Central America is so chock-a-bloc full of Gap Year backpackers that Colombia is the natural place to go to avoid them all. Colombia is associated in most people’s minds with death, drugs and war and so it’s a great place to escape the consumer travel crowd.
For Colombians themselves, so few people come here from the outside world that they’re pretty curious about foreigners. As such they’ll be intent on showing you what a great and much-maligned country they have.
To hit the unknown Colombia avoid the Caribbean coast and instead get to the centre of cities like Medellin, Cali and the smaller towns of Antioquia where you’ll be something of a star act – just make sure that the FARC don’t get interested in you as a kidnapping prospect.
Many come to Colombia for the cocaine, the cheap living and the wild party atmosphere – the country can actually be quite conservative in its values and traditions but the Colombians are always up for a fiesta.