Sun-soaked and stewed in culture, Colombia's dramatic Caribbean coastline is its dazzling crown, capping the country with myriad ecosystems, from the dense jungles of the Darién Gap on the border with Panama, to the hauntingly atmospheric desert of La Guajira near Venezuela.

The crown jewel along the coast is Cartagena, a colonial city with a beauty and romance that's unrivaled anywhere in Colombia, despite the enormous numbers of visitors it attracts. A yet undiscovered version can be enjoyed by journeying inland to find gorgeously isolated colonial Mompós, a sleepy hamlet lost in the jungle whose star is truly in the ascendant. Other attractions are more natural: the Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) Tayrona, a wonderful stretch of perfect beach and virgin rainforest, and the thrilling and arduous Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) trek, which will satisfy adventurers wanting to discover the remnants of an ancient civilization against a stunning mountain backdrop.