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Crowds gather to watch street theatre performances in the Plaza de Bolívar, Bogotá

With dramatically beautiful rainforests, mountains and beaches, lovely cities and enchanting people, Colombia should be a magnet for travellers. Unfortunately, the activites of geurillas and cocaine thugs have pushed 'Locombia' (the mad country) somewhat off-limits.

For most, Colombia is unknown territory - a land of myths and threat, thick with thugs, drug dealers and treasure. It's generally seen as a place to avoid rather than as a place to visit. Throughout its stormy history, it has hosted innumerable civil wars and has endured South America's longest guerrilla insurgency.

However, visitors to the country are often struck by how normal and orderly everyday life is, despite all the problems the country is going through. Most leave Colombia safe and inspired. Few experience security problems. If you take the necessary precautions, you'll find Colombia one of the world's most sensual, wild, complex and fascinating countries.

Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track
Getting Around
Further reading

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