The starting point of this trip is Bogota, the capital of Columbia. It sits on an altitude of 2.640 m above sea level. A pulsating city. Our first trip was to Monserrate, a 3.152 m high mountain where we got a great overview of the city. In September they had already started getting prepared for Christmas.
The next day we flew to Armenia from where we had a minibus bringing us to Salento which was for me one of the highlights of the trip.
From playing drinking games native to Columbia, visiting a coffee estancia and learning more about the well-known bean, the trip was one which provided knowledge at every turn. The far from easy hike up the magnificent Cocora Valley was mesmerising. We also stopped into the Acaime Reserve where colorful hummingbirds live. The hummingbirds, like us tourists, enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the town.
A beautiful city with beautiful people. In the 80s and 90s known as one of the world's most dangerous cities because of Pablo Escobar's infamous drug cartel). It turned out to be one of the most exciting cities in South America. One of the greatest pleasures here is simply pottering through the town's cobblestone streets and taking in the local scene and culture. Basque in the beauty of Columbia and switch off.
After a flight delay, we managed to get to our most southern point, Cartagena. First thing we noticed was the completely different climate: hot and humid. We had an orientation walk in the Caribbean like city. The atmosphere is completely different and every night Salsa parties take place all around the city.
Tayrona National Parc
Cartagena provided much enjoyment but it was a welcome break leaving the busy city and heading to Tayrona National Parc. Unfortunately, this is now no part of the trip anymore. It is very beautiful, the landscape, the beach and the animals but the walk is also a little bit exhausting, as it is pretty hot and you have to walk on jungle trails together with horses which makes it even more difficult but worth it because at the end you can enjoy beautiful beaches.
Colombia definitely is still South America's best-kept secret and it is worth to explore it. So what are you waiting for?
Why I loved this trip:
Spectacular guided hike through the Cocora Valley
Enjoying the great and relaxed atmosphere in Salento
I learned a lot about the world's favourite bean and how exhausting and difficult it is to crop them at the right time and enough to get at least one cup of coffee
Discover the pulsating nightlife of Medellin
Cartagena: a World Heritage-listed town with a Caribbean feeling
Salsa lessons in a local bar and club with local people was so much fun
Transport: Plane, Local bus, Private vehicle
Accommodation: Hotel (6 nights), Coffee Estancia (2 nights)
Bogota - Orientation walk of hotel neighbourhood
Coffee Region - Cocora Valley visit
Medellin - Orientation walk
Subway and metrocable to get to Plaza Minorista Market and San Javier Medellin and back
Cartagena - Orientation walk of hotel neighbourhood
Post from guest blogger, Suzanne, one of Intrepid Travel's Europe Business Development Managers