rafting is one of its most popular activities here with experienced guides offering several trips on the rivers. The excursions which take place on either the Fonce or Suarez river offer adventurers differing levels of difficulty, making use of rafts, kayaks or hydrospeed - a form of river bodyboarding.
Contadora Island is the only island of the Pearls that can be reached by flying from Panama City. The island is located near the coast of Panama, at around 50 miles away. Isla Contadora is well known for its famous resorts and hotels. The place is magical in every sight but still offers the luxury of home.
The island of Contadora became world famous when in 1979 the Shah of Iran retreated there in exile. This put the spotlight on the islands as an exclusive and expensive island for the rich and the famous. Since then Contadora’s popularity began to grow and the first Hollywood stars started to invest in there private getaways. The reality show Survivor put the Pearl Islands and Contadora in many countries on the map as tropical paradise. Tourism became to flourish and the islands are not only for the rich and the famous anymore.
Panama is world-famous for its 48-mile canal that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean. Each year, over a million people visit the canal and are able to witness this engineering marvel at work. Panama is very proud to have this magnificent creation operating 365 days a year, enabling the world's cargo to be shipped efficiently and safely to new destinations.
This 6-hour excursion is the perfect way to have an extraordinary day by going to the closest island to the city. Relax and discover the art of sailing on board the biggest open boat of the city. Sunbathe, lay down and enjoy the big deck with huge nets and speakers. The catamaran has shaded areas for those who need a break from the sun.
Everyone wants the inside scoop on Casco Viejo, Panama's most charismatic neighborhood. Today, Casco Viejo (aka. Casco Antiguo, San Felipe or El Casco) is a vibrant community consisting of a sharp contrast of old and new, local and foreign. The buildings are in various stages or redevelopment and renovation, with a strictly enforced standard of Historical Authenticity. There is tremendous culture and a feeling which is unique only to this neighborhood in Panama.
Declared World Heritage by UNESCO, it was founded in 1519. Panama was the first city built on the Pacific Ocean coast during the Spanish colonial period in America. Its geographical position turned it into a golden transit point and the fabulous treasures of the American continent were sent to Spain and, therefore, it was also a coveted booty for pirates. In 1671, the city was sacked and destroyed by the famous pirate Henry Morgan. Today is a place visited by all those who wish to relive with imagination that distant era of mythical heroes and villains.
From the Cinta Costera you can see an impressive view of the entire city of Panama. You can also observe the boats that line up to enter the Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean, while enjoying the green areas, recreational parks and public spaces ideal for walking or exercising. In this picturesque route you will find the seafood market, which offers an excellent restaurant within the enclosure, and more than a dozen small outdoor restaurants selling fried fish with patacones and ceviches in all its varieties.
In the mountains of the district of Coclé lies the small town El Valle de Antón, known as the second largest inhabited volcano crater. Once a crater lake it became home to Indians from the surrounding mountains. The microclima here, next to the cloud forest created amazing varieties of flora and fauna.
Also El Valle is one of the best places in Panama for watching tropical birds. You will find them in the valley and in the cloud forest of the Gaital Monument.
The Metropolitan National Park is a 232 hectares forest located in Panama City. Some of the tree species that you can admire here are the wild cashew, luehea semannii, gumbo-limbo, guanacaste and yellow mombin, amongst others.
The San Blas islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the archipelago and they are scattered around in an area of about 100 square miles. If you leave the Golfo de San Blas by boat you will enter the Caribbean Sea. The majority of the 378 islands have no inhabitants, but on the larger ones you will find the gentle native people known as the Kuna’s. These people can be found on the larger inhabited Islands; Aguja Island, Guanidup Island, Chichimei, Yandup Island and El Porvenir. You may ask yourself What is san blas? San Blas is an autonomous territory in Panama formerly called Kuna Yala.
The San Blas Islands are the number #1 vacation destination in Panama and probably in Central America. The native people living on the Islands of San Blas call themselves Kuna’s or Guna’s. The district/region in Panama where you can meet the native inhabitants is officially named after them; Guna Yala or Kuna Yala.
It was built in 2002 an inaugurated on October 31, 2003 as an initiative of the Ecuadorian Foundation of the Sea (Fundemar, for its Spanish acronym) through an agreement with the Municipality of Guayaquil and the Siglo XXI Foundation in order to highlight the importance of the maritime activity of the city – port, which, since its beginnings, had the Guayas River as the main commercial way to contribute to the progress of Guayaquil.
History tells that the current Municipal Palace was built where the former Town Hall was located since 1817. During that time the Act of Independence was signed in the city, on October 9, 1820. However by 1908 the building was burned due to a rodent plague.
The Monkey Island Day Tour is boat exploration of Lake Gatun and a great opportunity to see 4 different species of monkey, all within 40 minutes of Panama’s capital city. You will also see many other animal species such as Crocks, Toucans, Sloths and many exotic birds. The tour also gives you the chance to bath in spring fed natural pools and kayak in the lake.
Lovers’ Park (also called Santander Park) was built in the early 20th century and is characterized by a statue of General Francisco de Paula Santander and a bust of former President Manuel Murillo Toro in the centre.
The Colón and Bolivar peaks the highest points of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (at 5,775 and 5560 meters above sea level, respectively) and are considered sacred places by the ancient Tayrona culture, whose descendants are responsible for ensuring for environmental balance of this zone.
On one side the waves smash against volcanic rocks that are lined up next the beach: on the other side you seem to see a mirage because it would seem that a portion of the Amazon jungle arises in the midst of the Caribbean.
This is a beautiful plaza with several wonderful sculptures. It is located near the Santa Barbara Church and has beautiful fountains around it. The plaza is home to the Virgin of Chiquinquira’s monument which is 18 meters tall.
Then there are some nymphs with wings around the monument that are paying a tribute to the Virgin.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Zulia is a national institution of multiple cultural actions designed to insert itself deeply into the community. MACZUL is a cultural project born in Maracaibo thanks to the initiative of the University of Zulia.
The MACZUL art collection is mostly made up of high-quality contemporary artworks of aesthetic and creative significance or of documentaries, historical, technical and/or didactic importance, such as paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, designs, prints, illustrations, photographs, textiles, fireworks, video art and experimental non-objective artistic manifestations.
This park is worth visiting, if you are traveling to Maracaibo with your children. There are several exciting rides, pools and other interesting activities you can enjoy there. The staff of the park is well-trained and friendly.