LATINO VOICES
20/07/2014 11:53 BST | Updated 31/07/2014 12:59 BST

23 Food Reasons Colombians Know What's Good

'La Bandeja Paisa' can be found practically anywhere in the country, though the hearty dish originate in the Antioquia department.
Flickr/michaelkeen
'La Bandeja Paisa' can be found practically anywhere in the country, though the hearty dish originate in the Antioquia department.

Colombia is a country of many misconceptions.

Abroad, the South American nation has suffered from age-old stereotypes and misidentification – seriously, it’s Colombia, NOT Columbia – but none of it has ever stopped its people from being known as some of the happiest on earth (if you don’t believe us, here’s proof).

What makes Colombia unique goes beyond the passion and joy of its soccer team, its magnificent biodiversity, the beauty of its women and even the folkloric sounds of Vallenato and Cumbia heard across the country. In fact, its true beauty comes from the warmth of its people.

Whether you visit Medellín and its “eternal spring,” the highland climate of Bogotá or the tropical paradise found in the historic port city of Cartagena – you’re bound to find a friendly face and a hot plate of the region’s specialty.

Colombian cuisine is as diverse as the country’s 32 departments, and it’s one thing tourists can’t get enough of. So, here are 23 food reasons why Colombians know what’s good.

Photo gallery23 Food Reasons Colombians Know Best (list) See Gallery

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post only noted that people from Antioquia were called "paisas," when in fact the term includes Colombians from the departments now mentioned above, as well.