In just 2 short days, I’ll be boarding a flight to Bogota, Colombia for 8 days in one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world. From the Andean Highlands to the Caribbean lowlands, I’ll get a balanced mix of modern, urban Colombian life and old world culture, all while trying to catch a few rays and breathtaking mountain views as well.
My first time in Colombia will take me into the nation’s capital of Bogota, up through the transformed, innovative city of Medellin, and finally finishing in Cartagena and the nearby beaches of Playa Blanca and Islas del Rosario. While this doesn’t do the entire country justice by any means – I already know I need to go back to experience the Amazon, Tayrona National Park, and the Pacifico region at a later date – I am ready to make the most of my first trip to South America’s northernmost country.
As with preparing for any trip, you have to have a packing list. But to get the most out of your trip, I highly recommend having an “experience checklist” as well. Below is my Colombia Pre-Trip Experience Checklist:
- Adjust to Bogota’s altitude while eating mangos and arepas at Plaza De Mercado De Paloquemao
- Watch the sunset over Bogota from atop Monserrate
- Bar hop through La Candelaria
- Dine on tamales and chocolate completo at Puerta Falsa
- Pretend like I have the Midas Touch at Museo del Oro
- Cruise La Macarena and experience Bogota’s foodie culture at Tabula
- Get my Colombian caffeine fix at Oma, Juan Valdez, and any local coffee stop I can find
- Play tejo and blow stuff up!…because that’s the object of the game
- Scope out Fernando Botero sculptures in Medellin’s Plaza Botero
- Go clubbing in both Parque Lleras and Zona Rosa
- Find the best bandeja paisa, Colombia’s national dish
- Take a day trip to Guatape and climb La Piedra Del Peñol
- Step back into the 17th century while roaming Cartagena’s old walled city
- Spend a night in a hammock at Playa Blanca along Colombia’s Caribbean coast
- Crash a party at Media Luna Hostel
- Take in one last sunset from Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
Looking forward to seeing if I get to everything, and even more excited to see what unexpected adventures come up along the way. Adios!