Colombians are a major part of life, here in Houston.
It is estimated that there are as many as 50,000 Colombians living in the Houston area. There is a major Colombian Consulate office, here in Houston. There are about 25 Colombian restaurants in Houston, with delicious typical dishes. (For those of you who assume that Colombian food is like Mexican food, think again! The cuisine in South America is very different than Mexican or "Tex-Mex" food.) And, every year, sometime around July 20 (Colombian Independence Day), there is a huge Colombian festival held downtown, with thousands of people in attendance. (I've attended this event several times, and I had a great time.)
A mi me encanta viajar a Colombia! Translation: I love traveling to Colombia! And, I strongly encourage you to visit Colombia, at least ONCE in your life. It is a country rich with history, music, art, sports, food, architecture, beaches, islands, recreation, and great people.
Of course, Colombia is known for its delicious "mountain-grown" coffee. Also, the world's finest emeralds are mined in Colombia. At least 50% of the roses sold in the US every day are grown in Colombia and shipped here to our florists. For those of you who share my love of butterflies, you'll find more species in Colombia than in any other country.
Oh... and, for you men out there who are single and looking (as I am)... "las Colombianas" are some of the most stunningly beautiful women in the world! Trust me on this!
Medellin, Colombia (once one of the most dangerous cities in the world) is now a wonderful vacation destination, and relatively safe. And it has become a major destination for people from the US and many other countries who are looking for high-quality, low-priced medical or dental care.
By the way, that's me in the photo, on a trip to Colombia, dressed in a Colombian poncho and a sombrero volteado, which is a hand-made typical Colombian hat.
Unfortunately, many people in the US still believe that Colombia is a dangerous place to visit. Well, that is an OLD reputation, based on OLD news. Sure, there are still some unsafe places to go in Colombia, just as there are some unsafe places to go, right here in the US! But, over the past several years, under the leadership of Colombia's last two presidents (Uribe and Santos), Colombia has become a MUCH, MUCH safer country to visit than it had previously been. I travel there frequently, and can personally vouch for this.
I love Colombia's current tourism slogan: "COLOMBIA... The only risk is wanting to stay!"
One of our show's sponsors, AVIANCA AIRLINES, has daily flights from Houston to Medellin and Bogota, Colombia, via San Salvador, El Salvador.
US citizens can visit Colombia for up to 90 days per visit (and a total of 180 days per year) with a valid US passport. Visas for working or studying in Colombia are available at the Colombian Consulate offices in Houston and elsewhere in the US, as well as through through the Colombian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Below are some of the places I've visited in Colombia. I am currently updating the information for each of these destinations on this page. Visit here again soon, to get my personal recommendations for where to stay, where to eat, what to do, etc.