I recently vacationed in the Republic of Colombia, and I’ve been telling my friends and family about my trip – the good, the bad and the hilarious. I tell them about the explosion of color that is the central market in the Plaza del Mercadeo de Paloquemao in Bogota, the 13 hour freezing night bus ride from Medellin to Cartegena, and how 2 non-Spanish speakers tell the non-English speaking hotel clerks that their shower is not working.
But what I remember most are the colors, the sounds, and the tastes. The colors of the Festival of Lights in Medellin, the land, the fruits, and the buildings. The sounds of the music, the street vendors, the traffic, and the lack of sound in the cathedrals and Iglesias. The tastes of a sugar cane & lime drink, the best pineapple on earth in Bucaramanga, grilled meat & potato on a stick, and a not so delicious guanabana.
We climbed the heights to overlook the city in Medellin. We crept through dark passages in Cartegena’s San Felipe Fortress and the salt mine in Zipaquira. We travelled on steep, winding mountain road with no guardrails and gaping holes that were evidence of many rockslides. And we tried many new foods and fruits. It was a great trip!
Festival of Lights in Medellin Plaza del Mercadeo de Paloquemao
Guanabana Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira
For a vicarious tour of Colombia, check these out:
We planned the whole trip using the Lonely Planet Colombia book.
We enjoyed 23 of Fernando Botero’s sculptures in Medellin’s Plaza Botero and many of his other works in Bogota’s Museo Botero.
The Spanish Colonial architecture of Cartegena was beautiful, as was the Colonial buildings in Ville de Leyva.
The movie Colombiana was on tap for 2 of our long bus rides.
The National Police Museum in Bogota had a whole floor dedicated to the life and death of drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar.
We had a guided tour on the Cosmology and Symbolism of pre-Colombian gold artwork in the Museo del Oro in Bogota.
The sounds of Shakira and Juanes were always on the radios in our hostels.
If you get the chance, I recommend a visit to Colombia.