The key data:
- 2½ years
- 40 locations
That’s right, in my 2½ years living in this beautiful country, I have seen almost 40 cities, national parks and towns, and Colombia still has so much more to offer.
My plan is to cross five of those places off my list in 2014. And next month, I’ll tell you about the new places I enjoyed the most in 2013.
Ok, here we go…
1. Cano Cristales
Once infested with FARC and paramilitaries, the area is now opening up to tourism.
The sediments that pass through this all natural area give the river five colors, hence the nickname “El Rio de Cinco Colores,” and is it ever spectacular in photos, so I can only imagine how stunning it must look in person.
The best way to get there is to fly from Bogota or Villavicencio to La Macarena, a small town in the department of Meta.
An all-inclusive trip, just for a night, will run you at least 800,000 pesos (about $415). I’m already saving.
Near this Pacific Coast town is a black sand beach looks pristine and seems private because I never see anyone in any of the pictures.
Like Cano Cristales, this once was no place to travel, an outpost in Colombia’s civil war, but a military presence has made it safer for visitors. Just check the news before you plan to travel.
You’d fly from Medellin to Nuqui, then have to take a boat to get there.
I’ve been to the Pacific Coast before, but to El Valle, farther north, and it was not the season to do some whale watching, something I plan to time correctly when I go to Guachalito so I can see the giant mammals as well. That means a trip between June and September.
Expect to spend about 800,000 pesos ($415) for this trip too, although that’ll get you two nights there.
3. Parque Jaime Duque
I couldn’t believe this place existed when I saw the pictures of my roommate there after a recent trip he made to Bogota.
Just 30 minutes northeast of the city in the pueblo of Tocancipa, you’ll find a variety of attractions from a dinosaur exhibit to a Taj Mahal.
If I had more time, I would have gone to see it when I traveled to the capital last month.
Just more proof that Bogota is very underrated.
How pathetic I am.
I still have not seen the Valle de Cocora where the wax palms look like they grew from magic beans. They’re the tallest in the world.
I think you can ride a horse into the valley. I hope so. I love riding horses.
Side note: this valley, along with Nevado del Ruiz outside Manizales, are the main reasons to travel to this region, not the coffee. You’ll find better coffee farms just outside Medellin.
5. Carnaval, Barranquilla
This is probably wishful thinking because I don’t imagine I’ll have the time. But it’s something I must do.
I’ve seen photos from my talented friend Joel Duncan that boast a kaleidoscope of revelry that rivals almost any celebration in South America, except maybe Rio de Janeiro.
I saw something similar in Pasto this year, during its carnaval, but I hear Barranquilla takes color to a whole new level.
If not in 2014, 2015 for sure.
Carnaval de Barranquilla is amazing! Definitely the best carnaval/feria in Colombia!
looking forward to finding out for myself someday luke…thanks for confirming!
I really need to get back to Colombia soon to check out all those amazing places!
Yea you do, would be great to see you here again 🙂