Blogs from Ipiales, Colombia, South America


South America » Colombia » Ipiales August 5th 2018

Driving in Colombia has kept Ken on his toes more than he could ever have expected, or wished for! There is barely a flat or straight stretch of road in the entire country, so you inevitably end up stuck behind one slow truck/bus after another as you crawl up or down one huge mountain after another. Throw in never-ending roadworks, landslides, police checkpoints, local parades, suicidal stray dogs and crazy motorcylists, and you get an idea of why it can take up to 8 hours to drive 100 miles! There's never a dull moment, that's for certain. On the plus side, the scenery has been stunning without exception and reminds us often of the more spectacular parts of New Zealand's North Island. So we left Medellin after a week at the Al Bosque hostel, where we ... read more
If this is a motel room, I wouldn't want to see what a jail cell looks like!
La Serrana campground, Salento
Zona Cafetera near Salento

South America » Colombia » Ipiales May 30th 2016

Okay so Ecuador wasn’t on the initial plan, just like Colombia. Ecuador was in fact added when calculating the best way to travel to Peru. We looked up flights from Colombia to Peru and they all came up to a figure of around $300US each. Bearing these figures in mind, why on earth would we take a flight straight to Peru when we could spend nearly 2 weeks exploring Ecuador beforehand for the same price of flying over it? For us it was a no brainer. For some, I think a barrier to crossing the border between Colombia and Ecuador (apart from not having ‘time’, or a lack of interest in Ecuador altogether) is the consideration of safety. We read that the road leading up to Ecuador all the way from Popayan was known for robberies. ... read more
Gothic Revival in style
The detail up close
Inside the Guáitara River canyon

South America » Colombia » Ipiales September 27th 2014

We caught a local bus from Quito to the border town which took an hour longer than expected. I think this was due to the route the bus took leaving Quito. I was using the gps on google maps to follow our progress and at one point I was a little worried we were on the wrong bus as we were heading in completely the opposite direction to the border. I'm not sure if this was the normal route or if the driver was just hoping they could pick up some more passengers to fill up the bus. Once we arrived at the bus station we took a taxi to the Colombian border. It was late in the day and was pretty quiet so we got through quickly before taking a shared taxi to the bus ... read more

South America » Colombia » Ipiales July 18th 2014

Our Arrival We arrived in Ipiales from Pasto at 11:20am. The bus terminal is right next to some hotels where we decided to stay. The town centre is within walking distance of the terminal however if coming with your backpack you might not want to walk into town as it is up a very steep hill. Where We Stayed Hotel India Catalina - opposite the bus station. COP$20,000 for a spacious double room with private bathroom with really hot water, TV and internet. The shower was the nicest I have had in a long time and the matress was really soft although the bed was on the small side. What We Did Visisted Las Lajas - a pretty church on the side of a gorge where a miracle took place. You can see the painting that ... read more
The miracle
Las Lajas church
Ipiales Town

South America » Colombia » Ipiales December 16th 2012

Monday 3/12/12 – We were keen to get our first glimpse of Cartagena (and our first sight of South America) from the boat this morning, unfortunately all I can say is it looked almost exactly like Surfers Paradise in Australia with a thin strip of beach and huge towering high-rise hotels. But still being excited to be in South America, we scoffed down our breakfast with the rest of the crew and passengers, got a quick group photo, and then got ferried off the Independence and across to the dock with our bags. We then organised a taxi to take us to the immigration office in the city. We relaxed there hoping that someone would turn up with our passports. Eventually Majo must have pried herself away from el capitan and turned up with our stamped ... read more
Our route through Colombia
The passengers of the Independence
The Independence finally in the port of Cartagena

South America » Colombia » Ipiales July 5th 2012

Geo: 0.82981, -77.6298Wir sind früh wach und freuen uns schon auf das Frühstück, welches wir dann auch ausgiebig genießen. Bevor wir dann später aufbrechen wollen, geht es noch unter die Dusche. Ich bin gerade fertig und habe angefangen zu packen, als es an der Tür klopft und eine schnaufende Angestellte mir erzählt, dass die Busgesellschaft angerufen habe, sie würden auf uns warten... Ich verstehe das mal so gar nicht, sollten wir doch um 12 da sein, doch dann erklärt die gute Frau, dass am frühen Morgen schon einmal angerufen worden sei, allerdings eine Nachricht für Karina hinterlassen wurde, womit das Hotel dann nichts anfangen konnte, da ich als Anja Obersteller eingecheckt hatte...Ich zerre Netti also unter der Dusche hervor, wir packen im Eilverfahren unsere 7 Sachen und reiten im Schweinsgalopp vom Hof. Bis 10:00 Uhr w&uu ... read more

South America » Colombia » Ipiales May 21st 2012

"Killing the innocent with indifference" Amensty international is an global movement that promotes awarness of human rights, they provide real life examples and even provides a place to get involved if a person belives. This article outlined how a maybe innocent man was excuted. Columibia University is re opening this case to provethe man's innocence. Carlos Deluna was accused for the murder of a gas station attendent in 1989. he was given the penalty after it was reinstated in 1976. University of Coumbia researches are trying to prove that he is infact onnocent and did nit murder the gas station attendent.... read more

South America » Colombia » Ipiales May 17th 2012

Day 212 Thursday 10th May We had an early breakfast and were at the hotel reception for the 9.00am Coffee Tour which was done by Tim the owner of the hostel and for the past 3 and half years the proud owner of a coffee farm. The farm was well on the decline when they brought it but is now slowly improving, with them implementing many new things e.g. worm farm for organic fertiliser, solar panels and water management making the farm more self-sufficient. The talk on the coffee production was very interesting and we learnt a lot and even thought of buying his neighbours farm for a split second a shame it is overpriced this is a beautiful part of the world. We learnt about some of the different types of coffee and ... read more

South America » Colombia » Ipiales May 2nd 2012

My last few days on this side of the Atlantic involved a trip up to Colombia thanks to the Ecuadorian government (who have tightened up visa requirements ridiculously) and my own inability to find a flight before my visa ran out. While I have no issue with an impromtu road-trip, it is annoying having to travel 10 hours just for the sake of a stamp in my (increasing full) passport. Four stamps every time I have to make a border run is a) annoying for me as I'm going to have to get more pages, and b) ridiculous in any airport when the poor official has to spend forever searching through my passport for the latest entry/exit stamp. Having finished work at 8pm, we did an overnight trip up to Tulcan (a particularly cold and depressing ... read more
Tulcan Cemetery

South America » Colombia » Ipiales March 29th 2011

The trip from Bogota to Manizales was through some of the most consistently beautiful and spectacular country we have travelled anywhere in the world. Beautiful mountains, villages that made you want to pull up and stay a while – except that rural areas are subject to all sorts of (Australian and maybe other government) warnings around here. Green and lush for almost the entire length of the trip. It would have been nice to be able to pull up and take photos at many, many points. But we could only pull up for pick -ups and drop-offs. Not for photos. It was a long and, just a bit, gruelling bus trip but the scenery made up for it – most of the time. We walked into the bus station at Bogota with no settled view on ... read more
Street corner in Ipiales
Llamas for posing
Old farmhouse

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