Blogs from Colombia, South America - page 8

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South America » Colombia November 11th 2014

Flew into Cartagena from Panama which is a bit pricey but the only other way is to go by sailboat which (apparently) is an amazing experience but is a lot more money and obviously takes a lot more time. Cartagena is really nice, the old town is really historic and lovely to walk down the narrow cobbled streets. Make sure you visit the military museum, loads of history about Cartagena and how Drake sacked the place. I didn't find Cartagena unsafe at all, I am a bloke which makes it easier but if you are streetwise you should be ok. Be aware that if you have coke on you and are stopped by the police they will take you to the nearest ATM and make you take out all the money you can for them or ... read more
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South America » Colombia » Taganga November 9th 2014

A 4:45am bus arrived at our hostel to drive us northeast to Santa Marta where we would meet our group for the Cuidad Perdida (Lost City) trek in the jungle to a pre-Colombian site kept hidden by the local indigenous for centuries. Unfortunately, there’d been some miscommunication between the tour operator, our hostel and us resulting in us arriving at 10am when the other tour members had been ready to depart at 8am. Despite the delayed start, they were happy to see us and off we went for a drive into Tayrona National Park where we would be trekking. During our drive we were introduced to the group, all Colombians from Cali (some currently living in Bogota) who were travelling together and told a little about their lives, travels and interest in Cuidad Perdida. Our guide ... read more
View from the top - Day 1
On the trail
1200 steps!

South America » Colombia » Villa de Leyva November 6th 2014

Other than the tittle suggest this won't be about travel impressions, but about the impressions you leave behind. The impressions fellow travellers have off you. Fleeting impressions, and often wildly inaccurate. It's been on my mind for a while now, ever since San Blas actually where I seem to have made quite an interesting impression on some. I'm not saying that who I was there wasn't the real me, it was just a small part of who I am. You see when you travel you adjust to the circumstances, to the people around you. At least I do. What happens is that one part of your personality might become more pronounced than another part, depending on who you are with. So on the San Blas tour the social part of me came to the fore. I ... read more
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park

South America » Colombia » Cartagena November 5th 2014

Arriving in the rain was not the best introduction to Columbia, however once we eventually found transport, accommodation and sustenance, Cartegena proved to be lovely. Cartagena, a colonial walled city we’d heard highly of, is reminiscent of Havana - or what it would look like if reconstructed - filled with brightly coloured buildingz with wooden window shutters opening onto café filled plazas. We stay near the lovely Plaza de Trinidad in Getsemani neighbourhood just outside of the old city walls and spent our first day meandering our way through street markets, tourist shops, statues and some of the 6 miles of tenements. Local ice cream and coffee kept us going until the afternoon when we met with Rudi and our fellow sailors from the Baruffa to retrieve our passports (as thorough as Customs were with our ... read more
Sunset from the old city walls

South America » Colombia » Cartagena October 30th 2014

When most people think of the Caribbean they think of Bob Marley and weddings in the Bahamas, not the Colombian coastline that tips South America. From the romantic colonial town of Cartagena to the tropical paradise beaches that line the Sierra Nevada jungle the Colombian Caribbean is a sitting duck waiting to be grounded by cruise ships in their masses (they are already building the Marriott in Cartagena)! My advice would be simply go now before it is overcrowded with tourists. Elly and I spent around three weeks along the coastline but you could quite literally get lost in time here as sun-drunk days lead into rum-drunk nights. Cartagena Just an hour and a half flight from Bogota (worth it to avoid an 18 hour bus journey) will take you to the postcard town of Cartagena. ... read more

South America » Colombia » Cartagena October 27th 2014

This blog is a bit earlier than planned, but it is raining now and that is always a good day to do some writing. I thought about singing in the rain, but this seems a more productive way of spending my time. I'm in Cartagena, pearl in the crown of the former Spanish possession in the Americas. Nowadays surely one of the most beautiful cities in Colombia, though that is just guessing, since I haven't seen any other towns. But this story will be more about how I got here than about the town itself. You see to get to Colombia from Panama you must cross the infamous Darien gap, no easy task. So, instead of actually trying to hack my way through the impenetrable jungles and assorted drug smugglers and guerrilla groups that call Darien ... read more
San Blas Archipelago
San Blas Archipelago
San Blas Archipelago

South America » Colombia October 21st 2014

October 7th-18th Suprise suprise our plans have changed again! We decided to only spend a week in Colombia as it takes such a long time to bus anywhere. We figured we will do Ecuador really well and then Colombia really well another time. I've added some photos at the start from our time in Batopilas. We flew out from Chihuahua city and landed in Bogota, Colombia. We stayed at the most amazing hostel its called 12:12. We met a guy called Isaac, who is the first Kiwi we've met on our travels, on the plane and he joined us for a few days hanging out in Bogota. He is so classic so we had a great time. We weren't overwhelmed with Bogota, just a big gritty city. We enjoyed checking out the gold museum with artifacts ... read more
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South America » Colombia » Cartagena October 17th 2014

Cartagena is a port city on the northern coast of Colombia with a beautiful old town surrounded by colonial stone walls. Our visit to Cartagena coincided with the rainy season. The first morning we ventured out of the hostel and were met a short while later with some very heavy rain. We thought it was going to be one of those short and sharp showers but it just kept on going. We joined the locals who were waiting it out under any shelter they could find but the rain kept on falling. Eventually we decided we would just get wet and go to the supermarket before heading back to the hostel. By the time we were on our way back the water was nearly up to our knees and all the shop keepers were trying desperately ... read more
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas tunnels

South America » Colombia » Santa Marta » Palomino October 17th 2014

We decided to fly from Medellin to Santa Marta as the cost of a flight wasn't much more than taking the bus and it was much quicker. We arrived at Santa Marta airport and took a taxi to our accommodation in Taganga. Taganga wasn't what I was expecting, the lady in the hostel described it as a poor suburb of Santa Marta which was very true. Most of the roads were dirt, there wasn't mains water so our hostel had to buy it in, and there were numerous mangey dogs roaming the streets. We spent the afternoon in the pool at the hostel as it was really hot and humid before venturing out down to the beach. The beach didn't inspire me to want to swim and the area had a strange feel to it, maybe ... read more
Tiki Hut
Palomino beach
Walking back towards Palomino

South America » Colombia » Bogota September 27th 2014

We arrived in Bogotá after a long day bus from Salento. We were standing in the taxi line at the bus station when a young guy from the military started chatting and showing us photos of life in the military, including the vast array of weaponry they use and paradrops they completed. He was home for the weekend to see his son. The Colombians are the most friendly and welcoming people we have met in South America. We signed up to do a cycle tour of the city as we had heard good things about it and we enjoy city cycle tours as they are a great way to see a city. By cycling you can cover so much more ground than walking but still stay close to the action. As it was Sunday, Bogotá had ... read more
Cycle time
It's great having closed roads
In the park




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