Published on June 28th, 2019 | by Mark Chesnut


My Bogota Travel Feature Just Won an Award. Here’s Why I’m so Passionate About Colombia.


I’m very excited to be the 2019 winner of the “Excellence in Travel Writing Award” from NLGJA, the Association of LGBTQ Journalists. The award comes for “The Best of Gay Bogota,” a travel feature I wrote for Passport Magazine about LGBTQ travel in Bogota, Colombia.


NLGJA’s Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBTQ community. In recent years, the program was expanded to more than 30 categories.


It’s a great honor to be the one journalist recognized in the travel category for these awards. But it also highlights why Colombia is such an important destination, for LBTQ travel and for travel and tourism in general. Visiting Colombia — and especially Bogota, the nation’s capital, several times in recent years helped to provide me with lots of Colombia travel tips and insight about things to do in Colombia. But most of all, it has provided me an opportunity to connect with the people — those who work in travel and tourism and even those who don’t. There are many reasons why people are discovering Colombia, and here are some of my favorite reasons to visit:


Botero sculpture in Medellin. PHOTO: VisualHunt

Colombia is beautiful. You can soak in the sun on the Caribbean coast while exploring centuries-old historic architecture, wander the verdant hills of the coffee region or head into the jungles of the south. There are so many different regions to discover in Colombia, it would take a lifetime to experience them all.


Colombia is safe. If you’re older than age 30 you certainly remember a time when Colombia was on the “no-go” list, because of dangerous political climate and crime. Today, there’s a peace accord and the nation is on par with most other destinations. (Don’t take my word for it: I always recommend reviewing U.S. State Department warnings for any country you visit, before you finalize your travel plans, regardless of the destination.)


Colombia is diverse. Colombia offers something for just about every vacation taste. Whether you fancy Caribbean beaches, historic architecture, spectacular museums, natural beauty, sophisticated cuisine or vibrant nightlife, Colombia offers plenty of options, especially in the top tourism destinations of Cartagena, Medellin and Bogota (which are the three cities I’ve visited the most). The culture is equally rich and diverse.


Colombia is sophisticated. You can find great cultural institutions, inventive cuisine and a progressive approach to many aspects of life (e.g., same-sex marriage). You won’t get bored in Colombia.


Colombia offers great value. You can find an impressive array of unique and beautiful hotels, as well as some chic and luxurious apartment rentals around Colombia, and the prices are often lower than in other countries in Latin America.


So as I toast the NLGJA for their recognition of my travel article about Bogota, I also toast Colombia for its progress as a tourism destination. And re-reading my own article, I realize that it’s about time I get down to Colombia again!


On Another Note
And finally, I’m excited to announce LatinFlyer’s new promotional partnership with I’ve been a personal fan of the hotel booking site for a long time, because they give you a free night (at any hotel in their system, based on the average cost of your previous 10 bookings). It’s automatic and simple, and you don’t have to add up points. Click on their and see what kind of deals are available for your next vacation or business trip!


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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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