Colombia's got the makings of a premier tourist destination, not to mention a complete turn-around in terms of socio-economics in just a few decades, so why is it known for cocaine fields, drug trafficking, and coffee?

It may take a long time for Colombia to outgrow its wild-west, kingpin controlled image that is reiterated every few months or so with stories in the media about kidnappings and other acts of violence, but slowly and surely the country is pulling itself out from under the control of ne'er-do-wells.

What to do

All that remains of some of Colombia's ancient civilizations are stone towers in the jungle covered by vines and plants. As excavation work is done, tourists can see these and other archaeological sites, such as San Agustin and Tierradentro.

Off the coast of Colombia, Isla Gorgona, a former prison island, now has abundant wildlife and optimum diving conditions just offshore.

Getting there

There are flights from all around the world to Colombia each day and as the country further empowers and enriches its people their frequency will grow. Colombian tourism is on the rise and as it increases, the perception of Colombia as a dangerous destination will fall away.

Where to stay

Your location determines the quality of accommodations to be found in Colombia. There are plenty of hotels in the city, from five star establishments to budget rooms, and hostels are part of the tourism industry as well.