Here is the witty and patriotic answer given by the national office of tourism...
"Si quiere conocer el Caribe, vaya a Cuba o a Republica Dominicana
Si quiere conocer el Pacifico, vaya a Chile
Si quiere conocer los Andes, vaya al Ecuador
Si quiere conocer la selva amazonica, vaya al Brazil
Si quiere conocer las culutras precolombinas, vaya a Mexico o a Peru
Pero si quiere ver todas eas cosas reunidas...vaya a Colombia papa!"
“If you want to know the Caribbean, go to Cuba or the Dominican Republic
If you want to know the Pacific Ocean, go to Chile
If you want to know the Andean Mountains, go to Ecuador
If you want to know the Amazon Jungle, go to Brazil
If you want to know pre-columbian cultures, go to Mexico or Peru
But if you want to know all of those in just one place, go to Colombia!”
As tourism is surely not the only motive driving someone to go and spend a year in a specific foreign country, this may only reflect one side of the story. So, why Colombia? Here is a recurrent question. Some ask this simply, others go on: "we often see people leaving the country for Europe, the US or other parts of the world, so it is always suprising to see foreigners come here and stay." But what about this good old "American dream"? Although the idea is often wrongly tied to the United States, South America has become to many as attractive as its northern neighbor, if not more.
Needless to say that the very word "Latino" does not do justice to the extreme variety caracterizing the continent. Yet, foreigners are probably all driven by a common idea: there is here, from the desert of Northern Mexico to Patagonia, a particular taste to life...
That being said, the original question remains: why Colombia? Because in many ways, its geographical, historical, cultural and political features make it a perfect compromise between the best, and unfortunately the worst, South America has to offer. Here is the rational answer. Now, there is something else, something that does not need justifications. Peculiar attraction or as the national saying goes: "passion", perhaps?