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Four Colombian cities are listed among the "25 most popular destinations in South America in 2013", according to the tourism website Trip Advisor in light of the recommendations made by millions of users via Internet.
Cartagena, Bogota, Santa Marta, and Cali were included in that order in the latest ranking by the Spanish version of this popular website as part of the "the best of 2013" special, where the finest hotels, beaches, and islands in Latin America and Spain are considered.
"Some of the unique experiences for foreign tourists in Colombia include Cartagena’s colonial architecture, Bogota’s Gold Museum; which evokes the legend of El Dorado, the search of a lost city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range, and salsa lessons by world champions in Cali, are places that merge fantasy and reality like nowhere else,” stated Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport.
Proexport, the agency in charge of promoting international tourism in Colombia, operates in over 30 countries to promote eight tourism products offered to foreigners, including adventure, wellbeing, culture, water activities and cruise ships, nature, sun and beach, and meetings and incentives tourism. "Colombia, Magical Realism" is the slogan that has been included in all of these activities since April of last year, after the campaign launched to position the country as an ideal destination to spend vacations or to hold events.
Colombia, Magical Realism" is the slogan that has been included in all of these activities since April of last year
Trip Advisor cited that Cartagena has “great beaches, a historic old town where tourists can visit and experience the astonishing colonial architecture” which is enjoyed by thousands of people, including cruise tourists that visit the port all year long.
The website highlighted Colombia’s capital, citing the city’s numerous unique restaurants and bars, the fantastic wine, and routinely gastronomic festivals which have been appraised by The New York Times and The Guardian.
The website also referred to Santa Marta as “the place where it is possible to spend the day strolling around the old ruins hidden behind the exuberant mangroves of the Tayrona Natural National Park”, or where nature lovers can “snorkel in reefs teeming with underwater life”.
Last but not least, the capital of Valle del Cauca was dubbed the “sports center of Colombia” as it was appointed to host the 2013 World Games in addition to its “ neat golf courses and countless opportunities to practice extreme sports in the local parks, mountains and local deserts.”
According to national immigration authorities during their annual report on foreign tourism, these cities are among the main destinations for international travelers in the country. Together, the four cities welcomed 340,773 foreign tourists out of the more than 1.6 million who visited Colombia in 2012.
This is not the first time that Colombian destinations are included in the site's rankings. In May 2011, San Andres and Santa Marta were listed among the top beaches in the world to visit.