The Examiner | 8/12/2009 12:00:00 AM
Colombia 101: from drug haven to tourist haven
Aug 12--Colombia. The name probably conjures up images of Pablo Escobar, massive coca plantations in the jungle, and skirmishes between government troops and rebel guerrillas. Most people probably picture men with machine guns rather than peddlers and artists selling their wares on the streets. Not the ideal tourist destination, right? For a long time, this was true, but in recent years, Colombia has been a country on the rebound.
My parents visited Cartagena in March. While talking to some locals, one man asked them to tell everyone they knew back home that Colombia is a safe and fun place to visit. With its location at the northern end of South America, Colombia features a vibrant mix of Native American, Caribbean, Spanish, and African cultures. There are a variety of attractions for all tastes, from wild urban nightlife to hiking in the jungles and mountains, to sports such as soccer and surfing. Colombian food prominantly features grilled meat, corn, rice, beans, and of course, coffee.
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