Why Colombia May Be the Next Gastronomic Capital in Latin America

Colombia food is catching up with the rest of the gastronomic world
Colombia food is catching up with the rest of the gastronomic world | © Holiet / Pixabay
Maria del Carmen Perrier

Colombia has been quietly sitting on a goldmine of fabulous cuisine for a while, but that’s about to change. Many people are discovering the world of flavor this country has to offer, thanks to efforts from the government, a new approach by local chefs, and an unprecedented flow of visitors to the country. Here’s why Colombia may well be the next gastronomic capital of Latin America.

The origin of Colombian cuisine is diverse

To really understand how food evolved so elaborately in the country, it’s important to consider the never-ending fountain of diversity in Colombia. By carefully reading between the lines of history of each region, you can discover how indigenous peoples, Europeans and Africans all brought their individual culinary traditions to transform gastronomy across the country. All these different cultural approaches to cooking allowed local chefs to combine a wide array of techniques and ingredients in unique ways that are seen nowhere else in the world. Take the ajiaco, for example. The original dish cooked by indigenous communities of Colombia was mostly made out of three different kinds of potato found in the country: sabanera, criolla and pastusa. In post-colonial times, the dish quickly adopted new ingredients, such as chicken and capers, that are now key parts of modern ajiaco.

Ajiaco Colombian cuisine

Colombian chefs are top in world gastronomic rankings

Gastronomy isn’t just about the ingredients, it’s also about the ingenious people behind the food. Recently, Leonor Espinosa, one of Colombia’s most prestigious chefs, has been crowned the best chef of Latin America. Her restaurant, Leo Cocina y Caba, together with Harry Sasson (the eponymous restaurant by renowned chef Harry Sasson), are both in the top rankings of the Best Restaurants in Latin America. After some tumultuous years, Colombia has emerged in a new positive light, and many chefs want to demonstrate those proud roots and traditions in their cuisine. They believe food can be one way to help transform images of society. Thanks to this positive new image, an influx of visitors from all over the world are now further discovering the diverse cuisine.

Colombia is a powerhouse of food variety

Did you know that in Colombia you can have a different fruit each day of the year? Or that you can find at least 700 different types of passion fruit? This is just an example of how vast the produce selection is. Each region has its own specialty and, therefore, their own way of cooking these diverse foods. This combination ensures that every person could find a treat in Colombia to satisfy their own taste, and explore flavors that are no less than mind-blowing, such as the cocoa cake with frozen araza cream, a fruit only found in the Amazon, and corozo, typical fruit from the Caribbean coast, which is served in one of the most outstanding restaurants in Bogota, Leo Cocina y Cava.

Colombian exotic fruit

Prospects for the future of Colombian cuisine

In October 2018, Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, will host the annual event of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. The government helped organize the festival; to show both local and international gastronomic onlookers the evolution of local Colombian cuisine. The event will also position Colombia within the ranks of Mexico, Argentina and Peru, which have successfully gained international recognition for their contribution to world gastronomy.

Colombian food market
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.